We left the wondrous Chiang Rai for the tourist island of Bali. I have always thought Bali would be a stunning place. That being said I did not know how toursity it would be until I arrived. Our AirAsia flight left at 9am. We arrived into Kuala Lumpur at 1pm and laid over until 06:00 pm. Finally arriving in Denpasar at 9:25pm.Total cost for two travelers was 397$USD. Our driver picked us up and we made our hour drive to Ubud.
Outpost Asia: Jalan Raya Singakerta, Jl. Raya Nyuh Kuning, Ubud, Bali 80571, Indonesia https://bit.ly/2xbyR3Y
- Co-Living and Co-Working situation. The Co-Working is about a 15 minute walk away.
- Wika is your point of contact for the Co-Living in Ubud and he is marvelous. Taking care of everything from pickups, sim cards with large amounts of data and any of your other needs he is there for you. Pick up was about 15$ USD Sim card with I believe 30GB was about 20$ USD
- The accommodation is breathtaking. We opted for the private villa. It is set in a resort atmosphere, but the Co-Living is separate from that. We had our own pool, private room,big comfortable bed, TV, AC, fridge and splendid bathroom with shower and tub. The Co-Living was the most exquisite place we have stayed in.
- Breakfast is included made for you by the kindest women in the whole world. Ati is always smiling. If you have any dietary needs she can easily cook you almost whatever you need. Huge shout out to Ati Ray and I enjoyed talking and laughing with her so much! You are able to use the kitchen in the villa common area to cook your own meals as well.
- Coworking: The coworking is HUGE! It has so many floors and I believe around 5 Skyperooms. You sign up ahead of time. Easy peasy. The top floor offers 360 views and magnificent sunsets. Tons of open seating as well. We booked the Co-Living package so we were both able to use the skyperooms as long and we needed, however I believe that you are only given a few hours in your package. No One said anything to us though.
- I recall the cost was about 485$ USD for two people for a week.
What To Do In UBud Bali:
We do not drive motor scooter.We walk or bike everywhere. The heat and humidity mixed with the exhaust of motor scooters and traffic in your face made it almost impossible to walk anywhere. Go Jerk and Grabs are around, but they are hard to get because they want to protect the local Taxis(Which overcharge you) There is a bus however it is really for tourists costing you 7$USD no matter how little the distance.
Everywhere you walk its transport transport it really gets exhausting after awhile. Traveling now for so long and being wrangled everywhere you go to buy something or take transport is flat out annoying at this point. Being followed down streets because they want you to buy something that you don’t want or need. Frankly I just wanna be left the hell alone. The more people force me to come into their restaurant or buy something the more I want to run away. So right here this gave me not a good impression of Bali.
Bali has so many restaurants with all types of food however many of them are empty charging a minimum of 10$USD or more plus 16%+ on top of a random price for service charge. None of the tax or service charges are the same price. I seen many people in the local grocery store buying food as expensive as that is, over time still cheaper than eating in a restaurant. Go farther away from the city centre and you can find tons of local food for a little over 1$USD. I just really wasn’t into Ubud. Everything is set up to make the most money off of tourists. With that let’s talk about things we liked:
- Temples: You must wear traditional Balinese clothing to get into temples. Most temples that cost will give you the traditional clothing to wear. If someone is trying to sell you them on the street saying you can’t get in it isn’t true. The cost to get in the temple comes with the clothing. Semi close temples: Pura Penataran Sasih, The Tjampuhan Sacred Hills,Ubud Palace, Pura Gunang Lebah, Camphun Ridge Walk.
While Ray especially loves seeing all the temples, many were too far out for not having motor scooter. As well many of the highlight temples cost way to much for our budget at the time. So unfortunately we have to go back in a few months to get all the more costly temples done. Have to hire a driver and all that jazz. It just seems everything in Ubud wants to take your money, I did not like that.
- Bars and Restaurants: We watched the SuperBowl at The Melting Pot it was a fun place with good beers the Tex Mex food can be skipped nothing special. Daily Baguette has stunning fresh breads meats and cheeses. For about 7$USD you can get a nice big baguette and some delicious meat. Warung be Pasih -for the whole grilled fish. Bali Taco-I’m a taco snob growing up in Bay Area I know that your not going to find a real taco in Asia. However their local liquor, kindness of the owner that treats you like family is a reason to check out this bar.
- Ubud Monkey Forest: The Outpost is pretty much in the monkey forest. However you do have to pay to go in. I’m not a big monkey person, it was rather scary but cool to see. There is so much serene nature around you. After having motor scooter exhaust in your face every second it is rather nice to get some nature.
- The highlight of our trip was an Airbnb local camping and hike up Mt. Batur. https://bit.ly/2Ke7HTRYou start by getting picked up at your place in Ubud. You make the drive up to a local community where you hike in to your campsite and spend the night. Mertha and his family cook you traditional foods at the top of their village. You watch the women do the offerings it was a great experience.
The next morning you are up at 3:30am to hike the local side of the mountain. Here is where it gets tricky. While we were “hiking up the easier side”, without all the tourists I did not find it easy at all. It was dark, it had just rained so the volcanic rock was awfully slippery. Mertha takes care of you and keeps you safe but still it was a lot harder than advertised. He said locals run up and down these mountains I do not know how. People say it takes 2 hours to get up at most, but it took us closer to 3.
Once up tons of people hassling you to buy things, which by now you know I can’t stand. You eat breakfast at the top of the hill and before you know it everyone is hiking back down. We were the last ones coming down because we wanted to take so many pictures. Which Mertha did not seem to mind. He wanted us to have an unbelievable experience. It just felt very rushed for all the tours not just ours. We were supposed be be back at our hotel by 11 am I do not see how.
We got down by 9:30 am then it was off to the hot springs. This was like going to Disneyland. Tour buses were present everywhere you looked. Everyone there had also hiked the mountain earlier in the morning. I would have rather spent more time enjoying my accomplishment hiking the mountain, then going to the overpopulated hot springs.
The day was still not over we then went to the OKA Agriculture Bali. Here we were given a tour around to look at how coffee and different spices were made. We tried bountiful teas and coffees. This was a nice way to end the trip. While I am still super proud of myself for hiking Mt.Batu, I feel like everyone else didn’t think it was that hard and rush so much to get up and then down.
I wish I could have really been consumed with the hike. In all I was too worried about getting back down for the other activities. I loved Metha and his family they are neighborly and remarkably educated in Bali traditions and culture. Any tour we would have booked would have had the same schedule. Being with a local family and camping made the experience stand out from all the others.
While there is an abundance of tourist one interesting thing is that there is still so much tradition in Ubud Bali and the villages. Unlike Thailand Ubud has not lost it’s traditional Balinese ways. I say Ubud because the beach areas like Canggu are much different. You will see the women doing offerings everyday. You will see them in traditional wear and can ask any local and they will tell you everything you want to know about the Balinese way. This was something I really liked.
When you do meet locals as tour guides, hostel, bar or restaurant workers they are all so nice to you. They instantly want to be your friend forever. I can’t say that about the hassling transport drivers or the people trying to sell you things. Be as that may the local people are topnotch and will engrose you into their culture. Join the locals for a Sunday walk around Ubud. We did and was such a wonderful experience.
We really did not have the budget for Ubud so we did not do much. The next time we go back I would say just for eating and drinking alone you would need 80$USD for two people a day. If you want to add in tours, temples and car hires it is safe to say at least 120-200$USD for two per day.
After Ubud we took the bus to the local area of Yogyakarta. I am in love with Yogyakarta. It has minimal tourists,incredible people and magnificent temples. More on that in Your Guide To Teaching In Java. After Yogyakarta, we went to Singapore for a week and Jakarta for a week before coming to Canggu. Just to make it easy however I am combining all of Bali in one post. Since most people will travel to multiple areas in Bali on one visit.
About three or so weeks have passed since our Ubud visit. We have traveled to Yogyakarta, Singapore and Jakarta. Bluntly after bad wifi and not the best experience we were ready to move on from Jakarta. We leave Jakarta via Air Asia for a 5 am flight. Working the night before and our cab coming at 2am we stayed up the whole night. Tired to only arrive and find out they don’t even start moving people into the airport until 4:00 am. Typical Jakarta nothing is easy. We arrive back into Densepar at 08:05 am. The plane was around 90$USD for two people not that bad. Our Outpost driver picks us up and we drive an hour and some change to our accommodation.
Outpost Canggu: Canggu, Jl. Raya Semat No.1, Tibubeneng, Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia https://bit.ly/2oY8iLP
- Like with Ubud this was a Co-Living Co-Working accommodation. The Co-Living and Co-Working are separate. The Co-Working is about a 20 min walk away. Again most people drive motor scooter. It is also about a 35 min walk to the closest beach. Which the beaches on this side are nice. They aren’t filled with umbrellas, tourist, people getting their feet washed(eye roll), or people trying to sell you this or that. I hated going to Seminyak and Kuta because of this.
- The accommodation was rather nice large room, comfortable bed and kitchen which you could use. Pool was also on premise. We had to teach one night at the Co-Living wifi worked ok. The Coworking was much stronger.
- The Co-working was rather nice. They had a pool which I never seen anyone use. A smoothie bowl place downstairs which will run you about 8$USD a bowl, but were rather good. Skyperooms which you sign up for in advance they often get every booked,offices and open desk seating. Again no one said anything to us about using the skyperooms all day but I did notice that there is a 4 hour cap depending on your package.
- It will set you back about 466$USD for two people for a week. Breakfast is not included. Pick up and drop off about 15$USD each way.
The next time we go to Bali we are just going to use airbnb and find a shared apartment/ room share and ask them to submit wifi speeds. Co-working and Co-living is too expensive in Bali. While they have an abundance of Co-workings in Bali most have a very small amount of Skyperoom hours included in their package. We need about 18 hours a week in Skyperooms and most have only 4 hours allotted for the month.
Meeting the people in Canggu I really wasn’t feeling it. Everyone in Canggu is a digital nomad.I’ve met so many talented,driven and inspiring people. However I have also met many very pretentious digital nomads. Who only talk about and advertise how many figures they make.They don’t work with the local people because “They can’t afford my courses”. Many events advertising how to make 7 figures. Just because you follow someone else’s plan does not guarantee you to make 7 figures. That part I did not like.
The people that do not worry about how much things cost.Taking daily surfing lessons which run about 40$USD per class, eating at restaurants and of course buying expensive smoothie bowls everyday. Daily yoga classes costing 300$+ USD a month. Things I can not afford to do and would not pay for the exorbitant price they charge. I just found the people working and living in Canggu to be awfully pretentious. These are things locals would not pay to do or can even afford.
Canggu is exactly what you expect. It is like any other surfer town around the world. Laid back beach vibes all day, surfing with locals and chillin’ on the beaches drinking beers watching the sunrise and set. Food even at restaurants was way cheaper than Ubud. Everything was better priced than Ubud. I can’t dock Canggu for that because as toursity as it is it is exactly what you expect.
No one bugs you though! Amazing no transport transport or people selling you junk. The closer you get to Seminyak and Kuta the more of that you see. I actually liked Canggu and the beach areas way better than Ubud. It’s just the people all the digital nomads that I can’t deal with.
Even though I am also a digital nomad I do not run a 6 or 7 figure business. I don’t have a fancy business with a lot of clients. I work for a company. I am an online teacher on a budget.Even if I did make a lot of money I would not advertise it or do expensive things just because I can. Ok Ok now let’s talk about all the things I LOVED:
What To Do In Canggu,Bali, Indonesia:
- Hands down you must do a long beach walk. We walked from Berawa Beach to double six beach. Another day we started at Batu Bolong Beach and walked all the way to Kuta. The beach walks are so beautiful we liked to stop at the huts for food, beers and swim in the huge waves at each one.Anything before Double Six is well priced food and drinks. After that its toursity.
- We arrived a few days before the start of Nyepi. We needed to prepare for a day of staying inside and silence. We got food and beers stocked and were ready. Nyepi is an environmental day in Bali. You must stay in your home,no lights,no driving. Some of the locals fast and stay completely silent, also no electronics. I wish I would have got that experience, but they left the wifi on in the Co-living which ment people were on their phones working etc and it took away from the experience. They used the lights it was like just being stuck inside. I do not feel like I received the full experience.
It poured and stormed the whole day around Nyepi the dreams all the Co-living people had of hanging out by the pool swimming and relaxing with some drinks was shot by mother nature. Although since Bali is in a water crisis the rain was probably a good thing.
Single use plastic, single use plastic, single use plastic. WAS EVERYWHERE! As you swam as you surfed as you walked thousands of single use plastic items were getting in your way. It made it really hard to surf when a industrial size cooking oil bag is getting caught on your feet. Locals said it washed up from Jakarta, which after being there and seeing how they treat their environment I would believe it. It was just atrocious to see these beautiful beaches covered in single use plastic.
Of course where there is tourists there are beggar children. The only time I seen this in Canggu was by Kuta beach. 3 children one girl about 13, a little girl about 5 and a boy about 4. There were high school children from Java visiting Bali. Hundreds of Muslim children. As we walked they asked to speak English with us and take selfies. The older girl was being very aggressive in asking the kids for money when I told her to go away as they were trying to practice English she got very aggressive with me. A few Muslim children pulled out money to give her and she literally stole the rest of the money they had right out of their wallet. It was such a sad sight to see because I did not see it in Yogyakarta, Singapore or even Jakarta but again where tourists are this type of thing is always prevalent.
- Bars and Restaurants we liked:The Shack,Cookie’s Bar,Hog Wild with Chef Bruno,Potato Head Beach Club,707 Beachberm,Finns VIP Beach Club,Old Mans,Crust Not Only Pizza,The Chicken Shop,and Mama Canggu.
- Beaches we liked Berawa Beach,Batu Belig Beach,and Batu Bolong Beach. Seminyak,Legian and Kuta were all overly touristy compared to these beaches.
- We took a surfing class off airbnb it was only 10$USD. They took good care of us and made sure we rode some waves.
Swimsuits are going to be Western prices 40$USD or more. Surfing classes cost you around 30-45$USD for an hour. Food at restaurants are not too bad about 5$USD per dish per person. Hotel pools with bars will set you back about 12$USD a cocktail. Overall though it is still way more well priced compared to UBud. You could get away spending 50-60$USD a day for two,if you do not buy any clothing. If you do not need surf classes and just rent a board on your own you can easily get them for around 8$USD per person per day which is a steal!
We did not use a driver- which also meant we didn’t go to some of the further better surfing beaches. That being said a girl who took the classes with us ordered a driver she uses to take us to the class and waited for it to finish. For a total of 5 hours I believe it was around 10$USD per person.
“Bali Bali Bali Bali Rockin’ everywhere”.What can I say about you. I loved the beach areas. They were dazzling especially the less touristy ones. The food, hotel beach clubs and bars were out of this would! Man does Canggu have some outstanding food. I could easily live in the Canggu area for months taking advantage of surfing and the beach vibes. There was not much at all that I did not like in Canggu.
The people well what can you do they got their hussle and don’t have to worry and can spend money how the feel. However they should know how lucky and privileged they are. I think advertising how much money you make all the time is awfully pompous.
Ubud was fascinating to see and learn all about Balinese culture.They have so many ceremonies daily,weekly,monthly and so on. They really adhere to their local traditions.I loved learning all about it. I felt like a local in no time and really appreciated how they keep their culture so preserved. The locals in Ubud and the villages are hands down one of the best things. They are so cheerful,admirable and will assimilate you into their culture.
Canggu it was hard to find a lot of locals. They often are running the surf shops, bars,shacks or surfing the unbelievable Bali beaches. However this is to be expected. Overall Bali is a great place. If you have the money to spend, love culture,history, chillin’ on the beaches, drive a scooter and can get away from the city centres you will love it.
With that being said,in June and July,I ‘m “Goin’ Goin’ Back To Back To Bali Bali” for a whole month. Spending most of my time in the Kuta area in an airbnb hostel with decent wifi speeds. Exploring all the beaches I did not get to see last time. This time I will rent a bicycle. I will spend about a week in Ubud seeing all the temples which I did not last time. It might sound like I was a bit hard on Bali or a little salty but Bali especially Ubud isn’t for everyone. The beaches and villages is more what I am looking for.
I am thankful for any experience I am given seven months ago I was stuck working a dead end job never able to get ahead. Now I am traveling the world and making a decent living while doing so. I know how privileged I am for all the people back at home who could never find the means to do this. Which is why I am so hard on people who flaunt their money and think it is so easy to see the world. I am beyond thankful without my online teaching job I would be at home struggling. Everyone who is working and traveling never forget to be humble.
Stay tuned for Your Guide To Teaching In Java. Please comment with what you love and dislike about Bali or your experiences. Thank you again for taking the time to read my experiences. If you want to take you digital nomad teaching life to endless beaches, nature, temples and meet successful people than Bali is for you.