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Canggu vs. Seminyak: Where should I stay?


Canggu is the hipster nomad, while Seminyak is the chic Parisien. Canggu is the up-and-coming area of Bali with a buzzing number of tourists wanting to visit every year. The amount of shops that pop up monthly has never ceased to increase over the last two years. On the other hand, Canggu still boasts some rice fields. This is in contrast to Seminyak, which remains the trendy capital of Bali. Its chic boutiques and fancy cafés are the very best Bali has to offer.

Interesting facts about Canggu:

  • Leather boots and bikinis are the norm here, even on the hottest day.
  • The number of barber and tattoo shops is strongly competing against the number of bearded and tattooed men.
  • Carrying a plastic bag and ordering a dairy latte is the biggest crime you can ever commit.
  • If you are not on a healing adventure trying to find yourself and have not quit your Western job, get out of here!

For more information about Canggu click here.

Interesting facts about Seminyak:

  • The devil wears Prada and is suntanning at Double6 beach
  • The words ‘Saya cinta kamu’ (I love you) are used more often than a plain ‘Hello’. In fact they are replacing ‘Hello’ and ‘Good morning’.
  • If you have not booked a fancy dinner at Metis at least once during your stay in Seminyak, get out of here.

For more information about Seminyak click here.

A typical day in Canggu:

Wake up to the sound of birds at your boutique villa. Take your non-dairy almond latte by the pool and prepare to go to your favourite yoga session at Serenity. If you are a surfer, then head off to Batu Bolong Beach and mingle with the happy crowd. At noon, order your favourite J-Bay smoothie bowl at Nalu Bowls before you go for a massage at Therapy. A coconut at the beach and a selfie is a must at sunset. You end up at Old Man’s for one too many Bintangs though you swore you would make it home early tonight.

A typical day in Seminyak:

You wake up to the sound of waves at your all-inclusive super luxury hotel on the beach. You order breakfast in bed today because you can’t be bothered to go all the way at the hotel’s restaurant. At noon you take your towel and suntan on the hotel sunbeds right by the infinity pool overlooking the beach. Once the sun sets, you wander round the chic boutiques of Petitenget for some window shopping and, if your budget allows, you buy a kaftan or two. You’ve booked a table at Seasalt with your friends and you’re getting ready for a big night out. The night ends at La Favela with one cocktail too many but you don’t care. You are on vacation after all.

Canggu vs. Seminyak: Accommodation

Canggu has over 300 listed villas so this sets the standard for accommodation in the area. Boutique, intimate, eco-friendly, fancy, value for money, kid friendly and you name it villas and villa complexes rule here. Though to be fair, the last two years some hotels including the international Aston Hotel have popped up. However, villas still remain the striking reality. So, if you are a villa person and you prefer things intimate then Canggu is your place. Canggu also has a number of cheap local hostels that are a backpacker’s and surfer’s favourite and are perfect for meeting people.

Seminyak, on the other hand, is known for its all-inclusive super luxury hotels and resorts. There are plenty of fancy hotels on the beach, which are hard to find in Canggu. If you cannot settle for less and you like things organised then go to Seminyak. Expect though to pay a fair premium for your choice. Seminyak also has plenty of decent hostels for ordinary backpackers and world travelers. You will not meet the hipster nomad of Canggu here, but you will meet some interesting people from all over the world.

More on the best private pool villas in Seminyak here.

Find out the best villas in Canggu here.

Canggu vs. Seminyak: Eating out

Canggu is a paradise for vegans and vegetarians. It has a wide range of health food bars and vegan restaurants. It is also the place to find cheap beach warungs (name for local eatery) that spread all the way from Berawa to Batu Bolong Beach. They offer local Indonesian dishes such as fried rice and noodles as well as burgers and sandwiches. As the place has gained popularity, a number of more sophisticated restaurants have popped up, competing closely with the local warungs.

In Seminyak you can find any type of cuisine you wish, from an Italian pizza to Japanese sushi to a great burger. The area definitely boasts the best and more expensive restaurants in Bali. However, it also has a great range of affordable options and local eateries. At night when the street stalls come to life, expect to find anything from babi guling (roasted suckling pig which is a Balinese delicacy) to chicken feet soup to a plain lalapan (spicy fried chicken).

To find out the 25 best restaurants in Seminyak click here.

To find out the top 15 cafés in Canggu click here.

Canggu vs. Seminyak: Let’s call it a beach day

If you are looking for pristine beaches, the ones you see on postcards, then Seminyak is the place you are looking for. Lively sandy beaches spread all the way from Seminyak to Kuta. Street merchants selling anything from a sarong to a cold Bintang, local surfers and world travelers form part of the beach scene. Beach bars with sun loungers and music complete the picture. The beach is the place to be in Seminyak from the early morning until the late afternoon when the live bands playing at the beach start to pop up.

Beaches in Canggu are not pristine and do not have white sand but are equally nice and popular with world travelers. After Bukit, Canggu is closely competing for the second best area for surfers in Bali. Batu Bolong is the epicentre of Canggu’s daylife. Its many local beach warungs (local eateries) add up to the Canggu magic. To be fair to the place, there are some fancier beach bars such as Finns Beach Club and La Brisa that can seriously upscale a sun tanning session. At sunset, travelers compete for the best sunset selfie, while the sound of live bands starts filling the air.

Canggu vs. Seminyak: Shopping

Seminyak takes shopping very seriously. Ethnic boutiques, designer labels and chic boho shops make up a colourful shopping palette. Here you can find anything from a glamorous night dress to a sexy bikini to a traditional Balinese sarong. For upscale shopping, head off to the trendy boutiques of the Petitenget area. If you are on a budget, street vendors with playful designs and local fabrics line up all the way from Jalan Raya Legian to Jalan Laksmana.

Canggu is famous for its Sunday markets. Fashion designers and international sellers fight for a stand at Old Man’s, Samadi’s, La Laguna’s and Love Anchor’s market. To stay in the know join Canggu community’s Facebook group and you won’t miss another Sunday market. In the last few years a lot of shops have popped up in the area, making Canggu a worthy opponent for the more established Seminyak.

More on shopping in Bali here.

Canggu vs. Seminyak: Nightlife

Seminyak is the undisputed queen of the night and takes partying to another level. Its nightlife ranges from pool beach bars, to exclusive rooftop bars to ultra-modern nightclubs. The nightlife here lasts until dawn and the selection is endless. Guest DJs and world famous bands often make appearances for special events here. Bars and clubs fit any taste from the Latin Mexicola and La Favela to the prestigious Champagne Bar to the trendsetter Potato Head Beach Club (more info on Potato Head Beach Club here) to the more classic Ku De Ta (more info on Ku De Ta here).

Canggu, playing catch up with Seminyak, offers an equally irresistible nightlife. An endless selection of beach bars dominate its nightlife. This starts from Arboon at Berawa and the many small beach bars all the way to Batu Bolong to more upscale Finns Beach Club. La Laguna, La Brisa and The Lawn complete the picture. And of course we should not forget to mention the old time classic Old Man’s. Apart from beach bars, there is also Deus Ex Machina famous for its Sunday live music events. Pretty Poison and Konkrete feature a skate ramp and address a younger at heart crowd. Last but not least, there is also Gimme Shelter for the rock ‘n roll fans, and Latin throwback Lacalita.

More on Canggu’s nightlife here.

places to party

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