Ahhh….Bali: an island where tropical sunsets, fresh acai bowls, cold coconuts, sun-kissed skin, salty hair and scooter rides in the jungle are all the rage.
It’s honestly no surprise at all that as two girl bosses who run a successful online biz and travel full-time (hook us up with our laptops, strong wifi and a steaming cup of coffee and we’re takin’ over the world!) that we absolutely love Bali.
Believe it or not – it’s not just a dreamy travel destination. Bali is one of the perfect places to enjoy a remote-work or “digital nomad” lifestyle!
So today, we’re givin’ ya the total inside scoop on tips, resources and where to stay on this amazing island as a digital nomad… Get ready for major island vibes!
CANGGU: OUR FAVE TOWN IN BALI
With a growing entrepreneurial community and one of the world’s coolest coworking spaces in the world, we’ve fallen head over heels in love with Canguu (pronounced “chang-goo”), a small, eclectic beach-chic, hipster town on the edge of the Indian Ocean.
It’s the perfect place for brunch-lovers (hands up!), yogis, surfers, and digital nomads with gluten-free everything, curated cocktails and charming cafes overlooking rice fields (pssst..check out our guide for where to eat & play in Canggu!).
Here, quaint boutique hotels and gorgeous private villas dot the streets, while in the evenings, a bustling social scene takes over the tropical island town… sign us up!
A laid-back way of life at its heart makes Canggu the perfect place for online girl bosses like ourselves to live like queens villa-style, have a killer work/life balance (think: mid-day surf sessions, sunset & cocktails with friends!), and of course, focus the rest of our time sippin’ coconuts while building our online empire!
THE ULTIMATE BB GUIDE TO CANGGU, BALI
Oh btw, if you’re new around here, welcome chica! This blog post is just one part of our Ultimate Bucketlist Bombshells Guide to Canggu, Bali. Be sure to also check out:
THE BALI BASICS
Before we jump into the best places to stay as an online girl boss — we should start with the basics, shall we?
Currently, 1 USD equals 14,000 IDR (Indonesian Rupiah), which makes Bali and great place to spend your US currency. Below we cover how to take out cash from your bank account or credit card, but keep in mind that in Canggu – cash rules everything.
Click here to see the current exchange rate in your home currency.
In Canggu, English is widely spoken with a large Aussie and European influence, although it’s helpful to learn some Bahasa Indonesia basics. Bahasa Indonesia is actually one of the easier languages to learn since verbs aren’t conjugated. It’s common to hear many expats speaking fluent Bahasa around town.
Click here to learn the most important phrases that will help you get around.
Although Indonesia is primarily a Muslim country, the majority of Balinese are Hindu. Many temples are spread throughout the island and it is very common to experience Hindu traditions, rituals and ceremonies on a daily basis.
THE BEST NEIGHBORHOODS IN CANGGU
Even though Canggu is a relatively small town, different neighborhoods have a slightly different vibe and scene, which is particularly important when you’re thinking, “What area should I stay in?”
Batu Bolong is the heart of Canggu and the most popular street filled with cool cafes, trendy shops and casual beach bars. In our opinion, the closer you are to Batu Bolong street, the better, particularly if you want to be close to the hustle and bustle! The street itself is quite long and extends from the popular sandy beach & surf spot (Batu Bolong Beach) to the busy “Raya Canggu” crossroad.
Echo Beach is the close neighbor to Batu Bolong (just one street north) and a quick 2-minute scooter ride (literally!). It’s home to one of the world’s coolest coworking spaces (more on that HERE!), right next to the Insta-famous acai bowls Nalu Bowls and lined with casual local seafood restaurants with views overlooking the black-sand beach and waves.
Just north of Echo Beach is Pererenan Beach and the Pererenan Village area. This area is a quieter part of Canggu with a more local feel mixed in with private villas. Here, you’ll find less tourists and lush rice-fields in tact. It’s a great area to stay in if you’re looking to be further from the hustle and bustle but just a short 5-minute scooter ride into the main part of town.
On the opposite side of Batu Bolong, is Berawa Beach, a quick 2-minute drive over what is locally referred to as “The Shortcut” (a narrow cobblestone windy road lined with rice fields on both sides). On the other side of the shortcut, lies the popular expat neighborhood, Berawa, filled with a whole slew of cute cafes nestled along the rice fields on “Jalan Pantai Berawa”.
Next door to the Berawa area, and connected by a handful of shortcuts is Umalas, one of the island’s most exclusive areas. Umalas is filled with stunning estates and private villas, home to many wealthy expat families as it’s also near to the international french school. Rent prices here are way above average as the majority of villas are large and luxurious. The area itself is tranquil among beautiful rice fields and spotted with a variety of local expat cafes.
THE BEST WAY TO FIND A MONTHLY RENTAL
We know first-hand that it’s very difficult and time-consuming to find a quality rental in another country for one month or more!
We highly recommend that you do not simply rely on photos before committing to a long-term rental — because more often than not, what you see is not what you get!
This is why we’ve partnered with our friends at BeHere for our Bucketlist Bombshells Experiences to do all the legwork for you — so all you need to do is pack your bags, grab your laptop and book your flight to Bali!
We’ll work with you 1-1 to find the best neighborhood for you AND take all the fuss away by setting you up in a curated private apartment that’s been vetted by our team. Easy-peasy!
FACEBOOK GROUPS TO FIND A LONG-TERM RENTAL
If you want to do the legwork yourself, there are a handful of local Facebook groups with housing and accommodation options.
Here are a few groups to get you started:
THE 3 BEST HOTELS IN CANGGU
EXOTICA BALI BED & BREAKFAST
Exotica Bali Bed & Breakfast is a super cozy bed and breakfast run by a sweet Indonesian/Italian family right in the heart of Canggu. It’s incredibly well-priced for the personal service, cozy rooms, beautiful shared pool and location. (comfy on a budget)
If you’re looking for a more “retreat-like experience”, then The Chillhouse is the perfect spot. Stylish boho accommodations, organic daily meals, and surf, yoga, and hiking excursions are all part of the package. OH, and let’s not forget to mention that you will be staying in a 3-story tree loft, which will make the perfect backdrop in your Instagram photos! (trendy boho, moderate price)
If cool artwork and boutique accommodations are more your jam – then you will fall head over heels with The Slow. This restaurant/gallery/hotel has everything when it comes to staying on the island in modern, dreamy luxe island style — plus, it’s located right in the heart of Canggu. (boutique luxury)
HOW TO GET AROUND IN CANGGU
The best way to get around in Bali…scooters!
If you’re feelin’ nervous or uneasy having never driven a scooter before, best to book a scooter lesson with the guys at Bali Scooter Lessons! A few hours lesson from a local and you’ll be cruisin’ around in no time 😉
If you’re already a pro, simply ask your accomodation host where you can rent a scooter as there are many rental locations around town.
BALI SCOOTER 101
- Buy a good quality helmet! (Most rental helmets are pretty dingy and for approx. $30 USD you can buy yourself a legit, quality helmet)
- Drive on the left-side of the road
- Hire a driver for longer trips around the island (it’s super inexpensive!)
- There are no real road “rules” in Bali so be ready for the roads to be a bit chaotic
- Finally, ‘Hati-Hati’ which means slowly-slowly in Bahasa
Pssst: it is possible to walk around Canggu, but not all roads have sidewalks and you’ll be limited to a small area of town.
HOW TO STAY CONNECTED
LOCAL SIM CARDS
Before you leave your home country, be sure to chat with your cell phone provider to see what roaming or international options they have available for your plan.
Large providers (i.e. T-Mobile in the U.S.) may have easy roaming options available in Bali that will make the transition super seamless.
It’s also very inexpensive to get a local SIM card — make sure your phone is “unlocked” to easily buy and install a local SIM card when you arrive at the airport!
FREE INTERNATIONAL CALLING APPS
The world of wifi has made long-distance communication free and easy. As long and you have an internet connection, you will be able to use an app called WhatsApp to easily call and text internationally and with locals.
HOW TO WITHDRAW MONEY
Here are our top money tips to get the most bang for your buck:
- Cash is king here in Bali so don’t plan to use your credit card much
- Find a debit card that doesn’t charge international ATM transaction fees to avoid the extra charge
- You can withdraw money from the ATMs right when you arrive at the airport after immigration
- Once you’re in town, there are many ATM machines to use
- Always have a backup debit card handy just in case
HOW TO GET AN EXTENDED TOURIST VISA
One of the more important parts of organizing long-term travel is making sure you’re stickin’ to your visa requirements 🙂 Depending on your passport, there are a few options to enter Indonesia that apply to most travelers:
NO VISA REQUIRED
This applies to a majority of countries – free entry that is valid for up to 30 days; with this option you will not be able to extend your stay longer than 30 days.
VISA ON ARRIVAL
You can purchase a “visa on arrival” when you arrive at the airport in Bali before immigration (approx. $35 USD which is valid for 30 days with the ability to extend for another 30 days).
As Visa requirements vary from country to country, make sure to check which category your passport falls under.
CANGGU SAFETY TIPS
As a foreigner in a different country, you should always be aware of your surroundings while exploring and adventuring, especially at night.
Always keep any belongings (phone, purse, bags etc.) inside of your scooter/underneath your seat. This includes not having your phone accessible or visible while you’re driving on your scooter — and no cross-body purses while driving.