A Digital Nomad Guide To Bali
This is the era of the digital nomad! If there is anything that the Covid pandemic taught us, it is that many jobs don’t require employees to be in the office. Many of us learned to do our jobs from anywhere! Others learned that the 9-5 office and corporate life is not for them. Thousands of people around the world sought a different kind of work-life balance, left their office jobs behind, and set up their new work location on a tropical paradise island.
Bali has become one of the most popular destinations for digital nomads, and there are countless reasons why. It’s one of the few places in the world where you can enjoy paradise and island life, while still staying connected and productive. It’s easy to see why so many people from all around the world choose to stay here long-term.
A quick guide to get you started as a Bali Digital Nomad.
If you are one of these remote workers who has come to Bali, welcome! Or, if you are thinking about relocating here, we have put together a basic guide to the best aspects of the island and the digital nomad lifestyle here.
Do your research on Bali digital nomad visa requirements and insurance
Research should be done before you arrive on the island so that you acquire the right documents for yourself and your goals. There are strict regulations on work visas and setting up companies and businesses. If you need assistance, ask the team at Bali Res Centre to recommend legitimate and qualified visa agents who can help.
Another vital item to acquire is proper health insurance while you are overseas. Being on a tropical island can seem carefree, but there are also plenty of risks. Do your research online for insurances that are available, and options that can fit your lifestyle and budget.
Best places to live as a digital nomad in Bali
Anywhere you choose to live in Bali will have its perks depending on what you are looking for. Some like to be closer to the tourist spots, which are usually closer to the beaches, while others want to get away from it all, to the serenity of rice paddies and farms. For digital nomads, most find it more convenient to live in more populated areas, so there is more accessibility for WiFi, along with more choices for restaurants and cafes, and a more social atmosphere. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the cost of living in these more popular areas is usually higher compared to the more rural areas.
First on our list of top places to live would have to be Canggu, since it’s home to Finns Beach Club and Finns Rec Club. We love this area because it has everything we love about Bali. There are restaurants, cafes, shopping, spas, gyms, beautiful beaches, and breathtaking sunsets. Echo Beach and Batu Bolong Beach are hotspots for surfers and beach lovers. The area has experienced rapid growth in recent years and is filled with new energy. Accommodation options range from villas, for luxury and also for families, modern apartments, as well as to budget-friendly guest houses or surfer hostels.
A fast up-and-coming location for digital nomads is Bali’s southern peninsula, also known as Uluwatu. Those who live here love it for the relaxed atmosphere, world-renowned surfing, dramatic cliffs, pristine beaches, and surf culture. There is a booming restaurant and cafe culture. For places to live, there is more value here than in Canggu, and you can find villas and guesthouses for more affordable prices.
If you are relocating with a family, you might want to consider settling in Sanur, a peaceful villa on the east side of Bali. Families love the accessibility for kids’ care and activities, and the beach is soft, with white sands, and calm waves. Digital nomads will find no shortage of restaurants and cafes, with a high-speed internet connection, and all the amenities they need to stay connected.
For a different experience than being by the beaches, you can go to Ubud, the cultural capital of Bali, where the scenery is abundantly green with rice paddies and jungles. The city is also famous for its yoga studios and retreats and is incredibly popular for vegans, or more holistic lifestyles. Ubud is a hub of creativity, and the area attracts digital nomads who are looking for more serenity.
Find the best Bali coworking space at Finns Rec Club!
For everything you need to work remotely, and more, come to the Coworking Hub at Finns Rec Club. No other coworking space or venue on the island offers more benefits and amenities. We have you covered with uber-fast WiFi, work desks and quiet working spaces, meeting rooms and a library. The open-air cafe at bistro.c also has a variety of espresso drinks and healthy snacks, and the atmosphere throughout is vibrant and social.
On top of that, we have a huge facility for fitness and recreation. Take a break from emails to enjoy our state-of-the-art Fitness Centre or swim a few laps in the 25m lap pool. We also have a full schedule of daily group classes, including boxing, cycling, yoga, body pump and more.
We also can’t forget to add that we have venues that are a perfect escape from work including Splash Water Park, Strike Ten Bowling, Bounce Trampoline Centre, and you can also take a relaxing break at Body Temple Spa.
Finns offers the most comprehensive space for work in Bali, fitness and recreation. We open early at 7 am and stay open until 9 pm, so you can fit in your work hours and your workout anytime during the day. Ask our team for membership details and benefits.
Sports, activities and fitness are everywhere
One thing that is very apparent about the lifestyle in Bali is the abundance of activities and options for fitness. In Bali, fitness is a way of life, and there are options for gyms and sports that can fit almost every budget. Finns Rec Centre is the island’s premier fitness facility, with a 4-hectare venue that has our ultra-modern and expansive Fitness Centre, a sports field, basketball court, tennis centre, and group classes for boxing, yoga, pilates and more. You can also join our surf academy if you are a beginner looking to pick up the sport, or you want to hone your skills. Other opportunities on the island include, and are certainly not limited to, running, surfing, hiking, kite surfing, cycling, kickboxing, muay Thai, cross fit, jiu-jitsu, all types of dance, aerial acrobatics, beach volleyball, and more.
If you have felt boxed in by daily life, commuting to an office or cubicle, you can spread your wings and get fit in Bali.
Sunset meetups for cocktails are a must!
Bali is one of the few places in the world where sunset is an event that is celebrated daily. All along Bali’s western coast, the restaurants, beach clubs, small beach warungs, and resorts see crowds around 5 pm, for sunset gazers hoping to enjoy a spectacular show over the ocean horizon. It’s the perfect way to end a busy day of working online or to escape the hustle of the busy streets. Head to the beach, or join us at Finns Beach Club, where we have the best spot in the island – 365 days a year – for catching the last golden rays of the sun. Grab a cocktail, glass of wine, and coconut and sit back and reflect on the day, and yet another beautiful aspect of Bali life. Finns’ famous 2-for-1 happy hour is from 7 pm-9 pm, as our beach club guests take the party vibes from sunset and into the night.
Join groups or attend events for networking and socialising
Working remotely can be lonely and isolating. You are far away from friends and family, and you no longer have an office with coworkers. Of course, those friends, family and colleagues are all envious of your relocation, but it can be a difficult transition. Thankfully, Bali’s culture and atmosphere is friendly and welcoming. There are groups and meet-ups for entrepreneurs and freelancers, interest groups for environmental issues, content making, and cryptocurrency. Every night, you can also find jazz nights, salsa lessons, live music, and cocktail hours. Organised group activities can be beach clean-ups, white water rafting trips, water sports, or volunteering opportunities. There is something for everyone, and groups are easy to find on social media. Digital nomads often find kindred spirits for sharing ideas and collaborating.
Take in the natural beauty of the island and all it has to offer
One of the best recommendations we can give you is to take time to close the laptop and go out to explore the wondrous island of Bali. Across all corners, you’ll find beautiful beaches – white sand in the south and black sand in the north – majestic cliffs, stunning sunset views, along with awe-inspiring fields of terraced rice paddies, and the lush greeneries of the jungles and farmlands. Relax on a beach and watch the rolling waves, explore the numerous epic waterfalls, snorkel or dive along the coral reefs, or hike up any of the volcanoes. Bali is one of the world’s most beautiful islands, so it should be enjoyed and revered by all who live here.
- Top beaches: Geger Beach, Padang Padang, Melasti, Amed
- Best waterfalls: GitGit, Sekumpul, Banyumala Twin Waterfall, Tibumana
- Terraced rice paddies: Jatiluwih, Tegalalang, Rendang
- Best snorkeling spots: Nusa Lembongan & Nusa Penida, Amed, Menjangan Island, Padangbai
Respect and appreciate the local culture
Bali’s incredibly rich and welcoming culture comes from the locals, who are known for their kindness, generosity, and steadfast dedication to traditions and their religion. While Bali is part of Indonesia, where 87% of the population is Muslim, most of the Balinese are Hindu. In every village, there are 3 temples, and there are estimates of more than 10,000 temples on the island, with 6 major temples, considered to hold significance in protecting the island.
If you are going to live in Bali, do yourself a favour and embrace the culture. Bali Hinduism and culture are about balance. By making a little bit of effort, you will be richly rewarded with knowledge and appreciation.
Here are some ways that you can take part.
Eat at local warungs.
A few days a week, skip the fancy cafes and visit the warungs. You can have a full plate of Balinese delights, often for under $2 a plate. Nasi campur, satays, nasi goreng, beef rendang, and ayam betutu can be found at almost every local stall, served by the Ibu (woman, mom) who made it fresh that day.
Learn the local language.
In Indonesia, the universal language is called “Bahasa Indonesia,” and there are thousands of different dialects throughout the regions. Taking a few classes in Bahasa, and learning some common phrases and slang from the locals will be greatly appreciated and responded to with a smile.
Visit the temples.
Some of the temples are truly magnificent sites to behold. Take a day trip to visit some of the most famous temples, such as Tanah Lot, Lempuyang Temple, Ulun Danu Beratan Temple, and Pura Tirta Empul.
Celebrate Nyepi (Silent Day).
One of the most magical days in Bali is the Balinese New Year, called Nyepi, which is also Silent Day. Nyepi is a unique and meaningful celebration in the Balinese Hindu culture. It is a day of self-reflection and meditation, and it is ‘Silent Day’ because every person on the island must observe the tradition, of having no sound and light and not leaving their house or accommodation, as a way to ward off evil spirits. This is the Balinese New Year, and it is considered as a time of spiritual renewal. An added bonus is the parades the night before, called ‘Ogoh-Ogoh’, meant to draw out and banish the evil spirits, before the Nyepi holiday.
Common sense and common courtesy go a long way.
The Bali lifestyle may seem carefree and fun, but it’s easy to get caught up in tourist life with parties and events. As you become a resident, if you can blend that lifestyle with respecting local communities and traditions, you will find yourself right at home.
- Respect curfews in residential areas.
- Be patient on days of ceremonies, as roads around temples can be closed.
- If you drive a motorbike, wear a helmet. It’s the law.
- Wear proper clothing (no bare chest or bikinis) when you are away from the beach or pool.
- Don’t drink and drive. Use the local transportation apps, Go-Jek and Grab.
- Tip your taxi and Go-Jek/Grab drivers.
Bali digital nomads and remote working
No doubt, the trend of digital nomads isn’t going away anytime soon, and Bali will be welcoming thousands more in the coming months and years. For everyone coming here, we highly recommend you do your research, read reviews, and ask reliable sources for information. Our team can help steer you in the right direction, so just ask us. You can also come to us for booking your day passes to Finns, your Coworking Hub membership, or anything you need at our venues. We can also help with your Bali tours and drivers.
Welcome to your new life as a Bali digital nomad!
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