After an epic but hectic three weeks with my workshop and trip to tropical north Queensland on the media campaign, I needed a second to breathe. There isn’t a much better place for a digital nomad to do so than in Canggu Bali. In this, the 89th, edition of ‘The Weekly’, I’m going to take you through what life looks like for me in Canggu as a digital nomad. To paint a quick picture it involves very few t-shirts, occasionally the use of shoes, co-work spaces, local warungs mixed with the occasional hipster acai bowl and the occasional waterfall.
I’m going to do a quick run through on all areas of my life as a digital nomad in Canggu
Canggu is pretty much the third region from the airport in Bali. First, you have busy Kuta, then you have expensive Seminyak and then comes hipster/scene/digital entrepreneur Canggu.
The accommodation in Canggu ranges from a $4 hostel including your dinner to five-star resorts. I usually look for the cheapest private room with A/C and then split that with whoever I am with or front up and pay if it’s just me. A private room in the range I am looking for in Canggu ranges from $8 to $30 a night. They can get pricey if a pool, full bathroom, desk and nice interior start to drive up the price. I usually don’t spend much time in the room, so I just look for A/C and don’t care much about the rest.
I’ve known friends who have had a private room with A/C for $260 USD per month… including a motorbike rental.
All of the properties in Canggu are less than 5-10 minutes drive from the nearest beach, bars, and cafes so location isn’t a big factor for a good accommodation.
Just like accommodation, there is food for the lavish and for the local-style. I tend to mix it up. My go-to spot for breakfast is Hungry Bird Cafe. Here I can grab a granola bowl with yogurt, strawberries, and Banana for just over $2 USD (28,000 rupiah). That’s pretty insane considering such a concoction below double figures in Australia just isn’t a thing.
For lunch I have been eating at District Canggu, the co-work I will talk about below. Here I can grab a Nasi Goreng (rice, vegetable, egg dish) for $2.50 (30,000 rupiah). It’s a good price for a cafe/workspace with the internet and all the trimmings. With travel jobs on the rise, more and more cafes are setting up workspace-friendly layouts to accommodate digital nomads. For dinner, most nights I head to Warung Varuna. You get a plate with rice and then just choose lots of different items to be put on your plate. I usually get tempeh, vegetables, and fried eggs. I haven’t spent more than $3 on dinner ever at Varuna. As you can see without trying very hard to budget and even with eating at the work cafe I can still spend under $10 USD for my main meals plus a few drinks of water and snacks along the way. If you are a foodie, there is no shortage of mind-blowing restaurants in Canggu and it’s actually become a bit of a health-food mecca, catering to the young, steady stream of travelers.
There are a number of gyms in Canggu. A local gym can cost about $1-3 per session for a monthly pass. I personally use the outdoor gym called ‘Agungs’. I go for sunrise or sunset and work out on the bars right on the beach. I do my usual routine of pullups, pushups, dips, core work. Being able to work out while watching waves roll in and then actually refresh yourself after the session out in the waves is pretty damn awesome. This is one of my favorite gyms in the world and one of the reasons I stay on the Berawa side of Canggu.
I rented a moped on the first day I arrived for a two-week rental period. It was normally 50,000 apparently and because it was two weeks we brought it down to 40,000 rupiah per day. This isn’t the deal of the year but for less than $4 a day it will happily scoot me around the neighborhood and up to waterfalls. Gas costs about $3 to fill the tank, which will last you quite a few days in Canggu unless you go on big adventures. Make sure to walk a helmet as there are way too many rookies on the roads on their moped L plates in Canggu.
Digital Nomad workspace
There are tons of cafe’s around Canggu with good wifi, which will allow you to spend the whole day setting up an office. One of them is District. I first went to District on the recommendation of a local friend about some high-quality wifi. As far as Canggu goes it is pretty solid for Wifi but it is important to get a sim card in Bali as a backup because the internet isn’t always reliable. District is a co-workspace, which means they offer packages for daily, weekly and monthly membership to their upstairs workspace. The co-work space is a great place to concentrate on your online work without the distractions of restaurants and customers.
In addition to a nice air-conditioned work environment is the super-fast internet. The regular internet for customers at District is 5/mbps, in the co-work space and on the co-work plan it is 45/mbps. I spent a week on this plan and had no issues at all uploading images to Dropbox and WordPress, which is usually a good test for the quality of internet. This isn’t a place for your Facebook perusing, the packages aren’t necessarily cheap. However, fast internet and a good work environment can mean increased productivity and a stress-free workday. This is invaluable and for many digital nomads, they will say its worth it and then some! The packages are priced as below:
- 1 month unlimited 1,650k
- 1 month (90 hours) 1,100k
- 1 week unlimited 660k
- 1 week (21 hours) 495k
- 1 day unlimited 110k
- 1 hour 44k
The owners are super chill and the vibe throughout District is very relaxed and welcoming. There is no-one too important or rarely reserved areas. It’s just a place for all types of creatives, digital nomads, and just regular cafe-goers to enjoy a beautiful view out over a rice paddy in a comfortable environment. The Internet is free for an hour when you buy something and the staff doesn’t mind giving you multiple codes. However, if you are there for a week like me it’s best to join the co-work and appreciate the fast speed and benefits of the co-work areas.
With the moped, you are only a one hour drive from lots of waterfalls, beaches, shopping districts, and cools cafes. There are just so many things to do in Bali, that you will never run out of adventures. This week I jumped on the bike and headed off with some new friends to Sekumpul Waterfall. It’s one of the most northern waterfalls and takes over two hours to reach. Along the way, we drove through lots of traffic but also some beautiful mountains, jungles, and rice-fields.
The waterfalls were out of this world. Bali is waterfall heaven with hundreds of different falls scattered across the island. If you stayed for a year, you wouldn’t see them all and there are so many to add to your Bali Itinerary.
Nightlife adventures are there to be had also if you are up for it. Bars along the beach and other hotspots are full of travelers, digital nomads and just people from all walks of life. I meet cool people all the time in Canggu from all over the world, either just traveling or working online or on the road in some capacity. It’s great to vibe off good vibes and that’s what Canggu is all about.
You might be interested to check out this awesome list of awesome digital nomad co-living spaces the world that could be a great working base.
If it’s your first time on the island, you may want to check out this helpful Bali for beginners guide so you can get an idea for where to visit, how to get around and what to expect.