Part 2…What does it cost to own and maintain a gorgeous vacation villa in Sumbersari, Bali? Photos, pricing and expenses!

View from the veranda of the second floor of the new villa presently for sale.

“Sightings on the Beach in Bali”

Fisherman near the shore fishing with nets.

Today we are delighted to continue sharing the final photos and expenses for the new villa of Gede and Egon on the road to our villa in Sumbersari, Bali. If you have any additional questions, please contact Gede by email at

Lounge at the second floor.

As mentioned in yesterday’s Part 1 of this two part post, today we’re including estimated expenses for owning this villa, comparable to expenses owners may incur for similar villas in this area. These totals can change according to the individual use of public services.  

Top-level lounge in the new villa.

As reported in yesterday’s post, the asking price for this private villa is IDR 3,616,896,723, EU 249,000, US$ 279,017.

Credenza, wiring and space for TV and audio equipment in upper level living room

Estimated monthly expenses for the following:
IDR 3,000,000, US $230, EU 205:  Household staff of two, including one cook/cleaner and landscape/pool maintenance staff member.
IDR 2,000,000, US $153, EU 137:  Electricity, well water, bottled gas for stove.
IDR 6,000,000, US $460, EU 411:  Internet, satellite (TV) services.

Estimate annual expense
IDR 200,000, US $15,  EU $14:  Annual property tax (This is not a typo.  Property taxes are paid at the time of the purchase of vacant land).

Estimated income for vacation/holiday rental (per night)
IDR 2,000,000, US $153, EU 137 (a 5% governmental rental tax is payable).

Outdoor dining area in villa’s upper level.

A prospective buyer must be prepared to either pay cash for the purchase of property in Indonesia or arrange for financing outside of Indonesia. No mortgage funds are available for foreigners unless its under special circumstances.

Bean bag chairs for lounging on the second story veranda.

For those seeking an affordable vacation home in a beautiful, peaceful and safe location, this villa may be worth considering. One can only imagine the excitement and pleasure of owning such a property in this lovely area.

Master bedroom on second story with en suite bathroom.

As an aside, we’d like to thank and give kudos to our mailing service, MailLinkPlus in Nevada. Eric, our loyal and diligent representative of the company, has proven to manage all of our packages and snail mail with the utmost of confidentiality, attention to detail and professionalism. 

En suite master bath with double sinks, huge shower with tile, stone and wood finishes.

Often responsible for opening certain confidential pieces of mail to scan and email to us, plus sorting and securing all mail until we request a shipment and then, the eventual packing and shipping of items we’d like to receive in any given country, the service has been impeccable.

Alternate view from second level.  Java is located at the horizon.

With this month, the four year anniversary of our annual contract with MailLinkPlus, we want to thank Eric and his staff for handling our snail mail with the utmost of integrity. Today, he shipped a large box of supplies to us here in Bali, which we expect to arrive within a few weeks, in ample time before our departure from the villa on the 29th. 

The cost for the shipping via USPS was US $181, IDR 2,358,701. I asked about insuring the package, but Eric recommended we do not insure it to reduce the risk of theft. Had we insured it, the likelihood of being able to collect the insurance would have been a time consuming and difficult process, not worth the contents. 

Pool views from second story.

We sit back and keep our fingers crossed it will arrive safely and in time. Most likely, the contents will be checked upon arrival and we’ll be subject to pay customs fee. Gede explained this can be negotiated at the time. We shall see and report the results here at the time.

As for what’s transpiring otherwise, we’re doing very well. The Minnesota Vikings won yesterday’s football game. Tom was thrilled. They’re 4-0 since the regular season began, weeks ago and we’re optimistic for the remainder of the season. 

View toward the security/common party building located to the right of the paved narrow path to the beach.

With only two more games until we board the ship on October 31st, we’re hoping for a strong enough signal on the ship’s new Wi-Fi system, ZOOM, to be able to stream the game using the NFL’s GamePass app which Tom’s purchases annually. 

Today, sunny and hopefully a little less humid, we’ll spend most of the day outdoors. It’s rained quite a bit these past days since our return from Lovina but part of each day has been clear. 

Exterior view of the entrance to the villa.

Tonight, we will anticipate one of our favorite meals perfectly orchestrated by our two excellent cooks, Ketut and Ketut. Once again, they’ll prepare the spicy Balinese chicken in a sugar and starch free sauce along with a big bowl of locally grown sautéed spicy organic vegetables.

Tom will have coleslaw and white rice as side dishes while I stick to the main course of chicken and veggies.

May your taste buds soar over a tasty meal and may your day be bright and sunny.

Photo from one year ago today, October 5, 2015:

Seeing Vanua’s Levu Blue Lagoon in Fiji was pure pleasure. The color was breathtaking. For our story on local culture, please click here.

Mother Nature says goodbye for now on our last full day at the villa in Bali…Romantic notions…Villa review…

This favorite photo bespeaks the beauty of this West Bali location and the divine pleasure we experienced daily overlooking the pool and the sea.

 “Sightings on the Beach in Bali”

This morning’s sighting on the beach. Wow! Was that intended for us?

Early this morning, shortly after 7:00 am as the sky began to clear after a rainy night, we stepped outdoors to see this rainbow. There was a smaller second rainbow at its side, although faint and hard to capture in the photo.

Was it Mother Nature saying goodbye to us in those short few moments when it was visible?  It disappeared in less than a minute as the trade winds between us and Java wafted away the awe inspiring view. We could easily have missed it. Tom called that rainbow “safari luck.” It was the first we’d seen in Bali.

Although the mountains in Java obstructed the final setting of the sun, we were able to capture a portion of its beauty. 

In a romantic way we believe it was intended for us. Many of the intense pleasures of traveling continuously revolve around “signs,” coincidences and optical illusions perceived in our minds as having a special meaning.

Some vacation rentals lend to the perception of romance more than others. Today, we wanted to share a few romantic notions we experienced in the Beach House West Bali, where we’ve lived for the past almost two months. It’s truly been a lover’s Paradise and a traveler’s dream come true.

View from the second floor veranda at low tide.

This special property could easily serve well as a vacation home for a family with its four large bedrooms each with an en suite bathroom with two additional water closets on the main floor, one intended for staff located in the garage and another other in the large foyer/dining room.

We didn’t use the expansive second story at all where two of the four bedrooms are located including a living room and enormous veranda with views we captured in many photos. 

Creepy looking sea crustacean that “borrows” this shell for protection.

Common in many countries, steps and stairways are often constructed without a full railing  Also, the riser of each step is much higher and different than we’re used to, which could easily result in a fall if not paying the utmost of attention when taking each step. This may not be ideal for seniors. 

Not previously posted Praying Mantis reflection on the edge of the infinity pool.

As a result, we opted to stay on the main floor.  Besides, we prefer to hang out on the main floor where all the action is! For two or more couples or a family, this type of arrangement could be perfect.

The kitchen, which we only used for making coffee, refilling our iced tea and a bit of prep on Sundays when the staff is off, didn’t attract much of our interest with the two Ketuts on hand to prepare our delicious meals. 

Tom took this photo of an enormous grasshopper yesterday. Each day we rescue many that were drowning in the pool.

With a comprehensive three-meals-a-day menu for guests, even the pickiest of diners can find the options they’ll enjoy. The only restriction is that everyone at the table must order the same menu items (except breakfast) with a few exceptions as described below, although they may chose to swap favorites among themselves at each meal. It’s explained verbatim (rough English translation) as follows in the menu:

“All dishes are made by the staff themselves of local fresh ingredients. You need as a companion during lunch and dinner, to match the dishes with each other. It is therefore not possible to opt out of a individually dish for lunch or dinner! This applies to both the appetizer, main course and dessert. From four people, you can choose a second dish. Breakfast can be chosen individually except bubur ayam (a Balinese chicken dish).”

Here’s our link for Part 1 of the villa’s menu.
Here’s our link for Part 2 of the villa’s menu.

Workers harvesting rice.

Our special diet was easy for the cooks to accommodate especially when we only eat one meal a day. We requested our usual coleslaw salad, the stir fried veggies and a protein source. 

Each meal was prepared and seasoned to perfection.

Over the past three weeks we included an added one cup of cooked rice for Tom once we noticed he continued to lose weight even when it was added to his meal a few times a week.

Yesterday, Ribud cut the grass with a grass trimmer/weed whacker while one of the Ketuts swept the grass into piles to be cleared. 

As for the cleaning and upkeep of the house and grounds…it couldn’t have been accomplished with more grace and ease, never making us feel as if our privacy was impinged upon. Kindness, consideration and discretion was observed at every moment by the gentle and conscientious staff. 

The house itself is in excellent repair, having been built four years ago and is continuously well maintained. The recent falling crown molding we described in an earlier post is inevitable in this highly humid environment. 

Tom’s charging buffalo story of a few days ago will always be remembered.

Any deviation from perfection is addressed immediately and resolved with the least convenience to us. As a matter of fact, any concerns are promptly and meticulously addressed to satisfaction.

Our only issue during these two months has been the quality of the WiFi signal which apparently will be improved by the time we return, although over the past several days we’ve had an improved connection. Gede promptly contacts the provider when we have an issue which may or may not promptly resolve the connection issues based on the circumstances.

Flowers were placed on the sides of the track as a Hindu offering for a safe and successful race.

For us, the most romantic and ultimately enjoyable aspect to this property (and also the property next door owned by the same party) has been the outdoors where we’ve spent most of our waking hours, beginning as early as 7 am, ending shortly before dinner when we shower and change to dine.

From the impeccably maintained infinity pool, the comfortable cabana, the multiple seating and lounging areas with hut-type umbrellas, to the chaise lounges we’ve used daily which are freshly “dressed” each morning with custom made fitted covers and over-sized fluffy towels comparable to what one would find in an upscale resort.

The buffalo race was quite an event!

In fact, living in this fine property is not unlike residing in an upscale resort with every possible amenity available at our fingertips. Yes, there are some drawbacks mainly as a result of being so far from a bigger city:  no nearby restaurants (who needs restaurants with the fabulous cooks at our disposal?); less immediate sightseeing opportunities; limited supply of local grocery stores carrying few western type products; and, the often poor WiFi signal.

Even vegetarians get tarter on their teeth.  He needs a cleaning!

There are always trade offs. Over the past several days as our first round in Bali comes to a close, we decided we’ve been easily able to accept the trade offs while living in this fairly remote location. 

If this villa was closer to the airport, as most popular resorts appear to be, the price could easily be five times this daily rate. End result for us? A better “bang for the buck” and ultimately a fine property we’d never been able to fit into our budget. 

Buffaloes trying to keep their heads above water while cooling off in the river next door.

In our world travels, its imperative we decide which appeals to us more; quality of location or convenience. In many cases, we opt for the quality  of the property at times sacrificing convenience, mainly since we stay so long.

The look on this monkey’s face made us howl with laughter.

A beautiful environment, often with a certain romantic appeal and its creature comforts and amenities are important to us over the long haul. In Beach House West Bali, our expectations have been met as we anticipate our return in two months with even a greater degree of enthusiasm than prior to our first arrival.

As for tomorrow’s four hour harrowing drive to Denpasar, where we’ll spend one night? It’s all a part of the experience. Tomorrow, we’ll be back, posting prior to leaving the villa with the final expenses in Bali!  Please check back for the surprising details!

Photo from one year ago today, June 26, 2015:

Scout Island as seen from Trinity Beach, Australia doesn’t look too inviting and isn’t inhabited. For more details, please click here.

Working out the physical kinks from excess lounging…

Two fresh-caught tuna for last night’s and tonight’s meals. Total cost for two fish? The only US, $5.65, IDR 75,000.  We pay the actual cost for food and tip the staff at the end of our stay in appreciation for their excellent service.

“Sightings on the Beach in Bali”

These two women were walking on the beach carry dried vines on their heads. The one in front appeared more adept at balancing while the other kept reaching up to balance the load.

It was 8 am Tuesday when I began today’s post. The two Ketuts had just arrived to clean the villa while Ribud was busy working on the pool and yard. They each wear uniforms that read, “Beach House West Bali.” They always appear fresh, bright-eyed, and ready for the day.

This morning while we languished in bed a little later than usual in air-conditioned comfort, we had Tom’s perfectly prepared coffee. I spilled mine on the bed, later apologizing to the girls for the extra work to change the sheets. They were gracious as always.

The front entrance to another villa a few doors down the narrow road.

It’s cloudy today. We don’t mind at all. If it rains we’ll head indoors until it stops. This island has the best weather we’ve had living on any tropical island in our travels. It rains for short periods once or twice a week, often overnight.

The moment the raindrops begin to fall Ribud suddenly appears to bring in all the chaise cushions, chaise covers, and beach towels. No matter how fast Tom attempts to do this small task Ribud is quicker to take over. We don’t have to do a thing.

Tom had taken an extraordinary photo of Praying Mantis on the edge of the infinity pool.  This is my rendition of his reflection in the water.

Since our arrival, I’ve been sitting too much with all this wonderful household help doing everything for us, which isn’t favorable for my delicate spine. Days ago, feeling stiff and uncomfortable I started walking around the villa for 300 steps (using my FitBit) every 30 minutes during daylight hours. 

By the end of the day, I’ve been accumulating 6000 steps according to the Fitbit in addition to any steps we accumulate when walking on the beach or in the neighborhood. Also, after spending 40 minutes working out in the pool, I’m finally beginning to feel stronger and more fit. 

We have lots of walking ahead of us on the upcoming Mekong River cruise which begins on July 8th. Considerable time will be spent cruising on the river with the rest on tours to see the sites along the way. Sitting around for two months hadn’t prepared me for this amount of walking each day.

A section of the wall consists of this bamboo décor.

Sure, my restrictive diet has been highly instrumental in reducing pain from inflammation but the reality remains…my spine is comparable to a thin reed, ready to collapse at any moment. When we’ve been active I can walk fairly long distances but recently, I’ve been concerned.

This daily lounging had left me feeling relaxed but also concerned over my ability to “keep up” with the others on this relatively active upcoming cruise. In the past several days after instituting this “must-do” walking around the villa every 30 minutes, I’m hopeful I’ll be able to keep up.

Once we arrive in Singapore we’ll be walking every day, although with the three visas we’ll need to get at the three embassies, we’ll be riding in taxis as well. The embassies are too far from our hotel to reach on foot. But, we’ll walk to restaurants for dinner and be out each day to see the sites, taking a taxi or public transportation only as needed.

Decorative wall as we walk along the road to the villas.

When we arrived in Singapore on April 30th, we met a fabulous taxi driver whose card we’ve kept. We’ll contact him soon to pick us up at the airport and continue with him as needed.

We’ll leave the villa in 13 days to spend one night in Denpasar after the four-hour harrowing drive. The next day to fly to Singapore at 2:15 pm on a relatively short 2 hour, 45 minutes flight.

The only tasks we do for ourselves here in the villa in Bali are to make coffee, refill the ice cube trays, pour iced tea throughout the day, and put together our nightly cheese plates. 

Beautifully maintained gardens line the wall along the road.

We don’t ask the staff to “wait” on us. As far as we’re concerned they do enough cleaning the villa and grounds, preparing our dinner and doing the dishes. How much easier could it be?

On July 22nd, we’ll arrive at the villa in Phuket. With only a weekly cleaner, we’ll be on our own to cook, clean, make the bed and wash dishes. Neither of us minds the prospect of taking care of ourselves again, but it certainly has been pleasurable to have others doing it for us.

We hope you have an easy day!

Photo from one year ago today, June 14, 2015:

As much as we’d have liked to leave these doors open in the Trinity Beach property, the flies and mosquitos were outrageous. Over this past year, we’ve become much more tolerant of the flies to the point that we may have been able to leave doors open in past locations. However, the flies in Australia are biting flies which makes all the difference.  For more photos of the house, please click here.

Part 1, the villa’s menu options…Food around the world…

The two Kataks and Ribud (the pool and landscape guy) holding up the three kilo Blue Fin tuna for last night’s and tonight’s meal. After it was cleaned and filleted there were two huge portions which we’re sharing each night.  Such wonderful people!  Such fabulous fish!

“Bali Sightings of the Beach”

Crab trail and buffalo footprints in the sand.

Today is the first day we’ve been entirely alone in the villa. The staff hung around last Sunday to make sure we had everything we needed to settle in including a nice Sunday dinner. The fact they gave up their regular day off meant a lot to us. 

We could have easily figured out everything on our own as we often do when the owner, the manager, or other staff isn’t handy to show us “the ropes.” Somehow we always manage.

The two cleaned fillets.  Hard to imagine we could eat one of these between us, each of two nights, but after picking out bones, and the less than desirable darker flesh commonly found in fresh tuna, it was the perfect amount. Adding the fabulous vegetables and coleslaw, it makes a perfect meal. The cost of this fish was only IDR $145,000, US $10.85. There’s no cost for the cooks preparing our meals other than IDR $10,000, US $.75 daily for fuel for their motorbikes. We’ll provide tips at the end of our stay.

In a previous post, we mentioned, we wouldn’t be cooking until July 23rd when we settle into the house in Phuket, Thailand for almost six weeks. We were wrong. We’re on our own on Sundays going forward for the remaining seven weeks in Bali, this time around.

Breakfast menu, Page 1.

Actually, I don’t feel like cooking. As mentioned, the kitchen is the domain of the two Ketuts, not mine, and with the number of ants roaming around the counters, the less I prepare the better. Oh, I’m used to ants, even those crawling on me but they’re annoying when preparing food when all they want to do is crawl inside the dish I’m preparing.

As a result, yesterday I asked the two Ketuts to make the second portion of the fish and another plate of vegetables for us for tonight’s meal. Today, I’ll make a fresh batch of coleslaw which I can complete in less than 10 minutes, most of which time is spent fine slicing the cabbage. 

Breakfast menu, Page 2.

Last night, before the Ketuts left for the evening we gave them money for Monday and Tuesday’s roasted chicken and vegetable dinner. Each day before they arrive at the villa they visit the early morning markets where they purchase locally grown vegetables, meat, and fish. They bring us change or ask for more cash if they were short. Daily, they provide us with an itemized price list of items they’ve purchased.

If necessary, they stop at the tiny market for grocery items such as soaps and paper products. From what we’ve seen so far, these little markets also carry a wide array of “junk” snack foods that are purchased by tourists and locals alike. Obesity and type two diabetes are as prevalent in Bali and the mainland of Indonesia as in many other parts of the world.

The lunch menu, Page 1.

Yesterday, they visited the fish market and again picked up a huge Blue Fin tuna as shown in today’s main photo. After thoroughly cleaning and deboning it (mostly) we were left with two huge filets, enough for last night and tonight’s meal.

They’ve explained that most guests chose from the menu requesting three meals a day, each with two or three-course, all of which they prepare six days a week. With our one meal a day, they’re able to spend less time here in the villa with us, mostly cleaning in the mornings, leaving midday, and returning per our request at 4:00 pm to prepare dinner.

The lunch menu, Page 2.

We requested our dinner be ready at 5 pm each night, a little early for us.  In doing so, they can be out the door earlier to return home to their families. They clear the table after we’ve eaten, wash the dishes, bring in the chaise lounge cushions and beach towels and close the huge accordion glass doors for the evening before the rampage of mozzies begins. 

By 6:30 pm, we have the evening to ourselves. We avoid opening the exterior doors or stepping outside until after dark when the mozzies are less frenzied. There’s a nighttime security guard that sits on a chair all night a few doors from our villa, guarding the few villas along this narrow road. 

The lunch menu, Page 3.

Today, we’ve included a portion of the villa’s menu options from which we’d choose if we could eat the items listed. Tomorrow, we’ll show the dinner and dessert menus.  

Instead of choosing items on the menu, we pick and choose adaptations of the items offered, ensuring they don’t include any sugar, starches, or grains, all with minimal carbs. So far, it’s working when I’ve had no ill effects. 

The lunch menu, Page 4.

We thought it might be interesting to share Part 1 of 2 of the menu today and tomorrow for our “foodie” readers. For those of you with less interest in food, soon we’ll be back with more of “your type” of stories and photos.

The lunch menu, Page 5.

We want to thank all of our new readers we met on the most recent cruise (and past cruises, of course) for stopping by and checking us out. Our stats have indicated a huge increase in hits over the past several days. 

We’d love your input via comments at the end of each day’s post or, by email (see links to both of our email addresses on the top right side of any day’s post).

The lunch menu, Page 6.

As for our regular readers, wow! You continue to hang with us, many of who’s been with us since the beginning of 2012. Thank you for making us feel as if you’re right beside us, day after day, more friends than one could ever expect in a lifetime. The journey continues.

Happy Mother’s Day today for all the moms in this part of the world where it’s Sunday and again tomorrow for all the moms on the other side of the world where you’ll celebrate tomorrow.  May your day be as special as YOU!

Photo from one year ago today, May 8, 2015:

Beautiful purple flowers we encountered on a walk in Kauai. For more photos, please click here.  (Error correction from yesterday when I mistakenly posted this photo which was meant for today. A new photo for the appropriate date has been replaced on yesterday’s post. Click here to see the correction..