What is there to do and see in Canggu Bali
Decades ago, the first area in South Bali that was developed for tourism was Kuta. From then onwards, tourism expanded along that coastline both towards the north as towards the south.
Northwards (or up) from Kuta first came Legian, then Seminyak and now the most recent addition is Canggu. (pronounce: Tsjang-goo).
Why should you visit this new hotspot? What is there to do and see in Canggu?
Rice paddies, private villas, beaches, surf dudes and hipsters
Canggu is an 8 km long coastal stretch with black sand beaches north of Seminyak and south of the famous Tanah Lot temple.
This small village lies still largely in a rural area with beautiful rice paddies (take a ride along the northern end of Jalan Pantai Pererenan), but it’s being developed fast.
The beaches are not particularly good for swimming, but are popular amongst surfers (Surf Canggu). Beach tips: Berawa (also for swimming), Nelayan (watch the local fishing fleet, great sunset photo opps), Echo Beach (for surfing and partying), Batu Bolong Beach (lively) and Pererenan (quiet).
Since the area is not fully developed yet, prices are still low, compared to e.g. Seminyak. That’s one of the reasons that Canggu is popular with many expats who choose to live there. A large number of the villas here are owned by overseas nationals.
At the moment it is a good location not too far away from the hustle and bustle from neighboring areas like Seminyak (20 minutes away) and Kuta (45 minutes away), yet providing a more laid-back lifestyle and pastorale scenery.
In Canggu you still have a chance to observe the daily rythms of Balinese village life.
If you are interested in renting or maybe even buying a villa, check out the following websites:
I sure considered it, but I changed my mind, as I explained here.
Since the roads in Canggu are not well interconnected, getting from one place to the other may involve quite some detours. That’s why walking along the beach can go way faster.
The roads that are there are narrow, filled with potholes, busy (scooters!), hilly and sometimes they are just sort of goats roads cutting through rice paddies.
Taxis can be hard to find in this area, so most travel tends to be by private car or motorcycle. There are (more expensive) fixed-price taxis available though. Or you can try Uber, ofcourse.
But make no mistake. Even though distances are not big (if you were able to travel in a more or less straight line), the underdeveloped infrastructure in Canggu plus the traffic jams along Bali’s South coast, make travelling by car a hassle. No problem if you are there just for a day or a week, but if you stay longer, please take this into account.
We did not rent a scooter, but traveling by scooter probably goes way smoother. Just be careful in traffic!!!!
As said, this area is popular amongst surfers. It’s also a hipster haven. That means that it will not be difficult in Canggu to get your yoga-, meditation or massage-cravings fixed.
There’s a golf course nearby (Nirwana Bali Golf Course in Tanah Lot). And there are stables in the area that can set you up for some horseback riding along the beach.
Street art and temples
If you pay attention, you can spot quite a lot of street art in Canggu.
For culture buffs: there are several temples in the Canggu area or nearby:
- Tanah Lot Temple
- Pura Batumejan
- Pura Dalem Perancak
Canggu’s hotspots: where to eat, drink, chill and shop
- Deus Ex Machina – Temple of Enthusiasm (motorcycles, surfboards, lunch, coffee, burgers)
- Echo Beach House (bar, beach, surfers)
- Cloud 9 (hangout, surfers, health food)
- Old Man’s (beach, lunch, cafe, beer)
- Cafe Canggu
- Warung Agung Kayu Putih (watch the sunset on the beach)
- Monsieur Spoon (French Bakery Cafe, garden)
- Betelnut Cafe
- El Jefe Jose Cubanos (cafe, burgers)
- Bungalow Living (shop and cafe) – see my blogpost about shopping in Bali
- Hungry Bird (coffee, cafe)
- La Laguna (bohemian gypsy-style restaurant-bar and hangout) – separate blogpost coming up soon
- Pretty Poison (bar, skaters)
- Crate Cafe (breakfast and coffee)
- Canteen Cafe Canggu
- Grocer & Grind (restaurant)
- 707 Beachberm (beach cafe)
- Lacalita (Mexican food)
- Nalu Bowls (healthy breakfasts)
- Black Shores (bar)
- La Dunia (restaurant-bar)
It does not take a genius to see what’s happening in Canggu. It’s not the question wether the gorgeous rice paddies will survive the development of the area. No, the only question is when exactly they will have disappeared completely.
This article talks about those concerns.
Check out Curly Traveller’s Island Guide of Bali to find all the ‘places-to-be’ in Canggu.
Visit this website to get another overview of shops, restaurants and hangouts in Canggu.
Have you visited Canggu? Any other cool places to add to my list?
What is your favorite area on Bali?