The influx of tourists in Bali is not slowing down any, and these days many sleepy towns are transforming into hip hoods. This is certainly the case with the seaside town of Canggu. Just 20 minutes north of the bustling Seminyak, Canggu offers a mix of chill surfer vibes, luxe villas, exciting restaurants, and Balinese grace. Canggu is the new hipster favourite, still a little low on the radar but not for long. It’s not as easy to get around Canggu compared to the likes of Kuta, but with a bike, it’s a breeze. When you’ve got your wheels, put your hair in a man-bun or cut the edges of your crop top into frills, here are some of the cool things to check out in Canggu including places I enjoyed myself during my week in Bali.
Boutique Shops in Canggu
The eclectic young crowd drawn to this part of Bali are obsessed with aesthetics. It’s no wonder that there was a slew of great design and fashion boutiques all over Canggu.
For a relaxed mid-afternoon activity, my favourite to-go place was Quince. The store-cum-cafe offers thoughtfully selected handmade homeware that would add sweetness and texture to your home. Whenever I was in the mood for some snack, I would order the healthy organic dishes and flavoured kombucha here. They were superb!
Horn Emporium was another favourite of mine that offered a mix of bold one-of-a-kind pieces for your home and wardrobe.
Bungalow Living, on the other hand, has a more subdued but equally bohemian take on interiors with woven pillows, beaded chandeliers, and decorative ethnic jewellery crafted out of shell and raffia.
Down by the Beaches of Canggu
Canggu has a few beaches to choose from, each offering something different to the curious traveller. There’s a healthy share of surfers here that take to the waves on Berawa Beach, Echo Beach and Batu Bolong Beach. Since the beaches here tend to have strong currents, swimming is mostly prohibited except for Nelayan Beach. You will be able to find local fishermen and seaside communities. I preferred giving the sea activities a miss and went to enjoy the ocean from the shore instead.
Echo Beach / CC 2.0 / Richard Schneider
CC 2.0 / bruno kvot
Not a single regret for my pick of the Echo Beach.
The lovely beach bars and restaurants along the beach were precisely what I was looking for. We had a wonderful time feasting on the freshest seafood from the nearby waters. Some favourite places I tried at Echo Beach include Gypsy Kitchen and Bar for filling burgers and Monggo Bar & Restaurant for an ice-cold Bintang in a down-to-earth setting.
Cool Restaurants and Cafes in Canggu
It’s safe to say that Bali has emerged as a power player in the food and beverage scene, and Canggu is right up there with the best of what the island has to offer. I love Canggu for its hip, casual eateries that are right on the pulse of the latest trends.
Crate Cafe is one of my top favourites. This spot offers Millennials the right formula for that perfect Instagram shot: gorgeous smoothie bowls, latte art, and industrial chic interiors.
Another hotspot I discovered was Peloton Supershop with a plethora of fantastic plant-based dishes with an artistic plating. The daytime menu cannot get more creative with vegan nasi campur, raw lettuce tacos, and creamy lasagne served with organic coffees and ayurvedic teas.
Milu by Nook
As Canggu can get a little congested these days, Milu by Nook was one of the spots I would return to when I was feeling low-key. Overlooking the lush green rice fields, this open-air cafe is decorated with earthy design elements like hanging plants and oversized woven lamps. Must-orders here include the marinated tuna poke bowl and the best-selling crunchy chicken salad.
Private Villas in Bali
If you’re looking to experience Bali from a private villa, Canggu has a multitude of great options that are affordable – even the ones with private plunge pools!
Wishing to immerse myself in the creative world of Canggu, I booked a room at the boutique accommodation called The Slow. This stylish spot is an art gallery, event space, bar, and restaurant that features work from international artists and experimental food from Chef Shannon Moran.
Another favourite that I explored was Desa Seni, offering a more local experience with antique Javanese houses that are artistically decorated with antiques and collectables. On top of that, Desa Seni also offers yoga classes, yoga retreats, calming spa treatments, and healthy organic eats. It was a rejuvenating stay at Desa Seni, allowing me to rediscover myself in the tranquil ambience.
Nature in Canggu
Canggu is also where you will find the famous Balinese rice terraces and the epic sunset on Tanah Lot. There’s lots of beautiful natural settings around Canggu, so get on your bike and explore, meet locals, get to know Bali.
CC 2.0 / alex hanoko
CC 2.0 / Niek van Son
Best time to go to Bali
Canggu is indeed one of Bali’s coolest destinations and latest happenings. Those looking for a vibrant party landscape should come during May, June, and July when tourists flock to the island to get high on parties. Surfers, on the other hand, will find that May-October brings the best waves.
Getting around Canggu
Getting around the area is easy as taxi cars and motorcycles are almost everywhere. But if you’re feeling a little more adventurous, rent a scooter for more freedom to get around during the trip.