If you follow me on Instagram (@claireyogagogo) then you will have seen plenty of pics from my quick trip to Bali, and more specifically to the ‘village’ Canggu, or ‘The Gu’ as it’s known to the locals.
It’s not an exaggeration to say that it was love at first sight for me and The Gu. Even as my taxi struggled through the narrow roads in the darkness to find my homestay I could tell it was for me. Before I left for this trip I did some research and I knew Canggu would satisfy my need for a surf, some yoga and good, healthy vegetarian eats.
Found on Bali’s south-west coast, north of Kuta and west of the manic city of Depensar, and about 45 mins from the airport (if your taxi driver knows where he is going)
OK – I’m not saying it is a place that all may enjoy – you may prefer the yogic, spiritual hub of Ubud, the beaches are much prettier south of the Airport, from Balangan towards Ulluwatu, and if you are into the party scene then Seminyak is probably more your cup of tea. However, if you fancy yourself as a bit of a cool cat and you don’t mind a black sand beach, Canggu is your perfect fit.
Also, the orientation of the place is a little different to most places as the roads run from North to South and end in a beach, rather than horizontally behind the beaches, and everything is kind of spread out meaning getting on a moped or bicycle is pretty much essential for getting around (if you must drive a car be prepared for narrow roads and very slow travel time). What this means however is that the cafes, boutiques, yoga shalas and places to stay are interspersed with lush green rice fields and temples, and authentic Balinese local life is still thriving amongst the beards, boards and flat whites.
Rice fields a-gogo
stunning black stone temples a-plenty
If you want to be based in the ‘heart’ of the town then you should look to be in the middle area of Batu Bolong, the main road that leads down to Old Man’s beach. There you will find the famous Deus Ex Machina Temple of Enthusiasm, and across from there the equally famous Betelnut Cafe, and they are pretty good places to start, to give you an indication of The ‘Gu and what it is all about.
Most of the reasonably priced accommodations are called ‘homestays’ or surf houses (read backpackers hostels). There are a few boutique style hotels and also some quite pricey Air B&B villas to rent. I stayed at the quiet and pretty ‘Guest House 46’ and can’t recommend this place enough, it has clean, large rooms, comfy beds, a chilled atmosphere, and the owner (Yudhi) is a really helpful, lovely guy. Be warned though it is hard to find, tucked away in narrow temple filled streets and you will have to have a pair of wheels to get anywhere.
I will be doing a full food and drink review as well as a yoga review in other posts, for now I would just like to summarise that if you are looking for somewhere to learn to surf, take some fantastic yoga classes, eat the most AMAZING of healthy foods and stare at the abundance of eye candy all day and night, then this place is also for you. As most of the people here are either surfers or yogi’s it’s not a late night party town, but if you priorities are eating well and getting your fit on with yoga and or surf then you will not find a finer place in Bali.
So hip it almost hurts, Canggu has earned it’s title as the ‘Brooklyn of Bali’ and I will be trying to save to return to its black sand shores as often as I can. I found this blog post by a Canggu local the best source of information before I travelled: thanks Connie, you rock!