[Notes From Bali No. 3]: Canggu Chillin’

[Notes From Bali No. 3]: Canggu Chillin’

I used to believe that being creative meant inventing something from nothing.

Coming up with entirely new and unique content. Sitting at a desk, deep in thought, alone with pen and paper.

But art is an idea, explored. And ideas are informed by our experience: Who we meet; What we see; Where we go.

It’s found in a new city that overcomes you, a conversation you overhear, an emotion someone elicits.

We are not in this alone. And we certainly cannot create in a silo.

The questions may come from inside, but the answers can only be found outside.

[If you missed my first two Bali posts, check them out here and here.]

I don’t know how else to introduce Canggu (pronounced “chang-goo”) other than to say that it’s addictive: It’s in the energy, the shops, the food, the people, the landscape, the diversity, the focus on art. I could go on and on.

A few days a week, I’d head into town for some solo exploration. And, each time, I discovered another reason to want to make the move and call it home.

It was as trendy as Queen West, but with less cars and a bajillion more motorbikes and tropical plants. In short, it’s a laid-back beach community with a huge focus on healthy food, outdoor dining, biking, and the arts. Not to mention, each wildly different street led to Echo Beach. It’s a self-sustained town with everything you needed within a few kilometers.

Walking down any given street, you’ll find furniture makers crafting benches and lights, artisan bakeshops, art galleries, independent boutiques and beautiful home decor shops (such as Bungalow Living above). And amongst them all, you’ll still spot rice paddies, a traditional temple or two and plenty of street pups.

Another favorite go-to spot was The Slow (below) which combines an art gallery, a restaurant/bar, a venue and suites. I also LOVED The Shady Shack (unfortunately never snapped a photo).


Other than my solo day adventures into town, the group of us went out a few times and THE. NIGHTLIFE. WAS. INSANE.

I can’t describe the energy other than to say, “you just have to be there to feel it!” The below photos are from La Brisa, a massive newly opened restaurant/bar right on the ocean. There were multiple stories, spots to chill (care for a harvest table or bean bag chair on the beach?), dance floors and DJs. And yes, that’s a pool in front of the ocean. You could literally go for a dip while you waited for your vegan nachos or char-grilled mahi-mahi. Just nuts.

Canggu is number one on my list of spots to re-visit again in future. I’m honestly very tempted to up and move there… It’s safe, the population is half locals, half ex-pats, its community is supportive of indie shops and eateries, and everything is sustainable and affordable. I cannot wait to go back!

Here’s a list of place I’d recommend if you do go:

The Lawn (beach lounge/food/bar)

Luigi’s Hot Pizza (food/bar)

Jane Doe (vintage clothing)

The Shady Shack (cafe/restaurant)

Old Man’s (restaurant/bar)

Ji Restaurant (restaurant/bar)

La Brisa (restaurant/bar)

Made’s Bakery (GF baked good)

The Offering (clothing)

Suen Noaj (clothing)

Nook (food)

Satu Satu (cafe)

Jungle Trader

Milk & Madu (cafe)