Canggu, as we all know, is one of the upcoming areas of Bali. In fact, many people would say that it is one of the fastest growing tourist hubs on the whole island and a walk down Jalan Batu Bolong will prove this very quickly. The rapid growth in fine dining restaurants, Bali Villas, cafes with a focus on the health conscious as well as bars and loads of boutiques, surf shops and places where backpackers can have a full plate of food for less than $5 Aussie dollars.
Many people would see Canggu as a destination for the really young. That is, those in their late teens to late thirties and this is exactly what I thought when I first came to Canggu. But, Canggu is a destination for everyone to enjoy so following are some great things to do in Canggu and I am including its neighbor Berawa in this, for those “seniors” who are over 40 and are proud to admit it.
Old Man’s Beach
A favorite for everyone, including over 40’s is the famous Old Man’s beach. For the 40 years older that wants to learn to surf this is the ideal place as the surf is calm and there are loads of surfboard hire places dotted along the entrance to the beach. A two-hour hire will set you back around Rp 200 000 or $20 which is a great value considering you can also get a surf guide and teacher to go in the package for just another Rp 300 000. Old Man’s is a laid-back relatively undiscovered beach but as the crowds slowly navigate their way northwards from Seminyak and Legian we will slowly see this peace and solitude deteriorate.
After a couple of hours paddling around why not try a Balinese massage on the beach to soothe those tired shoulders and arms. Those over 40 will appreciate the fact that they can grab a full body massage for around $10 for 1 hour. Nothing beats this especially after using muscles you thought you would never use again in your life.
Old Mans Restaurant & Bar
Right on the beach is the well frequented and very popular Old Mans Restaurant and Bar. It get’s crazy here at sunset time but is the perfect venue to spend the late afternoon having a snack and relaxing with a couple of Bintangs. Most over 40-year olds will be coming to Canggu with their family so it’s a great place to take the kids as well. They will probably be on the beach anyway enjoying the surf which will give you some ‘alone time’ with your wife.
Jalan Batu Bolong
What else can I say except to make time to walk perhaps even stroll up and down this busy thoroughfare. It is without a doubt the main shopping and dining strip of Canggu so if your going to do anything make your way over here and be prepared to spend a couple of hours browsing, eating and shopping you will finally end up at the beach which means it’s time to do it all again and walk up the other side of the road. Places to visit include; Betelnut and Crate Café, the wonderful Monsieur Spoon for the best croissants in Bali as well the as Sunday markets. These are a must see as you amble down a narrow street filled with local vendors selling their trinkets and wares. For the over 40’s this is an easy couple of hours to fill in while the kids are left to their own devices at the beach.
Jalan Batu Bolong runs for about 1 km is really the only place to be in Canggu unless you’re a little bit of a local with some intimate knowledge of the place and if so, you might like to try Jalan Linjong. It’s an emerging area of Canggu and is perfect for seniors as it’s a lot quieter and less crowded than Jalan Batu Bolong. You will need to spend more time here as it’s a bit longer but walking here is a real education as you do get to pass local Balinese and see them in their daily lives. I think this is a far better way to see how the Canggu locals live and at the same time sample some great food at cafes like My Warung.
No trip to Canggu would be complete with a quick pop into Echo Beach. You can walk there from Old Man’s and essentially it offers the same type of cafes but we think it’s more geared towards the young surfie crowd with places like La Brisa and the beach bars. Having said that, it’s still a great hang for the day as there are beach umbrellas and chairs for chilling out and the beach cafes really have made an effort in lifting their game in terms of the quality of food they serve.
If you like surfing then you will need no introduction to Echo Beach. It’s a mecca for surfers ( intermediate to advanced) and draws a bit crowd from all over the island.
In Conclusion: Canggu is still I would have to say in it’s infancy stage in terms of development. Sure the tourists have found out about this area and yes they are all staying in villas around the area but for those over 40 our advice it to take things slowly especially if you have decided to stay in Canggu for more than a couple of days. It’s a beach holiday so take it for what it really is really geared up for; doing as little as possible. Remember pack your sunscreen and a good book and enjoy one of the most naturally scenic areas in southern Bali.