A helpful guide by our Software Developer, proud Loominoe and a born adventurer Dimitar Petrov who’s spent 2 months living in Bali.
So you’re thinking about living in Bali as a digital nomad? Good call. The Island is a top digital nomad travel destination!
Many people dream to visit Bali. I'm not gonna lie, it is exactly as you could imagine it! The people, the vibe, the beaches! This place is so spiritual!
I've never imagined myself traveling to Bali. Honestly I’ve never thought that I will visit the island at all. You know what people say : One can not visit all the places in this world!
Due to some unexpected, major changes in my life, together with a bit of a work burnout at the beginning of the year, I was not in a very good position mentally, so then you realize that you have to change something in my life.
When you are feeling down or stressed then it's time to change the environment. Preferably on an island with some vast beaches.
After a bit of thinking I realized that this trip can help me with the stress and one day I just decided to do it and move for a few months to Bali.
Just a Few Steps to Before Going To Bali
When is the best time to visit Bali? You can expect a tropical, warm and humid climate all year round – with two main distinctive seasons: Dry Season and Rainy Season. My personal recommendation is to visit Bali in the period between April and June. However I suggest you to do your own research as well.
Documents: It’s better to print all the documents before your flight. Passport, tickets, visa, insurance (life, Covid19, extreme sports), PCR, hotel reservation. Customs will ask if you have a return ticket, so choosing a one way ticket is not an option.
For the insurance, I recommend having one for extreme sports as well. You’ll have to try out surfing!
You'd need a Visa to enter. I went for a Business Visa, as at the time I arrived at Bali due to Covid19 restrictions other Visas were not permitted. Business Visa grants you 60 days of stay. You can get a "Visa on Arrival" at Bali's customs and it will be valid for 30 days plus 1 time extension.
Business Visa costs around 3 million IDR (around 200€) and Visa on Arrival is around 500k IDR (around 30€).
Where are the digital nomads in Bali?
The place that I chose was Canggu. With a growing entrepreneurial community and one of the world’s coolest coworking spaces in the world, I've feel in love with Canguu, a small, eclectic beach-chic, hipster town on the edge of the Indian Ocean.
It is a surfing area and quite popular with the chill vibe and varieties of cafes and brunch places.
People and culture
The people in Bali are very kind and polite. Everyone is super friendly and generous.
Indonesians are very religious. It’s no surprise Bali is called the Island with a thousand temples. Every house has a small temple in front, where people are praying daily. The first thing to notice when walking on the streets are the little gifts (Canang, or Segehan) made of palm leaves, filled with flowers, rice and sweets.
What to visit
You best friends to find the coolest places in Bali are Facebook and Instagram!
Visiting Nusa Penida island and the Gili Islands is a must! The beaches are very instagrammable and the sunsets are breathtaking.
If you want to have more relaxing experience then you should go to the North of Bali. The north coast is famous for the scuba diving. I’m not a big fan of the scuba diving but I went snorkeling several times in Nusa Penida and Gili. Swimming with Manta Rays and turtles is guaranteed experience!
Ubud is a nice and more quiet place, excellent destination if you are an Yoga fan and cold room bathing, don't miss visiting the Monkey forest as well! (p.s. be aware of the monkeys on the beaches, they might try to steal your food :)
And temples! I’ve visited Besakih Temple, Lempuyang temple (Gate of Heaven), Tirta gangga, Tirta Empul Temple. To visit a temple you’d need a sarung (sarong is a large tube or length of fabric, often wrapped around the waist and worn by men and women)
You can get one at the entrance, but they can be found in many shops as well.
You should know how to ride a scooter. The traffic is heavy, even for the bikers. Mainly locals are driving around in cars and there is a constant traffic jam.
No one is following the road regulations and you should always be aware when crossing the crossroads. People don’t stop on pedestrian crossings and sometimes when there are a lot of cars on the road people drive on the sidewalk. Renting a bike for a month is quite cheap. You could get a scooter for 1M IDR (40-60€) with insurance, if you are good at negotiating. And petrol prices are just hilarious. For a full tank of petrol I’ve paid around 3-4€.
I’d suggest when visiting the islands to use a local tour guide. On Facebook it's as easy as posting a question on what to visit. For example, look for transport to Nusa Penida, and you’ll be flooded with locals offering their services.
Put sunscreen on! Every day! I am serious!
Avoid street food, especially if the guys up front look sketchy. Or at least not on your last days of your stay.
Always wear your helmet when riding your bike. Especially at night, when all the drunk clubbers are speeding on the streets recklessly.
If you a foodie like me here is the foodies' paradise! And the best thing - the food is very good, fresh and very cheap everywhere, from brunch places to nice sea food restaurants on the beach. Oh, and another thing - the restaurants and warungs are so many that I don’t think I ate at the same place more than 2-3 times!
Working. Internet access
You’ll have to buy a local sim card with monthly internet access. It’s pretty cheap and decent.
I suggest getting a second smartphone. The guys at the shop couldn’t set-up my main phone so I needed to buy a second one and use it as a hotspot.
Most cafes have good wi-fi and working there can be very comfortable.
If you’d need to be more concentrated and prefer silent environments there are plenty of coworking spaces in the area. I was working from one of the oldest and with the biggest communities in the area - Dojo Bali. This place has become the stuff of legends in Canggu. It’s a chic and stylish co-living space, with its own pool and an eco-conscious philosophy. Inside, you’ll find desks with plugs and uber-fast WiFi, along with a calendar of events that include leadership tutorials and technical training sessions.
In most of the places you can pay with your card. I was using my Revolut. Keep in mind that some places charge 1-4% additional bank taxes when paying with card.
Usually restaurants charge an additional 14-16% for tax and service.
Guest houses are a good option for solo travelers. Rates could vary depending on the location and the season, but a decent one in the center of Canggu could cost you around 250-300€ for a month.
Villas are a good option as well, but they are a bit more expensive and pretty much have the same conditions as the guest houses. If you are a party person, then villas are probably the best option for you, since in some of them you can throw parties.
Gyms are quite expensive. Cheap ones will cost you around 50-60€ per month.
I suggest trying surfing! I was a bit skeptical at the beginning, especially when I was watching some pros doing loops on the big waves from the beach bar. But when I tried it and oh boy… I loved every second of it!
Especially if you have good conditions (the best time for me was around 6am).Two hours of surfing with an instructor costs around 300-350k (15-20€) and I suggest having a couple of sessions before going on your own.
So that was is! My 2 months in Bali! I came back so refreshed and energized ready for a new adventures with Looming Tech!
Feel free to add your tips, ideas, destinations or tricks in the comments below. We’re always looking for more info to add to this ultimate guide to Bali for digital nomads!
P.S. Speaking about the coolest coworking spaces around the world the last photo was taken in our office at PuZl coworking space in Sofia! Drop me a note if you want to know more about the life of a digital nomad in Bali!