To understand why Canggu (pronounced chahng-goo) is luring travelers away from Bali’s overcrowded Kuta and Seminyak, let’s take a look at the monikers Canggu has earned in the last few years—hipster Bali, Ubud by the sea, and little Australia.
Just 20 minutes north of Seminyak, Canggu is a coastal village that used to be the secret spot of surfers. Their bohemian, artsy vibe is influenced by the likes of Sydney, Melbourne, Mykonos, Costa Rica, and Tulum. While Canggu is no longer a big secret, their establishments are still pricier than other mainstream locations in Bali. If you’re considering visiting Canggu, there are plenty of fun things to do.
The coastline of Canggu is full of surf breaks. You may choose from any of the following surf-friendly beaches: Mengening Beach (south of Tanah Lot), Seseh Beach, Pererenan Beach, Echo Beach (also known as Batu Mejan), Batu Bolong, and Berawa Beach (bordering the north of Seminyak’s Batu Belig Beach). You will see a lot of foreign surfers looking cool and hip driving their scooter with one hand and holding their surfboard with the other.
2. Café hopping
There’s a growing number of cafés in Canggu’s neighborhood. There’s something for every personality—the staunch vegan, the flexitarian, ladies who brunch, the Instagram-obsessed foodie, the digital nomad looking for a place to work and drink coffee all day, and the unabashed meat eater. Click here for a list of suggestions.
3. Graffiti appreciation
Canggu’s street art scene is burgeoning. Whether you prefer renting your own scooter or would rather take leisurely walks, keep your eyes peeled for graffiti created by both local and foreign artists. They’re everywhere—the streets, on walls of abandoned buildings, establishment murals, galleries, and down to little nooks and crannies you may not easily notice.
4. Temple run
Bali’s most popular and most photographed temple, Tanah Lot is a 45-minute drive from Batu Bolong. This rock formation is home to the ancient Hindu pilgrimage temple.
If you want a yoga escape that’s in the jungle away from it all, go to Ubud. But if you want your Eat Pray Love yoga story near the beach, then you better book a Canggu villa. There are many Canggu yoga studios to choose from, like The Practice, Desa Seni Yoga, Inner Temple Retreat, Pranava Yoga, and Serenity Yoga.
6. Weekend markets
More than the shopping, Canggu’s weekend markets make the perfect venue to interact with fellow travelers and Canggu locals. There are three to choose from: Love Anchor Bazaar in Batu Bolong (open daily with special events on weekends), Samadi Market near Echo Beach (every Sunday), and Old Man’s Market in Batu Bolong (every last Saturday of the month). Don’t expect to find cheap bargains, though. The local produce, clothing, and accessories (like those popular rattan bags) are much more expensive in Canggu than the ones you will find in Ubud, Seminyak, and Kuta.
7. Beach sans the crowd
Not into surfing? No problem! Find a beachfront along Berawa and Batu Bolong, where you can swim and tan all day in peace. Stay away from tourist trap resorts where there’s an entrance fee, private pool, and overpriced drinks—unless that’s your jam, of course. If you’re a budget traveler, you’re better off laying out your sarong on public beach zones where there are more affordable food shacks.
Have you ever been to Canggu, dear readers? What spots did you enjoy the most?