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A short guide to Canggu in Bali

Bali has been popular holiday spot for decades, growing at enormous speed while it’s tourism industry continues to increase year on year. Travellers who happened to descend on Bali just 10-20 years ago would have seen a very different island to the one we now know, with the entire island made up of local villages and communities separated only by small country roads. Rice paddy fields were everywhere and the beaches were long and glistening and peaceful. Today, the most popular areas are unrecognisable as tourism has taken over. The villages (that once were) spanning along the coastline from the airport have experienced incredible growth. Kuta, the district where the airport is based, is now a mass “jungle” town of hotels, bars, restaurants, and clubs – Bali’s party central for the younger generation. Legian (north of Kuta) can be considered the family version of Kuta. And then Seminyak; a bit more upmarket and more suited to couples. Basically, these “villages” no longer exist – they have become towns where their boundaries are unknown as the growth means they’ve now all merged together. The growth continues, up the coast. North of Seminyak is Canggu, the new favourite region of Bali that’s developing faster than most people would care to admit. What’s Canggu all about? It’s quite a large region that initially became famous for it’s chilled out surf scene, great waves, grungy beach bars, and endless stunning picturesque rice paddy fields. How about Canggu in 2018? What was a scene for the chilled out beach bum has now transformed into the home of the “hipster” with thousands of holidaymakers, travellers and expats alike flocking for the experience like no other on the Island of Gods. And, as usual, when the tourists descend, the region grows. Fast. Canggu is now a mix of local farmers and eateries, hipster foreigners with a liking for yoga and vegan food, and high end beach clubbers with money to burn. Still mostly surrounded by the lush rice fields, the Canggu district has a unique vibe like no other in Bali. Hangouts in Canggu Eateries There’s just far too many places to mention and an abundance of independent healthy eating establishments in the area. Of the most popular, we must mention Betelnut Cafe – a laid back, rustic shack type of cafe restaurant serving burgers, smoothies, salads, and Indonesian cuisine. The owner, Justin, is incredibly friendly and well known in and around Canggu. Echo Beach Club, reknowned for it’s famous BBQ at sunset. Every evening as the sun sets over the ocean, their barbecue is set up with an array of the freshest seafood and imported meats. Well priced, the salads and side dishes are “all you can eat”. Beach clubs Canggu has become a popular location for high-end beach clubs. The latest addition in 2017 was La Brisa, a trendy yet sustainable eco-friendly venue that’s radiating true Balinese character. Built using reclaimed wood from more than 500 old fisherman boats, and expertly hand decorated, La Brisa serves up some of the lip smackingly delicious food and cocktails. Just next door is Finn’s Beach Club, a great place to laze away the day in the sun from the comfort of single and double day beds on a white sand beach. It also has it’s own 30 metre infinity edge pool with swim up pool bar (and underwater speakers). Finn’s structure incorporates a lot of bamboo and was designed to allow every guest to have a guaranteed sunset view. Nightlife Old Man’s in Canggu has been around for years and still remains a top venue for those late night party people. Located right on the beach, this open top establishment offers fantastic ocean views and massive burgers, pastas and more, tropical cocktails and, of course, ice cold beer. Another famous spot is Deus Ex Machina, known as the “Temple of Enthusiasm”. Every Sunday, Deus gets packed full with expats, travellers and locals to have fun as bands take the stage and cocktails are served ice cold under the starry skies of Bali. Canggu continues to become one of the most popular areas in Bali for holidaymakers, travellers, and expats. Mark Tulloch is Co-Founder at Asia Holiday Retreats. Asia Holiday Retreats a 5-star travel booking agency offering luxury villa rentals across Bali, Thailand, and Sri Lanka. If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.

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  1. I am so surprised we missed this area Mark. Been to Seminyak and Legian down the ride a bit but we never made it to Canggu. I love the vibe though; chill, and with some local flavor too. This seems like an ideal Bali town. Not overrun like Kuta but not too remote like Northern parts of the island either. Thanks much :)


  2. Canggu was great experience for us. We have 15 days trip and we enjoyed a food. This place is less crowded and visitors delights who loves to hangout in a peace.

  3. Regarding the best food, we second The Echo Beachclub. The freshest catch of the day is available, it’s SO delicious. For vegans (and Canggu is a vegan town!) there is an unlimited salad buffet available which has endless choices too!

  4. I was in Bali twice last year and it’s definitely one of the more touristy places I’ve been. It really surprised me when I first got to Kuta … but I did enjoy Legian and Seminyak. When I went to Canggu with my girlfriend, in October, it was way overcrowded with tourists in the bars and on the beach. There were even traffic jams when getting there and leaving because of all the people. So there’s that … however, there are some really beautiful views there and some of these places warrant a visit. Just make sure to pick the right time to go otherwise it might be a different experience from “chill” vibes to “way too many people let’s get out of here” vibes.

    1. I love the vibes here in Canggu! I totally understand not wanting to be inundated with tourists but you have to remember that this is one of the most beautiful spots in the world. It’s a great place to meet new people and it’s definitely worth a visit when you come to Bali!

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