A Sea Change In SE Asia? – the Indonesian Archipelago Awaits

Jeff Gill


Indonesian Archipelago


We have explored countless destinations around the world. But there’s one place that has always captured our heart and soul: Indonesia’s stunning archipelago. With over 17,000 tropical islands, this country offers a unique and diverse experience that you won’t find anywhere else.

From the bustling city of Jakarta to the remote beaches of Raja Ampat, Indonesia has something for everyone. In this post, I’ll share why a sea change in Indonesia’s archipelago should be at the top of your retirement destination list.

So get yourself a glass of wine, and immerse yourself in the beauty of this magical destination. 

Indonesian Archilelago Map
Popular sea change destinations for expatriates are Bali, Manado, and Padang.

Indonesian Archipelago – 17,508 tropical Islands

Indonesia is a vast archipelago chain of 17,508 tropical islands, 6,000 of which, are inhabited and home to nearly 270 million people. Its 300 distinct ethnic groups speak 742 languages and dialects with the biggest group being the Javanese, who make up 42% of the population. It covers 1,904,569 sq km, making it the 14th largest country in the World and it sees the equator pass right through the nation, with 2/3’s of the archipelago sitting above and 1/3rd below.

Bali is a sea change mecca for all beachgoers and retirees alike.

Tranquil Eastern Bali
Penida Beach
This is not an exhaustive list but here are 28 of the more than 40 plus popular beaches on the island.

Situated only a 5.5-hour flight from either Sydney or Melbourne, it is no wonder Bali has been a retiree, family, honeymooner and surfer’s destination delight for several decades. 

Location: Bali, Denpasar

Bali is a large island separated by the Bali strait from Java by around 2-3 km of sea.

Mountains range from the centre to the eastern side, with Mount Agung as the easternmost peak at 3,301 m high an active volcano.

Over 40 plus beaches, bays and inlets dot the coastline, with access to almost 500 km of coral  reef possible by boat.

Access: Bali, Denpasar

Numerous international visitors fly in directly from Bangkok, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Ho Chi Minh City, Europe, the Middle East,
Japan, Australia, NZ, North America etc.

Buses, cars, taxis, motorcycle taxis, trucks and ride-sharing apps assist transport once on the island. There may be smaller ferries and fishing boats that help connect the 3 smaller islands and the main Java Island. 

Manado: Another Indonesian sea change location to consider.

Popular Scuba Diving Sites

Manado has a large Christian population (68%) in this Muslim nation. Around 452,000 live in the picturesque city which is located on the Bay of Manado and surrounded by a mountainous range.

Direct access internationally by air is to the Philippines, Singapore, and China, as well as many domestic destinations. As the 5th most popular tourist destination, many transport options exist.

Manado Location

Manado, North Sulawesi

Manado has a tropical rainforest climate. January the wettest month, averages 465 mm (18.3 in) of rainfall with September being the driest with 121 mm (4.8 in). Monsoonal conditions bring rain.

Located near the equator, the hottest month is August averaging 26.6 °C (79.9 °F), while the coolest months are January and February which average of 25.4 °C (77.7 °F). Unlike other cities in Indonesia, the temperature seems to be cooler all year round and is quite pleasant albeit still relatively humid. 

Padang Indonesia

Regional Location

Padang as a sea change destination?

Padang is the 16 th largest (910,000) and most populous city in Indonesia and is the largest on the west coast of Sumatra. It is widely known for its Minangkabau culture, cuisine, and sunset beaches.

Climate wise, Padang has a tropical rainforest climate that is equatorial, making it one of Indonesia’s wettest cities, with frequent rainfall throughout the year.

Padang Indonesia

It averages 4.3 metres of rain per year. Padang’s driest month is February, where 250 mm of precipitation on average is observed. Temperatures are very constant throughout the year, averaging 26 degrees Celsius.

Some of the many undeveloped stretches of beaches along Padang’s leafy and unspoilt coastline. 

Sea Change Padang
Geographically 60% of Padang is forested with a small area (205 km 2)  of the territory urbanised and a coastline of 68 km on the mainland of Sumatra giving access to 19 small islands.

Cost of living in Indonesia compared to Australia.

When compared to Sydney the cost of living in Bali, Manado and Padang is 51%, 53% and 60% respectively cheaper and with Melbourne are 49%, 51% and 59% cheaper respectively. Click on the COL Calculator button below to access our retirement cost of living comparison calculator.

As a monthly rental cost guide, we would expect you should be paying the following:
Inside CBD1 BR2 BR3 BR
Outside CBD1 BR2 BR3 BR
This is the 3rd of a 14-part series of sea & tree change locations throughout the six SE Asian countries we cover in Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.

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If you’d like more information or have any questions, please feel free to call 1800-961-377 or email in**@re**********.au and let the team at Retire to Asia help make your dream lifestyle a reality.

Jeff Gill

Jeff Gill

With 25 years of travel experience to 73+ countries including SE Asia, Jeff now enjoys helping others retire there. He invites you to experience the people, culture, food and amazing landscapes of the SE Asia region for yourselves.

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