For my 30th birthday, I decided to splurge and explore Canggu, Nusa Penida and Gili Islands. Most days I had no plan which was very relaxing and I got to spend some time alone doing the things I wanted to do. It was indeed a very relaxing birthday celebration, plus I got to meet a lot of people too!
|4 days||Canggu Area:
Nusa Penida Tour
|3 days||Gili Trawangan:
Freedive in Gili Islands
|3 days||Canggu Area:
Yoga and Biking
|Airfare||PHP 8,000||Can be cheaper if you find a seat sale|
|Hostel Elements BnB (4 days)||PHP 7,000||Villa good for two people and with breakfast|
|Nusa Penida Tour||PHP 4,781||Per pax|
|Gili Getaway Transfer (Bali to Gili T)||PHP 3,608||Pick up from hotel to drop off|
|Gili Getaway Transfer (Gili T to Bali)||PHP 2,787||Pick up from hotel to drop off|
|Le Pirate Hotel Gili T (3 days)||PHP 17,000||Good for two pax; with breakfast|
|Jungleroom Bali (3 days)||PHP 11,200||Good for two pax; with breakfast|
|Transportation||PHP 1,800||Airport transfers; island taxis|
|Tours and Activities||PHP 9,300|
Personally, I find Ubud the most peaceful area perfect for retreats and quiet activities. You will see lots of temples and experience up-close the local culture. If you’re looking for the party area then definitely go to Kuta and Seminyak. The area is quite busy because of bars and party events. You can go shopping too!
I think my favorite is Canggu. On top of the organic/healthy restaurants in the area, I love that it’s close to the beach, the surf spots and some chill bars if you like to drink and meet new people. The area is not too noisy and busy compared to Kuta and Seminyak.
Where to stay in Canggu Area?
Elements BnB: I booked Elements BnB via Hostelworld. It is situated near the Batu Bolong surf area (10mins walk) and Echo Beach (15-20mins walk). They have bed spaces or villas depending on your budget. You can enjoy the breakfast and also lounge in the pool after a long day!
Jungleroom Bali: After my short trip in the Gili Islands I had to go back to Bali for my flight so I decided to stay in Jungleroom which is also in the Canggu area. It’s a bit far compared to Elements BnB, around 15-20 minutes by bike to Batu Bolong and around 30 minutes to Echo Beach. They have their own yoga space, pool area, and organic restaurant. Every area in that place is “instagrammable”! You can also rent a bike or motorcyle to go around the area.
How to go around Canggu?
Uber and Grab Taxi are not allowed inside the area. Locals encourage tourists to support the local taxi transportation. You can go around by renting a bicycle (Php 230) or motorcycle (Php 600). Note to self, I should learn how to drive the motorcycle before I go back to Bali. It’s cheaper and saves me from all the walking.
Where to eat in Canggu?
You can find cheaper Warungs if you like Indonesian food. It can go as low as Php200 including 2 dishes, and rice. If you want to try out the organic restaurants below (except Old Man’s), the price range is around Php200-Php400 for the meal and around Php600-700 with drinks or desserts.
- Café Organic: I’m biased. This is my favorite restaurant in Canggu!
- Cinta Café: Nice view of the rice paddies and good food
- Betelnut Café: This is my second favorite restaurant in Canggu. They have good vegan and non-vegan food, and yummy desserts! It’s pack at night so make sure you reserve a seat or come early!
- Shady Shack: Good area where you can work if you need to catch up on your emails or just chill with your friends!
- Old Man’s: Perfect place to party! This is where I celebrated my birthday with a few close friends and a new friend we met after surfing. You can also go down the beach just in front of Old Man’s around 11pm onwards and you’ll find a beach party!
Activities to do around Canggu:
- Yoga: I wasn’t able to take some yoga classes except in jungleroom but you can find several yoga studios in the area.
- Surf: They have two spots. Batu Bolong is good for beginners and intermediate and it is also close to Old Man’s. If you rent a board it’s around Php200 per hour while if you take a lesson or get a guide it’s around Php 1,300. Sometimes you can bargain and get it cheaper. The other spot is called Echo Beach which is good for advanced surfers. Both areas have a good sunset view and a line of restaurants where you can chill after or watch the other surfers play! I hope to get some actual surf photos next time.
- Bike around the area and see different shops and art walls.
- Catch the sunset in Batu Bolong or Echo Beach
Activities to do outside Canggu:
On the day of my birthday we decided to do the Nusa Penida Tour. It’s an island an hour away from Bali. We got the Nicetourbali to take us to the spots below. Though you can do a DIY, it would be hard because of the boat transfers and the car ride to the spots (it was very long and bumpy but the view was worth it!).
- Broken Beach: Enjoy the breathtaking view from the top and if you are lucky you can spot some dolphins riding the waves!
- Angel’s Billabong: When the tide is low you can climb down and swim in the rock pools but you can’t stay there for long because when the big waves come in they can take you back to the open water. It can be dangerous!
- Kelingking Point: We had lunch around the area before going to the viewing spot. If you have more time, you can actually do the 1 hour trek going down and swim in the crystal clear water. Something I plan to do next time!
- Crystal Bay: This is also a surf area but the tour guide insisted that we snorkel instead. The current was strong when we snorkeled but the water was still clear and you can see a few fishes and corals.
- In Canggu area, most of the vegan/organic restaurants only accept cash.
- There are a lot of ATM machines in the area so don’t worry.
- If you want to buy some cheap souvenirs (the Bali shirts and pajamas etc) you can find them near the entrance of Echo Beach.
- The dogs in Bali are still not so nice. They haven’t change since 2012 (the last time I was there.)
- Grab and Uber are not allowed in the main Canggu area.
- Oh, make sure you have insect repellent!
That’s it for Canggu and Nusa Penida! Read about my itinerary in Gili Trawangan in the next post.
If you have tips on where to go, especially for clubs and parties and other things to do in Bali do comment below! I plan to visit again soon!
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