13 Nov CANGGU: GUIDE TO A MINDFUL GETAWAY IN BALI
Written by Maud Leger ・ 5 mins
A little hipster, a little wild, Canggu – pronounced ‘Chan-goo’ – has fast become the number one Balinese destination for young professionals thirsty for self-discovery, good food and chilled times.
The ‘Gu is located on the Balinese west coast, a 45 minute drive from the international airport in Denpasar, just before the busy Seminyak. A few years ago, Canggu used to be a surfer-only destination. Today, it’s brimming with stylish cafés, designer boutiques and yoga studios. Let me take you on a mindful but playful voyage to Canggu.
The sun is up early, and so should you be. Start the day with an energising yoga class at the stunning yoga Shala, The Practice. Breathe and stretch in this cathedral-like studio made of bamboo – it’s magnificent! Walk to the beach and jump into the waves before heading to brekkie. You can expect Melbourne-quality coffee all over Canggu. I love to sit on the porch of the Shaddy Shack and sip on an iced coconut coffee (with a bamboo straw, of course) watching the world go by. Gyspy café, next door, makes a nourishing and creative breakfast to content vegan and meat-eaters alike.
Get creative mid-morning by making your own silver jewellery to take home at Canggu Jewellery on Batu Bolong (the main street). If you are living the ‘sweat life’ even on holidays, try a dance or Pilates class at The Canggu Studio or lift some weights at Crossfit Wanderlust.
Head to Café Vida for lunch. The menu is inventive and delicious, rich with organic and locally sourced produce. The café is designed to look like a traditional Balinese house, so you feel like you are in a local’s courtyard. Try their homemade kombucha: grape and sage, although very surprising, was my favourite flavour! Pasta is made from scratch on site, and won’t make you regret choosing Bali over Italy for your holidays. The soba noodle salad is moreish. You can also get a spot-on bulletproof coffee at Vida’s.
In the afternoon, take yourself on a bike ride around town. Canggu is quite spread out; you will see local homes right next to the busy streets, and you will be wowed by the rice fields just behind the beaches. Because you are already on the road, take yourself to a very special place: Sukhavati. Only 20min away from the beach, Sukhavati is an ayurvedic centre (ancient indian holistic medicine) where you can spend a few hours, a day or a full week to rejuvenate. This 5-star spa hosts an exquisite, lush garden, a yoga Shala, a treatment centre and a complex of luxury villas. Treat yourself to a cleansing ayurvedic 4-hand massage with healing oils that you will receive in the spa overlooking the river. Then rest by the pool with a fresh smoothie. Time stops at Sukhavati. If you have the budget, stay for a deeper detox tailored-made by the resident ayurvedic doctor and ask to see the Balinese priest – a rare opportunity to experience the true healing power of Bali, an experience I will never forget.
Catch some waves at Old Man’s beach! Whether you are a complete beginner or need a refresher, do a private surf lesson. It will cost you $30-50 and you will stay safe and have loads of fun. Agus and Hari are very knowledgeable coaches (see whatsapp number below – all locals use whatsapp to communicate with tourists).
Agus +62 819 99 88 20 85
Enjoy the last sun rays at The Lawn, a beautiful beach club with good tunes and good vibes. If you are after something less crowded, grab a cocktail (mocktails are also excellent!) at the Ji Terrace, rooftop bar overlooking the Indian Ocean. If you are still full of salt and sand, and want something low key, watch the sunrise with a coconut filled with rum in hand at one of the cafés located on the grass in front of Batu Bolong beach.
Head to The Slow for dinner. Elegant food, excellent service and minimalist architecture. You will probably want everything on the menu, so go with a few friends and share.
On Tuesdays, Lacalita on the main street offers a special: tacos and margaritas. Good atmosphere! Try Ithaka Warung, the servings are very generous and the food is delicious. I love the eggplant balls, the gazpachos and the satay tempeh.
Deus Ex Macchina and Luigi’s have live music, a good choice for later in the evening.
There is an artisan market on the weekend, near Betelnut café (another good choice for food). You can find delicate jewellery, leather goods, clothes and accessories. Bargain!
You can find delicate designer clothes as well as more casual wear. Browse around, it’s always fun.
On a budget, try The Farm, a charming hostel, or Serenity Guest House (and yoga space) , which is owned by a Balinese lady. Otherwise, browse Airbnb for rare finds.
Close to everything and the middle range, you can stay in a Balinese bungalow at Calm Tree Bungalows or Frii Hotel.
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