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Work and play: Bingin, Bali

More than just beach clubs and Bintang singlets

· Places

I recently returned from Bali (Indonesia), it was my second time there and I can't wait to go back again. Forget the typical tourist stories you hear about this island, I'm going to tell you about the places on this island that make you never want to leave: Bingin, Seminyak and my favourite, Canggu. So let's get started with Bingin, a 30-minute drive south from the airport.

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Bingin Beach is a favourite amongst surfers and travellers who just want sunshine and good vibes without the crowd. I love it here because you won't find the Kuta crowd here. Everyone here just wants to surf, chill, reflect, do yoga, and watch Bima the beach dog ride some waves.

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Plenty of signs to take you to the beach...

The beach isn't too hard to find, there are plenty of signs and you end up walking through what looks like a tiny path between two properties. If you've never been, you'll be worried you've gone off track - but trust me, you haven't. Just keep walking through the narrow path and you'll eventually be at the top of the stairs to take you down the beach. Warning: going down the stairs is easy, coming back up is another story if you're carrying a lot like a luggage bag. If you plan on booking accommodation right on the beach, make sure you've packed light. A huge luggage bag is going to be tough on the stairs.

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A welcome drink at Sal Secret Spot, Bingin, Bali.

I stayed at... the eco resort, Sal Secret Spot with my good friend and photographer/content creator, Samantha. It's about 15 minutes walk to the beach and we were also using this beautiful location to shoot a campaign called My Paradise for Trefiel, a Melbourne-based skincare brand specialising in plant-based face masks.

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Not a dream at all, this was our stunning room at Sal Secret Spot.

Sal is the perfect place to stay if you want to be closer to the natural environment without sacrificing on the luxe facilities. Imagine staying in an ultra-comfy hotel but with more fresh air and roosters crowing from nearby properties to wake you up, followed by a shower in their open air bathroom. Breakfast is served daily in the communal area (seasonal fruit, coffee, juice and your choice of eggs and toast or nasi/mi goreng). To be honest, I wanted to eat everything.

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A recent campaign shot for Trefiel at Sal Secret Spot in Bali. Photographer: Samantha Andison

When the tummy started to rumble, we found ourselves at Cashew Tree. It's great on a Thursday night with dinner, dancing and live music. I also went back for a dragonfruit smoothie bowl the next day for breakfast. The next night, we went to Single Fin in Uluwatu for dinner and drinks - this is one of the best bars for watching the sun set, because it's right next to the ocean.

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Smoothie bowl at The Cashew Tree - I pretty much ate anything that had dragonfruit in it.

I love Bingin because it's not overly saturated with shops and tourists (there are other places for that shop/eat holiday experience). This is the area along with Uluwatu that has enough to keep you going: healthy and relatively cheap food, wifi access at every hotel, cafe and bar for working remotely, beautiful locals and great vibes that remind me that as long as I've got the sun, sand and sea, I'm pretty much sorted.

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Next stops, back north to Seminyak and Canggu.

Karen P'ng is a Freelance Consultant specialising in Social Media Marketing, Digital Marketing and Content. She helps brands via onsite and remote collaborations. With Sydney as her home base, Karen travels every 2-3 months to give social media talks, consultations and work with any international clients who require onsite collaborations.

Connect with Karen on LinkedIn or follow her daily remote adventures on Instagram @karen__png