Once a sleepy village, Canggu (pronounced Chang-goo) has recently emerged as the newest coolest neighbourhood in Bali – the it-destination where surfers, yogis and in-the-know expats come to hang out. From hip cafés, restaurants and surf shacks to eye-catching street art and stylish boutique villas, Canggu represents island boho-chic at its best.
What To Do
Surfers should start the day early to catch some waves; Echo Beach boasts powerful seas ideal for intermediate surfers, whilst the gentler waves at Batu Bolong Beach are more beginner-friendly. If surfing isn’t your thing, grab your sunnies and SPF50, and find a good spot at the beach to soak up your daily dose of vitamin D. Meanwhile, yogis should go check out The Practice Bali, a beautiful yoga studio located right in the heart of Canggu.
Where To Eat
Canggu’s independent café scene is thriving – and clean-living culture has most definitely taken up residence here! Try the vegetarian and vegan meals at Peloton Supershop and The Shady Shack; they’re all delicious, nutritious and totally Instagram-worthy.
For the ultimate smoothie or acai bowl, head to the Hawaiian-inspired Nalu Bowls, which has set up camp next to trendy co-working space Dojo Bali on Jalan Batu Mejan, just a few minutes walk from Echo Beach. Each of their acai bowls is filled with blended fruits topped with granola and coconut flakes – it’s pure heaven in a bowl… or should I say coconut shell?
For the best burgers in town, check out Old Man’s or Deus Ex Machina (which is also a motorcycle and clothing brand). The main street of Jalan Pantai Batu Bolong is dotted with casual cafés, with a laidback vibe reminiscent of cool neighbourhoods in Australia; places like Little Flinders Cafe, Montagu Sandwich Bar and Betelnut Cafe serve top quality cold-press espressos, with excellent food to match.
Make sure to hit The Lawn or Finns Beach Club for a sunset cocktail enjoyed whilst chilling out on one of their loungers – a totally groovy way to spend your late afternoon or early evening.
Where To Stay
Newly-opened resort The Slow is really changing the game in Canggu. This artsy boutique hotel features just 12 retro-modern suites with floor-to-ceiling windows and gorgeous interiors designed to showcase native, sustainable wood and stone; there’s also lush surrounding greenery, furniture and crafts produced by local artisans, cool art pieces from the owners’ personal collection, and music curated by LA-based Reverberation Radio.
For a more Balinese vibe, stay at Hotel Tugu, which elegantly highlights the traditional art, culture and soul of Indonesia. The beautiful estate has a private pool and garden, making it a haven for relaxation, yet it’s only a couple of steps from the beach too.
The COMO brand will be opening COMO Uma Canggu near Echo Beach in February 2018. It will offer wellness packages, from daily fitness classes to hands-on healing and holistic therapies.
One final tip: as with other places in Bali, Canggu has some strict rules on local transport. Although Ubers, GrabCars and non-local taxis are allowed to drop you off in Canggu, they are prohibited to pick you up from Canggu. If you want to travel from Canggu to other areas of Bali, instead take local transport, rent a scooter or organise a transfer with a private guide and driver.