By Angie Davis
With two months up our sleeves, we touched down in Bali and settled into our Canggu villa, marveling in the space, elegance, and affordability. For half the price of our previous rental in Australia, we could live like royalty in Bali with all the bells and whistles: private pool, maid, on-call masseuse, Go-Jek delivery app on tap, and most importantly, a local Indonesian babysitter that would make our kids feel part of her family.
Since the early 70s, Bali has become a travel hotspot for Australians. Nowadays, the moment you arrive at the airport you are surrounded by a borderless world and endless possibilities. Boasting great weather much of the year, the kindest of locals, remarkable WiFI speeds, infinity pools at just about every turn, surf, rice fields, and that trademark Bali smell of burning incense, this little island has become a haven for digital nomads. Throw in your $5-per-hour nanny, and traveling parents get to join in on the fun.
Canggu has become a hipster’s paradise. As cliche as it sounds, Canggu is my favourite Bali locale for healthy food, yoga centres, beachside bars and trendy shopping. Our daily routine would begin with riding scooters down to The Shady Shack, which to date I can not topple as my favorite vegan cafe and breakfast spot in the world. You read correctly, in the World. Their beetroot chai latte is divine, while the choc top smoothie is liquid gold. You cannot leave the country without trying their pulled jackfruit tacos, and if you are like me, you’ll likely eat there everyday until you leave. It’s THAT good.
Book one of our beautiful villas in Canggu
Villa Desa Roro Estate comprises two gorgeous traditional-style luxury villas; the 5-bedroom villa Desa Roro and its 2-bedroom sister villa Desa Roro Dua. Together they make one large holiday haven to unwind completely during your stay in Bali. The Desa Roro Estate is located in the peaceful yet hip Berawa area of Canggu, close to the beach and close to the Canggu Club.
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FOR THE KIDS
Mid-morning outings became a fun mix up of trampolining at Bounce, rock-climbing at Bali Climbing, swimming in the infinity pool at The Lawn (settle in around 11am for a great spot up near the pool, and make this your go-to for lunch) then popping out-front for a surf.
Afternoons are for shopping. Australian-owned, Balinese-made Divine Goddess Yoga Products is right on the corner of Batu Bolong and the road that takes you out to ‘The Shortcut’. Bamboo Blonde, another Australian-owned designer label with beautiful women’s clothing made in Bali, is further down toward the beach. Magali Pascal is a French designer whose clothing embodies bohemian elegance with high-end design, also located along Batu Bolong.
In the spirit of all things Bali and indulging yourself, you can’t miss the opportunity to check in for regular spa treatments. Gold Dust is the go-to for organic waxing and signature gold facials, but my favourite nail salon is Colors Nail and Juice Bar just a short scooter ride out of central Canggu.
IN THE EVENINGS
Call your nanny and head to The Practice yoga shala for Yin Yoga at 4pm. Unwind, slow down, and enjoy a complimentary cup of tea after you class. Post-yoga, it’s all about fresh, clean Indonesian food for dinner. Warung Bumi is a no-frills nasi campur haunt that will leave you feeling full without that over-the-tipping-point sensation. This is real homestyle Indonesian food, and if you’re vegan like us, they have a huge range of offerings. I was feeding my family for under $10 total, with a bottle of freshly packed coconut water on the side.
ATM FRAUD TIP
While Canggu is super safe and you can enjoy strolling the streets into the late evening, beware rife ATM fraud along Batu Bolong, and most of Canggu. Wherever possible, withdraw cash from ATM outposts outside the major banks. After hearing several cases of ATM theft, it actually happened to me a month after I left Bali. The thieves copy your credit card details and hit you by using your details to make purchases online when you’ve left the country.
RIDING SCOOTERS WITH KIDS
If you are confident on a scooter, then you can consider riding around on a scooter with kids. I could manage riding around with both my sons but I recommend one child per adult, and always wear helmets. There are many scooter accidents, mostly young tourists riding around without helmets. Don’t become a statistic.