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Ubudian posted on the thread New to Bali on the Indonesia forum

Hi James, and welcome to Ubud.

As you are probably already figuring out, there is quite a diverse expat community in the Ubud area.

A couple of easy ways for you to get to meet some of them...

On every Friday night, starting at about 7:30 PM there is the famed Quiz Night at the Fly Cafe on Jalan Lungsiakan.  This is most always very well attended, and you'll find great food, drinks and good company.   

Around the corner from The Fly is the famous Naughty Nuri's Warung on Jalan Raya Sanggingan.  While somewhat less of an expat hangout since the passing of co-owner, Brian, it is still the home base for the well known Hash House Harriers.  Each Saturday afternoon the Hash sponsors a run somewhere around the Ubud area culminating in a great party.  It is said of the Hash, "a wonderful drinking club with a running problem." 

Cheers and enjoy your time in Ubud, Roy

Ubudian posted on the thread Volunteering in Indonesia on the Indonesia forum

As the old saying goes my lady, "you can lead a horse to water, but you can't force it to drink."    :)

Cheers, lagi!   And, please feel free to call me Roy.

Ubudian posted on the thread Volunteering in Indonesia on the Indonesia forum

“There is no right or wrong way.”

Perhaps not, but there are more effective and thereby, better ways.  I agree though, the choice is yours.

As for my “wise guidance” why else should I be here on this forum?  Most folks are very appreciative of it.   ;)

Cheers, Roy

Ubudian posted on the thread Volunteering in Indonesia on the Indonesia forum

If you live in Bali, especially within a small village (Kampung) and know the families, then I partially agree that one can direct their charity directly to where one might think it can be best used…but this is not without potential pitfalls.  And this would be the same elsewhere in Indonesia as well. 

Pitfall number one is that this approach can create jealousy.  Pitfall number two is that you chose the wrong family because you aren’t really aware of their financial situation, or their “real need.”  I personally never recommend that expats give on the basis of what they themselves perceive as being real need, but rather to rely on the village head, (the kepala desa) to at least identify those families where the need is real, and greatest.

Sure, I can appreciate the greater source of personal gratification when stopping by a poor family and leaving bags of rice, clothing, toys, medicines, etc.  But let’s be honest…that is not charity…rather, that is the pursuit of self gratification. 

Charity is best when it is left in the hands of professionals who understand far better than you where the real and urgent needs are to be found.  That is especially true in Indonesia where foreigners are most unlikely to be qualified to determine those needs on their own.

A funny, but true story I like to tell to illustrate my point comes from a visit to us in Bali from a very long time friend. 

My wife and I were driving him around our neck of the woods on back roads so he could get a good sense of the villages and enjoy the endless rice fields.  As we made a turn, out from the sawah (rice field) on the right side, a very old man was emerging from his field.  He was ancient, gaunt, dressed in rags and a tattered straw hat.  My friend asked us to stop (we thought to take a photo), but that wasn’t his reason.  He produced a 100k note from his pocket and handed it to the man who reluctantly took it, all the while with a look of great perplexion on his face.

Back in the car our friend went on and on about that “poor old man” who in his opinion probably hadn’t seen a 100k rupiah note in some time.  I finally decided to set things straight, even though I knew it would embarrass our friend. 

“That old man you gave money to is Pak Agung” I explained.  “That is just one of his several rice fields, now amounting to over 5 hectars.  He used to own 8 hectars, but he just sold three of them to the Alila Hotel for a million US…in cash.”

Ubudian posted on the thread Volunteering in Indonesia on the Indonesia forum

OK, please let me clarify. 

With a licensed Yayasan or NGO, the possibility of it being a scam or corrupt operation is very, very slim, thus in my post I emphasized this as the first priority.  Anyone thinking about volunteering should ask to see the operation’s Yayasan license.  If they fail to produce it, then move on to another organization. 

Bogus orphanages have been a problem in the past…but they will not be licensed, so they are very easy to avoid.  If anyone follows the guidelines I’ve laid out in this thread, they will not have any problems, nor will they find themselves feeding fraud or corruption.   

My advice is based on far more than opinions, rather it is based on first hand experiences acquired over 17 years of working with a number of Yayasans and NGO’s on Bali.  I’m sorry but I find it difficult to apologize for all the time and effort I’ve put into those organizations over the years, and the knowledge and experience I have gained as a result. 

Please, have no worries about “angry voices” here, and I apologize if you think I am angry...but I assure you that I am not angry.  I’m far more concerned that this topic be conveyed with accuracy and facts.

Cheers, Roy

Ubudian posted on the thread Bringing motorcycle to Indonesia. on the Indonesia forum

"My understanding is only diplomatic staff and consuls are allowed to import  M/Cycles & cars into Indonesia ?
Whereby they are issued with Diplomatic number plates for easy recognition."

That is most definitely not true.  As I wrote earlier, I know first hand of two expats on Bali who were able to import their motorcycles to Bali.

Moreover, how on earth would you account for all the dealers selling imported bikes across Indonesia?

Specifically relating to Harley motorcycles, there are a number of Harley clubs in Indonesia (one of them right here in Bali).  From another source I heard that the Harley club here in Denpasar was very helpful in getting a bike brought in for an expat. 

Either work with an importer, a dealership, or a club if you’re absolutely adamant about bringing in your bike.

Ubudian posted on the thread Trouble at t'mill on the Indonesia forum

"One of the reasons the Dutch finally gave up Indonesia was due to the Americans demanding they did so..."

YUP!  And that is well appreciated here to this day!   :top:

Remember, Indonesia was the very first prior colony in all of Asia and SE Asia to declare its independence after the Japanese surrender.  After 350 years of Dutch colonization, it isn't so difficult to appreciate why America supported Indonesia in their declaration of independence.   

However, had the Dutch stayed here and fought the Japanese rather than running back to Holland, who knows if that American support would have been so vehement.

Ubudian posted on the thread Looking for a job at Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia. on the Bali forum

It should be understood that Indonesia, and Bali in particular, is very careful to guard jobs in hospitality and tourism for the local folks.  Moreover, Bali is home to the best tourism/hospitality university in Indonesia, which has been around since the 1970’s. 

Aside from the very largest 5 star international chains…Aman, Four Seasons, Ritz, etc, even the top jobs like GM and Executive Chef are positions which are easily filled from the abundant talent of highly skilled Indonesians.

Who else, aside from Indonesians, are better suited to present their country to the foreign visitor? 

No expat I know wants to see the hospitality and tourism business in Indonesia dominated by foreigners...nor obviously do the Indonesians.

Ubudian posted on the thread Volunteering in Indonesia on the Indonesia forum

“Since Indonesia has quite a bad record for corruption in charity…”

I beg your pardon?  Would you care to document that statement?

Licensed Yayasans and NGO’s in Indonesia actually have a rather excellent track record and with full transparency regarding financials.  In Bali alone I can name a number of them which have received international recognition and honors for their dedicated work and accomplishments:



http://www.inspirasia.org/where-we-work … ty-Project



There are others of course, as well a five or six excellent International Rotary Chapters in Bali alone.  The various Bali Rotary organizations do excellent work throughout the island including the funding and building of Bali’s only waste re-cycling plant in Gianyar. 

I have personally been involved on one level or another with each of these excellent organizations and can personally attest to their integrity.  Have you some first hand information regarding a corrupt charity here, and if so, please, do tell!

Please be careful and avoid making broad sweeping generalized statements which simply are not correct.  Such statements are very damaging and make the work of these fine organizations all that more difficult.   

The problem with Independent Social Act type charities here in Indonesia is that the foreigners who are involved are the least likely to really know where the need is greatest.  Moreover they are also the least likely to understand or appreciate local customs and the appropriate methods of dealing with the local cultures on this basis.  I have seen this countless times in the past.

Ubudian posted on the thread Volunteering in Indonesia on the Indonesia forum

The most important thing when volunteering (as a foreigner) in Indonesia is to be absolutely sure that the organization is either a licensed and registered Yayasan or NGO.  A foreigner cannot volunteer at a for profit or business entity. 

The second most important thing is to keep in mind that absolutely no form of monetary compensation, goods or services can be received by the foreign volunteer as remuneration for their volunteer services.  Meals and a room at the foundation or charity’s premises however are most often overlooked and generally not considered as compensation.

The third most important thing is that the Yayasan or NGO registers you with the local police as being a volunteer for the specified or anticipated period of time you will be volunteering.

On this basis a foreign volunteer can enter and do their volunteer work on any visa, including a tourist entry VOA.

The areas where foreigners most often volunteer their time in Indonesia covers a wide spectrum of activities and includes teaching, medical services, orphanages, poverty eradication, environmental and animal preservation. 

A simple Google search will reveal many such organizations who are always looking for volunteers.

Ubudian posted on the thread New Indonesia online guide on the Indonesia forum

One glaring error that I noticed straight out is this, concerning work in Bali:

"Bali's labor market is quite open to foreign expertise. In general, expatriates are likely to be hired in the following fields: tourism and hospitality, textile, teaching, restaurants."

Jobs in Bali are near impossible for foreigners aside for "native English language" teachers with full accreditation.  In tourism and hospitality, unless the position is with a 5 star resort as GM or Executive Chef, then forget about it.  Bali after all is home to Indonesia's best tourism college and there is no short supply of local (Indonesian) candidates.  When you see a foreigner working in a restaurant in Bali...they own it, thus they are able to get a work permit. 

As it is, this forum gets frequent requests from posters wanting to live and work in Bali.  It's a pipe dream for 99% of those who are considering working here.   

What I'm getting at is, why be so encouraging when in fact the truth is nothing like as stated in that sentence? 

This is just off the top of my head as I haven't read all that's linked in the opening post.

The answer to your question could be more tailor made if you told us where in Bali you are, and where in Bali you want to live. 

Anyway, as a start, get a copy of The Bali Advertiser...it's free and found most everywhere...shops, markets, restaurants, etc.  You will find lots of rental places advertised in there.

Also, you might hook up with a real estate agent or two, but even better than that, try to mingle with other expats and network with them.  Very often the best deals are via word of mouth. 

Good luck!

Ubudian posted on the thread 6.000 Foreigners Deported - No Work Permit on the Indonesia forum

I guess it's only fair to say that since Australians represent the highest percentage of expats in Bali that they also represent the highest percentage of foreigners deported from Bali.   ;)

For some of them, being deported is merely an inconvenience, as once back in OZ they get a new passport and when coming back to Bali enter via another Province, such as Lombok or Java or even via ferry from Singapore. 

That being said, my immigration contacts tell me that if caught, that person will be doing some serious jail time at the immigration lock down in Jimbaran as well as a very heavy fine.

Ubudian posted on the thread Jokowi - no more KITAS ?? on the Indonesia forum

I think you guys had it spot on earlier...he likely doesn't know the difference between a KITAS (visa) and an IMTA (work permit).  So yeah, one can easily misread that article and start thinking it's time to pack one's bags!

Ubudian posted on the thread Social Visa Sponsor on the Bali forum

Just to clear the air, the VOA (visa on arrival) and the 60 day visit visa have nothing in common.  The 60 day visit visa is obtained in advance of arrival in Indonesia at an Indonesian embassy or consulate (obviously out of country).  A 60 day VOA is not renewable within Indonesia.  A 30 day VOA is renewable once…and for 30 days only (viz, 60 day VOA).   

This 60 day visit visa when combined with the allowable maximum of 4 renewals, each renewal being good for an additional 30 days allows for an in country stay of no more than 180 days before it is necessary to leave Indonesia and apply for another 60 day visit visa.  A 60 day visit visa does not require an Indonesian sponsor, and the renewals can be done for each 30 day period at any immigration office.  However, at some point during those 30 renewals, immigration may ask you to produce a sponsor. 

Working in Indonesia under a 60 day visit visa, or during any of the extension periods is not allowed.  Volunteering can be OK so long as that volunteer work is at a licensed Yayasan (Indonesian charity) or NGO (Non Government Organization). 

Vanessa, you should be able to apply for your 60 day visit visa online.  Just Google for Indonesian Embassy Paris and take it from there.

Ubudian posted on the thread Social Visa Sponsor on the Bali forum

Vanessa, there is no longer any need to apply for sosbud visas in order to have a 180 day visit in Indonesia. 

Simply apply at the nearest Indonesian consulate or embassy where you are in France, for a 60 day visit visa in advance of your next trip.  That can be renewed here in Indonesia at any immigration office for up to four times, each time being good for an additional 30 days...total length of stay, 180 days.  That's exactly the way sosbud visas used to work, except that with a 60 day renewable visit visa, you don't need a sponsor in advance.  That all being said, immigration might ask you to provide a local sponsor for one or more of your 30 day renewals.  Sometimes they ask, sometimes not, but, since you will be here in Indonesia during those 30 day renewals, finding someone local should not be a problem and in fact the immigration office would likely be able to make a suggestion or two for a visa agent of good reputation.

To your second question...yes, as your first stay of 180 days draws to an end, you would need to leave Indonesia no later than the 180th day after your date of arrival (which counts as day one), for Singapore (or any other foreign location) and you could re-apply at that time for another 60 day visit visa at the Indonesian embassy/consulate there.  Singapore is a good choice as they are very used to this sort of thing.

Cheers and good luck!

Ubudian posted on the thread Jokowi - no more KITAS ?? on the Indonesia forum

I always tend to look at these sort of announcements from the sole point of view…what is the overall message? 

For me, the overall message is that Jokowi has finally gotten his ministers re-aligned in a manner more reflective of his own desires as opposed to certain factions within the DPR. 

Fred, I think you’ve hit the nail on the head with this:  “The question is, would that be covered by "regulations which impeded investment?”

As I understand Jokowi’s intentions, it is only to increase foreign investment, and that there likely will be no changes to those regulations for foreigners who merely seek employment in Indonesia.  From what I am being told he has no intentions at all in lightening up on “jobs in Indonesia first for Indonesians.”

Ubudian created a new thread on the Indonesia forum

Happy 70th Birthday Indonesia!

Seventy years ago today, and only two days after the Japanese surrender, Indonesia was the first of all the prior colonies in Asia and SE Asia to declare its independence, and to make it crystal clear that the former Dutch colonial rulers who occupied Indonesia for 350 years were not welcomed back.

It was a monumentally gutsy move, and not unlike what the former British colonies of the “New World” did on July 4, 1776.

After some 17 years of 24/7 living in Indonesia, I have only grown in my love and highest esteem for this awesome country, which is most certainly best defined by its wonderful people.

Selamat!  And…let’s party!

Hi Adrian,

You wrote, “Immigration Agents don't promote them because it is a cheaper one time payment and agents don't like to loose their higher annual fee.”

I think you meant independent visa agents, but why not?  Who sponsors your retirement visa?  Normally a visa agent does that for you, as well as processing the visa application.

Google PT Bali Ide as I know they handle visa sponsorships as well as act as agent for other expats on Lombok.

Or, contact my old friend Gemma via her home-stay web site:


She’s located just outside Kuta, Lombok and she and her Balinese husband Made are wonderful people, and they both “know the ropes” better than most.   

But of course you’re absolutely right that there is precious little conformity with the laws here in Indonesia.  It’s been that way for all of my 17 years here on Bali…and I don’t ever expect any change in that regard.

Cheers!  -Roy

Ubudian posted on the thread JIS teachers face 15 years prison on the Indonesia forum

Hi Luke!  How's that "bambino" doing?  That's one heck of a cute little boy.  I'll bet that you, just like me, thanks God that our kids got their looks from their mom, eh?  :top:   

Back when this JIS mess hit the fan, you as a professional and experienced foreign teacher in Indonesia talked about certain pressures being placed on foreign teachers, and long delays in visa and work permit renewals. 

Has that lighten up somewhat...or still sama, sama?