These two towns are not far from Denpasar airport in Bali so can make a great first or last destination on Bali. As I spent so long in Ubud, I just spent a few days in each. I found them to have a similar sort of vibe: relaxed, surfer town with a good mixture of tourists and locals. I recommend both for some lovely chill-out time to enjoy the sun, the waves, and soak up the atmosphere.
This place has really beautiful beaches which lay in between and underneath huge rock. You often have to make extremely steep conquests down to the beaches and may then dread the climb back up… But you can do it! A friend and I walked, or tried to walk from Padang Padang Beach but as the tide was out we had to walk along the road for the first half and then came down through Impossibles Beach where we then walked on to Bingin – such beautiful scenery.
The Bukit Cafe:
This place is amazing. I ordered the veggie burger with sweet potato fries (my absolute obsession atm!) and my friend got the almond chicken salad. Mine was very nice but she absolutely loved hers! We both had green juices too and even though we were so full we just could not resist the dessert and wow was it worth it. I had the raw snickers cheesecake and it was one of the best raw desserts I have ever, ever had.
Nula Bowls at Single Fin (there’s also one of these in Canggu, Ubud & Seminyak)
Single Fin is a really popular spot. It’s a bar on a cliff overlooking the vast ocean so you can spot the surfers and catch up with people from all over the world. They serve pizzas and whatnot in the restaurant but also have a Nula Bowls pop-up which serves acai and smoothie bowls. I have to say I think this place is really overpriced; I guess you’re paying for the view. I get the feeling that the business is really about making money rather than having a true desire to produce good quality, healthy food. It’s fine and nice that there is that option other than the pizza.
The menu here excited me a lot and it’s open as a restaurant into the night which is nice, however I only managed to get there for breakfast. On my first visit I had a delicious smoothie, eggs florentine and also a madras cacao ball which oddly enough was covered in curry powder… It was yummy. The next day I got the acai bowl. My first visit certainly had not been cheap but this acai bowl was so expensive and I have no idea why. Again, overpriced but the menu was very inventive; I’d recommend coming for dinner to enjoy the ambiance and try some of the evening dishes that sound great.
Small cafe opposite where I was staying. It advertises itself as a healthy, wholefood cafe. Very simple food that doesn’t take much effort, yet has a high price tag. Still, always nice to have the option of hummus and smoothies etc.
I really enjoyed my class here. Firstly, the open air studio looking out to the ocean is so picturesque. The class was taught by a man trained in iyengar so was very focused on alignment which I think is extremely useful every now and then. He was lovely and ended up riding me up to Muzz on his motorbike where we chatted over smoothies. The best thing about the class is that you get a free cold coconut included in the 120,000 rupiah class price.
This is within the same establishment at Muzz restaurant. I turned up for the 7:30pm candle lit yoga class to be then told that the website is not kept up to date and the schedule on there is incorrect, so there was no class. I then had the problem of getting back to my accommodation without a motorbike (as a super kind local woman had dropped me there), but luckily for me the lovely receptionist told me he was just about to go home and would drop me back to my hotel on his bike. So, if you want to give this place a chance you must visit first to see the class timetable, and you probably want to get your own motorbike, unless you’re as lucky as me and manage to meet the kindest people who continually offer to take you places!
Although the beaches aren’t as beautiful, Canggu is wonderful and I found it to have far more delicious food, both traditional Indonesian food and more modern health focused cafes. I really enjoyed my stay in Canggu with the highlight being my last night there, and of travelling as a whole, when I sat at Perenenan Beach, just next to the main Echo Beach, with all the locals eating the delicious street food and watching the sun set. I was surrounded by families, couples, children, friends, all sorts of people, all laughing and smiling and enjoying being together. I found the Balinese people to be ever so friendly and it was a privilege to spend my last night sharing the special sunset together.
The best!!!! Wow did I love this place. I met someone at yoga who recommended this spot to me but it was a little far back from the beach… Can you guess it… She gave me a lift on he bike on her way home. This warung offers a daily vegan buffet for just 35,000 rupiah which is super cheap but then also has an incredible menu. I ordered the wakame salad with miso dressing. The salad was fresh and crisp and the dressing was thick and creamy, the perfect combination. After that, I was so excited by the menu that I ordered a second meal: traditional Indonesian black sticky rice porridge with coconut and banana – delicious. I loved my meal so much that I asked the owner if she did cooking classes. The beautiful, modest chef was so taken a back and flattered, she just laughed and showed me her tiny kitchen and said she couldn’t possibly.
Sunday organic market at Samadi
When I found out about this market I knew I had to get there, so when Sunday came I walked for an hour to get there and I loved it. The market is on every week and has stalls of fresh fruit and veg, packs of nuts and seeds, oils, crackers, pesto, chutney, energy balls, cakes (of all kinds, sugar free, diary free, gluten free and also the usual jam packed with sugar and deliciousness type!). Also there’s some organic cosmetics, jewellery, clothes and swimwear. It’s just great. Samadi is a cafe itself which is open everyday and serves some lovely Indian dishes. I ordered the fermented rice pancakes with Indian chutneys.
This place is very popular and is easy to get to as it’s close to the beach. The seating is mostly outside within lovely trees and plants. I went here straight away as my friend has been and told me how much she completely loved it. However, I have to say that I was massively unimpressed with my cauli rice bowl. I had such high expectations but it totally lacked flavour. My raw lemon cheesecake just made things worse. Whereas the raw snickers at Buckit Cafe was one of the best ever, this was one of the worst raw dessert I’ve had. Even still, I trusted my friend’s judgement and returned to the cafe the next day. This time I ordered the Cacao Dream smoothie bowl and to my delight, it was great; thick, rich and oh so chocolatey. I loved all the many toppings and the cashew butter tasted fresh and homemade.
This studio was even more impressive than the last! The whole structure was made of bamboo and was totally open, overlooking beautiful, green rice terraces. The breeze wafted through the structure during our hip hop yoga class. It was so fun and a great reminder not to take things too seriously. I’m sure Jay-Z would be happy to know he got our downward dogs shaking left and right. This class was pricy at 140,000 but I really enjoyed the experience. If you’re going to be in Canggu a while you can buy a class pass, like all other studios, which would make it cheaper.
I didn’t manage to get round to trying this studio but I heard very good things about it and I would have loved to try the high flying class where you’re suspended up in the air so get to do inversions without the pressure on your head. Also, it’s only 100,000 rupiah for a class here so it is a cheaper option than any others I found.
This cafe which holds the organic Sunday market also does yoga classes. Again, I didn’t have the time to try it but they come highly recommended. The focus here is on ashtanga so I certainly doubt you’ll find any hip hop classes! Yoga and brunch here would make a lovely combo.