Things to do in Canggu
Having said that, now let’s take a look at the things to do in Canggu.
1. Finns Club, Canggu: If there’s one place you must visit while staying in Canggu, it is by far the Finns Club. Originally a sports club with membership, they also have a beach side restaurant which, from outside, looks like just another restaurant but from inside is a whole different world. The place has an open swimming pool inside the restaurant and the people are found dancing and drinking right inside the pool. No better place for a pool party! It is a bit pricey, but the ambience, the beach view, the music all makes it totally worth.
2. Beetlenut Café: Another great place to eat at Canggu is the Beetlenut Café. It has great shakes and smoothies, a dessert of the day, and the food is quite cheap. One wouldn’t expect the food to be cheap at a place like this, but then, what do you know. Definitely a good place to visit in Canggu.
3. Dojo Coworking Space and Nalu Bowls: A lot of people on the internet have recommended Nalu Bowls for their smoothie bowls. So we went to try out the food at that place. Personally I didn’t like it much, besides the fact that it is a bit pricey. Although we got to see the Dojo Co-working space. Little did I expect that work from home, freelance foreigners have rented a seat at this co-working space and do their work chores from this place during the daytime and perhaps chill out at the beach or surf their way in the sea in the evenings. Good life.
4. Mickey’s Mad House: Mickey’s Mad House is a pizza place run by this immigrant Mickey, who I’m guessing is from Australia (because majority of foreign tourists come from Australia due to proximity). The signboard at the entrance says, the best Italian Pizza in the world. So we entered and ordered one. Although I wouldn’t call it best, the pizza was quite good. More than that, the ambience at the first floor of his restaurant is out of the world. There’s a TT table, a swing, randomly placed thick wooden logs as tables, all looking at the rice fields on either sides. It’s an amazing place to spend time with your loved one.
5. Love Anchor Bazaar: Love Anchor is another art market located in Canggu with different items such as bags, dream catchers, clothes, souvenirs for home décor. The place is a little expensive and hence I wouldn’t recommend buying anything from there.
6. Tanah Lot Temple: Half hour from Canggu is the all famous Tanah Lot temple where most of the tourists from across the globe go to. Perhaps this was one of the reasons we didn’t visit the obvious tourist spot, the Tanah Lot Temple. Let me know the experience if you go there.
Overall, Canggu is a peaceful place with lesser tourists and more of longer term travelers. There are tons of cafes, almost all of them offering smoothies of one or the other kind. Personally, I liked the serenity of it.
Final Things to Keep in Mind
After checking out from LV8 on 28th, we took our flight and left for home. We reached Delhi at around 10pm on 28th, and home by midnight.
Before we conclude, here are some key things to keep in mind about Bali.
1. Vegetarian Food: For the veggies out there, there are plenty of vegetarian options in Bali. Unlike many south east Asian countries, for Bali vegetarian is not completely unknown. All they need are some instructions and they will prepare the food of your choice. Since my wife is vegetarian, we personally had a lot of local Indonesian Food, viz. Nasi Goreng (fried rice), Mie Goreng (fried noodles), and at times Gado Gado (steamed vegetables). We ate a lot of vegetarian pizza, more pizza than I’ve had in years. The best part is, unlike our Dominos/Pizza Hut, the pizzas prepared by local restaurants are very light, easily digestible, has good authentic mozzarella cheese, and are quite tasty. Hence we could easily survive on a pizza dinner for a lot of our evenings.
2. Bargaining: As mentioned before, there’s a lot of bargaining happening in Bali. From the Airport to the sea port, everywhere there’s bargaining. And it’s a happy & playful bargaining. If it doesn’t suit your budget, just move on, don’t start fighting with the vendor.
3. Massage: Massage is cheap in Bali, quite cheap. There are tons of massage parlors and as you walk down the road, most of them will call ‘Massage’, ‘Massage’. No thinking naughty, it’s Bali not Thailand. All these are authentic body massage and foot massage at cheap prices.
4. Sim Card: Apparently the stores in Ubud, from where we got our Telkomsel Sim Card were selling only 4G cards without any calling facility. Surprised as we were with the offer, we didn’t have much option, and also our hotels had wi-fi everywhere we went, we took the card basically to run maps and to book Grab (Uber has sold itself to Grab in Bali and got out of the island). A particular problem which we faced in our travel was that the guy who gave us the 4G only sim card didn’t register the card in our name. He didn’t take any documents and simply handed over the card for the fee he charged. Interestingly enough, after a few days we found that the KYC was not done on the card and hence it is not working anymore. We will now have to go to the office of the company which offered us the card and get our KYC using our passport. Upon reaching the office, the man at the counter informed very politely that there is a waiting of 2 hours. Luckily my intelligent wife had downloaded offline Google maps of Bali and Gili Islands on her phone. As a result, we chucked the KYC and went on our own without it. The card could still receive SMS and hence we were able to book cabs through it in wi-fi, besides that it was pretty much useless. Travelers tip #7: Down offline maps before leaving, you never know when you have to use them. Also ensure that you get a calling card with KYC done at the time of purchase to avoid further hassles. Also, don’t buy sim card at the airport, needless to say they are up to 5 times more expensive than what the local stores give.
5. Cabs: There’s Grab, there’s Go-jek (both bike and four-wheeler taxis) which are cheap. Then there’s Blue Bird taxi which is quite professional (all cabs are blue in color, and all are good long Sedans). Blue Bird app is available for download, although it’s a little costlier than Grab, it’s available where Grab isn’t. Then there are also local taxi providers who are standing on the streets with a placard in their hand with the word Taxi on it. With them, it’s basically bargaining to get to the best price. My personal recommendations, Grab followed by Blue Bird.
6. Shopping: Interestingly, there tons of big and small Marts in Bali. Their names range from Alfamart, Indo Maret, K Mart, Delta Dewata, Coco Mart, and a few others. And there are tons of branches of each, at times 5-10 marts on one single lane. Buying groceries (and beer) cannot be easier! It’s not all simple that though. Alfa and Indo marts don’t have liquor license and hence don’t sell beers, while others do. The prices of same commodities, at times beers, vary across marts. We found that the prices of beer for example, were cheaper in Ubud than at other places in Bali.
7. Beer: Speaking of beer, the grand daddy of all beers in Bali is Bintang. It is like Kingfisher in India with the market share of Maruti. It’s crazy, the extent to which Bintang is sold in Bali. The word beer in Bali is synonymous to Bintang.
8. Water: Water is a precious commodity in Bali. Not kidding. No restaurant offers normal or regular water. It’s either bottled water or no water at all. Some high end restaurants will offer regular glass of water limited to one glass per pax. Asking for an extra glass will cost you money! Further, water bottles of two sizes, 600ml and 1500ml are available at all marts with varying price tags. Economically speaking, 1500ml water bottles are cheaper than the 600ml ones, a bit hassle to carry though. Your choice. The point being, bottled water is it in all of Bali, including the Gili Islands, both for the tourists and for the locals.
9. Currency: As discussed earlier, there are tons of currency conversion stores in Bali, so if you have USD in hand, no need to worry about currency conversion into IDR. There are tons of reviews on the internet about random stores who claim themselves to be ‘authorized’ but are in fact not. They dupe customers by slipping out currency notes while counting and what not. At the same time, there are a few which are actually authorized. Dirgahayu Valuta Prima, BMC are two which we know are good. Currency can be converted at good rates at these two places.
10. ATMs: If you run out of cash in Bali, worry not. There are tons of ATMs too which accept all International Debit Cards. We swiped my ICICI Bank ATM card by the end of our trip. The ATM machine will tell you how much commission the local bank is charging. In my case it was approx. 100INR per transaction.
By the end of two weeks, although I was personally tired of all the travel and wanted to get back home, I also knew we had hardly seen anything in Bali in its entirety. We stayed from one to four nights at different places in Bali and realized that there’s so much any one place has to offer that even two weeks were not enough. No to count the places we didn’t go: Lembongan Island, Penida Island, Lombok Island, western side of Bali. For all we know they are as much full of natural and other beauty as the places we covered.
Nonetheless, the trip was totally worth every penny we spent, and I would highly recommend you to go to Bali once, with spouse, family, kids, or even by yourself. See the culture of the island, the natural beauty, the art, the beaches, the sea animals, the resorts and the cottages. I’m sure you will love the place, as much as we did.
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