As some of you may or may not know, I am travelling Asia on a one-way ticket from London for the rest of this year and who knows how long in 2020. Only time will tell. It was an easy decision for me when I weighed up the pros and cons. It was more of a now or never decision that lead us to biting the bullet and booking our one-way ticket to our first stop, Bali.
Deciding on Bali as the first stop was pretty easy to, it was top of the bucket list and seemed the perfect place to start the trip on a relaxing/settling in note. Which it has proved itself to be.
The very first stop on the Bali itinerary. A south coast village on the Indonesian island. It is surrounded by beautiful rice paddies, breathtaking beaches and a stones throw away from the popular tourist places such as Seminyak and Kuta. We chose Canggu as it provided us with much needed R&R as it very chilled and quiet in the area.
Personally, I prefer Canggu to Seminyak and Kuta simply for the reason that it is a lot more chilled and away from the touristy scene. There is still a bit of traffic and noise here in Canggu but it’s the perfect place away from the tourist hub that is close enough if you want to pop to Kuta or Seminyak. If you’re looking for the same balance on your Bali trip, Canggu is somewhere I’d highly recommend on staying. We found the most beautiful villa on airbnb (linked here and for £25 off your first Airbnb booking click here) for our first ten days on the island. It was out of the typical ‘backpackers budget’ but a little treat to ourselves to allow us to kick back and settle in.
Managing to fit everything in to the ten days was a bit of a challenge, but most of what we wanted to do/see was checked off the list and not having done it all gives us all the more reason to come back! You see what I did there. Yes, we will definitely be back. An itinerary didn’t seem necessary in Canggu as everything is so close if you hire a scooter, so our days were loose and relaxed.
Once accommodation is paid for, Canggu itself is pretty cheap. Eating at local restaurants in between nights at the more popular cafes allows you to balance your budget. You can eat out for 30-40K IDR each (£2-3) and that will get your some local dishes such as Nasi or Mie Goreng (fried rice/noodles with choice of vegetables/meat with a fried egg on top) with a drink. Bintang is the local beer, super cheap and a pretty decent drink averaging at around 25-30K IDR (£1.30).
For the more popular cafes and restaurants you’ll be looking at around 70-100K IDR each (£4-6), which will get you a lovely meal with a drink. Again, still pretty affordable and there’s so many restaurants here you’ll want to try.
Other than food, the daily spends were on drinks/coffees and petrol. Both are very affordable, with a full tank of petrol costing roughly 20-30K IDR (£1.20-1.70) which will last you a few days or more depending on your journeys.
So overall, food and daily spends are pretty cheap and anything you need is pretty accessible by scooter.
Below are the things I would recommend to anyone and everyone that wants to visit in Canggu.
1.Echo Beach – grab a beanbag, a Bintang or a coconut and watch the sun go down. The cocktails at La Brisa are insane! Definitely recommend. They even have big Friday and Saturday parties!
2. Hire a moped – by far the best way to get around and visit other popular areas of Bali (Seminyak, Kuta). Super affordable, around 60-70K IDR (£3-4) and the roads in Canggu are very safe
3. Head to the north of Canggu – Tanah Lot is a Hindu temple that sits just offshore on a rocky outcrop, stunning views and a fab way to spend a morning. Also a little secret tip, visit Pasut Beach for those insane sunset instagram photos.
4. Love Anchor market – a local market selling everything from clothes, handmade jewellery and souvenirs. It’s pretty busy all day, so I would recommend heading there in the morning. Also, make sure to barter whatever you wish to buy. 9 times out of 10 you’ll get things way cheaper than offered
5. Samadi Bali – here you can do yoga, eat good food or visit the Sunday market. We visited for the market and it was worth it. They sell fresh groceries, locally made sweet treats, spices, oils and gorgeous jewellery
6. Seseh Beach – another great place to watch the sunset or go for a beach walk. Seseh beach offers black sands, peace and quiet – super relaxing and a great place to spend sunset
7. AND FINALLY EAT – Canggu by far has the best food in Bali and they have so many nice restaurants with different cuisines to choose from. We couldn’t even fit in everywhere we wanted to try. Check out the list below.
1. Lola’s Shakin All Day – they great all day brunch menu and very affordable
2. The Loft Canggu – a Scandic/Latin American inspired menu. The chicken tacos are to die for
3. Lacalita Mexican – great Mexican food and cocktails close to Canggu beach
4. Copenhagen – a Scandic inspired all day brunch/lunch menu with ‘build your own’ food boards
5. Luigi’s – rated number one pizza restaurant in Canggu, and it’s obvious why. They have amazing food and a great evening vibe. They do GF pastas to!
6. GIVE – a non-profit vegan cafe. Order the peach iced tea, you won’t regret it
7. Tropikale – delicious hearty health food restaurant
8. BGS – a trendy surf cafe and lifestyle shop
9. Mustache Coffee – a great morning coffee spot. The almond milk iced lattes are a dream
10. Secret Spot Bali – Mouth-watering vegan/vegetarian restaurant with other restaurants around the island. They have just opened a new restaurant in Canggu and its definitely worth trying out
11. Black Sand Brewery – the only brewery house in Bali, I know, cool huh. This place serves up some amazing brews and great food. They serve tapas style dishes and also have wine and cocktails. A seriously good vibe. They held a 50 litre beer challenge which we took part in along with 20 others visiting Bali. All the beer was free and meeting the team at Black Sand and people from across the world was such a great experience. Definitely recommend!
12. The Lawn Canggu – if you want something a bit fancier then this is your place. With fancy cocktails, a beautiful view for sunset and movie nights, this place has a bit of everything for everyone. The prices aren’t extortionate, still very cheap in comparison to prices we’re used to, but a little bit more on the higher end of the price range – around £7-8 a cocktail. You can grab cheaper alternatives and chill there for the day to
Canggu is a great place to chill out and relax. The pace of Canggu is very different to anywhere else I’ve been. The slow moving days soaking up the culture, sun and sights see you through to relaxed evenings in a beach bar or hearty restaurant. Super relaxed and the best start to the Indonesia itinerary.
It’s sad to say goodbye to beautiful Canggu, but the adventure must continue. Will see you in the next stop, Ubud.
Until then, catch up with my travels on Instagram @meganmccoig!