Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Setting Up in Bali: Part I -- Accommodations, Furniture, and Appliances

Sorry for the delay in between posts. Life has gotten quite stressful and busy here in Bali land.
I had mentioned previously that I lived in Bali for a couple of years before leaving for a year-long holiday of traveling. Now that Mike and I are back here for a couple (or so) more years, we are faced with the exhausting task of house-hunting and setting up.

This is also the reason why we haven't been able to reply to the comments on the popularly spread "dating a surfer" article. Thanks everyone for the love by the way!

When I was still single, I would always rent out an already furnished place to save me the trouble of fixing and setting up. But now being in a relationship and with the lack of properly furnished abodes here in Bali, I and Mike have to do all the domesticated stuff ourselves -- from getting the right house in the right location to buying beds to pots to light bulbs.

So, if you are in the same position as we are or still contemplating on moving to Bali, here are things you need to know:

It's manual labor. 

Unless you're lucky enough that your company sets you up with accommodations, transportation, and all the luxuries, you will have to sort all these out on your own.

Bargain. Bargain. Bargain.

You should know that as a 'bule' (foreigner) you will often if not always be given the 'bule' price -- meaning, the price is about 3-10x more what they would offer a local.

For example, you're looking at an item, the local will quote you something outrageous to check if you will bite. Don't. Always bargain (the locals expect this anyway). And if they won't agree to your price, just walk away, unless you really want it.

In Bali, the best way to get set up painlessly is to get referrals from trusted friends. This way you avoid getting ripped off and are more confident in purchasing good products. Having a trusted local friend will be a great help too in communicating with the other locals especially when you're bargaining for prices.

How to find a house to rent?

Ask your friends if they know of any house for rent or if they're moving out themselves.

No friends? Go around the neighborhood and scout. This may take a day or a week or a month. It's exhausting but that's how it's done.

Have the money to spare? Go to a real estate agency. Be warned that they mostly offer high-end properties. So if you're on a budget, the above options are better for you.

Regarding Houses, you may want to know that:

A full year rent is the deal for houses and villas. Yep, a lump sum upfront, so make sure you have enough cash to last you on your holiday or until your first paycheck.

Prices for houses in Bali are dependent on the area, size, and amenities. Houses in the more upscale areas will probably fetch for $400-800/month. These houses are usually 200-400+m2 in size. The villa types or houses with swimming pools are more expensive, about $500-1,000/month. For 100-150m2 houses, the going price is about $200-350/month.

'Kost' housing or studio types -- bedroom, living area, and kitchen in a 50m2 space is a cheap option at $50-80/month. Kosts allow daily or monthly payments. If you don't mind a small space and living amongst locals, this is a good deal.

You will hear the words "juta" or "mil" a lot. Juta means Million. So, 20 juta = 20 million or $2,000 (approx.)

Where to buy furniture?

There are loads of local furniture shops in Bali. But I found facing the problem of being given ridiculous prices and the stress of bargaining not worth my while so, I just go to the big supermarkets like Carrefour, Hypermarket, and Nirmala for my basic furniture and kitchen needs. Here, the price is the same for locals and foreigners, so there's no need to haggle. More so, stuff here aren't really that expensive, if not similar to local stores!

So unless you're a master haggler or can be bothered to scour the local merchants, just save yourself the trouble and visit the supermarkets.

How about appliances?

The supermarkets I mentioned above have almost everything you need except maybe for beds (which I will discuss later).

But there are also some appliance centers in the Tuban area and Denpasar that may be worth the trip like Ud Karika Elektronik in Tuban (across Supernova Supermarket). Then, there's also Sakura Elektronik on Jalan Diponegoro in Denpasar. At these stores you can bargain for better prices.

Now, regarding buying a bed..... 

These can be bought at the local furniture stores called "Muebles" and there's loads of them in Bali. Just go around and canvas for the prices and yes, bargain.

The good quality mattresses are from the American Standard and Marco Polo brands. Mattresses are bout 1-2 juta = ~$100-200.

A set = mattress + base + headboard, would cost about 2-3 juta = ~$200-300.

If you want the best bedding on the island, you may order from King Koil (branch at Bali Mal Galeria. Beds here range from $500-1,000++.

For special custom-made 'Teak Wood' bed frames, you can get these at the furniture-making shops along the Bypass, Canggu, or Denpasar. A queen-size frame including headboard (no mattress) will cost about 2.5-3 juta.

Next: Renting Transportation, Communications, and Internet on Setting Up in Bali - Part II


  1. Very informative article, thanks for sharing

  2. Thanks for the tips! super helpful! I love your style and how adventurous you are in your make-overs

    Furniture sale in Dubai | Buy furniture online Dubai

  3. You've done a marvelous job on all the pieces! I love, love the afters and your decor. Thanks for the hints too!

    Interior design Dubai | Interior design Abu Dhabi

  4. I have read your post. Thanks for sharing this nice article. I like this furniture info.

  5. He made a calculation and found that these things would cost him no less than ₹1.5 lakh if he wished to buy them immediately. check here

  6. Therapeutic foam mattresses can provide exceptional comfort and quality carefor anyone who spendsextended periods of time lying in a bed; including patients who are less mobile. They differ from basic, everyday foam mattresses in their ability to distribute and react to body weight evenly over a large area; a critical measure in the prevention of pressure sores.memory foam hq

  7. armchairs, balance chairs and then consider what chair best suits you depending on the space that you have for putting the chairs and also the objective of the chairs. One can set up chairs with the aim of having a study so in that case you consider an armchair and if it is only for resting maybe during your leisure time then one can consider bar stool chairs. buy garden furniture in Narbonne Listing can hence be shown as a tip that is sure for choosing any patio furniture and for our case chairs. It seems great, comfortable hence maximizing total utility brought about by the chairs.

  8. Furniture is very important for nice house. Please add my website in your website Everest Furniture Factory located in Al Quoz, Dubai. Specialise in Re-upholstery, Sofas, Curtains, Chairs, Beds. Large Fabrics range. High Quality Finishing.Contact us for more informatiom Tel: +971 4 338 6255 Or Fax: +971 4 339 0094

    Restaurant furniture in dubai

  9. Good work on this post! I really like the way you delivered your qualitative facts and how you made this fascinating and effortless to realize. Thank you!!

  10. Excellent drawing! If i don't see this site than miss a big site. Your job is very charmful and interesting.See more..
    custom made Beds in dubai
    We can make custom made Beds and headboard to all designs and sizes possible with large range of Fabrics brands to choose from.
    Tel: +971 4 338 6255
    Fax: +971 4 339 0094

  11. Picking the correct furniture is vital as it gives finish makeover to your home. https://www.cheapbedroomfurniture.co

  12. The reason for this is because business appliances are used a lot more often and in a larger capacity than appliances in the setting of a home.dehumidifier buyer guide

  13. Along with selling appliances, the store also services them. They currently have 4 service trucks making house calls and are in the process of adding 2 more. They have a full service department that provides warranty repairs to any appliances purchased with them and post warranty repairs to appliances purchased else where. They also sell parts. shopping Online Pakistan

  14. Vitalbrands, starting for the best shopping knowledge in our property, is the first and greatest web based shopping site in Pakistan devoted to streak deals. As a scaffold amongst Pakistan and China and Many Others Countries, Vitalbrands brings the best items into Pakistan from both the nearby and worldwide markets. With us encounter the liveliest and least demanding internet shopping background in the most bother free route in Pakistan. Since our venture into Pakistan in 2011, our shopping gateway has recorded exponential development. Energizing arrangements at fantastically costs are offered each day, with rebates coming to up 90%! Online shopping in pakistan