Which one is the best?


Is Jakarta better than Bali? It becomes a big question for this week, as I find my colleagues and hear some national celebrities from Jakarta started to move and stay in Bali. When hearing about Jakarta, it’s clear that Jakarta is a big city full of ironic stories from people who live here.

When we take a stroll in Tanah Abang, we can easily see the poverty, their hard lives, and how they are very struggling to live in a megapolitan city like Jakarta. But when we step a little to the Bundaran HI district, the landscape has changed in the blink of an eye. The glorious row of skyscrapers, you can smell the expensive fragrance when we enter Plaza Indonesia, seeing the shining cars who are queuing up to enter the mall, I see that earning money here is very easy. 

I don’t have many stories about Bali. As I know, Bali has become the number one destination when foreigners visit Indonesia. In fact, they are more know Bali rather than the country itself. But something that tickles my head is why people move to Bali? What’s up there until they consider leaving Jakarta for Bali? My curiosity ends up with doing little research that finally answers my question.

The overview of both cities

Photo Courtesy of Google


While hearing Jakarta, skyscrapers and massive malls are what usually come to mind. Like Hello Bali says, the capital city is the “concrete jungle where dreams are made of” (or killed; it goes both ways) that Alicia Keys has been singing about. But Bali is not just about the beautiful beaches. The island has lush rice paddies, mesmerizing waterfalls, hidden caves, stunning rock formations, and more. Sure, Jakarta has some artificial parks; but is it enough?

Is living in Bali like a paradise? Think twice!

When we hear Bali, most people would immediately have images of white sand beach and blue azure ocean on their minds. Bali is not just about the beautiful beaches. The island has lush rice paddies, mesmerizing waterfalls, hidden caves, stunning rock formations, and more. But is it enough?


Photo Courtesy of Ibtimes


Rachel Greaves, a foreigner, wrote in Expat. The truth is that Bali is not entirely the Paradise that people imagine. It’s stressful – but in a different way from the West – don’t expect things to run smoothly. It is expensive – sure, you can buy street food for as little as Rp3,000; but visas, imported commodities, education, and medical attention are all costly requirements. Paradise is hot, wet, dangerous, exciting, challenging, scary, and wonderful. You can fulfill your dreams here, or you can drown in a treacherous sea.

Traffic and public transportation Due to Bali’s ever-increasing popularity and people’s tendency to drive (instead of walking) in general, Bali’s traffic are getting more and more packed these days. Some streets have gained a reputation for being jammed during rush hours, like Kerobokan.

Of course, in Bali, one would frequently be taken off guard by traditional ceremonies that usually lead to the necessity to take a detour. Having said that, the average time spent by Jakartans to commute from home to work starts from 45 minutes to two hours. That’s a big chunk of one’s life to be spent on the road. In Jakarta, traffic jams are part of life, almost 24/7! At least in Bali, when your car gets stopped by a traditional ceremony, you’ll get a pretty sight to behold.

Now, let’s take a look at the source of earning money. Which one is the best?


Jakarta is more popular with large companies

According to Green House, as Indonesia's commercial and financial center, Jakarta is where most big companies operate. Any well-established company coming into the country will most likely set up its main office in this city for several reasons.


Photo Courtesy of Greenhouse

For one thing, there are many B2B service providers such as project management, auditing, accounting, payroll processing, and HR in general. It means that you can easily outsource most administrative processes, making it easier for businesses to start operating.

Bali has great potential for small businesses and solo entrepreneurs

However, Jakarta’s more advanced infrastructure and higher population aren’t suitable for everyone. Operational costs tend to be higher, and SMEs will find it more challenging to overcome the competition and get a sustainable consumer base.


Photo Courtesy of The Bali Sun

Bali might be beneficial for solo entrepreneurs and SMEs, especially those with B2C business models. Businesses selling consumer goods, for example, might be more successful in Bali. More tourists are looking to shop here and fewer domestic residents who usually prefer their old favorite brands.

Even though they are located in the same country, Bali and Java have remarkably different environments of businesses. Therefore, companies should target them differently.

In conclusion, I think Jakarta and Bali are equal less more if we see the cost of living. For stressful intensity, I think both cities are on the same level, but Bali has a few winning points; when we are stuck in a traffic jam, we can still see good scenery. And it depends on your purpose. If you decide to be a worker for corporate, the answer is Jakarta. But if you want to be an entrepreneur doing your small business, I think Bali probably become the best one. 




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