Let’s be honest, Niall and I have never been big hobby people. On Friday night we read an article about being in a permanent state of wanderlust. It was then we realised that travel is indeed our hobby of choice. As Michael Palin once said, there’s no known antidote for the travel bug, and like him we’re content to remain infected for life. So long as we can get the occasional fix of course.
So like junkies looking for a hit we found ourselves back overseas, if only for a few days this time. Almost a year after we set off on our first adventure as a married couple, we landed in Perth’s playground, Bali. Wanting something a bit more low key than Kuta and a little more rustic than Nusa Dua, we settled on Canggu.
Located between Seminyak and Tanah Lot on Bali’s west coast, Canggu has a relaxed vibe and a thriving expat community. In fact everything in this area seems to revolve around surfing. Villas, shops and restaurants haven’t yet taken over all the rice paddies of Canggu but sadly I think this day will come, if some of the construction sites and seemingly neglected paddies are anything to go by.
In typical weddedandwandering style we set out to squeeze a fair amount of eating into our limited days. As well as a yummy local breakfast of nasi goreng and fresh fruit each morning, we stumbled upon these gems:
Roti Canai Street Kitchen and Dining Room
We were pretty excited when we heard there was a place serving up roti canai just around the corner from where we were staying. Like most establishments in Canggu, the cafe had a funky interior and very friendly staff.
We hadn’t eaten roti since we were in Sri Lanka and we weren’t disappointed. But then again, what’s not to love about flaky flat bread dipped in curry sauce especially when it’s washed down with a fresh papaya smoothie?
Overlooking Tugu beach, Old Man’s has a distinct Cottesloe Hotel/Clancy’s at City Beach vibe. Popular with the expat surfer crowd, this family friendly bar and restaurant is a good spot to grab a beer and bite to eat while the sunsets.
Most restaurants in Canggu aren’t all that backpacker budget friendly but this local eatery certainly fits the bill. We got a plate of local food and a drink for just over $2.50 and it was delicious. Buffet style, you pick and choose your food at Varuna. There’s plenty to choose from including yellow rice, mee goreng, tempeh (soy bean cake pieces) ayam (chicken), satay, coconut sambal and veg. Yum!
Deus Ex Machina, Temple of Enthusiasm
Awesome name, awesome place. This restaurant bar come surf, motorbike and clothing shop was pretty darn cool. Known for its Sunday sessions, Deus offers a chilled out beer garden complete with a barber shop, a small gallery space and decent live music. The food was pretty good too. We managed to nab one of the last tables so would definitely recommend calling ahead.
Across a rice paddy from Deus is Betelnut, a very popular restaurant that dishes up delicious, healthy meals and drinks. Up on stilts it also offers a nice atmosphere and breeze to accompany your western or indo food of choice. I grabbed the nasi gila, which consisted of red rice nasi goreng, tempeh, egg, bean sambal, pickled veg and krupuk (like prawn crackers). So good!
When we weren’t gorging on yummy food, we spent time walking along the beaches, watching surfers do their thing. We even got to see a local surf comp, where the guy’s commentary was just as entertaining as the skills on display.
In typical holiday style we also spent a bit of time swimming, reading, playing cards and generally chilling out at Calmtree Bungalows, which for about $50 a night was great value. Our bungalow also had an outdoor bathroom and as usual for Bali, the family that ran the place were lovely. Highly recommended.
Anyway, suffice to say a long weekend in Canggu was the perfect way to spend our first wedding anniversary. We even celebrated with a cupcake from Ole Ole Ollie, seeing as neither of us got to eat our wedding cake last year.
But next up Flores! Lucky for us we only have to wait a month for our next fix. Til then..