Chilling in Canggu


Getting out of the City

Canggu, Bali

[Indonesia]

 Arriving into Canggu we drove through many rice fields and ended in a chill surfing town. Though only 10 kilometres and 35 minutes away from Kuta, Bali it felt as though we had come to a different world. I had got my SIM card working in Kuta so we took a grab taxi, essentially the Asian equivalent to uber. It cost about $6.50 Canadian.

We arrived at Lay Day hostel, and had a few beers. With a pool located in the middle and a bar and lounge areas outside it gave off good vibrations. It is a social hostel that fills up to capacity every single night. We tried to book a third night when we arrived but it was full. Two beds opened up on cancellations so Chris and Pat took the beds and I volunteered to sleep on a beanbag outside for a fraction of the price for the third night.

We rented some motorbikes and explored the city, it is widely spread out about a five to ten minute ride to the beach. It was a blast exploring the new area, driving through small streets surrounded by rice fields, local housing and restaurants. There has been a ton of growth in Canggu over the past few years, tourism has started to explode here. The development is obvious just driving down the street, there are a lot of ongoing construction projects. We went for a swim at the beach, it was nice to relax and enjoy the gorgeous ocean.

At night around 0900 pm most people at the hostel  meet up and drink. We met a ton of good people here who almost instantly became good friends. Each night of the week in Canggu has a party that serves alcohol until midnight and then everyone who wants to continue partying goes to Sandbar down at the beach.

The party was at a bar named Snake Poison. As we (the gang from the hostel) arrived there were too many scooters parked to count. It is a bar with a massive skateboarding bowl within the fenced in portion of it, just outside the bar. Around the outside of it there are a few hundred people watching, socializing, at the bar and hitting up the dance floor inside. It was a blast hanging out and watching the guys skate the bowl, everyone erupted in cheers when a big trick was landed. We went out to Sandbar and danced on the sand beside the ocean for hours. During the night I was leaning on my bike and my leg got a second degree burn on the exhaust pipe. I’ll forever carry the scar with me but it has luckily avoided infection. We all made it home safe.

Drinking and driving is rampant in Bali and the islands (that allow vehicles). Personally I noticed it most in Canggu, everyone drinks and drives particularly at night time. It is woven in the culture. My friend Laura from Holland spent a month in Canggu and told me of three people who got in motorbiking accidents drunk and died during her time in the city.  Another group of people I met were pulled over by the police after being at the ‘all you can drink’ nightclub named Skygarden in Kuta, Bali. They were each made to pay fines for not having an international driving license but the police did not question how drunk the guys were riding the motorbikes.

It’s difficult to describe the beauty of the sunset at the beach but it was amazing. The ocean water was warm to touch, almost too warm because the air was thick with humidity breaking 30 degrees Celsius each day. The surf was bounding but with over 200 people surfing the waves I spent most of my time lounging in the shallower waters.

We always drink Bintang beer, the Indonesian classic. During our time in Canggu some of the best local food was served at Bumi Restaurant and Warung Verona, you choose what type of rice you want and then choose your meats and vegetables. Nothing beat the taste and price of local food. The Canteen also had some amazing food, it was a mix of western and Indonesian dishes.

One night at Lay Day hostel we set up a flip cup match that was Canada versus the world 9 Canadians versus 9 international people from all over the world. The hostel owner is Dutch and by coincidence there were a ton of Dutch people staying there. Canada dominated the flip cup not losing a match, we then switched it up. Around 1030 pm everyone went out to a bar names DEUS.

Pat and I had been having a blast introducing ourselves; people found it easy to remember our names. Pat 1 and Pat 2, Driftwood, turtle, John Cena all sorts of nicknames have been used. In Yogyakarta we bought matching blue party shirts with flowers and nice patterning.

We rocked them out to DEUS. When we arrived I saw a mini ramp set up, excited from watching the skateboarding  the previous night I attempted to skate for ten minutes. The temperature was unbelievably hot. I found the whole gang of friends on the dance floor. Pat and I took over the centre of the stage and were tearing up the dance moves. It looked like I had just come out of the shower, hair soaking wet, shirt wet to touch anywhere and legs just the same. It was a blast but the ladies didn’t come too close.

Rob from Canada’s west coast spent a few days with us hanging out and having a great time. He’s been on the road for about 6 months and told us stories of his travels and partied with us for a few nights. His diving photos were amazing from his GoPro, it helped me come to the decision I need to buy one before I get my diving license in Thailand. So many people that had a huge impact on us and our experience in Canggu I wish I could list them all.

Bedbugs are rampant in Bali and in Canggu, in many of the hostels I stayed in people have woken up ravaged by bedbugs. It is disgusting, being conscious of where you sleep is all that you can do for prevention. Some hostels are fumigating every few days but cannot fix the problem because people are continually carrying the bugs around with them.

We spent more days on the beach relaxing and wading in the waves. It was hard to leave Canggu, it feels like paradise with a great atmosphere and such kind local people. We had a few rounds of volleyball going just hitting the ball around on the beach for fun.

We met a local woman who must have been just past middle age named Mona Lisa. We saw her time and time again walking up and down the beach selling bracelets. Every time she passed by she would take a seat and offer us some bracelets. On our last day in Canggu she took a seat and pulled apart four chains of bracelets. She sat and chatted with us for at least an hour and a half and we bought a few bracelets. She offered me to work for 50 percent commission but after learning she only sold three throughout the whole day I had to turn the offer down.

My last night my friend Tillman from Germany was back from Lombok so he came for a visit. Because it was a Monday in Canggu there is no party in the city. He wanted to go to the neighbouring town Seminyak to a bar La Favela. I had my mind set to taking it easy as this night but as you’ve read so far sometimes I have a hard time saying no to a good party offer. Particularly because it was a Kuala Lumpur reunion and we always have a blast together.

I wasn’t willing to drive there so I hopped on the back of Tillmans 125cc enduro motorbike and we ripped our way there twice as fast as if I was on a scooter. The bar was classier than any I have been to in Asia. It was a great time despite drinks costing 50,000 IDR ($5 Canadian) for a small Bintang (twice the normal price).

The next day we decided we should get our move on and check out a new city so Chris, Pat and I headed off to Ubud to find some new adventures.

Dreamy Sunset (Canggu, Indonesia, 2016).
Dreamy Sunset in Canggu (Indonesia, 2016).
Red Sky Sunset (Canggu, Indonesia, 2016).
Red Sky Sunset in Canggu (Indonesia, 2016).
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Chris, Me, Pat and Rob hanging at the beach at sunset (Indonesia, 2016).
Sunset indicates it's almost Bintang time (Canggu, Indonesia, 2016).
Sunset indicates it’s almost Bintang time (Indonesia, 2016).
Pat and Chris walking down the beach (Indonesia, 2016).
Pat and Chris walking down the beach (Indonesia, 2016).