Where to stay in Bali when working remotely
When the decision was made that we’d work from Bali for two months, one of the hardest things we encountered was deciding on where exactly we would go. It’s a funny one, because you’re never really sure what or where to consider being until you arrive. Lest we forget the never-ending Google searches that came up with no relevant results — although that probably had something to do with a lack of relevant questions. Bloggers write articles based on personal opinion, some websites give you too much information, and others barely offer anything at all!
It’s all so abstract. Which is why it’s about time for us to make deciding where you stay dead simple. Naturally, we won’t tell you exactly what to do, it’s all relative. Instead, here’s our humble suggestion…
“If you’re a remote worker, explore. Don’t even think about staying in one place”.
That’s the upside of being able to work wherever you want, of course. Explore wherever you find yourselves (special mention to Bali, in this case). Try it all, talk with locals, then figure out what suits you best. But be sure to make the decision here.
We first spent a month in Pecatu, because a surfer friend had stayed there and really enjoyed it. We’re not surfers ourselves (well… not yet!) but we figured it was worth giving it a go. An extensive search for Villas on Airbnb later, and we’d found a nice place for 6 of us to stay for a month. One month later and we’re here in Canggu, and a month from now we’ll throw a pin at a map and see where the winds take us (within reason!).
It’s incredible how your opinion of a place can change so radically once you’re in it. We’ve met people who’ve been living here for ages who’ve offered amazing advice on cheap accommodation, rental bikes, cheap eats, etc — and I’m sure you would too. All it takes is a little real-life conversation!
Don’t plan too much. Once in a place like Bali, things will fall into place.
From what we’ve experienced, if your priority is to surf, then you’ll want to start in Uluwatu and make your way to Canggu. Or the other way around. It’s up to you! Alternately, if you’d like to come save money and work, perhaps you could try a house somewhere in Ungasan; a more peaceful area full of cafes with good internet and food which won’t cost the earth.
It’s worth noting that way too many places here charge ‘Western prices’ for drinks, food, gym, yoga, etc. because many people are willing to pay the price for an experience that resembles home. People feel safer and more relaxed in a ‘familiar’ environments and business owners will charge for it. Of course you have local options as well, but you’ll have to dig in and ask around once you are here.
If you come from an Artistic background, you may try Ubud first.
But, again, the only way to do it is to explore. Leave room for trial and error.
Something else to consider is the type of remote worker you are. Personally, we wouldn’t want to pay for a co-working space because we don’t need it, but many people enjoy the structure, the free talks, the meeting rooms, the free coffee, or the ability to network. While that’s a perfectly valid workplace environment to seek, be aware it comes with a cost. A famous place that does that here in Canggu is Dojo http://www.dojobali.org/en
If you’d rather save money, just walk into a cafe with a great internet connection, atmosphere, and food. There are plenty of options here in Canggu, such as Hungry Bird, Milk & Madu Cafe, Sprout, Nalu Bowls, Crate Cafe, Gypsy, Veda Cafe and many many others. All-important internet speed is typically quite good — in our Villa it’s more than enough, and obviously we’re not just sending emails on them!
If being near to beautiful, quiet beaches matters to you then you can stay in Ungasan, a great spot which has easy access (by bike) to the most beautiful beaches in Bali. Pandawa Beach, Green Bowl, Padang Padang Beach, Balangan Beach, Thomas Beach and the list goes on! Personally we loved that area but it is noticeably less developed than Canggu and Ubud, not to mention the internet at the Villa was considerably slower. To be fair however, there were a few hidden gems in the area who had aforementioned good internet connection, atmosphere, and food. Our favourites in the area include Cafe La Pasion, Kafein, Drifter Surf Cafe, Bukit Cafe and Coffee Network (who host 8:30am yoga classes every Thursday). The staff at these Cafes became like family to us.
Pro tip: If you ever need to get a Taxi you can order an Uber, but worth being aware the local drivers really don’t like Uber so you’ll have to be discreet. Uber costs wayyy less and local taxi drivers will literally name any price they want. Which isn’t cool.
Moral of the story? Just explore.
Don’t make too many plans and if you could promise us this’ll be the last article you read on the subject, that’d be dandy. Just come over, see how amazing this place is, explore where you can for as long as you can, then pick you favourite work spot.
If you’re in the area, please drop us a line. If you’re not in the area but would still like to chat, get in touch however best suits you and we can take it from there.
We’d love to help your time in Bali be a productive, and lovely one.
The Woala Team