Canggu, pronounced chang-goo, is located about 10km north of Kuta. If you want to hit malls and big department stores then stop by Kuta. My recommendation is to skip Kuta altogether and come here. You’ll soon see why.
I LOVE this place. Let me rephrase that. I love FOOD and this place has a fresh take on many different cuisines. But the town is more well known for their surfing and beaches which are pretty dam nice too.
I’m going to start with it this time since I couldn’t believe the variety and styles they had here. Along the two strips of Jl. Pantai Batu Bolong and Jl. Pura Batu Mejan are modern hipster-style restaurants. This area has boomed in the last 3 years heading towards the beach and a local mentioned new restaurants pop up every month. Most places are surprisingly health conscious. Fruit smoothies, kale and gluten free are no strangers on the menu. Some of my favourites restaurants are: Canteen, Little Flinders Cafe, Deus, and Oma Jamu.
Another restaurant I found on a different strip called Milk & Madu had a very chill vibe and a Vancouver hipster feel to it. I was fortunate enough to sit next to the owners as they had a meeting and we ended up chatting for awhile. Jordy came to Bali two years ago from Australia and has since opened up 3 restaurants in the area with great success. It sounds like there’s alot of other restaurants that have a similar story of foreigners coming in and influencing the area.
I spent most of my time in Canggu laying on the beach reading and relaxing. There are plenty of chairs that you can rent for $3-5 for the whole day. The owners of the chairs bring drinks or snacks to you at your request. It’s like a resort during your limited stay.
Other things to do along the beach are swimming, surfing, kite surfing, watching stray dogs play (there’s lots!) , and of course catching the sunset. I can’t recommend any of the water activities personally (still can’t swim) but they seem to be not hating life while out there, meh..to each his own.
After sunset means dinner time. The beach area has no shortage of restaurants and entertainment. Breanna’s cousin Anna and her boyfriend Andrew brought us to a local place with a view overlooking the ocean.
City Area & People
Canggu is a showcase of the old mixed with the new. As mentioned above, the last 3 years has seen a boom of influence from foreigners and the shops, restaurants, and buildings reflect that. Locals surround the outer area but the few strips that head towards the beach seem to be caters more towards tourists and foreigners. My favorite thing is the rustic/gritty open architecture that is seen in alot of the restaurants.
Everytime I visit a new city I always ask myself the question “Can I live here?” With Canggu I can honestly say I can… and I don’t say that to many places. The super laid back culture is what makes it so appealing. There seems to be a shitload of people on a “spiritual high” here with the surfing, yoga studios, and vegan diet. I’m not saying I’m going to give up meat anytime soon.. but I had a buckwheat flour pasta made with a pesto and tofu cream that tasted delicious. What theee fuuuuckkkkkkk!!
Day Trips out of Canggu
Breanna and I took two separate day trips while in Canggu. One going up north of Bali and the other heading down south.
Our first trip was to see 3-4 different temples all with their own unique style. Tanah Lot was our first stop which is supposed to be the hottest tourist attraction in Bali. Yup.. they were not kidding. This place is busy as fudge filled with tour bus after tour bus of people. I really do hate crowds and it takes away from the experience of seeing something amazing. In the end, the view of the temple was pretty cool, but the crowds and the heat did take away a bit from the experience.
We hit another rice field, Jatiluwih Rice Terrace, that was quite a bit bigger than the first one in Ubud.
The last two stops were Ulun Danu Bratan Temple and Taman Ayun Temple. The floating temple was my favourite on this day tour.
We headed down south for our second trip to a few beaches and the famous Uluwatu Temple with their night Kecak dance.
Bingin beach is my favourite beach on my whole Bali trip. The white sand and clear calm waters is a nice change from Canggu beaches. There’s no surfers here which attracts a smaller crowd. I definitely wanted to spend a few nights there but we hit it a bit too late on our trip.
DO NOT go to Padang Padang Beach. Go to bingin and stay far away from this piece of shit. It costs money to go in and once you’re there it’s super crowded with tourists and is tiny in size. We came here for 15 minutes and regretted leaving Bingin right away.
The Uluwatu Temple is another popular attraction and can get crowded in certain areas. The cliffside view into the ocean is unreal and I don’t think a picture can do it justice.
The Kecak is a Balinese dance and music drama performed by both men and women. Instead of music there’s 20-30 men that do chants throughout the entire performance. It was different than any western play I’ve seen and I think is worth checking out.
Going from an island and back to a city. Next stop, SINGAPORE!