Last month, I had the opportunity to visit Bali for 26 days. I decided to spend the first half of my trip in Canggu, and end it in Ubud.
The minute I arrived in Ubud, I immediately wished I spent more of my time there. Ubud has a certain unexplainable, magnetic vibe; it’s easy to see why so many travelers visit and end up never leaving. As someone who was traveling for a long period of time and working, I soon discovered that Ubud was the perfect place for digital nomads.
- Accommodation: Affordable accommodation options are one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a destination for a digital nomad lifestyle. Ubud is the epicenter of culture in Bali, but accommodation options run the gamut: from $10 hostels to 5-star luxury resorts. Digital nomads looking for budget weekly or monthly stays are spoilt for choice. Local Ubudian families are used to travelers who come for several months at a time, and many welcome travelers in cozy guesthouses equipped with all the essential amenities especially internet.
- Food: The culinary scene in Ubud is top notch in quality, selection, and best of all – value! While Ubud is a hot spot for vegan fare, that’s only scratching the surface. Local food at the masakan padangs cost just $1 for rice and a viand, pizzas are cheap and delicious, there are several warungs offering Indonesian and international fare, even affordable Michelin-starred restaurants! No matter what food you enjoy, there’s something for everyone in Ubud – and it won’t break the bank even if you eat out every day.
- Activities: There is just so much to do in and around Ubud, that my 2 weeks there wasn’t enough. Sure, there were some days where I worked from morning to evening, but it still allowed me the luxury of time to explore many cultural and natural attractions. I was able to visit the Pura Goa Gajah or Elephant Temple, waterfalls in Singaraja up north for the day, Jungle Fish, rice paddies, and so much more. There’s yoga, meditation, nightlife, arts, crafts, and shopping too!
- DN Community: Ubud is a well-known haven for remote workers and digital nomads of all kinds from all corners of the globe. It’s easy to make new friends all over Ubud; everyone is friendly and has an interesting story to tell. There are also great coworking hubs such as Hubud and Outpost, if you enjoy being around like-minded people or need a place conducive to working in the middle of the busy jungle. From techy types to other kinds of remote workers, there’s a reason Bali is referred to as “Silicon Bali”! It’s also really inspiring to meet people who are happy living the life of their dreams in Ubud.
- Nature: Ubud is a small town surrounded by the lushest of jungles. If you’re like me and prefer to be around nature as opposed to a concrete jungle, Ubud is for you. Rice terraces are nearby, even the busiest streets are lined by fragrant frangipani trees, and there are flowers everywhere. The town wakes up slowly, gently, and peacefully; mornings are quiet and evenings are laid back. The presence of nature and spirituality combined with vibrant Balinese culture makes Ubud a haven for all kinds of therapy: you’ll find energy healing centers, reiki, massage of all kinds, chakra cleansing, and many other kinds of new-age centers.
To put it simply, Ubud makes it easy for you to take care of your emotional and spiritual well-being while getting work done. Best of all, it’s not a burden on the pocket. It’s very easy to see oneself living in Ubud, no matter where it is you come from. I think the Balinese culture also helps; the locals are among the kindest and most genuinely caring people I’ve ever met. People are always happy to help and that vibe is contagious.
That being said, life in Ubud was close to perfect except for a minor hiccup – transportation. Everyone gets around by driving a motorbike, although unfortunately, I don’t know how to drive one. I ended up spending quite a bit of money getting around, although Ubud is pretty safe. In Canggu, I was lucky enough to be able to rent a bike but Ubud’s busy streets make biking difficult – more like dangerous, even if you’re wearing a helmet.
If you’re looking for your next digital nomad destination, I can’t recommend Ubud enough. You won’t regret it!