11 Feb 24 hours in Canggu: A Day in Paradise
There’s a reason Bali is known as the destination for rediscovery, wellness and spirituality: as much as you think you may have DONE Bali, it is constantly reinventing itself. We all know someone who spent a month in Ubud finding their inner yogi, and another who spent two weeks partying it up in Kuta, but there are so many layers to Bali that every time you visit, you’ll discover something new or surprising that no one you know has done before. With a surf-mad husband, the lesser known village of Canggu, not far from the glamourous and more popular Seminyak, was placed firmly on our to-do list. Luckily, what we discovered was so much more than a surf mecca or tropical island getaway: Canggu was overflowing with hipster health cafes, trendy boutiques and sophisticated beachside bars.With Bali traffic being what it is, the best way to explore Canggu is by scooter, although if you’re not the most confident rider I’d suggest hiring a driver who is, as we witnessed many visitors limping around on crutches (not the way you want to spend your holiday). Most scooters you rent have space for a surfboard so you can jump on, get your wits about you and head straight to the beach.On your way, stop at Crate Café, where the cool kids hang out for coffee, breakfasts, light meals and smoothies, then, once you’ve refuelled, head to Batu Bolong beach, where you can either sign up for a surf lesson or relax on a lounger with coconut drink in hand – be warned, you may have to shoo away a stray dog or two. For lunch, big appetites can be best sated at the hugely popular vegetarian restaurant The Shady Shack, set amid lush gardens with views over the rice paddies. Choose the crimped noodles or that haloumi bowl and suck down a bright pink dragonfruit juice, ideal for a quick Instagram shot to your friends back at home jealous.Next, walk off those noodles with a spot of shopping. Pick up some beautiful clothing or décor pieces at one of the many boutique stores on the main drag. Most of these items are pretty unique and not something you’d find at home, so if you see something you like, buy two in varying colours – you’ll thank me later.
After shopping you may want to head home, stow away your scooter and get glammed up before heading to funky Finn’s Beach Club. Be warned: this not your typical low-key Balinese bar it’s very upmarket and something more akin to a Vegas pool party. A general entrance fee gets you into the club, but if you want to do it properly, “buy” a VIP Bed or Booth which puts you right by the pool and near the DJs, so you’re in the thick of the action. Sip on a cocktail or Bintang beer, snack on some sushi and watch the beautiful people pose in their bikinis and boardshorts as you dance, drink, and watch the sun set over the ocean on another unforgettable Balinese day.
Stay One Degree has some fabulous options in the area such as this exquisite villa which is close enough to all the sights, but private enough to still give you that unique Balinese feeling of absolute tranquillity – check out our Canggu homes.
Native South African and mum-of-2 Belinda is a writer and world traveller who’s lived in the USA and the UK, but currently resides in beautiful Cape Town. You can read more of her travel and parenting adventures on her blog Making Mountains.