Canggu (pronounced chan goo) is the name given to an area that's home to two villages west of Kerobokan in the south of Bali. The first village to the west of Kerobokan is Tibubeneng, which is home to Berawa beach and the can't-miss-it Canggu Club. The next village to the west is Canggu, and is home to Batu Bolong beach and Batu Mejan beach (better known as Echo beach) along with a range of good eating and sleeping options. The beach immediately to the west of Echo beach is called Pantai Pererenan and is only now showing signs of development reminiscent of the sort going on in Canggu and Kerobokan — that is, mass replacement of ricefields with concrete monoliths.
While not as immersed in villa construction as Batu Belig further south, there are still luxury villas going in left, right and centre across this entire area. If you want to see paradise getting concreted over this area is a prime example as once endless ricefields are slowly replaced by tall walls hiding completed or nearly completed luxury accommodation.
It was probably a solid idea for the first handful of people, but as development marches on, villas with views of padi are being replaced with villas with views of villas — with views of villas. Now, the charm of this area is shifting towards the hedonistic vibe of Seminyak — and at times has the traffic to match.
While they're all pretty much a continuation of the same strip of sand, each of the beaches of Canggu has its own vibe. Berawa Beach is the closest to Seminyak (you can actually walk there along the beach from here) and has a large beachfront hotel. Next up Nelayan Beach swaps a hotel for some fishing shacks, while west-still at Batu Bolong the luxurious Hotel Tugu resides along with some great eateries. Echo Beach is the best known of the beaches in the area thanks to the very well-known Echo Beach Club, while the western-most Pererenan Beach is probably the quietest of the lot.
That said, hedonism is all about gratification and a wonderful time can be had eating at the fancy restaurants like Om, Deus and Canggu Cafe that serve quality food at great prices and staying in luxury Bali-style accommodation with plunge pools and air-con living spaces.
Ignoring private villas, most of the hotel-style accommodation is on Jalan Batu Mejan, which runs down to Echo Beach. This area is seeing a lot of construction courtesy of the massive Sea Sentosa project, but there are a few under $100 a night hotels within a short walk of the beach, and it looks like more are on the way.
If you're inclined towards a villa, check Agoda for Canggu villas at competitive rates as they list many of them.
While there are some cheaper places to stay, Canggu isn't really pitched at backpackers and independent travellers, and those wishing to surf the breaks around here without breaking out the credit card may want to consider basing themselves in Kuta, Legian or Seminyak and commute on a motorbike.
Internet options are limited to the free WiFi available in some of the more expensive hotels and restaurants in the area. The closest ATMs are up at the eastern end of Raya Canggu near where is hits Kerobokan Road, or over in Seminyak.
At some of the beaches, notably Echo Beach and Batu Bolong, you'll be charged a small parking fee for your motorbike, generally 5,000 rupiah.
By Adam Poskitt.