What's Life Like In Bali For A Freelance Programmer?

Article by JobTerix IN DESIGN & ILLUSTRATION - 10/2/2022

If you're thinking of moving to Bali, you might be wondering what life is like for freelance web developers. The island is known for its beautiful beaches and stunning scenery, but it's also a great place to live if you're self-employed and want to work remotely.

Living and Working in Bali

Is Bali a good place to be a digital nomad?

Bali is a beautiful Indonesian island with 4.362 million people. It has a tropical climate and beaches galore. The people are friendly and welcoming to outsiders, especially those who can speak some Bahasa Indonesia (the local language). Bali is also home to many digital nomads and freelancers who live here for part or all of the year.

3 main things make Bali an ideal location for freelancers and entrepreneurs: Cost of living, fast internet speeds, and the ability to work from anywhere (apartment, the beach, or co-working spaces).

English is Spoken

English is one of the three languages spoken in Bali, though not everyone is fluent in it. Most restaurants, cafes, and hotels have people who speak English fairly well so you can get by if you don't speak the language yet.

Can you make money in Bali as a freelancer web developer?

Bali is a great place to work as a software developer. The island has a growing technology scene, with many companies and freelancers working in the industry.

If you are good at what you do, there are plenty of opportunities and clients available to keep you busy with work.

The cost of living is low compared to most developed countries so you will save more money than in other places like the U.S., Canada, or Australia. This means that you can spend more time on your business instead of just surviving while working 9-5 every day!

Cost of Living

Life in Bali is pretty cheap once you get out of the tourist area (Kuta, Seminyak, Jimbaran). For example, you can get a good meal for under 2 USD. Beers cost around 1 USD in most places and the local wine costs around 6 USD per bottle.

Setting Up Internet

As a digital nomad in Bali, you'll need a good internet connection. This can be accomplished in a couple of different ways. One is to get a SIM card with data, but this can be a pricey option if you use a lot of data.

The second option is to rent an apartment or villa with utilities and Wi-Fi included as part of their amenities. The third option is to work at a restaurant or cafe with internet access or go to one of several co-working spaces available.

Socializing - Making Friends

The quality of life in Bali can be pretty good once you find your rhythm and it is very easy to make friends. There are many other ex-pats here so there are plenty of opportunities to network and make new friends.

Visa Requirements for Long-Term Stays

If you plan to stay in Bali for more than 30 days, you'll need to apply for a visa. It's best to take care of this before you plan to go because it may take a couple of weeks to get it.

You need to apply for an extension every six months (at least) or leave the country and come back again. This can be a hassle but it’s doable once you get used to it. If you get a working visa, after 5 years you can apply for permanent residency.

Contact the Indonesian Consulate for more information about tourist visas and the requirements for obtaining one. There are different types of visas, so you’ll need to find out which one applies best to your situation or life goals.

Finding Work

Once you're set up with a place to live and internet access, you can hang out your shingle and start taking in work. You are only able to work online so you don’t violate the terms of your visa. You can network with some of the other ex-pats to get leads for freelance work.

Jobterix is a freelance IT marketplace designed to connect freelancers and IT companies looking for experienced, knowledgeable software developers. These companies are looking for the best IT professionals and your experience and knowledge will get you as much work as you can handle.

When you’re not working, you can spend your time surfing, soaking up the sun, or checking out the local wildlife. Bali offers great weather and a low cost of living so it makes it an attractive place for digital nomads.