South Bali - Kuta, Seminyak, Denpasar, Sanur and surroundings.

dafluff

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I don't want Bali to be left out! Particularly south Bali, where I have lived on and off for the major part of my life.

I moved (or more correctly, my parents moved our family) to Bali in the 1980s. At the time it was very much an exotic destination and a tropical paradise. Kuta was probably the only commercialized tourist area, Sanur was a lot sleepier than it is even now, and Seminyak was rice fields. All of it.

I remember missing having a hamburger (No McDonalds yet! That came much later), so on my birthday I asked to go to a restaurant in Kuta that I saw had hamburgers advertised. We made the "long" drive to Kuta only to find that restaurant closed!

Since then, in-line with government targets to ever increasing tourist numbers without regard to infrastructural impacts this may have, the complete deregulation of planning after the fall of Suharto, the rise of low-cost carriers and low-cost hotels, and south Bali has transformed into what it is today: often a chaotic mess, with everything from McDonald's to Starbucks to waterparks and macet, macet everywhere.

But not to despair! The real Bali can still be found no more than 30 minutes drive from the airport! I live about a 3 minute walk to the beach, so close I can hear the waves at night, in a still sleepy little village, which paradoxically also has a large expat presence. Which is not that uncommon in Bali: driving on a rural road that you are sure is in the middle of nowhere you will sometimes encounter an obviously expat owned villa in the middle of rice fields.

I am happy with the community I live in, and have very good relations with the people in the community. One story I like to share: There is a guy in the village we occasionally hire as a driver when needed. We pay him on a per usage basis, and use him maybe 3-4x a month. One time, late at night, having a bit of a medical emergency, I called him to see if he could take me to the hospital in Denpasar. He came over immediately, drove me to Denpasar, then drove me back after. It was well after midnight when we made it back. I started to pay him his fee, thinking of what a reasonable bonus is for helping me out at such a time, but he completely refused. "No", he said, "This was an emergency! You don't get paid for helping people in an emergency." And to me, this is always the real Bali.

That is not to say that there aren't any benefit to the tourism boom: Products that used to be hard to find are now everywhere, entertainment and dining options numerous, Zoo's, Waterparks, and even medical care standards are increasing. There are more numerous schooling options, probably second only to Jakarta. Another benefit is having an international airport with daily direct flights to all regional hubs, such as Dubai, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Singapore, making it easy to get in an out. The immigration office is efficient, and are usually among the first who are updated on new regulations. I have not had a problem obtaining KITAS and extensions, nor did I have to pay anything other than the official fees.

Quick Overview:

Transportation:
The aforementioned I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport - Easy access to the whole world.
Uber, GrabCar, GoJek and other app based transportation available, and easy to use.
Bluebird recommended for conventional taxi.
Kura Kura Bus (http://kura2bus.com/) is available to connect most common touristic areas.

Climate/Geography:
Tropical and Humid. Less humid around the time of southern winter (June July August), more humid the rest of the year.
If you want to leave the touristic area's behind, you can drive out east on the fairly new Ida Bagus Mantra bypass, and find numerous expat enclaves in small communities in Gianyar, Klungkung, Karangasem.
If you want the full party hard experience, then Jimbaran Seminyak, Canggu and Kuta is where you want to go.
Sanur is a bit of a middle ground.

Food, Entertainment, Malls:

Varied and numerous. Seminyak and Jimbaran has the most eclectic dining choices, you can find most anything you need here.

Hardy's is the local supermarket chain, and it's branches in Sanur and Nusa Dua cater to the expat community. You can find all manners of wine, bread, cheese and so forth.
Grand Lucky Supermarket and Pepito/Popular chain have many hard to find items for expats, although at a bit of a premium

For Electronics, particularly computers, you'll want to go to Rimo Trade Centre (RTC) - Jalan Diponegoro No.136, although be prepared to speak Indonesian (or have a translator).
For Home Electronics there is Bali Electornic Center on Jl. Teuku Umar

Malls in Bali tend to be on the smaller side when compared to Jakarta or Surabaya, but try Mall Bali Galeria - it has ample parking and is right by the Bypass Ngurah Rai, so no need to get entangled in Kuta, such as you would for Centro (Discovery Mall) or Beachwalk.

Hotels:
Even more varied and numerous. From tents, to hostels, to beachfront villas to world class mega resorts. Lots of options for visitors, and also staycationeers.

Language/Culture:
English is widely spoken, besides Indonesian and Balinese. A uniquely Balinese version of Hindhuism is the majority religion, and to this day offerings and prayers are made at millions (literally!) temples daily. Every Balinese house will have at least 1 temple, or altar, plus every street corner, every statue and large trees or rocks will have little offerings given daily. This means that you are unlikely to be disturbed by call to prayers in Bali as you would in many other Indonesian cities, although occasionally you will encounter road closure or delays due to religious ceremonies. The foremost Balinese holiday is Nyepi, the Balinese new year. During Nyepi all residents of Bali are requested to forgo travel outside the house, except for travel due to dire emergency, forgo lighting or the burning of fire for 24 hours.

Medical:
The main hospital is RSUP Sanglah. Other major hospital includes Prima Medika, Surya Husada, BIMC and Siloam Hospital. A brand new International level hospital is coming up later this year in Sanur.

Education:
Bali has several international, and international level shools:
Bali Island School (formerly Bali International School)
AIS (formerly Australian Internationl School)
Gandhi Memorial (GMIS)
Dyatmika
Taman Rama

Anything you would like for me to add? Please let me know and I will update this post!
 

Jaime C

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Perhaps cover transportation from the airport, Goldenbird, problems that Uber and such are having there?
 

macvert

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Hardy's have built a store on the site where Super Nova was in Kuta ......
 

macvert

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probably Goldenbird as well but Bluebird can drop off but have not been able to pick up from the airport for a number of years...... my trick is to walk straight through the multi storey carpark & pick up a Bluebird on its way out.

Many places in Bali are the same, they have signs warning Bluebird, Uber, Grab, Gojek etc. that they are not allowed to pick up.
 

dafluff

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probably Goldenbird as well but Bluebird can drop off but have not been able to pick up from the airport for a number of years...... my trick is to walk straight through the multi storey carpark & pick up a Bluebird on its way out.

Many places in Bali are the same, they have signs warning Bluebird, Uber, Grab, Gojek etc. that they are not allowed to pick up.

Actually this is a very good trick!

Another one: for the international area, the arrival pick up, area is usually overcrowded and macet...but the departure level is much quieter. So take the elevator up to level 3, then head out the departure area. Tell whoever is picking you up that you are on the departure area (terminal keberangkatan international), that usually works.
 

Sky Garden

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Actually this is a very good trick!

Another one: for the international area, the arrival pick up, area is usually overcrowded and macet...but the departure level is much quieter. So take the elevator up to level 3, then head out the departure area. Tell whoever is picking you up that you are on the departure area (terminal keberangkatan international), that usually works.

Yup, there are always bluebirds hanging around up there also
 

harryopal

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Dafluff..... " I live about a 3 minute walk to the beach, ".... How is the water quality?

I don't want to be intrusive but it does leave me wondering if there is affordable house leasing in that area. I have no desire to live in an expat area or expat "Villa" My wife is Indonesian with family in Bali so it would be good to have a couple of spare rooms. I'm hopeful of finding a modest house for about $60 ish a week.

Yours tropically, Harry
 

dafluff

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Dafluff..... " I live about a 3 minute walk to the beach, ".... How is the water quality?

I don't want to be intrusive but it does leave me wondering if there is affordable house leasing in that area. I have no desire to live in an expat area or expat "Villa" My wife is Indonesian with family in Bali so it would be good to have a couple of spare rooms. I'm hopeful of finding a modest house for about $60 ish a week.

Yours tropically, Harry

Hi Harry, it is definitely not snorkling water, else I would've recommended it in your other thread! It is very rocky, with strong currents, so swimming is not recommended either. However, there is some surfing maybe a 10 minute drive away.

If you want to live modestly, and are ok with local housing standards, then that price range is not out of the question, especially in Buleleng or Karangasem. However, in the south of Bali that will get you a small, minimalist local house (around 100sqm), with maybe 2 bd, 2 br.
 

harryopal

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Good morning Dafluff,
Thanks again. I have been checking out Bahasa Indonesian rumah sewa sites and see that picking up something in the south for that price seems unlikely.

Yours tropically, Harry
 

Scooterindo

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I live in Renon Just up the road from Sanur - love it round here.
 

William King

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You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to dafluff again.

I tried.

.. my trick is to walk straight through the multi storey carpark & pick up a Bluebird on its way out.
.

I had an army guy stop my cab once when I did that, and turf me out. (in Jakarta)
 

harryopal

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Good afternoon ScooterIndo,

Thanks for the response. And what is it about the area that you love?

Yours tropically, Harryopal
 

Wisnu

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having a property in south Bali, not far from simpang siur, but prefer to stay and spent more days in north east Bali.
have been looking for beachfront land in Tulamben and Amed; but the price is insane.
 

jstar

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Yeah, it's too late for that. And the Russians discovered it too.
 

Daniel50

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If we move back to Indonesia, as we get older (to be closer to family), we will probably move to Bali, if all is still relatively well. We have thought about other places along the way but overall Bali would probably work best for us. I kind of like Sanur because there is that beach path, I could get up early and walk or bike along the path and lots of services in the area. Also, it is a little more laid back or smaller city feel. There are some things I/we don't like about Bali but overall it would probably work best. Closer to family, ( I don't like living in or around Jakarta) English used more, lots of services and some nature.
 

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