If Kuta was the drunk-party girl, Ubud is the hippy saving-the-whales artist so Canggu is the effortlessly cool friend you want to hate but you just can’t. This place is undoubtedly Bali’s hottest neighbourhood right now. With amazing health cafes, yoga and surf camps and an actual decent cup of coffee, without all the usual touristy crap this is somewhere you can’t help but fall in love with. I mean Jonny had to forcibly remove me eventually, I didn’t want to leave, he fully made me. Blame him.
Don’t expect much culture and variety in this post, I warn you straight up it’s all about the food today. You are literally spoilt for choice for places to eat here, it’s a foodies dream, it’s my dream. More importantly after drowning in Nasi Gorengs and fish BBQs finally I was looking at menus with actual gluten free options where a salad wasn’t just shredded carrot and a cucumber on a lettuce leaf. The vibe here is very chilled and effortlessly cool, probably something to do with everyone being a surfer or a yoga teacher, but the best thing is it doesn’t have that stuck up clique feel that so many try hard ‘cool places’ do, you know when you walk down the street and everyones judging you because your outfit isn’t 123years old.
I’m not going to lie, one of the main reasons we came back was for the food, especially at Crate Café, this place is the stuff Brunch dreams are made of. And trust us when we say after 5 weeks of banana pancakes and shrivelled omelettes you’ll want a decent normal breakfast more than anything, and these guys definitely deliver. This place is always heaving, they churn out some ridiculous food plus they understand the importance of a good coffee and it’s ridiculously priced when you think about it. Hands down order the Peas Please, my new favourite brunch choice. This cafe wouldn’t seem out of place back in Melbourne, I’m not even exaggerating that I would eat this every day if Jonny let me.
The famous Deus Ex Machina is another one to watch out for, a pretty easy task considering the size of the place. They seem to have every base covered, of course there’s the huge motorbike shop (very impressive), then you have an art gallery, an outdoor cinema, a barbers, a shaping bay, they even offer free tattoos on a Tuesday, yep strange but very true but when you can drag the other half away from drooling over all the bikes the restaurant needs some serious attention. Undoubtedly one of our best meals in Bali, yes so shoot us it’s not exactly local cuisine (it’s Italian) but the quality is insane, some of the best pasta and pizzas we had ever had, ever, that’s a big accomplishment I’d say, one of the guys is Italian. Plus check out their different themed nights for some great deals, their happy hour was our favourite. 2-4-1 cocktails you can’t go wrong 5-7 pm daily, just be careful on the Tuesday night one, I’d love to see some of those drunken tattoos the next day.
One of the main reasons people come to Canggu (apart from to eat themselves into obesity like me) is for the surf, it’s infamous amongst the surf crowd. Mainly beach breaks with good peaks at Echo Beach and Old Mans. It’s a popular area so be prepared for some crowds and be warned theres a few angry surfers out there, what happened to the old hippy cliche aye? These are some great waves to learn on and theres plenty of surf schools around, we’d recommend Lotus Surf Camp, run by the gorgeous Ellie and Damon (Definitely book a yoga class with Ellie if you can). And just be careful of those pesky sea urchins, they’ll get you, just ask our mate Bill… Worst comes to the worst drown your sorrows (*pain) at Old Mans beach bar right on the beach front, you and every other guy, this place gets rammed.
All sense of culture and exploring had been paused for a while, unless exploring the best lunch spot counts? It does? Perfect.
And yes okay not exactly what you go to Indonesia for but sometimes this is actually exactly what you need. We are at that point where it’s ‘seen one temple seen them all’ attitude and ‘o yay another waterfall…’ you know what I mean? It starts to all merge and you miss the unique beauty of each individual place so sometimes pausing and having a little dose of normality and a chance to recharge is exactly what you need to make you re-see everything and appreciate it all more. I cannot recommend Canggu enough as the place to stop and simply take a breather. Plus if it helps I got the best massage I have ever had here, go to Panarama Massage just by Echo Beach. I think I can safely say that Ubud has some serious competition for my favourite place in Bali.