This is the second part of my post about bootstrapping and living in Bali. The first talks about the Bitcoin scene in Bali.
Bali, Indonesia is fast becoming a popular hub for location independent freelancers, entrepreneurs and a great place to knuckle down and work in a pleasant and fun environment.
From October till December 2015 I was working on my new Bitcoin related business there.
Why Bootstrap In Bali
Bali is a beautiful and interesting place where you will enjoy staying. The costs are really low and you can optimise your time to get a lot of work done and then relax when you need to. Its affordable to eat out everyday, pay for all your washing, cleaning and any other time sucking tasks that need to be done back home. Everything is very close and little to no time has to be spent on commuting.
There are many co-working spaces and its easy to meet other entrepreneurs/freelancers etc.
The co-working space that I attended most was Hubud. There were a lot of bloggers there, people trying to figure out ways to make money and freelancers/remote workers.
There were not many people there building and running their own businesses. I was told by one business owner that these people prefer to work from home.
There are also a few technology and business related meet-ups. The IT meetup I attended had about 30 people show up mostly expats and some locals.
The one major downside is that getting a fast internet connection is a hard task. Internet in cafes and hotels when it existed was only good enough for browsing and maybe watching a low quality streaming video.
The co-working spaces have good enough internet but even then do not expect mind blowing speeds. It took around 24 hours to download an 8GB update to my laptop.
Where To Stay
A very serene town of around 20 000 among the rice terraces in the volcanic foothills of Bali. Its the most popular location for freelancers, location-independent entrepreneurs and Yoga lovers. Its also a great place to experience traditional Balinese culture.
Ubud has a few co-working spaces, the biggest being Hubud where membership can be paid for by Bitcoin and which has a Bitcoin ATM. Hubud is where you can find Gary and connect with the Bitcoin community. Hubud has a great atmosphere and very open community. You can get a lot of work done but also meet some interesting people. Its the co-working space where I spent the most time.
Onion Collective is another co-working area/hostel where its possible to buy food with Bitcoin. There are maybe two more smaller co-working spaces that I did not visit.
Ubud is a great place to take a family and has many outdoor activities and great places to eat. It can get a bit quiet and is not the best place if you are looking for a party.
These are very crowded areas full of tourists and party-goers. Seminyak is slightly more upscale and calmer. It can be fun but might not be the best place if you are looking to get work done. There are many distractions and its hard to find other ‘digital nomads’. Its a great place for learning to surf, Muay Thai, partying and getting drunk (and there is nothing wrong with any of that 🙂).
LineUpHub is one co-working space located there. Its a smallish space where people are busy working and there is little socialising. Its frequented by people who are staying in Bali for a shorter period.
I would describe it as a cross between Seminyak and Ubud by the beach. Its a popular surfing destination in a semi-rural setting (in ten years I suspect it will be more like Seminyak). It has a few busy night spots. There is a nice co-working space there, Dojo Bali. I only spend half a day in Canggu so do not know more.
Sanur is a built up but quiet area by the beach, popular with older tourists and families. The co-working space there is Kumpul.
When To Go
December to March is wet season when the southern built up areas including beaches become dirty. The rest of the year is hot and humid with little rain.
My apartment was $AUD 400 / month including air-conditioner, Internet (slow but usable), weekly room service, small fridge and all bills. This was for a 50 day rental. Short term accommodation is more expensive. Its is possible to find similar accommodation at a compound for about $200 per month. The compounds are an enclosed collection of separate houses where locals live and rent out houses. They can be very nice.
I ate local food which I enjoyed and was much cheaper, about $4 would give me two dishes to fill me up. All my expenses excluding accommodation were about $AUD 80 per week.
Give Bali a try and feel free to ask me any questions here.