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Guide to Bali

Context: Created this for friends so that’s the angle I’m writing from 😊 I spent 3 weeks in Bali in month of May (mostly Canggu), stayed in 4 diff parts of the island, I had to work U.S hours (evening til morning local time) so 24/7 coworking spaces were important for me. are either vetted by me or spots others who have spent time on the island recommend.
Hope you enjoy your time in this magical place and feel free to DM me if you have any Qs! IG:

Things to know about Bali

Pros: Carefree island living, affordable, extremely friendly locals who mostly know english, incredible surf, vibey cafes/restaurants, lots of spas, health and wellness focus, huge digital nomad scene which makes it really easy to meet others if that’s what you’re looking for!
Cons: TRAFFIC, incredibly humid, mosquitoes, sewage system, tap water isn’t safe, motorcycles everywhere w no rules for the road
Surf: Best time to surf is in the dry season, which runs from April to October. The winds are typically light and offshore during the dry season, which helps to improve the wave quality. Wet season, November to March, can still be good for surfing in Canggu. The winds are usually stronger and surf usually smaller and less powerful but it’s nearly always at least shoulder-head high.
🛵
and is life. Download the apps for transportation around the island.
$: You should be able to get by with credit card for most places but cash is most appreciated and if it’s a local service or street vendor, they’ll want cash.
Canang sari: You’ll see these scattered all over the grounds. Daily offereings to the Gods, they are usually based in a woven bamboo container and include rice, flowers, incense, sweets, fruits, spices and sometimes a cigarette. This is an offering to the Gods, as a gesture of gratitude.
Kecak dance: Traditional local dance
Full moon/ new moon ceremony: Purifying ceremony twice a month to let go of the old (full) and in with the new (new moon)
Local foods to try
Nasi (/Mie) Goreng: Traditional fried rice with an egg on top / Mie (noodles) - same stuff with noodles. Super local.
Bakso: meatball soup
Gado Gado: Steamed veggies with peanut sauce & boiled egg
Jamu: Traditional juice and ultimate immune booster

Locations

working-with-a-laptop

Canggu

Perfect balance between work and play. Sooo many hip cafes and excellent co-working spaces where you can meet fellow nomads. Everything you could need is here — restaurants, beach, surf, yoga, gym, and nightlight. You wont run out of dining spots/cafes/shops to check out. Canggu has replaced Kuta as the go-to holiday destination in Bali (Kuta and Semiyank is not cool anymore) but it feels like Canggu is also on its way out mostly bc its losing its Bali charm w lots of development, gentrification, and traffic is such a drain. TBH I spent too much time here and wish I stayed in Uluwatu longer.
Lots of coworking spaces. Several that are open 24/7. B work (this is the one I chose), Dojo Bali, Outpost Canggu, and Tropical Nomad.
Surfing?
Surf Coach:
- ask for Heidi
(located in Kedungu) Jambul: +62-857-3865-2896 whatsapp
Surf Group — If you’re looking for buddies to go out with, goes out every Friday. They’ll organize coaches for beginners if you DM them. Int/Adv can just show up!
Surfing here is easier than Uluwatu mostly bc it doesn’t involve a hike up and down cliffs to access the beach.
Canggu sand banks makes the waves really unpredictable and they can get rather big
See surf spots in
water-element

Uluwatu

Best spot IMO if you want some peace and relaxation since other cities are quite busy. Beautiful views since you’re high on a cliff. Lot more laid back here and less cars. If you’re looking for a beach to lounge, do your research since some beaches might be really small and not great for laying.
Surfing?
THE place if you’re an advance surfer. Lots of surf breaks to choose from but mostly reefy and cliffside, lots of stairs to get down. Surfboards available to rent at most breaks. There are beginner breaks too but do your research and check the tides on .
See surf spots in
rice-bowl

Ubud

Ubud has more of the Bali charm with traditional temples, ceremonies, and rice terraces. Very chill, ppl focused on wellness and spirituality, lot of yoga and sound baths, loads of waterfalls nearby. More hills here.
beer

Seminyank

I’d personally skip this unless you’re looking for a party/nightlife scene. I walked the city once and it feels grungy, aesthetics mediocre, beach kinda smelled, and nothing particularly stood out to me here. Seminyak feels similar to Canggu in how busy it is.
BUT if you want to be closer to the airport and enjoy a nice resort, I HIGHLY recommend . Great service, restaurants, cafe, and spa on-site, direct access to the beach.

Cities I didn’t check out but want to next time

Tabanan, Sanur, Sumba, Kintamani (every local mentioned this spot)
Nusa Penida
Swimming w manta rays
Kelingkeling T-Rex beach
Diamond Beach - super strong current, best not to go in
Teletubby hill - inspired green hill landscape for the TV show lol
Gili islands - The Gili Islands are a group of 3 tiny islands – Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air. Beautiful white beaches, really peaceful if that’s what you’re looking for but great mix of nightlight available. Snorkeling is great bc of their coral reefs - turtles, underwater statue. There’s a turtle sanctuary there where you can release the baby turtles 🐢
🚫 Skip Kuta — apparently sketchy and tourism ruined what charm it has.

Recommendations

“Wow there’s so many recs, its overwhelming!” Personally I like to just bookmark and move around using google maps. Here’s my list —
Use the filter drop-downs to narrow in on what you’re looking for
Area
Type
Vetted by Lucy
Search
Area
Type
Name
Notes
Link
Vetted by Lucy
Canggu
45
Accommodations
River Studio (Airbnb)
In Pererenan, right outside of the hustle and bustle but super close so you can go into the main streets when you want.
1
Cafe
BGS
Best almond latte (homemade milk) & barista vibes in town, where the 'cool kids' have their morning coffee, opens at 6.30AM, good to take-away for a morning beach walk; life hack: Order Almond Latte with extra cinnamon
1
Cafe
Motion
Guilt free healthy fitness food; create your own plate; go-to dish: Protein waffles, life hack: Choose two different toppings for two halves (peanut butter + banana/ coconut yoghurt + berries; ; tip: If you stay longer, start a stamp card to get your 10th waffle for free
1
Cafe
Touche
Fluffiest cloud pancakes, truffle eggs croissant and other yummy stuff
Cafe
Café Vida
Little mini temple inside, possibiility to sit cosy on the floor ; super yummy insta-food
Cafe
Sunset Spots
Como
Views and my fav place to spend the morning watching surfers
1
Coworking
BWork
24/7 Best one in town, cooles architecture (library-style) and plenty of events for their members + yoga shala (fixed amount of classes included in monthly membership); life hack: Just sit in the cafe and order a coffee to get wifi access and hang out there without paying for a day pass
1
Coworking
Tropical Nomad
Weekly talks; a lot of ppl enjoy this place.
Coworking
Nebula
Free co-working on Wednesdays
Coworking
Genesis
Creative co-working space for DJs, photograhers, artists
Coworking
ZIN Cafe
Free co-working in the upstairs cafe. Has AC, quiet. Kopi Kelapa & Tuna Bowl from the cafe.
1
Dining
Woods
Delicious food, warm+tasteful decor
1
Dining
Casa Tua
Fancy Indonesian food for local-ish prices (lobster for 90k), friendliest service, looks like Alice in Wonderland
Dining
Yema
Middle-Eastern / Medditerrenean cuisine, backyard like a little fairytale wonderland; secret hack: Hidden bar behind the mirror
Dining
Riviera
Fancy food & awesome gins
Dining
L'Osteria
Looks like little Italy; tipp: pasta straight out of the cheese-wheel prepared at your table
Dining
Yuki
Sushi with a twist & ocean view
Dining
Ji Restaurant
Sushi with ocean view from the rooftop in an old temple. Go for drinks. Sushi is mediocre.
1
Dining
Skool Kitchen
Wood-fired everything (even desserts) with ocean view; make a reservation in time
1
Dining
Tanau
Fine(-ish) dining from an Australian super-chef for a bargain, reserve in time as there are only four tables in this tiny place in Umalas (a little bit out of Canggu)
Dining
Milk & Madhu
Nice spot w good food, good wifi if you need to work
1
Dining
Santanera
Dope venue with rooftop, big city vibes in Bali
Nightlight
Bella
Glam + Buzzy restaurant w music
Nightlight
Da Maria
The occasional party. Check their
for when events are. HipHop party on Sundays
Nightlight
Miss Fish
Vibey
Nightlight
Black Sand Brewery
BIG on Fridays, 2 for 1 Pints on Wednesday, Sunday Aperitivo (buy one drink and enjoy a yummy finge-food buffet for free) Monday Margharita,
Nightlight
Shady Fox/ Shady Pig
Speak Easy Bars behind a hidden door, message them on instagram to get the codeword, fancy pancy cocktails
Nightlight
Dining
Morabito
unique, eclectic, artistic flair (its an art villa), beautiful views of the water, romantic + dim, good food. perfect for date night. Fridays with top DJs.
1
Shopping
Kohei
Quality clothes; linen and swimwear
1
Shopping
Magali Pascal
Beautiful pieces tho pricey; my fav store
1
Shopping
Island Traders
Fun pieces
1
Sunset Spots
Cafe
Dining
Times Beach Warung
Morning coffee / sunset with ocean view; tip: If you stay longer, start a stamp card to get your 10th coffee for free.
1
Sunset Spots
Dining
Surfer's Bar (or any warung) at Echo Beach
Local Warungs (one next to the other), cheap prices, surfer view
Sunset Spots
Dining
Nightlight
La Brisa
Little wooden wonderland, fancy food & drinks. Good events on Fridays/ Saturdays (not every week though), best party: Basement Love (Berlin in Bali), dancing with the sound of the ocean in the background
1
Sunset Spots
Nightlight
Finn's
Beach club with sunbeds, DJs and huge selcetion of food; Everyone talks about this spot.
Surfing
Batu Bolong and Old Man’s
(beg) Breaks are at the busiest part of Canggu. Offers softer waves but you’ll be competing for waves/party waves. Can find boards as low as 50K-150K
1
Surfing
Echo Beach
(int/adv) Glassyyy waves. Breaks over a shallow reef. best surfed at mid to high tide.
1
Wellness/Fitness
Solace Float
Floating in a dark tank to eliminate all outer stimulation and get into a state of deep meditation
Wellness/Fitness
Wanderlust
CrossFit, Booty Builderm, Calorie Burn...+ recreation center ; hack: get a day-pass and do a double session
Wellness/Fitness
SOMA Fight
Boxing
Wellness/Fitness
Bali MMA
Mixed Martial Arts, Jijitsu; next to Wanderlust - so you can get their day package for the recreation center
Wellness/Fitness
Nirvana Strength
Calisthetics, Acro Yoga - gym for people who can do crazy stuff with their body
Wellness/Fitness
Body Factory
Where people work out who make a living from being hot & fit, influencer hub
Wellness/Fitness
Power + Revive
HIIT, Boxing, Booty, Pilates, Yoga - all in one :), first class for free with code "SHORTCUT"
Wellness/Fitness
Accommodations
Udara
Stunning archetctual masterpiece with ocean view, offering a bunch of different spiritual workshops, just look up their schedule online Sundays - book the full package (from 9AM- 1PM): Yoga, 2h ecstatic dance, 1h soundhealing and yummy Sunday brunch buffet
Uluwatu
22
Accommodations
Elemen Uluwatu Villas
Beautiful villa w private pool, walkable to Uluwatu beach and a couple of great restaurants. Easy location to see the temples or beach.
1
Accommodations
Sabbia by Nyoman and Nyoman
Bingan beach; panoramic views of the ocean.
Beach
Melasti Beach
Local’s favorite
Beach
Surfing
Balangan Beach
Safe surf environment for all levels.
Beach
Surfing
Padang-Padang
If you aren’t an expert, then advised to stick to Padang Padang Right — a picturesque peak ideal for beginners and intermediate surfers with a long, unbroken wave at high tide.
Beach
Surfing
Thomas Beach
long stretch of sand for laying on the beach
1
Beach
Surfing
Dreamland
Coworking
The Space
Coworking and Yoga shala
Dining
Ours Home
yummy steak. good ambiance
1
Dining
Ours Uluwatu
Gets busy but cool ambiance
1
Dining
Goosebery
Yummy homemade almond milk, awesome milkshakes
Dining
Sunset Spots
Manas
Co-working & yummy food with ocean view
1
Nightlight
Ulu Cliffhouse
The after party stage down the cliff is reminiscent of Ibiza. Check
for when events are.
Nightlight
Savaya
World-class DJs playing on Saturdays (and Sundays), from Kygo to Fisher & Calvin Harris
Nightlight
Cashew Tree
Live music on Thursdays
Nightlight
Sunset Spots
Single Finn
Party on Sundays, Sunset point
Sightseeing
Uluwatu Temple
Cultural experience; kecak performance
Sightseeing
Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park
Sculpture park with the biggest (?) statue in Asia, cultural "Kecak" dance performance for sunset
Sunset Spots
The Istana
Spa with cliff view, epic sunset
Surfing
Uluwatu beach
(int/adv) One opening to get in and out. Must be experienced to paddle out/in but once you’re out there, wowwww the waves are beautiful. Known for barrels too. Negotiate here. I was asked 300K for 2hrs 👎
1
Surfing
Bingan Beach
Harder to get to but smaller crowds and a quieter, more laid-back atmosphere. Rocky + rugged. Big, powerful, challenging for experienced surfers. Skip if youre looking for a good beach. Go if you’re looking for a good wave.
Surfing
Uluwatu Beach
Not a beach for soaking up the sun. Adv surf spot.
1
Ubud
9
Accommodations
Villa Bukit Sari
Amazingly friendly staff, peaceful spot, walkable to many restaurants and the heart of Ubud
1
Cafe
Bali Pulina
coffee tasting with a view and free mini-tour of coffee farm
1
Coworking
Outpost
24/7
Dining
Cretya
Amazing food and views of ricefields
Dining
Casa Luna
Good food and live jazz on sundays
1
Nightlight
Boliche
good house music if youre into that. underground music bar
Nightlight
Accommodations
K Club
Beautiful resort, fully serviced, everything you could need right on site.
Sightseeing
Ceking Rice Terrace
Incredible to see
1
Wellness/Fitness
Radiantly Alive
Yoga with a view; New Moon: Calling in the New / Full: Letting go of what no longer serves you
Semiyank
1
Accommodations
Hotel Indigo
Beautiful resort, v comfortable and everything you need right on site.
1
7
Sightseeing
Besakih temple
Biggest temple in Bali
Sightseeing
Tanah Lot
Stunning sunset view
Sightseeing
Tirta Gangga
Temple in the water, feed the fishies and take cool insta-shots
Waterfall
Banyumala Waterfalls
Stunning twin waterfalls
Waterfall
Leke Leke
Book a night at the Bubble hotel on Airbnb- literally an inflatable bubble 2min walk from the waterfall
Waterfall
Aling Aling
Book the whole package and go waterfall jumping/ sliding etc. in the park
Waterfall
Beji Griya
Purifying waterfall ceremony (screaming all the bad energy into the waterfall and only let in the good vibes) - contact Balinese healer Toekik as a guide: +62 813 37683313?

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