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Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Bali Questions: How much does it cost to live in Sanur for 1 year?

The first question comes from Justin from the USA, who said:

Question: "I'm planning on doing some research for a book and my girlfriend is working on her dissertation and has most of the research material digitized that she believes she needs and, well, we've been talking about moving to Bali while we work on it.
What would you think would be a number for cost of living for a year in Sanur? A nice two bedroom, close to a beach if not on it, a maid/cook, would we need a car? How much is food in Bali? Food is the main thing I'm having a problem narrowing down. I can't figure out how much it costs to live as a local as far as food is concerned, just what restaurants and whatnot charge from a tourist perspective. Would $1,000USD a month create comfortable accommodations and basic cost of living? Or is this way under a realistic number for living comfortably in Bali?
Thank you for all the information you've already provided and any additional that you will.



Answer: Hi Justin,

Thanks for the feedback - I'm glad you liked the post.

Sanur is a good place as it is not too crowded and has lots to offer while being quite close to Kuta. However, due to its popularity with tourists, Sanur has high prices - probably around 40 million Rp. plus for a nice house per year and that might not be with furniture! You can walk around much of Sanur as most of it focuses on one main street.

Another great place is the Bukit Peninsula - this has a more 'country' feel as there are more trees and (comparatively) less traffic than other places which means fresher air. Prices are also cheaper than Sanur - I'd say you could get a house or villa on the Bukit for 30million Rupiah for a year. The downside is that there are less supermarkets and nightlife although it has the best beaches & surf in Bali and still quite a few restaurants - walking is not easy though as it is very spread out. 

To eat in local warungs, you can easily get meals for US $1-2 but in restaurants it's more likely you''ll pay around US $5 and up (and it goes up a long way from there!). My girlfriend and I spend around US $30 a week on food shopping for both of us shopping at the more western style supermarkets - Balinese markets are cheaper but most things sell out by 7am and hygiene standards are pretty much non-existent (for which we only buy certain things from them like vegetables which we wash thoroughly! I personally wouldn't touch meat/fish from them!). Actually it's alcohol which is the thing to watch out for - a large Bintang beer is around 25,000 Rupiah from supermarkets or 30,000 in restaurants/bars - often the same as or more than your main meal!

I would advise renting a scooter - everyone has one and they are cheap to run and easy to ride. Alternatively you could look into monthly car rental (starting at around 2 million Rupiah/month) as new/second cars here are ridiculously expensive! That's before you factor in the often horrendous traffic, which you can weave through on a motorbike but not in a car
You could also check out my post about living in Bali for $400 a month or less for more info!

Hope that helps!

Life in Bali
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