09 November 2022

Beaches, Boutiques and BBQ in Canggu, Seminyak & Jimbaran

I spent the last week of my stay in Bali in the southern part of the island: three days in Canggu and four in Jimbaran. I was attending a meeting in Jimbaran and hardly got to leave the hotel, although the resort we were staying in was so nice that I didn't really mind too much. Here's what I got up to.


I stayed at Sedasa Lodge, a small boutique hotel set around a swimming pool and located a few minutes' walk from Berawa Beach. The room was quiet and comfortable (although I might opt for an upstairs room rather than a poolside room next time) and the staff were really lovely. The neighbourhood was great too: there were lots of fab coffee shops and eateries within a short walk.

Speaking of geography, I had made the mistake of assuming that because Google Maps said that Canggu proper (around Jl. Munduk Catu and Jl. Munduk Catu) was only a ten-minute walk away, I could easily roam back and forth between there and Berawa. And I did manage it once, but it wasn't the most pleasant of walks thanks to the narrow roads filled with bikes, lack of pavements and the recent flooding. But it's easy to pick up a car or bike through the Grab and Gojek apps or even on street and most rides cost under £3.

Beach time
I had a similar problem with the beaches: having walked down to Berawa Beach, I thought I could walk along the shore all the way down to Seminyak, but had to make a lengthy (and not particularly pedestrian friendly) detour inland just after Berawa due to a mini-estuary that proved too deep for me to cross without risking my possessions. The weather wasn't too great during my time in this area, so I only spent one morning sunbathing and swimming on the beach in Seminyak (renting a lounger and umbrella for about £3) before the heavens opened. There were a lot of surfing lessons going on, but the waves were very strong and most beginners weren't having much luck. After my drama in Nusa Penida, I decided to stick closer to the shore instead. There are dozens of beach clubs, offering bars, pools and much more, all along the coastline, so you can just walk along until you find your perfect lounging spot.

Food & drink
If you've read my last post, you'll know I spent a lot of my time in Canggu and Seminyak visiting coffee shops and brunch spots. I had plenty of other great food and drink experiences too. At MASON, I had the most delicious charcoal-grilled rosemary and aioli chicken and creamed potatoes with an expertly mixed gin, blood orange, agave and mint tonic cocktail.

The Shady Pig is an excellent speakeasy-style cocktail bar in Berawa — they've created an origin story about the Peaky Blinders-inspired Shady family and the two cocktails I had were wonderful. The Let Your Hubby Home (pictured) featured gin, celery distill, cucumber and lemon — milk washed to clarify the spirit, producing a clear, smooth taste — and served with cherry and rose jellies. The bartenders were great fun too.

The Neapolitan pizza at Lusa By/Suka and the vegan chocolate and peanut butter doughnut at Dough Darlings — both in Berawa — also deserve a shout-out.

Retail therapy
I visited a bunch of interesting boutiques and other shops in Seminyak and Canggu while I was there — one afternoon, there was a big rain storm and I needed somewhere to shelter! My favourites included: Drifter (surfer-inspired clothes and accessories; great for gifts); Bamboo Blonde (clothes); Suen Noaj (clothes and accessories); By the Sea (seaside chic); Earth Circus (clothing); Fipper (Havaianas-like flipflops but much cheaper); The Other Project (ceramics); Sensatia Botanicals (skincare brand with Aesop-like aesthetics); and Deus Ex Machina — Temple of Enthusiasm (surfer-inspired clothes and accessories).


It was a real treat to stay at the InterContinental Bali Resort, a large, luxury resort on Jimbaran Beach. I usually stay in smaller, boutique properties and it took a couple of days to get the lay of the land — and locate all of the swimming pools and other facilities. But before long, I didn't want to leave! My room was large and beautifully appointed, with a big private balcony overlooking the gardens. The main pool, next to the beach, was huge and had a swim-up bar. There was a varied buffet for breakfast and the service throughout the hotel was impeccable.

And if you want to feel the sand beneath your toes, it's just a few steps to get down to the public beach where there is soft white sand, as well as gentler waves than further up the coast in Canggu. The views extend south to Uluwatu — and across the bay to Ngurah Rai International Airport if you like a spot of plane-spotting.

Although I spent most of the days inside conference rooms, I did get to enjoy a few beautiful sunsets from the beach. If I had had another free half-day, I would have loved to visit Uluwatu, and especially Uluwatu Temple. One for next time!

Food & drink
As I mentioned in my last post, Bull's Coffee is a very fine option for speciality coffee in Jimbaran. As for eateries, we had a fab fish BBQ supper at Teba CafĂ© one night. The seafood is all freshly caught and the portions are huge! We also had a delicious tapas meal at Cuca, a short walk along the beach from the InterContinental. Cuca fuses western cooking techniques with Indonesian ingredients and there were some super-creative dishes on offer.

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