I am certainly not the only one blogging about the new hipster capital of Bali. This delightful surf and yogi paradise offers an incredible home base for any vacation to Bali. Unashamedly a tourist hot-spot, this cool to the core town offers the perfect amenities which make it impossible to feel guilty about hanging out with exclusively western tourists.
For those of you lucky to go for a short visit, here are a few things I wish I had known in order to maximize my stay.
Bali has been intentionally designed for Instagram. Youthful, Instagram models take semi-nude photos on the beach and pout over their dragon fruit smoothie bowls. It is bizarre at first, but it also makes for some wildly enjoyable people watching.
In fact, tour guides might not even think to mention the history of where you are visiting but they sure as $h*t will know exactly where to take the best photos.
This virtual reality can be used to your advantage. Instagram can (and should) be used to plan your journey. All the best restaurants will have their own pages, the guides will all have hashtagged their top spots. However you research just be sure to order the #littleflinders #fruitplate and check out #cratecafe which has been made famous via “the gram.”
There are so many wonderful places to stop and eat, shop and chill in Canggu but its easy to miss the best spots. Don’t make the rookie mistake and sit down immediately when you arrive in a new cafe. Almost every restaurant/shop in Canggu has an upstairs – which is likely better and more vibey than the downstairs.
After a long day of surfing or biking, it’s easy to pop in the spot you see first. However, do take a walk up the stairs – it will likely be worth it.
This small city revolves around all things brunch. Most restaurants center their menu around their breakfast offerings. But above all else…
Order any and everything that comes in a bowl.
Be sure to check out the smoothie bowls at Beetlenut, the homemade Italian pastas at Bottega Italia and the poke bowls at Moana.
4. Dress to Impress
This is not a grungy backpackers scene. Swanky Aussie visitors take the cheap flights to live their best lives on a more affordable dime. Be prepared to be seen upon arrival – people are looking. The Instagram models are judging. This is the first beach trip that I’ve regretted not packing makeup. Wait, maybe not – screw you Instagram.
5. Go Jek
Download this app before you arrive! This is your one-stop shop for all your possible needs while in Bali. Think UBER/LYFT + UBER EATS + your massage therapist. Go Jek offers cleaning, medical care, scooter rides, beauty maintenance and a whole bunch of other services which I’m blissfully unaware of.
Essentially, if you want someone to come to your guesthouse within the hour to give you a full massage for less than $10. This is it.
We also used GrabCar as Uber isn’t currently available in Bali. Be prepared to wait a bit longer for a driver, to pay in cash and likely negotiate via the chat feature. However, I still prefer this option as it is useful to track your journey and the arrival of your driver.
Admittedly, I can’t drive a motorbike. My attempt was literally panic inducing. For my impending return, I will prioritize learning this imperative skill.
Renting your own moto is THE way to get around town. Although, beware the roads aren’t great and the traffic is worse. Always wear a helmet and don’t scooter home after Bintangs. At around $3-5 USD per day it is well worth the slight stress.
We were recommended Karbit Rentals and I would certainly agree with this suggestion. They even picked up my scooter when I was too stressed to drive it back to them!
Go – get to this town as fast as you can before all the hipsters find their new hub!