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6 April 2020

eight things to do in canggu, bali

-stay-

grandpa resort

when i went looking for accommodation in my first stop in bali, it had to only tick three boxes: it needed a pool, it needed air conditioning, and it needed to have restaurants in walking distance. i planned to do not much in my first few days in canggu, other than relax, so i hit up booking.com with these parameters, and then sorted from lowest to highest, unticked any shared accomm or hostels, and sifted through the rest. that is literally how i landed on grandpa resort, a cute little guest house that cost me less than £40 for three nights.





sure, it was a little rough around the edges - well worn, a little dated and the geckos ruled the roost, but the staff were lovely, the pool was delightful, and the sleep was one of the best i'd had in a while. be warned that there is limited facilities, though: no fridge in rooms, and though there is a shared kitchen (outside), it was grimmmm and i only left some bottles of water in there overnight out of desperation. there was also no restaurant on site, but that wasn't a concern for me as i'd planned to eat little and often in the many adorable restaurants i'd found within walking distance of the pool. so, if your plan in canggu is rest and relaxation, i would definitely recommend grandpa resort. an uber/grab from the hotel to the beach was about £4, and you could also hire scooters from the reception, if you're keen to take your lift into your own hands.

find it here: Jalan Bantan Kangin, Gang Grandpa no 3 Tibubeneng, 80361 Canggu




-eat-

warna cafe

i found warna cafe on my first day in canggu, and then went back every day that i was there. honestly, each time i went, i was one of two customers, and i have no idea why. the iced coffee was amazing, the breakfasts were varied and colourful, and the wall murals were probably the highlight of my day - a flock of flamingos over breakfast? yes please! each time i ate there, i had at least two drinks and a main meal, and never spent more than a fiver in total. my favourite was the smoothie bowl and the pancakes - laden with dragon fruit to make the food as pretty as can be, and it was cheap and cheerful, and tasty to boot!

find it here: Jalan Bantan Kangin80361 Canggu






warung tropis

i stumbled on this one on my last day in canggu, and only after the cafe i wanted to go to was closed for an unknown reason. again, it was in walking distance of grandpa, and it was way more busy than warna cafe, but maybe that's because it is closer to the main road where warna cafe is more off the beaten track. regardless, this one was busy and noisy, lots of atmosphere, and serves a great brunch menu - everyday! i was obviously taken with the beautiful mural, but then saw they they had french toast on the menu, so obviously i sat and stayed. i went for not only the maple french toast but a smoothie bowl too, and while it was a little more expensive than warna cafe, we're talking like, by a quid, so it was a nice change of scenery. so another cheap and cheerful spot for munching, with excellent wifi too!

find it here: Jalan Bantan Kangin80361 Canggu





sea circus

this was a recommendation from my best mate back home, and i made a detour into seminyak/canggu proper on my second day to get my hands on the coconut cold brew as insisted upon by her. i was obviously firstly taken by the exterior - bright and colourful, the restaurant grabbed my attention visually before i even saw the menu, and then i was just excited to eat. i hadn't eaten since breakfast that day and gotten into seminyak about 4pm so was starving, and so ordered a bit of everything; i spent more in that place than any other, it's always more expensive in the cities, but it was so worth it. i went with the coconut cold brew, a serve of the the baja barramundi tacos (god i miss that fish!), and prawn summer rolls that were served with the most incredible peanut dip, that i still think about to this day. now, when i say it's "more expensive", we are talking like £4 for these sides, where i was paying £4 for a whole meal in other places - but, it was so worth it, after the long day. 1000% would recommend, plus - they do 2-4-1 tacos and margs on certain days of the week, and who doesn't love a taco deal.

find it here: Jalan Kayu Aya No.22, Seminyak




-visit-

tanah lot

this was really the only thing that was on my must-visit list, but after speaking with denis, my private driver who picked me up from the airport, he offered to take me on a day trip starting with the iconic rock temple, and i happily agreed. we got there about 11am and it was already baking hot (always), and was already super busy so my recommendation would be either go early or go late; especially as you can't walk out to the island while the tide is in, which it was when i went. "tanah lot" literally means "land in the sea" and that's because the temple is on a small island just off the coast. the island and its temple have been part of balinese culture and mythology for centuries, and it's one of seven sea temples along the balinese coast. it was such a beautiful view, and the walk around the clifftop was stunning too - well worth the entry fee of a whole £3. it's a must see, especially at sunset (so i'm told)(so why did we go so early, denis?).

find it here: Beraban, Kediri, Tabanan Regency, Bali 82121




lumbung sari coffee plantation

this was not the coffee plantation i planned to visit, but with denis' recommendation that it would be less busy and i'd have a more one-to-one experience, we went to lumbung sari kopi and swing instead. and it was beaaaaautiful - just a shame about the luwaks they had in cages on the property. i should explain? lumbung sari is a luwak coffee plantation, though they also produce non-luwak coffees and teas there too. kopi luwak is that crazy local coffee that consists of partially digested coffee cherries that have been eaten and pooped by the luwak - a rat-like, possum-like critter that's only found in asia. totally cleaned before roasted, so not entirely gross, but the coffee itself is very bitter and strong, so not for me. also, the increase in popularity and tourism around this coffee has obviously led to an increase in luwaks being caught and kept in captivity, which also isn't great. 

but, like i say, these plantations offer more than just the luwak style coffee, though they do make their profit by selling cups of the good stuff (it's more expensive by about 1000%) so i did buy one - because tourism. when we got there i was met by a smiley guide (whose name i have obviously forgotten) and taken on a tour of the plantation, before being sat overlooking a rice field and served a tasting board of 16 or so coffees and teas to sample. there were so many i liked, a few i didn't, and it was such a leisurely, peaceful experience, i would certainly recommend having a look around and tasting some of the incredible flavoured teas and coffees they produce for the world. especially the mangosteen tea and the ginseng coffee - my two faves.

find it here: Jalan Raya Mawang, Br. Mawang Kaja, Ubud




tegenungan waterfall

this was another of denis' great ideas, and i'm so glad he suggested it. the tegenungan waterfall is one that has grown in popularity over the last ten years or so, alongside the rise in popularity of instagram, no doubt. i say that because, as i mentioned in my previous post (that i won't write out again):

"my private driver denis explained to me as we visited the tegenungan waterfall that less than ten years ago, this waterfall was free to visit. that only locals went there. that it was once a communal waterfall for cleaning, washing, and fresh water. but that as soon as instagram started to take off, and private drivers like him started to take their customers there for a "local experience" and that "local experience" was shared to instagram, more and more people wanted to see it. eventually, the increase of tourism impacted the environment - obviously - so they started asking for donations, and then a small entry fee (like, the equivalent of a couple of quid), and now when you visit there are four or five "insta view points" set up for visitors to get the best snaps possible to help encourage more people to come"

it was a big old walk down to the waterfall, which also means a big old walk back to the top, but it was so worth it for the view and the spray of the cool water when we finally got there. it was again, about four quid to enter, which is nothing in the grand scheme of things. plus: bird's nest.

find it here: Jalan Raya Tegenungan, Kemenuh, Ubud 80581 Indonesia




-relax-

petitenget beach

when i was doing my research on canggu and seminyak and places to watch the sunset, petitenget beach was not on the list but should have been. i only got to the beach once on my trip, and i was headed to canggu beach but was absolutely knackered so just headed to the first beach google maps could point me to, and it was this. and i sat in the warm sand and waited for the sunset, and it was such a wonderful decision; it was quiet, the beach was full of kids and dogs, not sundowners or party animals, and it was exactly what i needed after a hectic and long day. so if you're a party pooper like me, and prefer your sunsets with peace and quiet and not loud music, check out petitenget beach. it's a stroll from seminyak mall, so nice and easy to reach for sunset after you've had a couple margs at sea circus (it's also not far from mrs. sippy if you get bored of the pool-side cocktails there and want some quiet!).

find it here: google it!

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