Sunday, 10 June 2018

My Canggu Guide: 6 Tips For Visiting

My recent trip to Bali might just be my favourite ever. I'm a sworn city girl but after a week in Canggu the idea of a city "break" does not sound like one, this might be the only holiday I've come back from and not felt more exhausted than before I left.

Canggu beach at sunset 
Here's a little guide to Canggu and Bali which I might have found useful before heading off. I did very little prior research beforehand, partly because I'm chill now and trust that I'll have fun regardless and also because Hannah's sisters live in Bali and we happened to time our trip with hers.

1. It's pronounced "Chan-gu" not "Can-gu". A freebie for you.

2. Sort out your money before arriving. I usually scrabble around for an airport ATM to get my holiday cash or just pay on my card in places like NYC and HK but took GBP300 in Indonesian Rupiah (which was all I could get hold of in Dubai) and USD400 to change up. £100 is IDR1.8 million - enjoy your millionaire status! 

There are ATMs in Canggu, and money exchanges everywhere, of varying "official"-ness. I used my credit card a few times, no issues. How much you spend will depend on your Bali lifestyle - we spent around £700 for a couple in a week which included all our meals, drinks and a few day trips. Bali is very affordable compared with Dubai and you could definitely spend less than this and still have an amazing week.

La Brisa beach club - our favourite chill out spot 
3. Take mosquito repellant. I'm a bit sceptical as to whether any of this stuff really works but I liberally sprayed myself every evening and only got a couple of bites. The mosquito nets around the beds in Bali have the double benefit of looking quite dreamy and romantic. You can also buy repellent in supermarkets and pharmacies which have everything you need so don't worry about taking the kitchen sink with you. Bali isn't in a malaria zone and you don't need any vaccinations but obviously check with your doctor and don't take advice from an internet stranger.

4. Packing: Bali is super chilled - leave heels, make-up, designer handbags etc. at home. No one cares about status and you'll look ridiculous. I mostly wore beach dresses with bikinis underneath, Birkenstocks, sunglasses and a straw hat because I'm averse to tanning. My skin enjoyed the break from make-up and I could have packed a third less than my 8kg suitcase and been fine. We optimistically packed running gear - my trainers stayed in my suitcase. Bali is hot and humid and air-conditioning isn't really a thing so be prepared to get hot and sweaty and to not really care about it. Suncream is your friend, reapply often.

Lunch at La Brisa.
5. Getting around Canggu can seem channelling at first, our airbnb was 2km from the beach which doesn't sound far but when there are no pavements and scooters speeding along the road and its a little hot it's not exactly a relaxing walk. Uber, Grab and Gojek are banned in Canggu but you can use Blue Bird taxis (download the app) and there are local taxis in town which would run us back to our airbnb at night for around £3. 

Everyone will tell you that you "have" to hire a scooter - you really don't if you're not keen. I have no sense of direction and a poor concentration span so knew that scootering wasn't for me and we got by fine without one. If you do hire one, please be careful. 

Our airbnb terrace.
6.  Canggu has a great mix of local food and "hipster" food, and it's all really affordable, delicious and healthy. As a vegetarian, Bali is the most AMAZING place to have delicious veggie food that you'll actually want to eat. Having been to India last year (where I mostly ate cheese Dorritos) I was a bit worried about being able to eat what I wanted but it was fine - I avoided drinking tap water and drank my first couple of G&Ts super fast to avoid the ice melting in them but then forgot about my paranoia and was totally fine. 

Bali has it's own beer, Bintang, which is super cheap. I tried the lemon one as I'm not really a beer drinker and found myself saying yes to a second bottle. Gin and cocktails are a little pricier - we picked up a bottle of gin at the airport on the way in for drinks at "home" - duty free limits are strict (one litre of spirits per person) so make sure to check. Supermarkets do not sell Fevertree Tonic.

Beach yoga.
Have you been to Bali?
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