Digital nomadism is perhaps the leading trend right now. Country-hopping is easier than ever, and national governments have adopted a more relaxed approach towards temporary migrants.
From the Western to Eastern Hemispheres, the options are truly endless, with specific visas for digital nomads being announced every semester and once-strict regulations being eased to better accommodate the category.
Despite the increased competition, especially now that many countries are jumping on the bandwagon, there is a traditional nomad hotspot and a paradise island in Asia that remains a favorite not only among remote workers but also long-stay tourists.
They have been flocking to this destination, with many deeming it perfect for digital nomads, but why is that?
Bali Is The Perfect Nomad Haven
Bali is the most popular province in Indonesia and an island so popular it merits its own status as an entity apart from the rest of the archipelago.
It is the only Hindu-majority province of Indonesia, and time and again, it makes headlines as the world’s ‘top destination,’ having been awarded the coveted title twice by TripAdvisor, once in 2017, and then again in 2021.
Bali is best known for its quaint seaside villages, rice paddies, nature trails, and spectacular beaches, but what exactly sets it apart from other numerous Indonesian and Southeast Asian spots, on an extent, with a similar tourist offer?
And most importantly, why are digital nomads in particular making it their home base?
A Slow-Paced Lifestyle
First of all, Bali is what we call a ‘slow travel’ destination, existing in its own peaceful bubble, away from the organized chaos that is Jakarta and other sprawling Indonesian metropolises in neighboring islands.
It’s somewhere you go to be closer to nature, work remotely from verdant fields as you listen to the soothing crashing of waves in the distance, and not be bound by the incessant hustling of the big city, Western lifestyle.
With nomad communities flourishing in small cities like Ubud, Kuta, and Canggu and a strong cafe and coworking scene developing, newcomers feel right at home in Bali, both among Bali natives, who are incredibly welcoming and eager to share their culture and customs, and their expat peers.
Wellness Is Key
After enduring three rather stressful years and surviving a literal pandemic, nomads are strongly favoring destinations where they can take it easy, work on their inner healing, and make their daily activities less laborious.
When it comes to wellness, Bali is the ideal pick, as it boasts an enviable host of wellness retreats and relaxation areas, making it a regional leader in Southeast Asia and one of the leading destinations in this segment worldwide.
Whether it’s well-equipped rejuvenation spas or Canggu’s affordable massage centers, rest assured you will never exhaust your possibilities of unwinding and treating yourself after slamming your computer shut at the end of a long, laborious day.
Bali Wants You To Stay Longer
Bali is one of a handful of destinations in Asia actually encouraging visitors to remain, as local authorities seek to make it more appealing to slow travelers who spend more time and more money as they explore the island at their own pace.
As the Bali Sun reports, it is ‘as synonymous with luxury as it is with budget backpackers’, and both categories of nomads – the luxury retreat type and the youth hostel enthusiast – will find that Bali has a wide array of accommodation options for an extended ‘workcation’.
With the Indonesian Minister for Tourism and Creative Economies being adamant that Bali will not succumb to overtourism, as most of Europe has, we can expect a much greater shift towards high-quality, sustainable tourism in the near future.
As they usually stay longer and inject more money into local businesses, nomads are set to benefit from far more liberal policies, especially pertaining to long-term rentals and short-term residency visas.
Bali Is More Affordable
Though it is certainly not the cheapest destination in Southeast Asia, Bali is still hugely affordable by American standards, with consumer prices up to 49.5% lower than other Western destinations.
Dining out in Ubud, one of the most popular retreat zones on the island, tourists can expect to pay as little as $26.15 for a three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant, while inexpensive restaurants will hand you a bill of a negligible $2.45 or less.
Additionally, a half liter of domestic beer costs on average $2.29, and if you’re cooking from your AirBnB or long-stay accommodation, you can certainly get by just fine spending between $20 and $30 on groceries every week.
Bali Has A Digital Nomad Visa
Regarding the latter part, the final reason why Bali has become so popular among digital nomads is its relaxed visa policies directly benefit the category.
Indonesia was one of the first in Southeast Asia to launch a Digital Nomad Visa (DNV), enabling remote workers to apply for a residence permit and set up a home base in the paradisaical island since September 2022.
Although it is not a classic DNV, like Colombia’s or Greece’s, being called a ‘socio-cultural’ B211a visa instead, it does allow eligible applicants to enter Indonesia for a ‘workcation’, provided they fulfill all of the existing criteria.
This involves holding a valid passport for at least a year, for single-entry visa applications on a duration of 180 days, or a travel document with at least six months of validity left, for a 60-day visa.
Whichever category you fit into, you must provide funds of at least $2000 (two thousand U.S. dollars), or the equivalent of that sum, to support yourself while in Indonesia, as well as a return or outward ticket to be redeemed at the intended date of exit.
Finally, when submitting their visa application, nomads must present two color passport photos, dimensions 4 cm x 6 cm. You can find out more about the Bali DNV application process by accessing this link.
Now you know why digital nomads love Bali.
It has continuously stayed ahead of the curve when it comes to travel trends; local authorities have relaxed visa policies to better accommodate remote workers, there is a growing expat community, and the relaxed lifestyle provides foreigners with a great work-life balance.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com