Are you thinking of retiring cheap in Bali? Is Bali the best place to live for $1000 a month? To answer those questions I’ve spent the last week hard at work researching this for you loyal BestCountriesToRetireCheap.com readers (I know I know now my life is soooo tough). What does a day look like here? How much does it cost? Here’s the hard numbers about my typical day.
Waking up at 10 am in my air conditioned room, I look up at the bars of the bunk bed above mine. The room still has its lights turned off even though 3 people have already left from our 6 person dorm. People are always checking in and out at odd times. One of the popular things to fo here I climbing a volcano to see the sunrise $60 (600,000 idr) but you leave at 1 am in the morning the hostel I’m in is in a prime location 5 minutes from the beach in Sanur at $10 (100,000 idr) a night. I’ve poked my bargain finding head into a few other hostels in the area and $10 is normal around here.
Since I’m all by myself (I’ll tell you all my loyal BestCountriesToRetireCheap.com readers about why in a different blog) I go for breakfast at the warung down the street. This place is cheap and great. There are all these Indonesian Warungs all over. They have a cafeteria style of eating. You select what you want from what they’ve premade and they plop it on your plate. Yes, plop is what they do. Indonesian cooking is heavy on curries. It’s all pretty tasty but definitely not pretty. Theseare not small pretty dishes served from an immaculate white plate. There’s no winning the Taste UK with their presentation. Still it’s great food and at $1 (10,000 idr) for a plate of curry chicken I’m pretty happy. I love the spices in the curry, but be warned, if you come from Britain or France it might be too spicy for you. I’ve had several of my fellow backpackers tell it’s too spicy (Am I still a backpacker if I have a wheely suitcase ?)
After my morning meal it’s off to the gym. There’s a Celebrity fitness here in Bali (see my blog in Kuala Lumpur gyms for my review), but it’s not near my hostel. A 5km walk away from my hostel though is Ari Pro fitness. At $10 (100,000 idr) a drop in, I’ve opted for the one month pass $53 (530,000 idr). This gym isn’t bad, it’s not as nice as Celebrity fitness but it’s not like the Thailand converted airplane hanger.
Ari Pro fitness is only a 10 minute walk or a $1 (10,000 idr) taxi ride. When I say 10 minute walk, I mean 10 minute trek over Bali’s typical Asian sidewalks in 30 degree heat. If you’re in any way mobility challenged these sidewalks are not for you. Giant pothole with ankle busting missing sections, and the always present millions of mopeds parked in your path make it safer to walk on the shoulder of the street than the sidewalks.
Ignoring the blissful thought of air conditioned taxis during my morning walk, (which is hard because they drive by with little taunting beep beeps of their horn every minute) I arrive at the gym, sweatier that I’m going to be from working out. I literally have to drink a half litre of bottled water 35 cents (35,000 id rather)during my death hike every day.
After my workout and my futile after workout shower (by the time I get back to the hostel, I’m again a sweaty stinky Samson) I rinse off and throw the two tank tops into the “to be washed or destroyed with extreme prejudice pile”. At $1.30 (13,000 idr) kg to drop my clothes at a laundress. I’m happy knowing that in the day it takes them to clean it, I’ll have nice smelling clothes again (seriously there’s nothing better than that clean clothes smell).
Enjoying the pool (essential in Asia) at my hostel I alternate between the warm water and lying on one of the sun chairs. Applying more sunscreen $9 (90,000 idr) to prevent a repeat of the appearance of “Samson the Amazing Lobster Boy”, I turn on my Iflix account $3 (30,000 idr) from my iPad. 123movies.to is an illegal streaming site that you can watch movies on as well.
After a lazy afternoon watching movies, sun tanning and at the pool with my new hostel buddies we usually head to another Warung for lunch. The different Warungs specialize in different cooking styles from various Indonesian regions and I’ve found an amazing beef curry place $2 (20,000 idr) right around the corner.
A fresh fruit shake is $1 (10,000 idr) and Bintang beers are $2.80 (28,000 idr) all over Sanur.
If it’s nice afternoon the beach is the place for me, where you can get chicken satay skewers for pretty much the same price as in town. $2 (20,000 idr) for 10 skewers and rice!
You can get a massage on the beach for $7 (70,000 idr) if you bargain a bit, which is again similar to the prices in town. It’s cool watching the ocean and feeling the winds while getting a cheap massage.
That’s what my typical day looks like! Pretty tough. It’s been 100% possible to stick to my $1000 a month budget here. The biggest unexpected expense though is how much I’m drinking because of the other people partying. I hope this article helped you with your quest of finding the best country to retire cheap. Did you like the format? Scroll to the bottom of the page for more tips and articles on finding the cheapest places to retire. And if you liked the article, please share on social media (I’d love it if you did!)