Escape Bali’s Hustle And Bustle With 48 Hours In Canggu
Beyond the chaotic streets of Kuta lies an eclectic and quiet paradise.
As more accommodation pops up and creatives flock to its inviting spaces, it has a captivating character that makes it one of Bali’s lesser-known gems. The best thing is that Canggu is small, making it a great spot to discover in 48 hours.
Day one in Canggu
The Slow isn’t your usual Bali mega hotel – its raw concrete surfaces and organic wood interiors make it hip and modern – meaning you can keep the madness of Bali’s tourist hubs at bay with its trendy bar, restaurant and private pools. And, while you’re there, do some shopping at the hotel’s menswear store, NON-TYPE, designed by George Gorrow and Gareth Moody of Ksubi.
Start your night at The Slow’s Restaurant – it’s a great place to grab an inventive cocktail and sharing plate, like shrimp ceviche with plantain chips. After your starters, make room for authentic Indonesian cuisine at Warung Dandelion. Dandelion serves local dishes in a candle-lit garden fringed by rice fields, where rabbits bounce around your feet and shelves overflow with old books.
If you’re a couple of cocktails down, head to rock ‘n’ roll club Gimme Shelter, where there’ll likely be live music to drink a beer to. Or, if head-banging isn’t really your scene, there’s always something on at Old Man’s Bar. Old Man’s, with a beachfront beer garden, lights up every night with live bands and DJs.
Day two in Canggu
Shake off last night’s antics with an early morning yoga session. The Serenity Eco Guesthouse does 7.30am yoga sessions every morning that won’t break your Bali budget. And, at just 150m from Patu Bolong Beach, a post-yoga dip is a must before you shoot off to Crate Café for some much-needed fuel.
Everything at Crate is as photogenic as it is tasty, so treat yourself to a classic brekky treat like a colourful açaí bowl or towering plate of smashed avo.
Back at the beach, it’s time for some adventure. If the swell is good, try your hand at surfing at Batu Bolong Beach. Old Man’s Bar have boards and rashies for hire. Plus, there’s good beer if the waves aren’t pumping.
For lunch, visit the locally infamous Betelnut Café. From the Big Betelnut Salad to their nasi gila, a red-rice nasi goreng-nasi campur hybrid, you won’t regret the 10-or-so bucks it costs.
Venturing from the town centre, head off for a tour of Green School. A 30-minute cab or scooter ride will take you out the front of the 70-plus mind-boggling bamboo structures that weave over the Ayung River. On your tour, you’ll learn about the locally grown bamboo and the school’s sustainability projects.
Back at Batu Balong, settle in for dinner at a place that encapsulates Canggu’s hipster reputation: The Temple of Enthusiasm is a motorbike shop/tattoo parlour/bar/restaurant run by Deus Ex Machina. There’s something for everyone on the menu, like vegetarian spaghetti, pan-roasted salmon, and a ridiculous 800g rib eye.
Later, stroll around the corner to Pretty Poison, where cold beers are served around a “dog bowl” pool, where skaters from around the world come to shred. Even if you don’t skate, Pretty Poison’s legendary parties will keep you occupied.
Canggu isn’t known for its nightlife so, if you want to keep going, Sandbar is the only place open till late. It plays mostly hip-hop and R&B in a unique location on the rocks.
Day three in Canggu
A quick walk from Batu Balong will take you to The Shady Shack, a white weatherboard café shaded by trees. Enjoy a very Bali breakfast of smoothie bowls and fresh garden rolls, then top it off with an irresistible durian ice block from Paleta’s Wey, only five minutes’ walk down the road.
Or, for your last stop, jump in a cab and head to Peleton Supershop. This vegan eatery will convert carnivores, with the likes of sweet potato fries and their marathon breakfast place. Don’t let the vibes of this bike shop come café relax you too much – you’re an hour away from the airport, so call a taxi with plenty of time to spare.
(Lead image: Fabian Le Jeune / Flickr)