Visiting Bali had been on my bucket list since I was 16 years old. I remember seeing it advertised in a holiday magazine that my mum had. It looked so beautiful. The the villas, the swimming pools, the villas, the mountains, the monkey temples, rice paddies etc. I wanted to see it all! After I finished university I had saved enough to visit this beautiful country and decided to stay here for 2 whole months. Bali is a huge island in Indonesia and there’s so many places to visit. Such as Ubud, Seminyak, Uluwatu, Kuta, Canggu, Nusa Dua and so many more. Each of these different towns have something different to offer. Whether you’re looking for the best surf spots, beaches, nightlife, restaurants or temples to visit. After much thought I decided my top two towns to visit was Uluwatu and Canggu. Read on to find out why.
Uluwatu is unquestionably my no.1 favourite town to visit in Bali. I originally planned to stay here for 2 weeks but fell in love. I ended up cancelling my second stay in Ubud and stayed in Uluwatu for a whole month. This gave me the time I needed to discover all of the hidden gems this place had to offer (there’s a lot). It is by far the most extraordinary town in terms of surf spots, beaches and scenery. Uluwatu is home to the best beaches and best surf spots in Bali. Such as Padang Padang (also called Thomas beach), Dreamland, Bingin Beach, Nusa Dua, Nyang Nyang and Suluban. I spent most of my days soaking up the sun and surfing on these beautiful beaches. You’ll find the Bali you imagined here as the scenery still look untouched. Unfortunately, many places in Bali are spoilt by pollution. But you don’t find this in Uluwatu. Many people don’t know this, but this is due to the hard-working locals who protect and keep the beaches clean. They operate beach cleans every morning when the sunrises to ensure the beaches are rubbish free. It’s important to locals to keep these beaches preserved because these beaches bring in the most tourists.
Uluwatu doesn’t just offer a combination of laid-back surfing vibes and beautiful beaches, there’s so much more. You will find some of the most aesthetically pleasing and luxurious villas, hotels and resorts in Uluwatu. And accommodation is so cheap here you won’t believe it’s real! You will also stumble across so many different types of restaurants. And can pretty much find any type of food you fancy here, so you will not go hungry in Uluwatu, that’s for sure. It’s also an incredible place to spending your evenings dancing away whilst watching the sunset. There are many different places you can do this, such as Single Finn, Ulu Cliffhouse, OMNIA, El Kabron Cliff Club and so many more. All these places also offer many different djs and events. There’s one thing for sure, you’ll never get bored of Uluwatu.
Canggu was the first place I visited when I landed in Bali. I choose here because it was supposedly the next best town closest to the airport. Also, I wasn’t the best surfer (i know surprising when I grew up in Cornwall) and there was no reef in Canggu. This meant it was the safest place for me to practice and there were lots of beginner lessons taking place on the beaches. So I would definitely recommend it as the first stop if you’re a beginner surfer! There are consistent and neat waves almost every single day so it’s a great way to ease yourself in.
My favourite thing about Canggu had to be the restaurants. No matter what food tickles your fancy, you’ll find it in Canggu. Not only does it have many traditional authentic Indonesian restaurants but it’s also become very westernised now. So whether it’s Italian, Mexican, Spanish, Indian, Vegetarian, Korean, Caribbean, Vegan or any other cuisine, you’ll find what you’re looking for. Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day and the breakfasts here were out of this world. My favourites were The Avocodo factory, Ruko Cafe, Rise & Shine. I became loyal to these breakfast restaurants and ate at either one of them every single day whilst I was in Canggu. Whether you fancy a smoothie bowl, banana pancakes or eggs, salmon and avo. They’ve got it and so much more!
Lastly, Canggu is full of the coolest bars and nightlife. I had so much fun here! My favourite bars to visit were Old Man’s, La Brisa, Pretty Poison, Deus Ex Machina, Lacalita, Finns Beach Club and The Black Cat. All of these bars would hold weekly events and almost always had a different DJ playing each night. They were the perfect places to let your hair down, drink some Bintangs and watch the sunset with friends. Or party too early hours of the morning of course.