Working in Indonesia as a digital nomad

Updated 2022-09-20 22:32

Indonesia straddles the equator, between the Indian and Pacific Oceans, and has an immense diversity with its 18,307 islands and 300 spoken languages. Its fascinating landscapes and cultural richness make it an attractive destination for digital nomads.

Why choose Indonesia?

Indonesia needs no introduction. Images of green rice fields, picturesque volcanoes, sumptuous Buddhist and Hindu temples, not to mention magnificent beaches and paradise islands, immediately come to mind.

Its pleasant atmosphere and affordable cost of living make Indonesia a favorite destination for travelers and digital nomads alike.

Indonesia also provides good internet coverage, even in the most remote areas, making it a suitable place for digital nomads, with or without experience.

Things to know before traveling to Indonesia

Indonesia has a rather flexible visa policy, which helps make it even more attractive to digital nomads. Nationals of most countries are exempt from visa requirements for a stay of up to 30 days in Indonesia. Note, however, that there is no possibility to extend your stay in this case and that this exemption has been suspended since the advent of Covid-19 in Indonesia. For more information on this subject, please read our article on the formalities for entering Indonesia.

If you plan to stay for at least two months, you can apply for a visa on arrival that can be extended for another 30 days. Those planning to stay longer in Indonesia can apply for a 60-day tourist visa in advance. This visa can be extended for an additional 30 days for a total duration of 180 days. It is recommended that digital nomads have a work permit, especially when in office or coworking spaces. Failure to have a proper work permit may result in penalties, including imprisonment or deportation.

Which are the best Indonesian cities for digital nomads?

Jakarta is the capital and largest city in Indonesia and the political, economic and cultural center of the country as well. By choosing to settle down in Jakarta, you will experience vibrant nightlife, as well as large shopping malls and all the facilities that a big city usually offers. That said, it should be noted that high traffic congestion and pollution rates in Jakarta are the main reasons driving digital nomads, like travelers, to cities further afield, such as Bali.

One of Indonesia's largest islands, Bali offers a wide array of workspaces, especially in Canggu and Ubud.

The Canggu area stretches from the north of Seminyak to the south of Tahan Lot. The village of Canggu itself is a small coastal village located in the south of Bali. It used to be a rather quiet rural area, with rice fields alongside some of Bali's most beautiful beaches, but over the years, it has grown into a more developed region, although it has retained its quiet and serene atmosphere. The area is home to many small local businesses, as well as cafes with a laid-back atmosphere surrounded by lush nature and reliable infrastructure, which appeals to many digital nomads.

Ubud, on the other hand, is synonymous with yoga, meditation, healthy eating and smoothies! Ubud gained popularity thanks to the book "Eat, Pray, Love" which later inspired a movie of the same title starring Julia Roberts. If you are looking for a nature getaway with a healthy lifestyle, Ubud is definitely the place to be with its organic restaurants, vegan cafes, and huge cleansing centers. Ubud has become a favorite destination for digital nomads despite its overall relaxing atmosphere. Hubud, the region's first coworking space, was named one of the top 10 in the world by Lonely Planet.

As the world's largest archipelago, Indonesia has plenty of small, idyllic islands like Gili, Lombok and Sumatrato, to turn to if you're willing to skip the comforts of the bigger cities.

Internet and coworking spaces in Indonesia

Although it does not offer remarkable internet speed, Indonesia has made considerable progress in this area in recent years. According to the Speedtest Global Index, the average download speed is now around 10.51 Mbps.

You will have no trouble finding a comfortable place to work in Indonesia, unless you are in the countryside or in a remote location. There are plenty of coffee shops in most cities, and in some, you';ll even find coworking spaces. Jakarta is home to the most coworking spaces in the country, but you'll still find a few in Bali, including Canggu and Ubud. Be aware that many coworking spaces in Indonesia had to close their doors temporarily or permanently due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Check the Internet to find out more about the spaces that interest you.

Coworking spaces in Jakarta

WorkOUT Coworking Space, Kawasan Perkantoran Grand Panglima Polim, Kav 90, Jalan Panglima Polim Raya No. 16-17, RT.2/RW.1, Pulo

CoHive The Maja Coworking Space, The Maja Lantai 1, Jalan Kyai Maja No. 39, RT.12/RW.2, Gunung, Kby. Baru

Conclave Wijaya, Jalan Wijaya 1 No. 5C, (Tendean-Wijaya Intersection), RT.7/RW.4, Petogogan, Kby. Baru

Coworking space in Canggu

Dojo Bali, Jl. Batu Mejan No.88

Coworking space in Ubud

Hubud, Jl. Monkey Forest No.88X

Leisure in Indonesia

Indonesia offers the ideal setting for nature lovers, hikers, eco-travelers, and those who wish to combine their professional life with relaxation and beautiful scenery. The Komodo National Park, home to the 3-meter-long Komodo lizards, is one of the country's must-sees, as are the beautiful islands of Flores and Padar. You will also have the opportunity to contemplate magnificent Hindu and Buddhist temples, including Borobudur, the largest Buddhist temple in the world, Tanah Lot, a traditional Balinese temple located on a rock surrounded by water, and Prambanan, a Hindu temple from the 9th century, among many others.

Useful links:

Indonesia Tourism Board

Map of wi-fi zones in Indonesia

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