It wasn’t many years ago now, that Canggu was considered by most, to be a mere semi rural outcrop, covered in lush rice terraces as far as the eye could see, the odd farmer tending to his crops as you passed by on a tour to the Tanah Lot Sea Temple on a sunset excursion. Those daring to travel the distance from the traditional surfing and tourist precincts of Kuta, Legian and Seminyak, were mostly the hard core surfer, looking for that perfect wave at the famed Echo Beach. Hence to say things have changed a little since the good old days with Canggu now becoming the new Seminyak with a myriad of things to do and places to see.
Of course there were a few early settlers, the so-called pioneers of the Canggu development movement and those that have built Canggu Villas for holiday makers en masse. They are everywhere and the reason for this is the natural beauty of the place. Some daring entrepreneurs with a little foresight established the Canggu Club, now known as Finns Recreation Club, a private members club where ex-pats could hang out in style amid old colonial charm, it facilitated sporting fields, an outdoor pool, gymnasium, restaurant and a billiards room downstairs that only the most savvy of members would even know existed.
A few more brave pioneers had a vision of what Canggu could become, including Deus Ex Machina, a café with Indonesian influence of local culture, western cuisine and custom built motorbikes. The Echo Beach Club was another Canggu pioneer with a restaurant and bar right on the beach with the occasional live music gig. Old Man’s, a little more recent, but still of the pioneer guild, is a beer garden styled attraction with views of the waves at the end of Jalan Pantai Batu Bolong, which was not much more than a dead end street at Batu Bolong Beach. The Canggu Equestrian Centre was also established some years ago, located just past Berawa Beach which has also contributed in completing the Canggu pioneering picture of olden days Canggu.
How things have changed; Deus Café is now more or less a central landmark for the hip new crew of tourists and expats alike, travelling from the traditional tourist areas to experience this now bustling and vibrant holiday precinct. The Deus café itself has grown exponentially in size, as well as becoming a well known brand, with Deus caps, t-shirts and motorbikes being considered totally cool and hip.
The Echo Beach Club has now turned into a fully fledged restaurant with an extensive wine collection, but most popular of all are the sumptuous seafood BBQ’s served every afternoon where you can choose your favorite seafood and imported meats, to be enjoyed on the newly extended outdoor deck right in front of the waves and amazing sunsets. An array of new cafes, eateries and surf shops as well as a five-star hotel are all part of the ‘new-look’ Echo Beach scene.
Old Man’s has probably seen the most increase in popularity since its inception years ago, where it was a quiet lawn area to enjoy a cold beer with the occasional Sunday markets. Now it is incredibly popular and at peak times around sunset it’s almost a battle to get to the bar! No doubt Old Man’s is largely responsible for the amazing number of current day developments and business’s along the very popular Jalan Pantai Batu Bolong.
The Canggu Club, now Finns Recreation Club has gone from strength to strength with an award winning International School, a huge water theme park with water slides as well as “Bounce”, an indoor trampoline centre, a ten-pin bowling alley and the International standard indoor tennis centre. But possibly stealing the show as the most popular Canggu tourist attraction is the Finns Beach Club, set right on the sand with a huge pool and resident DJ’s, this is the place to be seen and has become “selfie heaven” for tourists from all around the world.
A new kid on the block just a few hundred meters from Old Mans and also along the beachfront at the end of Jalan Batu Bolong is “The Lawn”. With its unpretentious timber built pavilion and spacious manicured lawns with 180 degree uninterrupted ocean views at has become one of the preferred places to hang out from mid-morning right through to late evening. Share a carafe of special blended Sangria with friends and family and as evening sets in head indoors for a more formal dining experience.
Even the “Yogi’s” have come down from the hills of Ubud, the traditional home for yoga on the island. Canggu is now home to some of the best Yoga centres on the island including “Olop Iyengar”, “Inner Temple”, “Pranava” and “The Practice”, just to name a few!
Canggu has now become what Seminyak was with a wider variety of activities, things to do, place’s to see and friends to meet. It has become a melting pot of ex-pats and tourists of all description, from all over the world, which have come together, to enjoy everything that is now, the new and amazing Canggu!!!