Reality of Living in Bali Indonesia. What’s the life in Canggu really like?

Photo by Oleksandr Pidvalnyi on

Living in Bali, Indonesia sounds like a dream for many people. A laid-back lifestyle, beautiful nature, great food, and endless entertainment. It doesn’t get much better than this. A lot of my friends from Jakarta expressed their fascination when I told them I would be moving to Bali permanently in August last year. It seems living in Bali has become a dream for many upper-middle-class Jakartans, away from the overcrowded Jakarta.

It’s been 6 months that I and Adrien have been living in Bali Indonesia. It turns out Bali, especially Canggu and its surroundings, where we reside, has some downsides. Yep, living in Bali has some pros and cons. I’ve explored many parts of Bali, visited a lot of wonderful destinations, and created some nice memories for sure, but I won’t talk about it here. You can find & read my posts about Bali here. Instead, I wanna share with you guys the things that have become my frustration while we’re living in Bali. Sometimes I ask myself, is it worth living here if the quality of life in Bali in some parts is worse than in Jakarta?


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Traffic Jam in Bali

The story you’ve heard about traffic jams in Bali is not a myth or merely a complaint from nagging foreigners. Since Bali was reopened last year, the traffic has significantly increased to the point it’s almost a miracle if you can reach point B from point A without being congested once or twice. Most of the roads in Canggu are narrow, even Jalan Raya Canggu, but there are large numbers of cars, motorbikes, small trucks, and big trucks passing this road from morning until night. Every weekday, from December to March, I had to pass Jalan Raya Canggu to get to the office. What supposed to be a 30 minutes drive has become 1 hour drive. In total I’ve spent at least 2 hours on the road every day, not include the long congestion happened every Friday evening.

The distance between my office and home which is located near Canggu is only 8 km (4,97 miles). But in December, I sometimes spent 1,5 hours on the road to go home. Wow, this is outrageous! I feel like driving from BSD to South Jakarta…

The Bali police actually has been trying to regulate the traffic by putting their officers on some congested points such as intersection between Padonan and Canggu, also between Jalan Raya Canggu and Semer. Their presence has been helping people to be more behave on the road. When there is no police on each intersection, traffic become more messy, which means it will take more time to arrive on destination.

One thing that caused a long traffic jam in Canggu in my opinion is the trucks. Long before Canggu become a tourists & ex-pats hot spot in Bali, it was a village & residential area. A lot of trucks and buses use the road to transport goods from Java to Bali. With the development of Canggu and its surroundings, now many trucks are passing by carrying materials to build villas or other buildings. These trucks usually drive slowly because they have a lot of stuff in them. With the current situation where the streets of Canggu are always congested, these trucks often impede traffic flow. For example, when crossing a downhill or uphill road, trucks often can’t run at normal speed but have to go very slowly, so there are lots of cars and motorcycles behind them that have to go slowly as well. Even when on flat roads, trucks often run slowly, causing traffic jams.

This problem has been happening since the middle of last year and is still ongoing now. People have been expressing their frustration and anger on social media but until now, there is no response or action from the Bali government. What are they doing with the tax I paid every month? We obviously need a new road specifically for trucks and buses so they can deliver goods without hindering traffic. The government can also consider making a new route for public transportation such as buses to pass the road around Canggu, although I am very sure it will be hard to do since most of the locals prefer to use scooters and there is also resistance from the taxi driver and freelance driver about this.

I’ve been feeling like I am living in hell instead of paradise for the past 3 months. Every morning I had to find a better road in case there is a long traffic jam at Jalan Raya Canggu. Sometimes, I had to take a very narrow road along Gang Pratama just to get to Padonan street to avoid the long queue at the intersection. This is not the laid-back lifestyle I want to have while living in Bali, Indonesia. It’s worse than Jakarta. Living in Bali Indonesia is not supposed to be stressful and tiring as we are experiencing right now.

Curious about my adventures in Europe and America ?. You can click the following links to see my traveling videos that have aired on Net TV :

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  3. Ada Turki Mini di Bosnia Herzegovina
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  5. The Bean, Seni Kontemporer yang Ada di Film – film Hollywood

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