Top Indonesian Locations for a Serene Tree Change Experience

Jeff Gill


Unud Indonesia


Nestled amidst Bali’s central mountains lies Ubud, regarded as the spiritual heart of the island. This serene location offers a pleasant change from the bustling beach resorts and provides a focus on traditional Balinese culture. With a constant tropical climate and spectacular mountain views, it’s no wonder that Ubud has become a haven for those seeking a tranquil tree change experience. 

In this post, we explore Ubud and Yogyakarta in Central Java, two of the top Indonesian locations for a peaceful retreat or change of pace.

Ubud Indonesia

Popular tree change destinations for expatriates are Ubud and Yogyakarta.

Discover Ubud: Bali’s Spiritual Heart.

Ubud, located in the central region of Bali, is often considered as the spiritual heart of the island. The stunning views of volcanic mountains to the east and lush farmlands create a breathtaking panorama that will leave you in awe.

Thanks to its altitude, Ubud enjoys a cooler climate all year round, making it an ideal escape from the hot and humid weather of Bali’s lower regions. This cultural hub is a sanctuary for anyone looking for a spiritual retreat, and it caters to the needs of Westerners and retirees who love to indulge in traditional Balinese culture. 

Getting to and around Ubud

Depending on where your journey begins, it is approximately a 45 min to 1-hour journey inland from the popular southern Bali beach resorts of Semin yak and Kuta.

Once on the island, buses, cars, taxis, motorcycles, trucks, and ride-share companies provide access to the Ubud hinterland.

75,000 people call Ubud home but this can swell to many times bigger, as more than 3 million visitors frequent the region throughout the year, making it the second most popular tourist destination in Indonesia behind the many beaches of Southern Bali.  

Ubud town Map

Ubud Map
Map of Ubud –

Ubud’s Health Services

When it comes to vital services, Ubud has got you covered. As a popular tourist destination, medical services here are top-notch and are tailored to meet the needs of visitors from developed countries, as long as you have private health insurance. However, the same cannot be said for the public hospital system, which may fall short in Ubud. So, make sure to plan ahead and get insured before you travel! 

UBUD’s Climate

Ubud’s climate and temperature are unique compared to other parts of Bali. This is due to its altitude and location in the central region of the island. The town is situated at an elevation of around 200 to 400 meters above sea level, which provides a cooler climate all year round.

Visitors to Ubud can expect pleasant temperatures ranging between 20°C to 30°C, depending on the time of year. The town’s altitude also means that the humidity is lower compared to Bali’s lower regions, making it a more comfortable and refreshing environment.

Ubud's temperature

The tropical climate has two real distinct seasons, the rainy season, and the dry season. The wet season in Ubud occurs in the months of January, February, March, November, and December, while the dry season is from April to October. In the rainy season you will often experience tropical monsoonal rain in the afternoon. These showers are hard and violent, but quickly pass.

Exploring Ubud’s lush and green surroundings is even more enjoyable thanks to the pleasant weather. The cooler climate allows for a comfortable walk through the rice paddies, hiking in the nearby mountains, or visiting the town’s many temples and cultural sites. 

Yogyakarta: Your Gateway to a Refreshing Tree Change Lifestyle

Traditional Balinese

Yogyakarta, once the capital of Indonesia from 1946 to 1948, is a vibrant and bustling city with a population of 404,000. It is located in central Java and boasts an all year-round constant tropical climate with temperatures ranging between 29 to 31 degrees Celsius. The warm climate provides an ideal environment for enjoying the city’s rich cultural heritage and natural beauty.

Yogyakarta experiences a total rainfall average of 2,681 mm or (105 inches) annually, with most of the rainfall occurring during the November to March rainy season. However, it is worth noting that hardly any rain falls in July and August, the peak tourist season. This makes it a perfect time to explore the city’s many attractions, including its numerous temples, palaces, museums, and markets. 

For those seeking a break from the hustle and bustle of city life, Yogyakarta stunning natural beauty make it the perfect escape. The city is surrounded by lush green forests and rice paddies, providing visitors with the opportunity to experience a true tree change. From hiking and cycling to exploring the stunning countryside, there is something for everyone to enjoy in Yogyakarta.

Yogyakarta Heritage and Culture

Traditional Food

Travel To ANd Around Yogyakarta.

Accessibility: By AirAir

Yogyakarta International Airport connects domestically with Jakarta, Surabaya, Denpasar, Lombok, Makassar, Balikpapan, Banarmasin, Pekanbaru, Palembank and Pontianak. Internationally it
connects the city with Kuala Lumpur (operated by AirAsia and Indonesia AirAsia).

Accessibility: By Road & Rail

The city is located on one of the two major railway lines that run across Java between Jakarta in the west and Surabaya in the east.

The city lies 29 km inland from the Java coast and is at the foot of Mt Merapi (9,551 feet [2,911 m]).
This is an active stratovolcano on the border between Central Java and Yogyakarta. It is Indonesia’s
most active volcano having erupted often since 1548, with the last eruption occurring in May 2018.

Yogyakata has an extensive system of public city buses, and is a major departure point for inter-city
buses to other cities in Java and Bali, as well as taxis, andongs, and becaks with motorbikes by far the
most used personal transportation. A ring road circles the city to help ease congestion. 

Mt Merapi, Yogyakarta – Active Volcano

Traditional Lifestyle & Culture

Cost of living in Indonesia compared to Australia.

Indonesia is 54% less expensive to live in compared with the average Australian city, however, when we average out our 40 Australian locations, some provide more or less in cost of living savings.

By using Retire to Asia’s cost of living calculator you can compare your Australian city with both Ubud and Yogyakarta to ascertain your estimated cost of living savings. These would range in the order of a 34% saving for (Bendigo) with Ubud and a 50% saving of (Bendigo) with Yogyakarta.

Comparing Townsville, Darwin, and Broome, the Ubud savings are 48%, 49% and Yogyakarta 61% respectively. Rental wise the average monthly cost for the following tree change destinations are: 

Inside CBD1 BR2 BR3 BR
Outside CBD1 BR2 BR3 BR

Click on the COL Calculator button below to see and compare for yourself. A comprehensive 5-page PDF report that you can save and/or print will outline what potential cost of living savings you may have.

This is the 4th 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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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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