Authored by Diane Wuthrich (Contributor)
Canggu, as they say, is the new Seminyak of Bali and this hotspot located in the south of Bali is the newest area to discover on the Indonesian island.
In Canggu, there are three surfing beaches to choose from Canggu’s Echo beach, Old Man’s, and Berawa; tons of hip restaurants and bars, fantastic food, and a trendy surfer vibe that even non-surfers will love.
Canggu, Bali is a relatively new development, although it’s multiplying there’s a lot to love about it especially if you’d like to experience something different from flashy Seminyak.
For first time travellers visiting Canggu, here’s the lowdown on everything you need to know for your trip to Paradise.
Travel Smart: Tips for travelling in Canggu
Just like the other touristy areas in Bali, Canggu is no different when it comes to the language. English is considered the third language of the Balinese, which means that getting around, shopping, and ordering food is relatively easy. Due to a large Australian population, locals in Canggu know how to speak English quite well.
It’s always better to have cash on hand whenever travelling around in Canggu. While there are ATM’s all over, be sure to use ATM’s that are connected to a bank or one that’s enclosed in glass for security.
Card skimming is a widespread practice in Bali, so use your credit card and ATM sparingly or only for emergencies. It’s highly recommended to always have 10,000 up to 100,000 IDR in notes. However, most establishments accept card, except for little warungs.
What to Pack for Canggu
Generally, Bali’s weather is warm and tropical throughout the year. Pack lightly for Canggu which can get humid and hot even during the rainy months of October to November and January to April.
Don’t forget to bring protection from the sun: wide-brimmed hats, sunnies, and sunblock will come in handy, especially if you plan to spend a lot of time in Canggu’s beaches.
Getting Around in Canggu
The best way to get around Canggu is by motorbike or scooter. The most straightforward model of motorcycle available to rent is the Scoopy, which runs on an automatic transmission. But if you don’t feel comfortable about driving a motorbike, you can rent a bicycle for as low as 20,000 IDR per day.
Either way, make sure that you always wear a helmet; this isn’t negotiable, as it’s not uncommon for people to get into accidents in Canggu, especially when passing through the notorious shortcut area or when it’s dark. Unfortunately, many visitors have had to learn the hard way in Canggu or anywhere in the world for that matter, that you can’t drive when drunk.
If you prefer to get around by car, you can either rent a car for the day (ideal if you will be visiting several destinations in a day), use the Go-Jek app (to hire an on-demand motorbike service), or use Uber do use it discreetly (it’s generally not permitted in Canggu).
Visitors to Canggu can usually be described as one (or more) of these: yogis, surfers, and digital nomads. It’s quickly gained popularity among the digital nomad crowd.
Wi-Fi is abundant and fast enough for online work; most places, including restaurants, bars, hostels & villas are all already equipped with the internet so that you won’t have a problem.
If you are doing remote work and staying for more than two weeks, consider applying for a membership at Dojo Bali, the hippest co-workers spot in Canggu. Located a minute’s walk from Echo Beach, Dojo Bali is a community of remote workers and digital nomads; It’s also a great place to meet other travellers and inspiring people this side of the world. Who knows – it might just be the place where you could conceive your next big business idea!
Safety in Canggu
Canggu is generally a safe place to travel. However, there are certain precautions to take, especially for solo female travellers.
It’s never advisable to walk the streets at night alone, especially in unpopulated areas. If you’re caught on a night out and aren’t sure how to get home or are too intoxicated to ride a bicycle (like I was a few times), you can ask a local to drop you back if it isn’t too far away.
Do this and give a tip – most of the locals are friendly and take pleasure in helping a traveller.
The street, Deus Ex Machina has been the spot of many reported muggings among female travellers, so be careful.
Another place you should practice caution for your safety is the beach because Canggu’s beaches have a powerful current, which makes it a favourite among pro surfers but not if you’re out to enjoy a leisurely swim, as lifeguards are rare in the area.
If you want to enjoy the sun and swim, you’re better off booking accommodations with a pool because the beach isn’t friendly enough for just wading.
Where to Stay in Canggu
If you intend to do a lot of surfing or yoga, best to stay in accommodations that are close to them, so you can save time and money on transportation costs.
Many villas also rent out rooms so that you can share a space with other travellers. The best places to stay are around Pererenan, Berawa Beach, Batu Bolong, and Echo beach – these areas are close to where the action is.
What to Eat
No matter what diet needs you to have, there is a wide range of restaurants in Canggu to cater to your liking. From Aussie brunches, delicious smoothie bowls, authentic Balinese food, vegan options and everything else in between! Some of the restaurants you shouldn’t miss include:
- Echo Beach barbecue (some non-descript stands selling inexpensive, fresh seafood)
- Crate Café
- Café Organic
- Milk & Madu
- Warung Verona
- Betelnut Café
- Nalu Bowls
Activities are Plenty
There are many things to do and see while you’re in Canggu. It’s a great place for relaxed, tropical vibes, but there are also many places that have a conducive working atmosphere if you’re looking to be productive during your stay.
Surfing and yoga are very popular – if you’ve never done these activities before, Canggu is perfect for getting some lessons in. You can find surf schools by asking locals or walking around Echo beach. For yoga, Samadi Bali is the best place in Canggu – they have a lovely yoga studio surrounded by lush greens. The Practice and Serenity Eco Guesthouse and Yoga are also good choices.
Canggu’s beautiful sunsets are best enjoyed with a refreshing drink. Head over to The Lawn, La Laguna, Old Man’s, and La Brisa for great views and a terrific menu of nibbles and drinks. For those looking for some R&R, you’ll find several world-class spas peppered throughout Canggu. If you’re looking to venture out on some day trips, here are some places you visit from Canggu:
- Sekumpul waterfalls
- Nusa Penida
- Tanah Lot Temple
After your visit to Canggu, you’ll realise why so many people end up staying for a long time, and I can hope you found this information helpful for when you are travelling in Canggu, Bali!