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“For remote workers eager to explore coliving, Ubud harbors opportunities for social interaction, digital connectivity, and tranquility in equal measure.”

When viewed from the air (or in Google Earth), the town of Ubud in central-east Bali appears to be at the base of hundreds of emerald veins radiating out towards the island’s north. These veins are the verdant rice fields and river valleys for which the region is renowned — and a major reason why many are drawn to make a home in the village. For remote workers eager to explore coliving, Ubud harbors opportunities for social interaction, digital connectivity, and tranquility in equal measure. This is our guide to making the most of the coliving experience in Bali’s cultural and artistic heart.

Where to make your home base

We have two Outpost destinations in different areas of Ubud: Outpost Ubud in the southern neighborhood of Nyuh Kuning, and Outpost Ubud Penestanan, in the western neighborhood of the same name. 

Our first destination in Bali, Outpost Ubud Coworking and Coliving Suites are a short distance apart. And we mean short: there’s just a 700 meter stroll between them through Ubud’s most walkable neighborhood. With a football field at its center, Nyuh Kuning is unique as its street-level sidewalks are well maintained while speed bumps and one-way traffic deter fast drivers. It’s home to traditional textile shops, boutique resorts, and a great range of eateries, including Sage, one of Ubud’s most renowned vegan restaurants, and Warung Rama, which serves one of the best nasi campur in town. 

Penestanan has quite a different vibe to Nyuh Kuning. It’s much more spread out, and with a slightly higher elevation some spots offer spectacular views of Bali’s tallest and most sacred volcano, Mount Agung. Vast tracts of rice fields cover the south, while some of the northern alleys aren’t accessible by car, meaning they’re much quieter. 

Although the village is adjacent to central Ubud there’s quite a steep incline in between, so scooters and bicycles are still preferred by most rather than walking. It also has a great range of eateries: right next door is Ubud’s raw food mecca, Alchemy; nestled along an alley with volcano views, Yellow Flower Cafe is a perennial favorite; while on the edge of Campuhan River looking out over a 13th century Hindu temple, Littletalks Ubud Library & Cafe is a serene spot to while away a few hours with your fellow coliving friends.

Getting around

By far the most popular way to get around Ubud is by scooter. Even though most of central Ubud’s streets are walkable, the freedom a scooter gives you to go exploring is the greatest drawcard. 

To ride a scooter legally in Indonesia, foreigners are required to carry an international driver’s permit, although when renting a scooter, generally you will only be asked to show your passport and register the address of your accommodation. The standard monthly rate for scooter hire is Rp500,000-600,000, although this can be much higher for newer models. Our team members at our destinations can assist you in arranging scooter rental. 

Ubud’s villages fan out from its main road, Jalan Raya Ubud. “Jalan” means street in Indonesian, and “jalan raya” means main road. North of Jalan Raya Ubud, the terrain immediately begins to ascend towards the northern highlands. Dozens of coconut palm-lined streets wind their way through rice fields, and some, such as Jalan Cinta, are popular among locals for an afternoon jog.

Not far east of Ubud are black sand beaches with a few surf breaks and beach clubs, while in the west is Ayung River, which at 72km is Bali’s longest. Sayan is the neighborhood bordering the river bank, and restaurants such as Sayan House offer breathtaking views over the valley. Ubud’s south teems with villages specializing in traditional arts, such as painting, silverwork, and statues. 

Finding your community 

Ubud has long been a hub for international travelers and digital nomads from around the world, and events at all our destinations are designed to help you make social and professional connections. As we believe community is at the core of coliving, many of our events also focus on enabling you to engage with local organizations, NGOs, and businesses. 

Strict social distancing measures are in place at all our events, and all attendees are encouraged to wear masks in order to minimize the spread of the virus. We are always looking for event hosts, so if you’ve got something you’d like to share please get in contact with us so you can explore options for collaboration!

 

Pre-pandemic, Ubud’s events calendar was packed with live music, artisan markets, poetry slams, film screenings, festivals, and a huge array of workshops, ranging from ceramics and screen printing to breathwork and aerial yoga. Although Ubud’s social scene hasn’t quite returned to its pre-pandemic liveliness, a limited number of events are now going ahead with health protocols in place. 

A great source of information for arts events and workshops is the Instagram account @senidibali (which translates as “art in Bali”), while the Facebook group Ubud Community also features event information.   

Cost of living 

Depending on where you stay, what you eat, what activities you pursue and where you travel to, cost of living can vary dramatically. For seasoned travelers, it’s quite easy to exist on a shoestring, but Ubud also caters for high-end tourism so options for all budgets abound.

For those on a tighter budget, local meals served at warung (small eateries) rarely cost more than Rp25,000 (USD1.73), while the raw, vegan, and vegetarian dishes Ubud is famous for range between Rp40,00-80,000. Most restaurants charge an extra 10% tax and 5-10% service charge. 

If you’re planning on cooking for yourself using our communal kitchens and an early riser, Ubud Central Market is a great place to pick up fresh produce and try two of the most popular local breakfast dishes: bubur Bali (Balinese rice porridge) and nasi kuning (fragrant yellow rice with various accompaniments).

Ubud has five supermarkets: Bintang in Penestanan, Delta Dewata in Peliatan, two branches of premium supermarket Pepito, and Popular Market, which is under the same group. Ubud has a significant expat population, and the premium supermarkets stock a huge range of international products, from parmesan cheese to peaches. With prices at eateries and some cafes relatively low, often travellers find that it’s actually cheaper to eat out than cook for themselves. 

Prepaid mobile phone SIM cards are cheap in Indonesia, and retail from as little as Rp20,000 (USD1.39). There are dozens of mobile phone shops in Ubud, and SIM cards are also sold from small counters at supermarkets. You’ll need to present your passport to register for one. A member of our team will be happy to assist you with more information about getting set up with a SIM card.

Internet

We pride ourselves on having Ubud’s fastest internet at each of our destinations, which span the coworking and coliving spaces. Elsewhere around town wifi speed can be a little patchy, though some cafes and restaurants are better than others. 

When to go

Indonesia is a tropical country, and the monsoon season (October to April) is a significant part of the year. During heavy downpours some Ubud streets can turn into rushing rivers. A good quality poncho and a pair of rubber sandals stashed in your scooter seat are essential if you’re going to be here during the rainy season. When riding, the ability to pull over on the side of the road and pull on your poncho as quickly as possible becomes a highly valuable skill!

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