So here it is – after 3 weeks, the final post about my Bali trip. If you follow my blog you’re probably sick of hearing about Bali, but perk up, I swear this last stop is worth a read. So here it is, Canggu(pronounced like Chahn-goo), to continue from my last post about NOT making it to Gili T…
We were all standing around in Padang Bai, trying to figure out how to salvage our day and travel plans. In case you missed my last post, my friends and I had all been planning to simply go to the ferry port and quickly/cheaply jet off to Padang Bai. Then we realized that there wasn’t actually anything worth spending our precious Bali time on in Padang Bai, and we should go somewhere else. More like Padang BYE.
So I blurted out the first place to come to mind. “CANGGU!” I literally knew nothing about Canggu, I had just seen the name before and saw that it was only a 45-minute van ride from us, and off we went. I turned not making it to Gili T into one of the best mistakes I’ve ever made.
Our hostel pool.
Ohhh Canggu. In my previous post on Ubud, I mentioned how I could see myself retiring in Ubud. Well I could see myself living in Canggu now. If my career as a digital nomad takes off or I win the lottery, I’m hopping on a plane and moving to Canggu.
Canggu is the perfect blend of trendy western stores, restaurants, and Indonesian culture. For lunch you can get a DANK sandwich (with avocado! This is a BIG DEAL in Asia), or you can walk 15 feet away to get served authentic food from a little Indonesian lady in a warung. Home to the infamous Echo beach, Canggu is chock full of surfers and stylish expats.
Homegirl serving up some DANK Padang.
Even the street vendors are trendy- this guy was selling his homemade honey outside of an ATM. Next to a gourmet supermarket that had a WINE section and a ton of cheese. Completely unheard of in this neck of the woods.
Upon arriving in Canggu after our little Gili T fiasco, we of course headed straight to the beach. Lucky for us, we stumbled onto something else we love as well; a trendy little overpriced beach club, called Finn’s. The place had a nice vibe, similar to beach clubs in Bangkok. By that I mean good house music, overpriced cocktails, a couple overweight old white dudes, and an infinity pool; sub a beautiful beach for the usual polluted Bangkok skyline. Initially our broke selves were drawn in because the waitress told my friend that for 200,000 rupiah total you get a table and 2 beer towers. This was exciting, until our beer towers never came, and we realized that she in fact promised us “2 free towels.” Made sense; it was definitely too classy of a joint to be serving up beer towers.
I was so pumped when our nachos arrived…until I realized they put tomato sauce instead of salsa. A recurring theme with western food in SE Asia is that they always ALMOST get it right. THIS close.
Nope, definitely not the type of place that has beer towers.
Nightlife in Canggu was THE BEST by far that we experienced in Bali. Granted that Seminyak is supposed to have nice clubs, but we were too broke to make the trip. Next time. Canggu was cool in that even though it was a popular area, you didn’t really see many tourists. It had a small town vibe, everywhere we went we saw the same group of grungy surfer expats. So at all the bars, you literally were hopping from place to place with one huge group of surfers.
I was told by a couple of people that THE nights to go out in Canggu are Wednesdays and Sundays. Everyone laughed at me, until(after I had left) my friends had a wild Sunday night. So if you go to Canggu, go out on Wednesdays and Sundays.
Old Man’s is exactly what you picture when you think of surfer nightlife. It’s kind of a semi-ratty-but-still-trendy little outdoor joint, complete with walls painted to look like they belong in a Pac-Sun store.
The really interesting part came after Old Man’s closed at 12. Everyone headed to the beach. And by beach I mean a two litte bars on the beach, Favela and Sandbar. You literally had to wait to go until the tide was down so that you could walk across the sand to get there; it doesn’t get much more Bali than that.
This was the SICKEST bar I HAVE EVER been to. It was a bar that literally had a huge skateboarding rink in it. Apart from a dancefloor, everyone in the bar was lined up around the edge of this skate rink, and guys would take turns trying to impress everyone. We actually got so close to the action that some guy went up for an Ollie and smashed my friends’ beer bottle. It was that type of bar.
Something I loved about going out in Bali – outside of every bar there are vendors selling AMAZING corn, complete with chili powder. The finest drunk munchies I ever did see.
So that was it really, Canggu in a nutshell. All we really did was go to the beach and go to cool beach bars. But it was absolutely amazing, and the town is definitely worth seeing.
And so the Bali chronicles draw to a close. My next stop for my month off of school to travel was Malaysia, via an 6:00AM flight. So I did what any responsible young adult would do; I went out with my friends, danced on the beach until 2:30AM, grabbed a motorbike taxi back to my hostel where my hired car was waiting (100,000 rupiah), and headed off on a 40-minute drive to the airport in Denpasar. It actually felt like something out of a movie- jetting from the dancing on the beach past rice paddies on the back of a motorbike with a cab driver named Ketut, saltwater hair billowing in the wind. Off to Kuala Lumpur.