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Moving to Bali: What to bring with you

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Children’s books are difficult to obtain in Bali. There is a chain of bookstores (Periplus) that have a limited supply of children’s books but they tend to be for very young children. Books for pre-teens and teens are hard to find although there been a definite improvement in their range of teen books over the last 6-12 months. Ganesha bookstore in Ubud and Seminyak also has a range of books although very few children’s books. There is a library in Ubud and a number of second hand bookstores in most tourist areas where you can buy and sell books. There is a bookstore specifically for children in Seminyak called Enchanted Books. They have a small range of books for older children and teens and a large range for young children. You will find contact details for the bookstores in the section on Shopping.


If you need specific medication it is best to bring it with you and ask your doctor before you leave your home country what the generic name of the medication is. For example, if the brand name is Nurofen, the generic name is ibuprofen. The brand you are used to may not be available in Indonesia but there is likely to be an alternative brand of the same drug. Medication can be purchased over the counter in Bali without a doctor’s prescription so once you know the generic name it should be relatively straightforward to purchase more as you need it. In most cases you can purchase medication directly from the pharmacy (called the Apotik in Indonesia) without a prescription. There are some medications that are not available in Bali. For example, an EpiPen, used to administer adrenaline in the case of a severe allergic reaction, cannot be purchased here. You can purchase it in Singapore if you are stopping there on your way (with a doctor’s prescription) or if you go to Singapore to do a visa run. You can purchase epinephrine though and administer it with a syringe – this is not as easy though as using an EpiPen.

Electrical Items

You can buy most electrical items in Bali although the brands may be ones you are not used to or are not of the standard that you expect. Fridges, washing machines and stoves (ovens) are all available here. If you are planning on renting while living in Bali, the fridge, stove and washing machine should all be included in your rental price and supplied by the landlord. It is more difficult to find a bread maker, blender, and electric carving knife.

Kitchen Items

Good quality crockery is available in a few places. Knives, cutlery and cooking pans can be found but often are of a very poor quality so if you have favourites you might want to bring these with you. There is now an excellent kitchen ware shop in Denpasar and several home furnishing shops that sell kitchen equipment. It can be difficult to get good coffee pots if you like your coffee in a plunger. They do have them available in Starbucks but they are very expensive! This can be a good item to pick up from IKEA in Singapore if you come through there before coming to Bali.

“Bring nit combs and dental floss
- it is difficult to find any of these that are a decent quality!"

Clothes and Shoes

It can be difficult to find clothes and shoes to fit, especially if you are a plus size. There is an abundance of tailors available to make clothes but you might want to stock up on a few basics.

There are lots of boutique stores, especially in Seminyak and Ubud, but few shops selling good quality, low priced items. Women’s underwear is very difficult to find in Bali. Bras tend to be all smaller sizes – it is almost impossible to find anything larger than a C cup – and most bras are padded. It is difficult to get bras for young teens. Sports bras are available but only in a few stores. Children’s underwear is more readily available but the quality tends to be poor and they often are baggy, especially girl’s underwear.


If you are bringing bedding (sheets and pillowcases) remember that Indonesian beds may be a different size from where you are moving from so it might be worth just bringing flat sheets and leaving the fitted ones behind. You can buy good quality linen that is made to order (see the linen section in the Shopping part of this website for addresses of suppliers). You will not need heavy blankets unless you are living up in the mountains or like to have the air conditioning set to 18oC! Towels can also be purchased here that are of a good quality so you may decide not to bring these unless you have some favourites.

Craft Items

Craft and hobby items are difficult to obtain in Bali. There are a couple of art supply shops and one or two craft shops but if you have a particular hobby you enjoy it might be better to bring some supplies with you until you get to know Bali and locate places where you can restock your supplies.




Last changed: Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 12:02 pm

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