Oh Bali. Where do I even begin! I enjoyed every moment spent in Canggu, Bali as it was definitely right up my alley. It had a laid back atmosphere, wasn’t too crowded, the beaches were stunning and the food was top notch. Side note, if you’re most interested in Ubud, you can read my Ubud Travel Guide here.
Canggu is on the west coast of Bali, north of Seminyak. Fun fact, Canggu is pronounced “Chang-gu” instead of “Cang-gu”! As compared to Kuta or Seminyak, there is less traffic and has a smaller crowd. I didn’t rent a scooter (as I’m still afraid of it), but I did manage to Gojek my way around without an issue. Think of the Indonesian version of Uber and Grab. Gojek is a really useful app; it allows you to book bikes and get food delivered. The rides were really affordable, about SGD 1.50 and below. You can also use the Grab app. Of course, you could also rent a scooter to get around. Due to less traffic congestion, I think Canggu is a great place to practise and get comfortable with riding.
My first impression was that the places are a lot more spread out than I had expected, so walking from one place to another could take a while. There also aren’t any proper pavements to walk on and you’ll have to make way for bikes and other pedestrians, so walking times will be longer than planned too. Thus, I highly recommend Gojek to get around. Do note, there are certain areas that Gojek pick up is not allowed and you’ll definitely see some signs about it. However, I still did manage to find a rider who is willing to pick me up. Gocars, on the other hand, can be more tricky.
I spent 4 days in Canggu for a surf and yoga retreat (I attended this one). It was quite affordable and the accommodation was decent. It was slightly far away from the main stretch of cafes/bars/shops though. I had a surf class in the morning and a yoga class in the afternoon. However, if you plan your surf classes, yoga classes and accommodation yourself, it will be much cheaper (and I’d recommend that).
So, here’s my list of what to do, where to eat and where to stay!
Where To Stay In Canggu
For my last night in Canggu, I booked Kosone Hostel via Booking.com. It looked so good on the site! And it didn’t disappoint one bit in real life. This is the best hostel I’ve ever stayed in so far (and no, I’m not sponsored or exaggerating).
I stayed in a a 4 bunk bed female only dorm. The beds are larger than a typical single (I think it was a super single) and the sheets, comforter and pillows were top notch. I’m serious. I’m picky about pillows but man, this one was good. I also liked that there are curtains for each bed, so you do get some privacy. The rooms are all air conditioned and it feels clean and cosy. It felt like a beach resort, but at really affordable prices. I really loved my stay and can’t wait to go back.
- Facilities are all new and clean.
- Beds are clean and comfy.
- Located right at the main stretch so it’s just a walk out for food, old man’s and the beach.
- Showers have good water pressure and has hot water.
- They have a tap to refill your drinking water (really important plus for me!)
- There is a pool slide!
- There are 2 jacuzzis (on the second and third floor)
- Bean bags floating on the pool (need I say more?)
- Breakfast choices were amazing (I had the Eggs Benedict with Smoked Salmon! I’d recommend adding it into your booking)
- They offer free workout and yoga classes (check out the board in the common area for details! I did their CrossFit at 0830 and there was also Vinyasa yoga at 0930)
- Is slightly more expensive than a typical hostel (I paid about SGD 36 for a night + breakfast)
- No hairdryers (not really a con, but I wanted to let you know!)
What To Do in Canggu
Head to Batu Bolong Beach for the sunset
The sunsets here are amazing. But, let me warm you, they were really quick! The sun went below the horizon in what felt like a matter of minutes! I missed it the first day as I headed to use the washroom, and it was gone by the time I came out!
I’d suggest heading at about 5.30pm and set yourself down on one of the beach chairs or bean bags. Get yourself a coconut from the friendly store vendors (I got mine for IDR 20,000) and just chill. Nothing gets better than that.
Love Anchor Market
I read that this was a weekend only market, but I did see it open on the weekdays too. Here, you’d find shops selling clothing, bags, jewellery and more. It felt really touristy but I would still recommend you checking it out, especially the shops nearer the entrance.
When I was there, I got myself a crystal bracelet made with Howlite and Amethyst from Infinite Soul (they have a store near the entrance, beside the Rip Curl store). It is so beautiful and I got it for IDR 160,000 which is a great buy in my opinion. You can check out their Etsy here. I also purchased bamboo makeup remover cloths (IDR 50,000) and a natural crystal deodorant (IDR 40,000) from an eco friendly store at the front. I’ve tried them both out now, and do enjoy them!
Pura Tanah Lot Temple
I personally did not do this yet as I ran out of time. However, I’ve added it here as the images look so stunning. Many people suggest heading there for the sunset! Judging from pictures I’ve seen, it definitely gets the crowds but I think it is definitely worth checking out if you have time.
Read or work at a cafe
Canggu has seriously some of the prettiest cafes I’ve seen! I highly recommend spending some time in them. There is also has a thriving digital nomad community and if getting work done is your thing, check out the myriad of cafes Canggu has to offer. I have a list of the cafes I’ve enjoyed below.
Many people come to Canggu to surf the waves! You can try surfing at the 3 beaches, Batu Bolong Beach (near Old Man’s), Berawa Beach and Echo Beach (more suitable for intermediate surfers). You can simply drop by the booths at the beach to find a surfing instructor too.
Get your sweat on
I realised that CrossFit is a big thing in Bali! There are a few places in Canggu that are quite popular, such as CrossFit Wanderlust and S2S. I didn’t have time to check those out but I visited Bali MMA to try out their Muay Thai All Levels Class (it was IDR 250,000 for a day pass and IDR 50,000 to rent gloves). It was definitely an experience! Despite the larger class size, there was enough space to move around. I did not feel awkward or uncomfortable training there, even though I’m not too well verse with Muay Thai.
Ok, massages in Canggu are more expensive than in Ubud and Kuta area. I’m not too sure why. In Ubud and Kuta, I mostly paid IDR 75,000 for an hour of balinese massage. In Canggu, the prices were roughly above IDR 140,000. However, there is a specific massage offering here, mainly surfer’s massage. This focuses on the shoulder, back and legs. I had a go at it at Lotus Massage (around IDR 183,000) and it was alright, but I wouldn’t go back.
What I would recommend is to book yourself a go-massage! Gojek has another app, called Go-life. Here, you can request for massage and laundry! How cool. I tried it and it was lovely. The masseuse comes to your resort and does the massage on your bed so you can just doze off right after. Best part? It is only IDR 90,000 for 90 minutes! Do note that the app is only in Indonesian currently! So do get someone to help you (like I did) or google translate it. Trust me, the effort is worth it.
Where to Eat in Canggu
My favourite list. Let’s go!
The Shady Shack
I never thought I would say this, but, I think I fell in love with plant based food. I’ve never tried plant based cafes (also because I don’t think Singapore has many of them!) but Canggu flipped that around, starting with The Shady Shack. I was blown away by the large variety of vegan food offered! I had their Pillow Talk (sweet potato gnocchi with kale and a citrus sauce, IDR 85000) and it was so so so so good. I also tried their Vegan Cheeseburger (IDR 90,000), but it didn’t really blow my mind. I prefer the one from the place mentioned below.
Vegan fast food? Yes please. I had their Double Pleeseburger (IDR 60,000) with a side of Zucchini Chips (IDR 30,000). It was SO good. It didn’t even feel like it was plant based! Definitely tops the vegan cheese burger from The Shady Shack for me. Please, go give it a try. The zucchini chips were delicious too.
The menu here was definitely more unique than the other cafes I’ve been to. The interior is stunning and I felt extremely zen. After much consideration, I decided to go for the Polenta Pancakes with bacon and pumpkin. It was jaw dropping delicious. I’ve never had polenta (basically cornmeal), but this was definitely a great first experience. The pancakes were crispy on the outside, and the pairing of bacon, polenta and the maple syrup was the perfect blend of sweet and savoury. And it cost only IDR 75000!
This has an amazing range of breakfast food and smoothies! Also, the prices are slightly cheaper than most cafes! I was really spoilt for choice. Finally, I decided to go for an avocado toast with smoked salmon (I know, shocking choice that needed deliberation). It was yummy and for only IDR 55000. The interior decor is clean, minimal and fresh. A great place to chill and spend the afternoon.
If you want to try out some Indonesian food, I would recommend checking this warung out. I had their Ayam Penyet (fried chicken and rice with tempeh) and it was superb. My love for Ayam Penyet knows no bounds and I’ve tried tons. The one from this Warung was really good and exceeded my expectations.
Echo Beach Club
Grab a seat here around 5.30pm and you can get a lovely view of the sunset! They have a wide range of meat and fish for BBQ, and it was decently priced. I chose the Mahi Mahi as it was recommend, and no regrets. It was about IDR 80,000 I think! You also have access to their salad bar with any BBQ meals, so gear up for salads, rice, fries etc. Great deal with a view!
Dharma Coffee Canggu
This is a chill and zen coffee place that has air conditioning! Great for hiding from the heat. I love kombucha, and the ones here are more affordable than most cafes I’ve seen. I had the Grapes and Lavender flavour and it was pretty good!
There you have it, my ultimate guide to Canggu, Bali. I have fallen in love with Canggu and it’s my favourite area in Bali so far. It’s laid back and relaxed, with a great variety of food. A great place to recharge! I highly recommend adding Canggu to your itinerary if you’re planning to visit Bali!
Ubud is another part of Bali and it is also pretty amazing. To further plan your trip, you can read my Guide to Ubud Bali here!
Have you been to Canggu before? Any more recommendations?
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