On Canggu, the Berlin of Indonesia

Hi there, I have been spending some in time in Canggu, Bali as you can probably tell from the title. Just like a hell of a lot of other people who are working remote from here, it seems.

In fact Canggu might just be one of the hippest places in Southeast Asia at the moment, hence the comparison to Berlin.  Yes, don’t be surprised ;-) Graffiti, cool parties, quirky boutiques and cool cafés and hangouts, Canggu has it all. Well, in miniature. To top it all off, it’s surrounded by beautiful green rice fields and has some killer surfing beaches. It even has a cool co-working space, Dojo.

Of course being Bali, and by some beaches, Canggu has more of a laid-back surfer hipster vibe than an urban feel. Still, I marvel at how an assemblage of rural village roads has become such an epicentre for cooledom. 

A lot of people seem to come here to either surf or work remote. Aside from these two life-consuming occupations ;-), well you can simply go to the beach, take some yoga classes and explore all the cool café’s and boutiques the place has to offer. Oh, and you can party, that is if you are into a sort of laid-back ramshackle sort of nightlife, as opposed to being a hardcore raver. But seriously the place has enough to offer to keep you entertained almost every night. Buzzing Seminyak is also only a 20 minute drive away, so if you are looking for some luxury shopping and posher clubs, that’s also on offer nearby.

I haven’t really yet had the chance to check out all of the cute places I would like to in Canggu, and to be honest it will take me a while, but I am here for 2 weeks, so I have plenty of time. For now here is a handful of places that I think are worthy of mention, and I apologise in advance for the lack of photos, I seriously need to sort out my overloaded photo collection and I’m avoiding it ;-).

Beaches

There are 3 different beaches in Canggu itself: Berawa, Batu Bolong and Echo beach. Personally I don’t surf, so Batu Bolong is busier and doesn’t really do it for me. I like Berawa second best as it’s a little less busy, and my favourite is Echo beach. Echo beach is a wide expanse of black sand and is often windswept. If you like a rough – around-the-edges kind of feel then this is the beach I recommend.

Cafés

 

There is an endless amount of cute café’s in Canggu, but my favourites are probably Sprout and Hungry Bird. These two are only a couple of minutes walk from the villa I’m staying at, and as I am still a little terrified of driving my scooter, they allow me to leave it parked for a little longer. Sprout has a grown-up minimalist feel and excellent food. It’s also a great place to work from. Hungry Bird is a little younger and hipper but serves scrumptious food and has a lovely ac-ed interior.

Worthy of mention are also Betelnut Café’ and Crate. These two are THE places to hang out on Batu Bolong. Betelnut has a lovely earthy–organic feel and Crate has and übercool interior, it’s also full of cool cats hanging out.

Last but not least Milk & Madu is an excellent place to work from or scoff down a delicious brunch. Don’t forget to check out Nalu bowls next door – I won’t spoil the surprise but my personal tip is to order a J-bay, delicious!

Eating

I actually haven’t been to too many restaurants in Canggu. But if you are looking for a relaxed quirky- cozy place with some yummy homely Italian food, check out La Baracca near Echo Beach. My second personal choice is Warung Heboh (again it’s around the corner from where I live ;-) they do the traditional Indonesian fare of Nasi Campur (mixed rice buffet) but all the ingredients are really fresh, it’s cheap and they serve lots of crunchy green veggies.

Nightlife

There are 3 main places with regular nights around here: Deus Ex Machina (the motorcycle institution), Old Man’s and Pretty Poison. Of the three I have only checked out the latter so far, an incredible little place with an awesome skating pool this venue attracts a mixed and fun crowd. It’s worth it to pop in just for the incredible setting. The crowd tended a little on the young side for an oldie like me, but I still enjoyed a few beers here. If you are up for some late night partying, slide down to Sand Bar, substantially a beach-bar cum club with pumping music and a barefoot kind of vibe.

Yoga

There are several yoga studios and I have only tried one. But again Desa Seni, a beautiful resort decked out in reclaimed wood Balinese style- is worth going to if only to check out the stunning grounds – they also have great yoga classes in a lovely breezy shala though ;-) 

 

Addresses:

Cafés:

Betelnut Café’

Jl. Pantai Batu Bolong No.60,

Canggu, Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali

 

Crate

Jalan Pantai Batu Bolong No. 60,

Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali

 

Hungry Bird

Jalan Raya Semat (Jl. Raya Prancak) No.86,

Kuta Utara, Bali

 

 

Milk & Madu 

Jl. Raya Pantai Berawa No.52, Tibubeneng,

Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali

 

Eating:

La Baracca :

 No., Jl. Tanah Barak No.55A,

Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali

 

Warung Heboh:

No., Gg. Puji No.1C, Kuta Utara,

Kabupaten Badung, Bali

 

Nightlife:

Deus Ex Machina

Jalan Batu Mejan No. 8, Canggu,

Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali

 

Old Man’s

Jl. Batu Bolong Beach, 

Canggu 80361, Indonesia

 

Pretty Poison

Jalan Subak Canggu, Canggu,

Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali

 

Sand Bar

Jl. Pura Batu Mejan,

Canggu Bali

 

Yoga:

Desa Seni

Jl. Subak Sari No.13,

Canggu, Bali

 

A Little Ubud Guide…

So this is long overdue… I have by now spent almost a week in Canggu… 2 days in Seminyak and I am still due to write about my stay in Ubud!  Needless to say I did what a lot people do: relaxed by the pool, did some yoga, ate some good food, and tried some spiritual stuff.

I did, during my week in Ubud in fact, sample some yin yoga and meditation classes,  try yoga nidra (who for those who don’t know it, is a form of yoga you practice in a state of consciousness between wake and sleep), and I also went to see a vedic astrologist.

For the less spiritual folk though I did some more chilled out stuff, and so I have put together a little Ubud guide of the places I spent most of my time on this stay. For those expecting a tourist guide, well there are plenty of those around so I am sure you can grab one and check out all the activities in Ubud! For the rest of you, here you go:

DRINK /COFFEE / WORK PLACES: 

Kue’ Café and Bakery:

This is a hidden little gem (many know about it but it seems few choose it as a working spot) on Ubud’s main street, that has a lovely roof terrace. Here you can drink coffee and get some work done whilst you prop yourself up on their colourful pillows. It is breezy and comfortable upstairs, and they have good food and the kue bakery below produces the most delicious desserts. Check out this masterful chocolate gluten-free cake I had, it was the best ever!

KUE' CAFE AND BAKERY, Jl. Raya Ubud, Ubud 80571, Indonesia

 

Seniman:

This is THE hipster spot in Ubud if there ever was one. The have really good wifi and most importantly an amazing coffee lab, and lots of cool people sitting down working.

SENIMAN COFFEE STUDIO, Jalan Sriwedari No. 5, Banjar Taman Kelod, Ubud, Kec. Gianyar, BalI.

 

 

EAT:

There are literally tons of good places to eat in Ubud, perhaps too many! Here are my personal favourites, nonetheless.

 

Clear Café’:

Beautiful venue in Penestanan with a gorgeously healthy fusion menu.

CLEAR CAFE', On Campuhan Road, across Bridges Restaurant / Antonio Blanco Museum.

 

 

Dapur Bunda:

Providing you with a different take on the traditional Indonesian Nasi Campur (mixed rice), Dapur Bunda allows you to choose different delicious tapas style dishes you can arrange around your Indonesian rice to create a centre piece ;-)

 DAPUR BUNDA, Jalan Sri Wedari No. 4, Ubud, Kec. Gianyar, Bali.

 

 

Putu’s Wild Ginger:

 

This place is run by the sweetest Balinese husband an wife. They do some meanpotato fritters and an awesome Nasi Campur.

PUTU'S WILD GINGER, Jalan Jro Gedung, Br. Kutuh Kelod, Ubud, Gianyar, Bali

 

 

Warung Bale:

 

Last but definitely not least this little charity based restaurant uses its’ income to support healthcare programs in Indonesia. So you will get to scoff down some great food for a good cause!

WARUNG BALE, Jl. Sriwedari No. 6, Ubud, Bali

 

 

SLEEP:

Desak Putu Putra Hidden:

 

I have stayed in many different places in Ubud, but I think this little family run guesthouse tucked away off Jalan Sukma deserves a thumbs up. Their little wooden bungalows are clean and cozy and they have a clear blue small pool in a secret garden like setting in the grounds, which is just dreamy.

DESAK PUTU PUTRA HIDDEN, Jl. Sukma Kesuma No.8, Peliatan, Ubud, Kab. Gianyar, Bali

 

 

SPA:

 

Karsa Spa:

 

Outside of the city at the end of the Campuhan Hill Walk, you will find the picturesque Karsa spa and café’. Set in luscious surroundings, you can have an indulgent treatment whilst listening to the sounds of nature around you. My suggestion: book yourself in for an Intuitive Heart Massage- I won’t even spoil the surprise.

KARSA SPA,Jl. Bangkiang Sidem, Keliki, Tegallalang, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali.

 

 

Bali Botanica:

 

Also a little outside the centre, this is probably one of the most professional spas in Ubud.  Have a Balinese Lulur scrub and afterwards a soak in a bathtub full of flower petals to experience of pure bliss.

 Bali Botanica, Jl. Raya Sanggingan, Kedewatan, Kedewatan, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali.

 

 

 

YOGA:

 

Radiantly Alive:

 

I did some absolutely brilliant vinyasa and roll and release classes in this great studio. Their method of teaching is probably one of the best I have encountered so I totally recommend you check this studio out when in Ubud.

RADIANTLY ALIVE, Jalan Jembawan No. 3, Padangtegal, Ubud, Kec. Gianyar, Bali

 

 

Yoga Barn:

 

The McDonalds of yoga, if there ever was such a thing- perhaps this studio is overly criticised. The grounds are still stunning and some of classes I took where just great. Sure it is totally over touristy and over popular but still worth a visit if you ask me.

YOGA BARN, Jl. Raya Pengosekan, Ubud, Kec. Gianyar, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali

 

 

 

What’s Your Favourite Place? An Exciting Free Giveaway Contest!

Hello hello, as you might have already heard I just visited one of my favourite places to be, i.e. Ubud, Bali.  I will write yet another more thorough and detailed post about Ubud and the things I did in the last few days with a little calm. But for the moment I just wanted to share two photos of my favourite places in this lovely nook of the world with you!

Here they are:

 

Campuhan Ridge Walk

 

I have been regularly jogging on this stunning path, which zigzags across the hills of northern Ubud and leaves you with absolutely breath taking views. My personal tip: have an early start! Tackle this walk between 6.30 and 7 a.m. when the air is still cool and the heat won’t leave you breathless in the uphill climb!

Pomegranate

 

This lovely restaurant / café’ is nestled in another jaw dropping little spot with views of the rice fields. In fact it is a rather amazing place to be sitting and working on your laptop at!  Yes indeed ;-) My personal tip: try their pizzas! With tofu on top they definitely give an alternative twist to the classic Italian fare!

And noow... I will give you the exciting opportunity to win a completely free and exciting self-guided walking tour in over 470 cities all over the world! I have partnered with GPSmycity, in order to provide 20 of my readers with the opportunity to win a totally free app for iOS (iPhone and iPad) and Android devices.

All you need to do is leave a comment on my blog, telling me what your favourite place, in your favourite city is! The first 20 people to comment will have the opportunity to choose from THIS LIST of cities, and receive a promo code to download a unique walking tour! You will have to hurry though, this offer expires on the 21st of April 2016!

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Can’t wait to hear from you and don't forget to enjoy your day :-)