Half a year without tourism, Bali has returned to the paradise it once was. Those who decided to stay in Bali surely haven’t regretted it. I finally know how it must have felt to come to Bali in the 90s. I enjoy listening to conversations of expats who have been living in Bali for many decades, when Kuta and Legian were connected by a small dirt road.
I cannot emphasize enough that the best time to visit Bali is now. By now, I mean November 2020 onwards, as long as Bali’s airport is not yet open for international tourists. So what to expect from Bali right now?
Before the global crisis, there already was a surplus of accommodation options, especially hotels and villas in Bali. Now without any international tourists and some of the long-term expats having left the Island, prices dropped dramatically. I have friends who regularly made 700 USD per night for a luxury 4 bedroom villa in Petitenget. They currently rent it for 1.100 USD per month. This might certainly not apply to every single hotel and rental villa in Bali, but the time has never been better to get great hotel deals or a luxury upgrade at the same price you would have paid for a simpler villa before.
As indicated above, there are many vacant villas and hotels to choose from at the moment. Approaching Christmas and New Year, this was considered high season or even peak season before and you had to book or place reservations for events months in advance. Now you still have plenty of options. Besides accommodation, scooter and car rental companies have many vehicles available to choose from.
Although from time to time you find a post on facebook saying “missing this time” when someone posts one of the many long traffic jams at the Canggu shortcut. Countless cars have fallen victim to this rice field. Rarely a week has passed without a car or bike ending up in the rice field at the small shortcut to Canggu. Rush hour during sunset time at many beaches in the South. But let’s be honest, the best thing about lack of tourism is that there are no more traffic jams. I have heard people saying “Bali is amazing but I couldn’t live with this traffic every day”. Now you can.
You can now visit world famous instagram hotspots without hundreds of other tourists pushing you around. Some of the most beautiful places are currently quiet and peaceful and you have the chance to be the only one in one of these special places if you come at the right time.
While the lockdown of Bali island has been great for nature, many local businesses and people struggle to earn enough money to provide for themselves or their families. A large percentage of people depend on the income from tourism. Many restaurants and organisations have helped out by providing free meals to people in need.
Plenty foreigners who have lived in Bali long-term fell in love with Bali’s street dogs and cats. You see them feeding dogs on the beach or in the street. Some prepare daily meals for the animals near their home. When visiting Bali, please consider a donation to one of the many dedicated and hardworking animal welfare organisations.
As you may already know, the Indonesian government has suspended the visa on arrival and for the first time issued social visas to foreigners who are already in Indonesia (onshore visa). This means only people who are already in Indonesia were able to apply for this visa type during the lockdown. Now, here’s the good news: There is a new 211 visa for humanitarian activities, volunteering, family reunion, business or investment.
Now you may ask what the requirements are and how to obtain it? Glad, you asked. While visa application processes were time consuming and complicated in the past, thanks to corona things got easier. You no longer need to visit an Indonesian embassy or mail your passport and wait many weeks to get the visa. Your visa will be issued electronically within a couple of days as long as you fulfil the requirements.
In order to be eligible to apply for the visa you need the following:
Costs for the 211 visa range from 6 to 12 million Rupiah, depending on the agency. For now only licensed agencies can issue the new e-visa. You would want to choose an agency, that offers great service at an affordable price. 7.5 to 8.5 Million Rupiah (530-600 USD) are a good price for a
I hope you found this article informative and helpful. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below and I will try to answer your question.