Finding Canggu Bali

canggu bali sunset echo beach


It’s just far enough away from Kuta and just close enough to Seminyak. It’s on the West coast of Bali, further North and away from all the mayhem closer to the airport. Getting there is easier nowadays, the roads have been sealed and there’s better signage. The old saying used to be, “Hard to find, impossible to forget.” It’s written in huge letters on the white washed walls of the break-wall at Echo Beach.

canggu bali sunset echo beach

You’ll get there on narrow roads that weave through rice padis and local villages. The number of hotels and restaurants along the route is growing, but there’s still a feeling of space and calm once you head out of Seminyak and head North West towards Canggu. The roads are labyrinthine but on this trip I was shown a short-cut, it’s a bizarre road, but on afternoons when the sun is setting on the horizon ahead of you… it’s sublime – but more on that in a future post.

canggu bali sunset echo beach

Echo Beach is the main surf break in Canggu; the waves are good, they’re not as ostentatious and showy as the other big-name spots in Bali. A couple of narrow rocky reefs covered in sand make for short punchy rides that are most often glassy and super-fun. The waves are actually pretty similar to Aussie beach breaks and after the hectic walls of Uluwatu or Keramas, Echo beach is a mellow reminder of home.

canggu bali sunset echo beachcanggu bali sunset echo beach

Of course there’s also Deus Ex Machina; ‘The Temple of Enthusiasm’. This behemoth, that is built in the middle of a rice padi, is a custom motorbike workshop where you can also buy board-shorts and coffee and t-shirts and surfboards; and you can get a free tattoo on a Tuesday night – it’s a clubhouse for the hip kids and middle-aged dads in equal measure. It hosts art shows and travelling board shapers; it’s all polished floorboards and nostalgic motifs of single-fins, long-hair and choppers.

deus ex machina canggu deus ex machina canggu

In Canggu the accommodation options tend more towards private villas than hotels. There is a strong ex-pat contingent from Australia all over the world – and it shows in the mellow vibes and community feeling. People seem to be drawn to Canggu for more than just a few nights, for more than just nightclubs and fleeting hedonism.

At night the shores of Echo beach host a BBQ with picnic tables and candles and beers and mellow music. There are no nightclubs and the bars aren’t open late. There’s just the sun melting into the horizon and the smiling faces of the local lads.

canggu bali sunset echo beach canggu bali sunset echo beach

canggu bali sunset echo beach

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