Last night on the way home from dinner we got caught up in a parade. A mass of people took over the road in a slow procession—the men in sarongs, shirts, and white head cloths carried tall umbrellas and masks of the Barong, a hairy lion-like creature from Balinese mythology; the elegantly dressed women in fitted batik sarongs, lacy blouses, and brightly coloured sashes balanced pyramids of fruit offerings on their heads. The pling pong of gamelan music accompanied the parade, with musicians playing gongs and drums and cymbals as they walked.
Our ideal digital nomad destination has warm weather, good vegetarian food, beautiful scenery, interesting things to do, low cost of living, decent WiFi, and availability of apartments (with kitchens) to rent for 1-3 months. The artsy town of Ubud in Bali not only meets all our requirements but we don’t even need to rent an apartment—here houses are the norm, always with a garden, and often with private pools. Since the success of the book and film Eat Pray Love Ubud has become increasingly popular and new villas are springing up in every rice field so there are many to choose from.
We recently arrived in Bali, Indonesia and will be spending the next two months in the hippy town Ubud working, practicing yoga, scooting around the rice paddies, and enjoying all the delicious vegetarian food. As UK citizens we are allowed to enter the country without a visa for stays up to 30 days, but this can’t be extended so it wouldn’t be enough time for our intended stay. Instead we applied for a 60 day tourist visa before we entered Indonesia. This can be done at Indonesian embassies all over the world but as we were in London we applied there.
When we arrived in Singapore the immigration counters were giving out free sweets. We’ve never seen that before and it was such a contrast to the usual surly welcome that we knew we were somewhere different. Singapore is unlike anywhere else in Southeast Asia—clean, efficient, and wealthy. Some say it’s boring; we say it’s easy, and all travellers need easy from time to time.
Despite what you read in travel memoirs it’s not that easy to get invited into locals’ homes for dinner, and it has only happened to us a handful of times during our years on the road. So we were excited to be invited to try out a new service called With Locals which is like Airbnb for eating out.