BALIMoving to Canggu - All you need to know
MOVING TO CANGGU – BALI
Are you contemplating moving to Bali and decided Canggu might be a good location for you? Then this guide will tell you all about getting set up in Bali in general, the cost of living and some tips you might find useful for your stay in Canggu.
1. VISA FOR INDONESIA
As Swedish/Slovenian citizens we have the right of a free 30day visa for Indonesia. However, since we planned on staying in Bali for 2 months, we decided to get a Visa on Arrival (VOA), which then allows us to stay in the country for up to 2 months. The catch here is that you will need to begin the process already at the arrivals in the airport. You will not be able to start this process once you leave the security check at the airport.
When arriving to Denpasar, just visit the VOA desk and pay the fee of around $35, get the paper (on the image with the passports) and continue going through the security.
You will then either pay an agent to continue the process of acquiring the visa for you, or go to the Immigration Office Class 1 in Denpasar yourself. We recommend paying a fee to an agent, since they will do all the work for you and you only need to go to Denpasar once (instead of 3 times) to get your photo and fingerprints taken.
We paid 700k IDR for our agent and were overall happy with the service. Here is their website in case you want to use the same place. We do hear most of them are similarly good though, so it is up to you who you decide to pay. They generally arrange everything via messages through WhatsApp.
Office of our Visa agent.
We were early with the process and took 14 day service, 700k IDR each.
Immigration Office in Denpasar.
Waiting to get our photo and finger prints taken.
2. LIVING ON A BUDGET
No matter if you wish to rent a place to live or to have a cheap place as your base in Canggu, while you visit other destinations, you will be able to get relatively cheap accomodation in Canggu. Canggu is not as touristy as Seminyak, Kuta and the likes; so rent for foreigners is still affordable.
The trick is to not book via hotel websites or Airbnb’s. The true ‘local westerner’ prices will be on Facebook pages (links below), where they advertise daily, weekly, as well as monthly and yearly places. We found our villa via Facebook and even though we wouldn’t recommend you to stay in the same place (horrible owners), we have seen a number of great places up there, below and above our budget. We paid 7mio IDR (roughly $500) for a month for quite a basic en-suite room, all bills incl., with internet and cleaning. The villa had a shared kitchen and pool as well. A thing to keep in mind is asking who the neighbors are. If it’s all locals – expect lots of rooster crows and dogs barking. We also had a rice field behind the house so other animals came to visit too.
Canggu Community Housing FB Group:
Canggu Nomad Girls FB Group:
Useful tip: ask about construction around the place you plan on renting, the WiFi quality and the possible odors in the room or bathroom. We had problems with all three in almost every accommodation we rented. Wished we knew it in advance!
Villa from above.
3. GYM MEMBERSHIPS
Just like anywhere in the world, gyms differ in quality, ambience and equipment. We decided to only keep an eye on the cost and opted for a very cheap, basic option. We got a 1 month membership at Victory Fitness, which cost us only 150k IDR ($10). The gym had a few out-dated machines, limited weights, no AC and was very crowded if you arrived after 9am. We aimed to always go at opening times so we beat the crowds. It worked for us for a month, but we would consider other options if we stayed in Canggu longer.
Victory Fitness Canggu.
Victory Fitness Pricelist.
Victory Fitness Canggu.
Victory Fitness Pricelist.
Traffic in Bali can get quite busy at times and the best way to get around the island is on a motorbike. If you don’t feel comfortable driving one, then you can still rent a car, but be prepared to be stuck in traffic a lot.
What to keep in mind when renting a motorbike? We wanted to make sure we rent in a place with insurance and helmets. We wanted a motorbike with 125cc (to not get stuck on steeper hills) and once we got one we took it for a test drive. We looked over the blinkers, lights, papers and the likes. Once we checked everything and filmed the scooter (just in case for damages) we signed the papers and rented it for a month. We paid 800k IDR at Wan Wik Rentals.
Wan Wik Scooter rental.
If you don’t feel comfortable driving around yourself then there is another option for you. Apps Gojek and Grab are similar to Uber and are very popular transport options in Bali. We only ever used Gojek since it always had cheaper prices than Grab and tested Go Ride (when a motorbike comes to get you), Go Car (a car for up to 6 people) and Go Food (ordering food through the app).
In a lot of places in Canggu the local taxi drivers are very angry if they see tourists get into a Gojek, so you might want to be fast in getting in and out of the car. The only location that was impossible to get a ride from was around La Brisa. Otherwise we used Gojek to get around whenever we needed to go to longer distances (to Sanur, Ubud etc.). Motorbike was cheap and convenient, worked well. Food delivery was quite slow in Canggu, but very fast and great in Seminyak (where Gojek is allowed everywhere).
5. WORK AND LIVE IN CANGGU – COWORKING SPACES
Another thing we read up on a lot before coming to Bali is co-working spaces. They are praised online, but we just couldn’t justify spending $400 per month for both of us to have unlimited internet in a place with no AC, and no real desks or chairs. It might be a good place to meet people, but socializing doesn’t have to cost that much. As our villa had decent internet, we just worked from there and socialized outside our working hours. We only checked out Dojo, but we know of Tropical Nomad and Outpost as well. I believe all have similar prices.
Dojo Bali. A cafe with internet.
Dojo Bali. OK to have a laptop by the pool though.
We lived close to a Pepito Market and generally always bought what we needed there. We mostly got milk ($1.50), eggs ($1.60 for 10), water ($0.50 for 1.5L), cereal ($3) and juice ($2.70 for 1L) from Pepito and fruits from a guy by the road. We realized on the first day that breakfast is cheaper at home, while other meals (pasta, chicken, rice etc) are cheaper or same price when eating out. So the food is quite pricey in the supermarkets and with all the great restaurants Canggu has to offer, you might want to eat lunch/dinner out anyway!
We did our laundry at Speed Laundry on Jl. Pantai Berawa and paid 10,000 IDR (0,70$) for 1kg of washed, ironed and folded clothes. They never made any mistakes and I would definitely recommend them.
Extra tip on clothing: if you need a tailor in Canggu, Putri Kamil does magic. He made me a dress for 200,000IDR ($14) and I provided the fabric which I got at Busana Indah for 140,000IDR ($10 for 3.5m fabric). He also did an alteration on another dress (made it smaller) for 50,000IDR ($3,50). Would highly recommend. Contact him in advance though, he is busy with a lot of clients 🙂
8. WHERE TO EAT/DRINK
You will realise quite fast that Canggu has a lot to offer in terms of restaurants, bars and cafes. It would be a near impossibility for me to review all of them, but I can at least write which places we kept coming back to and which places we would not visit again. I plan on making a separate post with lots of photos on food/drinks in Canggu though, so keep an eye out for that one!
1. The Loft – everything we tried was amazing
2. Crate Cafe – smoothie bowls, falafel
3. Fabrica – the best pizza we ever had
4. El Crudo – great juices and burritos
5. Strawberry Fields – burgers
6. Copenhagen – coffee and cinnabuns
WE WOULDN’T RETURN:
1. The Lawn – the food was worst we had in Bali
2. Cafe Organic – coffee is awful, food looks good and tastes bad
3. Nalu Bowls – extremely overpriced and tasteless
9. WHERE TO SHOP
We really enjoyed going to Love Anchor market in Canggu and it was the only place where we left some money. Otherwise you will see plenty of shops in Canggu, but I believe Seminyak had a lot more to offer in terms of clothing/accessories and Ubud in terms of souvenirs. The prices in Ubud Art Market are also lower since they don’t have as high rent costs.
10. SUNSETS IN CANGGU
An extra thing that makes Canggu, Canggu are sunsets. People flock to the beach here, get a fresh coconut/Bintang and just watch the sun go down. No matter what the weather looked like ever day, it would always clear up in time for sunset. Our favorite ‘sunset vibe’ is at La Brisa, but it looks great from just about anywhere.
I hope you found this guide useful and if you would like some more information, then let me know below and I will add it in the guide!
If you want to see more posts from Indonesia, then just visit this destination page.