Mathias Giacardy is a guided tour organizer for the Indonesian travel agency, Bali Autrement. Today he will share his best advice and tips to help you discover Canggu, a Balinese village where traditions mingle with surfing and easy living.
8am: One of the many reasons why life is so good in Bali is that here we find food from around the world, and so obviously we have some French bakeries , including my favorite, Paris Baguette, a few steps away from my house. I always stop by there on my way to surf and buy a chocolate croissant (yes , I’m from the South West) which I eat while riding my bike heading towards the beach. If you prefer to take your time, try the breakfast at Hotel Tugu which is on the beach of Batubolong . Passionate about ancient Indonesian art , the owner of this superb luxury hotel has created a unique and one of a kind space.
8:05am : I usually surf in the morning at the Berawa beach, the most southern out of the 3 beaches of Canggu. The sea is beautiful in the morning, the sun isn’t yet too strong and the beach is quiet. For beginners, the best option is the Batubolong beach with its wide, easy waves and numerous surf board rentals.
10:30am: After spending 2 hours in the water under the sun, there is nothing better than a coconut on the beach while lying under an umbrella and watching the surfers or the people walking their Bali dogs ( these are the local street dogs which are very trendy with the hipsters in Canggu) .
11:00am: For brunch or lunch, I recommend the Betelnut restaurant on Jalan (street) Batubolong. This restaurant is known for its fresh and organic food, and their Naga Bomb ( smoothie bowls) are excellent.
12.30pm: One of the many luxuries one can easily afford in Bali is a massage. The options range from a local salon to luxury spas. Cucumber masks or soy milk baths are not a priority for me, so I prefer the local salon . My favorite is called Jepun massage on the Batubelig beach, next to the W Hotel. The place is quiet and clean with a nice flower garden. A full hour massage will cost you 5 euros. You can also get a manicure / pedicure, but that’s not for me.
1:30pm : After all this activity, it is time for a little relaxation. There are a multitude of splendid hotels with great pools in Bali , and most of them are free as long as you buy at least one drink. One of my favorites is the Desa Seni Hotel (translated it means “village of artists » in Indonesian ) in Canggu . At the heart of a tropical paradise are a few traditional wooden bungalows spread around a beautiful swimming pool. This renowned yoga center of Bali is also one of the hotels which best resembles the island. Very soothing and eco-friendly, 40% of the hotel’s land is used for growing fruits and vegetables that find their way onto your plate. Lie on a deck chair with a good book and enjoy the good Balinese life.
3.30pm: Deus Ex Machina – Temple Of Enthusiasm, opened well before Canggu became popular. This is the coolest surf shop in Bali ! It is a shop, bar, restaurant , gallery, photo studio , garden, live performance stage, barber shop … The retro boards are shaped on site and the custom bikes produced in their workshops in the back. A nice place to go for a coffee .
4:30pm: Surfing in 28° water, watching a magnificent sunset is an experience of a lifetime, even now after spending several years in Bali. Echo Beach, in the north of Canggu, is a real skatepark for surfers. There are waves almost anywhere, in every angle … this makes it one of the best spots on the island, and unfortunately I am of course not the only one with this valuable knowledge. So generally there are many people in the water, and the surfing level is very high. The powerful waves and strong currents that pull you can make swimming dangerous , so keep your eyes open, stay alert and don’t just jump into the water anywhere!
18.30: You should know that just a few years ago the waterfront of Canggu was something of a no man ‘s land, frequented only by surfers and a few stray backpackers. Today Canggu has became trendy and sexy, « the place to see » and » the place to be seen » like Hossegor in France or Byron Bay in Australia, a hot spot of world surfing. Old Man‘s has become an institution since the past 2 or 3 years. The village pub , the community bar of Canggu, the corner spot, like the Beach Hotel in Byron or the Café de Paris in Hossegor. People come here to drink coffee in the morning , eat a sandwich at noon , drink a few Bintang beers after surfing …
8.30pm: There are several options dor dinner, Indian breads at Roti Canai , Chinese dumplings at Happy Chuppy , pizza at La Baracca , the French cottage pie at Petit Prince, or traditional Indonesian dishes at Warung Dandelion … there ‘s something for all tastes and prices in Canggu , and we eat very well . If you want to mingle with the locals, go north to the Jalan Raya Canggu, where you can choose from many local warungs and be served nasi goreng , bakso , soto ayam , nasi campur or the famous babi guling , traditional Balinese dish with a base of porc. For vegetarians, try the gado gado, a dish made with vegetables and peanut sauce.
10pm: Canggu sleeps early . The party animals will have to go mingle with the crowds in Seminyak, where you can party till the sun rises. Start with a few margaritas at the bubbling Motel Mexicola which is festive and friendly with a wild decor and you might end up dancing on the tables.
Midnight: The recently opened, Shanghai Baby, has quickly become the trendy place where they serve quality cocktails. Its cozy atmosphere, leather sofas, chandeliers and exceptional service has made the place quite chic and the hangout for the thirty something expats and trendy Indonesians from Jakarta.
2am: With regards to a nightcap you should head to the Jenja, a techno -electro club that holds the top spot for several years now . Here you can dance until the morning!
5am : Feel free to leave your scooter outside the club and take a taxi back home if you drank too much . Bali is a safe place, you will find your scooter at the same place the next morning .
Keep smiling , wearing a motorcycle helmet, respect the locals , and the first thing you will want to do on your return to France, is to buy a ticket back to Bali.
Paris Baguette, Jalan Subak Sari N°13, Canggu, Bali
Tugu Hotel, Jalan Pantai Batu Bolong, Pantai Canggu, Bali https://www.tuguhotels.com/hotels/bali/
Betelnut Cafe, Jalan Pantai Batu Bolong N° 60, Canggu, Bali
Jepun Beach Beauty and Spa, Jalan Pantai Batu Belig, Gg. Pupuan N°7, Batu Belig, Bali
Desa Seni, Jalan Subak Sari No.13, Canggu, Bali / http://www.desaseni.com/
Deus Ex Machina – Temple of Enthusiasm, Jalan Batu Mejan N° 8, Canggu, Bali
Old Man’s, Jalan Pantai Batu Bolong, Canggu, Bali
Roti Canai, Jalan Pantai Batu Bolong, Canggu, Bali
Happy Chuppy, Jalan Raya Pantai Berawa N°50, Canggu, Bali
La Baracca, Jalan Tanah Barak N° 55A, Canggu, Bali
Le Petit Prince, Jalan Raya Batu Bolong, Canggu, Bali
Warung Dandelion, Jalan Pantai Batu Bolong N°8, Canggu, Bali
Motel Mexicola, Jalan Kayu Jati N°9, Seminyak, Bali / http://www.motelmexicolabali.com/
Shanghai Baby, Jalan Petitenget N°208, Seminyak, Bali / http://shanghaibaby.asia/
Jenja, Townsquare Suites, Jalan Nakula Barat N°18, Legian, Bali / http://jenjabali.com/