The UN of Surfers: Canggu and Echo Beach, Bali
Canggu, pronounced Changuu and Echo Beach are the new players on the market, for hot spot destinations in Bali. Canggu and Echo Beach are considered one and the same place in terms of tourism, but in terms of the current major visitors to the area, there are some differences. The differences being the waves.
Canggu and Echo Beach currently represent the UN of Surfers. Throw in a handful of yoga and hippie types, and you have one very friendly and laid back little place.
What one notices next, is the massive boom happening here. Once stunning rice fields, there is now construction as far as they eye can see. Canggu is up the road from Kembokan, and Echo Point is next to and a part of Canggu.
Where is Canguu?
To understand where it is, it goes like this – head west from Denpassar to Kuta, then Legian, Seminyak, Kembokan, and you arrive at Canggu and next to it is Echo Beach. After that you are on the way to Tanah Lot in the mightily pretty rice fields of the Tabanan area, where some construction is also evident. It is not far from the fabulous Ubud. (Gordon says it is north west, because everyone gets to watch the sun set).
What is Canggu and Echo Beach like?
Canggu actually is quite a spread out area but it boasts some of the best little coffee shops and cafes, like Monsieur Spoon dishing up the finest French patisseries to the UN of surfers. Down at Batu Bolong Beach and particularly at Old Man’s a, a large surf bar come café, is where you will find the surfers representing every part of the globe.
We met a group of Slovenian surfers who were here on 4 months of surfing and talking to girls from all over the world. We asked them about Slovenia and why surfing. They told us that there nearest surf beach was in Spain and that is why they were spending so much time in Bali, where the cost of living is very similar to Slovenia, meaning it is extremely cheap for them. They found a house to rent and 10 for them, though the who is who of the 10 varies generic cialis efficacy according to romantic differences, all share a very reasonably priced villa here in Canggu. Slovenia you should be so proud of these very articulate and polite men ..and very handsome also.
Echo Beach … far away in time … seems to have some more serious waves than Canggu, itself noted for some very tricky conditions, but they tell us that the surf is not as good as what it was in December.
They have been to Lombok and thought the waves were better, but prefer the laid back atmosphere of Canggu. Echo Beach is fronted by lots of cafes to give you the ideal viewing platform of the waves and those surfing what looked to me to be pretty treacherous waters.
I don’t surf, though Gordon was itching to get amongst it but I didn’t feel at all out of place while he was at it. This area, much like Ubud, seems to be a hot bed of talent. I heard an American woman discussing her photographic portfolio with an older Swedish gentleman, whist another man from South Africa was agonizing over the final chapter of his new book. A few of the Russian surfers were offering solutions.
Sunday is a big night out in Canggu, where everyone, and I mean everyone goes to Deux Ex Machina for the food and the live band. This is where you see hundreds of motorbikes converge on this highly popular café. In their own words, Deux Ex Machina means“God’s Restaurant,” if you speak Latin. The place where motorcycles and fine dining collide”
Unless you want to pay for a taxi from Seminyak or from wherever you are staying; you are much better off hiring a motorbike ..and helmet or the polisi will fine you.
Accommodation ranges from unique and luxurious hotels like Tugu Hotel Bali, to a various array of villas from super lux to totally affordable and the increasingly popular homestay.
Bali is full of different areas, each with distinctive personalities, and that just adds further to its charm.
This is one of those places that will soon be a tourist mecca. It has the kind of vibe where it is easy to feel very comfortable. I wonder how much it changes when it goes off, as it will?
Hi Paula – came across your blog about Bali – we are trying to plan our honeymoon there for next year… We like off the beaten path so feel Seminyak may be too touristy for us. Do you think Canggu will be more our style? Or any other suggestions? Thanks! Great information!
Canggu is becoming a little more touristy, but is certainly a great surfing spot. You could always head up north to Lovinia Bay and surrounds, or better still over the strait to Lombok. Regardless, congrats and you will love your honeymoon. Make sure you tell them it is your honeymoon and the lovely Balinese people will spoil you both.
Bali is definitely on our potential list of destinations. I have many friends who have travelled there to surf for months at a time! They came back smiling and so relaxed. Your photos are so enticing and fabulous!
Definitely go and explore the island. It is a lovely place to go with so many varied areas. Keep an eye on our site as we bring you more and more Bali adventures and ideas.
Though I was just in Bali in January I’d never been to Canggu, but heard it being mentioned a lot. I enjoyed reading this as you set a very descriptive tone of the place. Those Slovenian surfers sound like they’re having a lot of fun! haha. And very dedicated too to still pursue surfing even if they didn’t grow up with it.
Thanks Jean, I am constantly amazed at how different in personality that each place in Bali is, and Canggu is no exception.
I’ve never been to Bali. We had friends who used to teach there and I was always so envious of their photos. The beaches look like a great place to spend some time, and although i’m afraid my surfing days are over, the people watching must be fun!
I think that beaches are very good for surfing, but in January and February, monsoon season, not so good for swimming. It is fun to watch and to chat to so many different people though.
We went to Bali quite regularly, for business and pleasure, in the late 90s. At that time we always stayed in Legian, since it was much quieter than Kuta! And now those searching for a simpler place to be are 3 or 4 beaches further around the island.
I do hope that some of Bali’s original character remains, but it does seem unlikely. It is an island with limited space, afterall.
Interesting article for one of those ‘bloody Aussies’ – thanks for sharing it.
It is funny, now Legian is far too touristy, while Kuta has become quite cosmopolitan. I maintain that nothing will change the Balinese people. They are a good people despite we tourists, and “we” bloody Aussies 🙂
That second picture is so postcard perfect. I’ve never been to Bali but this was how I would have pictured a small beach town full of surfers. It looks like a great place to hang out.
Thanks Mary, it is a quirky little place with that really relaxed vibe. I am really pleased we got to stay there and Tugu Hotel Bali, was another quirky yet ultra lux beach hotel, that works in this environment.
I appear to be humming Echo Beach now…. A new up and coming location in such a popular area can only be a good thing in spreading the visitors out, but it sounds like such rapid development? I hope they get it right and do it carefully!
I was a pain and sang it to Gordon the whole time we were there, and it is now in my head again. Poor man. I also hope it won’t spoil the area.
I guess you don’t have to be good at surfing (alas, I’m not… but I’m game to try!) to enjoy somewhere like this. Sounds such a relaxed, friendly location that it probably doesn’t matter if you’re a surfer or not. I can see how it would appeal to those Slovenians if their nearest option is Spain… much more cost effective!
It is a lovely area that will soon be discovered by a lot more people. It was friendly and so many talented people in one place.
That certainly looks like a great part of the world – but I’m sure as you say it will change soon, and forever. Enjoy it while it remains relatively unknown I guess! Having never been to Bali, is there much of the place left that is undeveloped or is it difficult to find places a little off the beaten path? I guess being relatively close to Australia they have a steady stream of tourists from there as well as the rest of the world and are expanding to meet demand. As long as the authorities have some control over development it can benefit everyone – does the government have some kind of plan to avoid the worst excesses seen in other countries?
Therein lies the rub. It is close to Australia and yes in certain parts you get a lot of those bloody Aussies 🙂 However, we were surprised how many other people have discovered the island. I think that the Balinese people, much as they rely on the tourist dollar, cannot be compromised on their belief structures and that is where it retains its beauty – in the people.
I don’t think I’d be surfing either, but I love sitting around and talking and watching surfers!
and talking to really very interesting people from everywhere. It was a different part of Bali, with a different mindset.
Hi Paula, I couldn’t agree more. I’ve heard Canggu get called Changeu becomes of the rapid changes and developments. I’ve been going to Canggu for the past six years and each time it’s a little bit more developed, buildings are replacing the rice fields and a massive resort replaced a beautiful green field right next to the beach where cows used to graze. I love Echo Beach and Canggu for it’s laid back authentic charm and it really saddens me to think how it’s going to look in another five years.
I worry also. Gordon and I walked from Canggu to Echo Beach through construction zones. OK, we may have got a little lost but the fact that there is that much construction worries me also. There were cows in the construction zone though, but yes it has now been found.