working remotely in bali: best of dining, Accommodation, shopping & more!
In the social media business, December can be a wonderfully quiet time of year. With the holidays in full swing and our client’s social content scheduled, winter is the perfect time to plan for 2019. So, this Christmas I made it my mission to work remotely from Bali, Indonesia to inspire an extra dose of creativity for Social T.
Fellow digital nomads, today I’m sharing my “Best Of Bali” list so you can go straight to the good stuff when you arrive! Here are, in my opinion, the best spots to try with 3ish weeks to work remotely in Bali, Indonesia:
for Canadian Travellers:
We travelled in slow Bali tourism season (December 2018) and the prices below are reflective of this.
The Canadian dollar is roughly $1 for every 10,000 Rupiah in Indonesia. We did not find our dining, spa experiences and transport to be as cheap as an American or European traveller would, but Bali is still more affordable than countries that prefer USD cash transactions like Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam.
Are you a vegan or vegetarian?
Stick to Canggu and Ubud if you want to eat the BEST plant-based dining options in Bali.
It’s important to note that chicken and some seafood items were served at “vegetarian” restaurants. Order carefully!
Canggu - Food & Bev
This was by far my FAV part of Bali. Great surf culture with a booming new retail and restaurant scene all without the hustle and bustle of crazy Kuta/Seminyak.
Best fancy coffee with homemade almond milk: Nude
Best “out of the ordinary” pancakes: Nude
Best smoothie: Green Machine Shady Shack
Best Juice: The Common
Also a great place to sit back and work! I loved the breakfast and coffee.
Best Avocado Toast: The Avocado Factory
No joke! The most beautiful and uniquely flavoured avo toast of my trip (and I ate this dish a lot!)
Best place for a digital nomad to dine and work (that isn’t a coworking space): Two Trees Eatery
Skip the smoothies, they’re much too sweet.
Best day spa to pamper yourself (for half the price of any beauty treatment in Vancouver!): Spring
Best Surfer Hotel: Good Story Surf Motel
Brand new, $45CDN/night and right in the heart of Canggu
Best hotel that feels like a Westin but costs only $55CDN/night: Eastin Ashta Resort
Plush beds, clean, central and lovely staff.
Best jewelry market that I wish I’s purchased something at: Love Anchor
Best area for an Instagram photoshoot: Cafes in Canggu like Gypsy
Best place to get sh*t done when working abroad: Dojo Coworking
Best vegan meal for under $5.50CDNpp: Wulan Vegetarian Warung
The perfect spot to sit down and dig in after a stressful day navigating Ubud by scooter!
Best Luwac coffee: Ubud me Sari Luwak Coffee
Best Bali swing in an unexpected spot: Sari Luwak Coffee
Best coffee: Seniman Coffee Studio (try their homemade cashew milk!)
Best Buffet: GreenKubu Cafe
$8CDNpp for a mix of Bali’s best dishes (and all you can eat!). They also have cute swings, rice paddies and lots of activities for kids.
Best hotel and spa worth the splurge: Wapa Di Ume
If you have 4 hours and $200CDN to spare, try the honeymoon spa package!
Best local white wine: Plaga Sauvignon Blanc
This will still set you back $7CDN for a glass and at least $25CDN for a bottle.
Best meal to end your trip (with huge portions): Bukit Cafe
We ordered the vegan pot pie and zucchini noodles with chicken and LOVED them both! The latte with coconut milk was just ok. It tasted surprisingly like bulletproof coffee, very rich.
Most beautiful patrons: Bukit Cafe
Eye candy alert! Grab a juice and watch out for fit surfers, cross-fitters and fitness models.
Best attempt at Mexican cuisine: The Mango Tree
Order the burrito ($7.50CDN) and split it with a friend. Skip the margaritas, not worth the price tag!
Best ferry service: Ekajaya Fast Boat. Shuttle from your hotel to the ferry is included on all trips!
For $200CDN we received 3 transfers and 3 ferries for two adults. The ferries have air con, good movies, cold beverages and a rooftop deck!
Best sunset resort: Island View Bar & Bungalow
Best cocktail: Classic margarita at Island View Bar & Bungalow
Best sunrise resort: Sunrise Gili Air
Best place to capture an uninterrupted “swing in the water” photo: It’s a tie between Gili Air and Nusa Ceningan
things to note: Gili air
Coffee shops use shelf-stable milk or soya milk (absolutely no almond or cashew milk here!).
When we decided to order black coffee we found it to be very chalky in texture, or worst case scenario, it was secretly coffee powder.
You will very likely experience tremors from the nearby volcanos. Message me if you want to know more @wherestara.
When you land on Gili Air you might need a horse-drawn cart to haul luggage to your hotel. It’s pricey, $15CDN CASH each way, so be sure to budget for this. The alternate option is to walk in the hot sun, but I’d only suggest this option if your destination is less than 15-minutes from the ferry.
Tip: DO NOT try to roll a regular suitcase through the sandy pathways on the exterior of the island. #travelfail #backpackorbust
Expect the power to go out. #islandlife
Pack lots of bug spray and sunscreen before you go. A quick Costco trip will have you covered. It’ll cost you a lot more to load up when you arrive.
Nusa L and Nusa C
Best place to sip on an ice cold Bintang: Any beach bar in Nusa Ceningan
Best sunset: Anywhere near Royal Retreat Villas in Nusa L
Best hospitality, staff and overall experience: Royal Retreat Villas in Nusa L
Best bed and turn down service: Royal Retreat Villas in Nusa L
Best place to avoid driving if it’s your first time renting a scooter: Yellow bridge from Nusa L to Nusa Ceningan
My favourite part of Bali?
The Indonesian PEOPLE! They are so kind and incredibly hardworking (for very little pay). They are grateful to have us on their island and they deserve nothing but respect from tourists like us!
Last but not least, how did I get to Bali?
When travelling from Seattle or Vancouver the flights are long and the layovers can be brutal. Through a creative outreach, Hong Kong Airlines kindly upgraded me to Business Class on all four flights, PLUS a one-time pass to their beautiful Hong Kong Airlines lounge. The ability to lay flat and sip champagne during my departing and return trip made this journey to Bali one of my favourite travel experiences to date. Thank you to the #HKAirlines team!!
Want to learn how to get a free upgrade from Coach to Business Class on any airline in the world?
Ask Me Anything about my journey to Bali right here: http://bit.ly/2V4Yy0Z
my bali journey: in summary
Working abroad in paradise during my slow social media season is a decision I won’t regret!
To document my remote work experience in Bali, I created a personal travel instagram called @wherestara. Please give me a follow to “see” the the food and accommodations listed above.
bali travel: luxury edition
Who doesn’t want to enjoy Bali in luxury? For Christmas I made a “Bali Luxury Travel Wish List” with resorts I dream of staying at in 2019: