An Essential Guide For A Canggu Digital Nomad
Being a Canggu digital nomad is a dream for many digital nomads.
Many digital nomads love the idea of working in a place surrounded by lush rainforests, green, oceans, temples, paddy fields, black sand beaches, waterfalls, and volcanoes.
This Island of Gods has been living up to its status as a digital nomad mecca where hipster cafes, great restaurants and yoga studios have mushroomed throughout the years.
As a Canggu digital nomad, you can get the best of both city and village (and island!) worlds.
This article will tell you everything you need to know before signing up as a Canggu digital nomad.
Some of the links on here are affiliate links and I may earn if you click on them, AT NO EXTRA cost to you. Hope you find the information here useful! Thanks.
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- All You Need to Know About Becoming A Digital Nomad In Malaysia
- An Advanced Guide To Becoming A Singapore Digital Nomad
- How To Become A Digital Nomad In Phillipines
Why Become A Digital Nomad In Canggu?
- Work-friendly cafes,
- up to date coworking spaces and
- favourable climate.
Canggu is located on the famous tourist island in Indonesia, Bali. It’s a chilled, laid back town compared to the busier ones like Seminyak and Kuta.
It is divided into six regions: Kerobokan, Umalas, Batu Bolong, Berawa Beach, Echo Beach and Pererenan.
If you prefer serene and quiet surroundings, you can opt for Kerobokan and Umalas. If you like the hustle and bustle of city life with shopping malls, bars or surf clubs, Batu Bolong is the place for you.
Digital nomads flock to Canggu, so it’s quite normal to see people working away on their laptops wherever you go.
Work Friendly Cafes
Work-friendly cafes with superb Wi-Fi speed aren’t difficult to find.
Every neighbourhood in Canggu is packed with cute cafes with friendly staff who won’t mind your presence all day.
The ever-famous Crate Café for instance, doesn’t only offer ample space for working but also has fantastic food. The ambience is lively but it also has mellow good music and great coffee.
Canggu cafes in general have a hippie chillaxed vibe, so be prepared to be spoiled for choice!
Continue reading this digital nomad Canggu guide because we will tell you all about digital nomad cafes later on.
Up-To-Date Co-Working Spaces
Ample power points, robust Wi-Fi, and the comfortable atmosphere of Canggu co-working spaces have no doubt drawn digital nomads like a magnet.
Also, think pool-view or rice paddy ‘office’ views… good brunches and hearty breakfasts…
You will also meet fellow remote working members, which provides an opportunity to exchange knowledge, share skills or even collaborate.
New friends for the after-work hangouts, why not eh?
A Favourable Climate
Canggu has a tropical monsoon climate and is undeniably warm all year.
On average, the temperature ranges between 26 to 30 degrees, but you can expect a rainy season that lasts between November to April.
The dry season in Canggu means you get to surf, dive, climb mountains and be as adventurous as you like.
As always, rainy seasons can be good and bad. Prices are lower as there’s less of a crowd, but occasional tropical storms might limit your movement and it’s wet everywhere.
Mosquitoes are another issue during the rainy season.
So, carry an insect repellent everywhere you go if you don’t want to be a mosquito bitten Canggu Digital Nomad!
Cost Of Living In Canggu
Similar to other South Asian Countries, the cost of living in Canggu is cheap. But it can be expensive, depending on how you spend and save, to be honest.
However, living frugally in Canggu doesn’t mean you’ll live an uncomfortable life and eat cheap processed food.
Therefore, living moderately for $800 per month is completely possible.
Let’s break expenses down into three essentials:
- food, and
- Low budget: Homestay with a private room and bathroom (might not have a hot shower) starting from $250 a month.
- Mid-range budget: A decent guest house starting from $350 (on average) per month.
- Fancy: A private one-bedroom villa starting from $700 (on average) per month.
Hotels can cost anything from $30 to a whopping $700 a night.
Canggu has tons of decent accommodation for a Canggu Digital Nomad! It has places to suit every type of budget, try staying in different neighbourhoods.
Once you’ve found ‘the one’, you can discuss your stay further with the owner of your accommodation on renting long-term.
The longer you stay, the lower the price will be.
Living in Bali means finding good food will never be an issue.
Indian, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Western, vegan, vegetarian; they aren’t just affordable but delicious too.
There are small eateries as well as expensive restaurants.
Small eateries or also known as warung, sell authentic Indonesian cuisine. The price can go as low as $1 to $3 for a plate of rice with some vegetables and meat.
In cafes and restaurants, food and drink will cost between $4 to $8, coffee typically between $2 to $4 and alcohol between $3 to $10.
In Bali, it’s important to know how to ride a scooter, because it’s the most convenient mode of transportation.
BUT you also must possess an International Driving Permit (IDP) which you can apply in your country, before coming to Indonesia.
Well, it’s possible to ride without a license in Canggu, but it’s not advisable.
If the police stop you, chances are, you’ll get a fine and be offered “help” to solve it on the spot. (Ie; A BRIBE)
Just in case, be prepared to pay around $100, but in most cases, the amount can be bargained down.
Renting a scooter costs around $4 to $5.5 per day, depending on how long you’re renting. A month-long rental would maybe cost $3.5 per day.
Gas costs around $1.50 per tank.
Bali, in general, has a warm climate all year long.
It can be divided into the dry season from May to October and the rainy season from November to March.
However, if you happen to be in the coastal areas within the dry season, you will probably experience slightly cold weather. At night, the temperature can drop to 21 degrees.
During the dry season, tourists will flock to Bali and some places can be crowded with people.
If for some reason you miss being in cold weather or the sun is too much for you, you can always head over to more remote, mountainous areas. The temperature can drop to 10 degrees at night.
The Bali Digital Nomad Visa
If you want to become a Canggu Digital Nomad, you need to get the right visa. Visa requirements in Bali vary based on nationalities.
Most nationalities (including UK, USA, Canada, EU) can enter Bali without a visa for stays of up to 30 days. Over 160 nationalities need no visa (free entry) for a maximum of a 30-day stay.
As a digital nomad, you can apply for a holiday visa which can be divided into three categories: staying less than 30 days, between 30-60 days and more than 60 days.
Less Than 30 Days
Check this list to see if you’re eligible for free entry. If you fall under this category, you don’t need to prepare anything.
If your country is not listed, you need to apply for a Tourist / Social Visa (B-211) at an Indonesian Embassy or Consulate outside of Indonesia.
You will be required to present a sponsor letter.
A sponsor letter is an official invitation to confirm:
- the aim of your visit,
- that you have sufficient funds,
- no intention of illegal work,
- commit to respect the laws of Indonesia, and
- will leave the country upon visa expiry date.
The letter has to be issued by an Indonesian citizen holding a valid ID. The person can be a business owner or a school teacher.
Between 30-60 Days
If your country is mentioned in this list, you are eligible for a Visa on Arrival (VoA), for $35 which is valid for 30 days.
It can only be paid in cash and US dollars are accepted. The VoA can be purchased in the arrival hall at the airport. No sponsor letter is needed and the VoA can be extended once (+30 days).
More Than 60 days
As a tourist, you can leave Indonesia for a day and re-enter, within the same day.
They call it a “visa run”. You can “run” to Kuala Lumpur (KL), Malaysia with a same-day return flight for as cheap as $80.
Tip: Always choose KL, instead of Singapore because their friendly immigration staff won’t mind your obvious “visa run”.
Once you arrive back at the Indonesian airport, you can then get another VoA or if you need less than 30 days, just get the free entry stamp (Visa Exemption) from the passport counter.
How to Apply for Visa Extension
Applying for a visa extension is more convenient through an agent. It’s easy, straight forward and usually without problems.
The extension will allow you to stay another 30 days without you having to leave the country.
- Start the process at least 7 to 10 working days before your current VoA expires.
- Get in touch with an agent e.g. Visa4Bali or iVisa.com for around $70.
- Hand over your passport to the agent, or get it picked up.
- The agent will be in touch with you, meet them at the office and process the visa extension (photos and fingerprints). The whole process usually takes less than 3 hours including waiting time.
- Once the immigration officers have processed the visa extension, your passport will be returned to you, safely.
What Happens If You Fall In Love With Canggu And Want To Retire There?
You may become a Canggu Digital Nomad and want to stay there indefinitely. In this situation, you have to be 55 years old and above to apply for the Retirement Visa (KITAS).
Here’s a list of other requirements to qualify for a retirement visa:
- Have proof of health and life insurance, proof of pension; a minimum of roughly $1,520 per month, or at least a lump sum of $18,270 to provide living expenses while in Bali.
- Proof of a rental agreement with the cost set at over $380 a month.
- A letter stating you agree to employ an Indonesian while you live there i.e. an assistant, a household worker, etc.
- A CV and a statement agreeing you won’t work while in Bali.
No matter which visa you choose, always be sure to check Bali.com regularly for updates.
Top Destinations For Digital Nomads In Canggu
Three Top Digital Nomad Places In Canggu
- Batu Bolong
- Berawa and Echo Beach
Batu Bolong is Canggu’s most vibrant neighbourhood packed with hipster cafes, chic shops, beach bars and restaurants.
The best cafes in Canggu are mostly located here.
You can try:
It’s a hyped up beach where people take surfing lessons, watch sunsets and experience Hindu ceremonies.
In short, Batu Bolong is the one for you if you love being in a party crowd.
The Pererenan Beach and Village oozes tranquillity with more locals and fewer tourists. The beach is amazing, the waves are not too high on the coast, with a beautiful sunset view.
I think it’s a perfect place to stay long-term. There are many private villas where you can work surrounded by green paddy fields.
No need to worry if you feel like partying though, the town is just a short 5-minute bike ride away!
Berawa And Echo Beach
Just like Pererenan, Berawa and Echo Beach have fewer crowds and are quieter, but you can still find plenty of cafes and restaurants.
The black sand beach is one of the highlights here and the waves are loved by surfers.
If you’re alone, take your mind off work for a while, buy a coconut, rent a chair and watch the sunset. This area also has cool beach shacks lining up the beach if you’re on a night out with friends.
Cool Co-working Places For Digital Nomads In Canggu
Ask your fellow Canggu digital nomads and you’ll get the same answer. Dojo Bali has the coolest coworking Canggu scene, located within a one-minute walk from Echo Beach.
It has killer Wi-Fi, ample working space, networking, free events, consistently good breakfast – Dojo has everything you want and need.
It’s divided into air conditioned rooms, outdoor areas, a second floor and seats around the pool.
What they offer:
- A membership pass for $55 for 30 hours.
- A membership with limited access for around $200.
- A day pass for $15.
Dojo also offers coliving Canggu packages, designed to make you feel at home, away from home.
This Bali coworking space has a stylish and modern Balinese feel to it.
Designed to attract young professionals and entrepreneurs alike, Outpost bears a more ‘polished’ look. It has bookable meeting rooms, workshop spaces and Skype booths.
What they offer:
- A membership pass from $49 for 25 hours.
- A dedicated desk for around $208 monthly.
District (formerly known as C’ugh House) doesn’t share the same vibe as Dojo and Outpost, simply because it has an enviable rice paddy view.
Despite being low-key, this place will still appear if you search ‘coworking space Bali’ or ‘coworking Bali Canggu’ on Google.
District has a to-die-for breakfast and lunch options that you can pair with their solid caffeine kick.
What they offer:
- A free 2-hour pass with any purchase of food/drinks.
- A one-hour pass for just $3.
- A one-day pass for around $8.
- A one-month pass for around $114.
Best Places to Stay
Canggu has an array of accommodations that suits all budgets. Here’s a list of the best places that offer the perfect balance of work and fun.
- Sense Canggu Beach Hotel – from $70 per night
- Exotica Bali Villa B&B – from $50 per night
- Theanna Eco Villa & Spa – from $58 per night
- The Chillhouse – from $55 per night
- The Apartments Canggu – from $40 per night
- Taman Nauli Boutique Rooms – from $35 per night
- Happy Devi Guesthouse – from $23 per night
- Mojo Resort – from $22 per night
- Dega Gardens – from $14 per night
- Caroline Guesthouse – from $6 per night
After spending a few nights in the area of your first choice and exploring other neighbourhoods, you will be ready to look for a long-term accomodation.
Staying in the villas within the rice fields means your house will be much nicer and affordable. But it’s only logical to rent a scooter every time you want to make a trip to the town.
Staying in hostels/guesthouses means you can access restaurants, cafes and your coworking space on foot.
You can also talk to the coworking Bali community via any of these Facebook groups:
Regardless, meeting the accommodation owner in person is the best way to get the best deal. You’ll also get to see how the place looks, because photos can be deceiving.
Best Food in Canggu
While the café culture in Canggu is truly undeniable, there are also many Indonesian warungs serving local dishes like nasi goreng (fried rice), mie goreng (stir-fried noodles), gado-gado and bakso (meatball soup).
- Satay: small pieces of meat grilled on a skewer and served with a spiced sauce that typically contains peanuts.
- Gado gado: a peanut-based dip mixed with fresh veggies, tofu and tempeh.
- Bakso: flavourful soup with wontons, a deep-fried hard-boiled egg and meatballs.
Canggu doesn’t leave any taste bud or appetite behind.
Searching for the best eating places in a place like Canggu can be overwhelming so fret not – we’ve filtered the best ones for you:
- Balinese food – Warung Heboh, Ulekan, Ithaka Warung, Casa Tua Canggu.
- Healthy vegan options – Crate Café, Café Organic, Milu by Nook, The Shady Shack.
- Delicious breakfast and brunch – Sprout, nüde, Rise & Shine Café.
- Burger and pizza – Milk & Madu.
- Asian and Australian food – Sensorium Bali.
- Japanese food – Ji Restaurant Bali, Koi Batu Bolong, Ulu Wasabi Canggu.
- International cuisine – Watercress.
- Plant-based options – Peloton Supershop.
- Street-food – Berawa’s Kitchen.
Getting Around in Canggu
So, you’ve mastered the art of riding a scooter. Before confirming your scooter of choice to rent, check if there are any scratches or dents.
Now the only thing that’s left to do is follow these tips:
- Always, always wear a helmet. With $30, you can get a good quality helmet. Don’t compromise your safety!
- Ride on the left side of the road.
- If you plan to roam further and longer, hire a local driver.
- Ride slowly and safely as the roads are narrow and the traffic can be chaotic.
Things You Should Know
1.Avoid Drugs At All Cost
Can’t be more serious with this unless you want to be thrown into the filthy Bali prison. Possessing drugs means a death sentence.
Being on drugs means a standard 5-year in prison. In case there are moments you feel tempted, read Hotel K.
2.Canggu Is A Yoga Hub
Besides surfing, Canggu is also a hotspot for yoga goers.
The yoga studios in Canggu caters for the different types of styles such as:
3.Tap Water Isn’t Drinkable
Goes without saying! Drink tap water if you don’t want to run to the loo clutching your bottom every 5 minutes.
4.Respect The Culture
The Balinese culture and Hinduism are strongly linked.
Be mindful of your steps along the street as it’s full of canang sari, the colourful daily offerings given to the gods every morning made by the Balinese Hindus.
5.Send Your Laundry To Small Shops
Because it only costs around $0.50 per kilo compared to hotels that charge more for one piece of shirt/pants.
6.Beware Of The Temple Monkeys
Well, any monkeys, as a matter of fact.
If you happen to visit the beautiful temples, keep your things or any plastic bags out of sight.
There will be lots of monkeys trained to steal your things. My spectacles were stolen by a monkey while I was sitting down taking photos. It cost me $4 to get them back.
7.Pay Extra Attention To Added Tax In bars/Restaurants
There will be an additional 21% tax on the food/drink prices in bars and restaurants. It’s completely legal, but some places have already added it to their menu, some include it in a small print on the receipt.
Check again if you get an unusually hefty bill at the end of your meal.
8.Warning Flags At The Beach
Sea conditions have always been unpredictable. Although it’s typically safe to swim, the sudden change can cause rip currents to appear.
This is dangerous so avoid swimming if you see red flags along the busier beaches.
Go-Jek is the Indonesian Uber. It’s often used for e-hailing services (taxi and moto-taxi) but you can also use this convenient app to shop online and send packages.
10.Cash Is King
In Bali, you won’t get to use your credit or debit card that much.
However, decent ATMs can only be found in town. So, the best bet is to withdraw money when you arrive at the airport after passing immigration.
You can stay connected with your friends and family back home by getting a local SIM card.
You can buy a SIM card from the airport or local shops for around $17 a week. Politely, ask the cashier to register the card for you.
Canggu is a relatively safe place. The crime rate is low although petty crimes like pickpocketing does happen.
Just be sure to keep your things with you, always.
Also, when you ride a scooter, don’t use your phone. Number one reason is to avoid accidents. Number two is, it can get snatched away by another passing bike.
Sun, sea, and sand. Food, fitness, and fun. Not to mention the Wi-Fi speed in Canggu that guarantees happiness among digital nomads.
You can practically work anytime, anywhere.
Overall, Canggu’s status as the digital nomad mecca is a no-brainer.
While you’re there, take the opportunity to immerse in the unique Bali’s cultural experience. Visit a traditional healer, witness a Royal Balinese funeral (if there’s any), go for a cleansing ritual… anything that will make you understand and appreciate Bali even more.
With everything Canggu has to offer, I have to warn you though, you might want to stay longer than planned.