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Canggu, Bali

Whereas the explosion of the health and yoga scene in Ubud has led to a New Age nirvana that skirts the kitsch, Canggu is the hippy capital’s more rebellious younger sister: sharing the same spiritual emphasis yet possessing greater depth. The town buzzes with digital nomads and creatives, and the impressive local street art scene here is enough to rival the backstreets of Berlin and Melbourne’s famed laneways.

Given the island’s Hindu heritage, it likely comes as little surprise that the town is a blossoming mecca for the burgeoning yogi. With hundreds of studios dotted across the town, visitors have their pick to choose from, but our personal favourite is Desa Seni for its laid-back eco feel and open salas. Choose between private and shared classes and relax your muscles through deep asanas and meditation. For those seeking a more adventurous activity through which to unwind, the town boasts fantastic surfing at Echo Beach, with its impressive waves and black sand shore drawing in many of surfing’s big names.

That said, don’t be mistaken for thinking this clean-living milieu is chaste from hedonism. The town comes alive at night, with beach bars blasting old school hip hop to a well-dressed crowd that sip on hibiscus martinis. Nightlife here is a world away from the mainstream buzz of nearby Kuta’s central strip, far more relaxed and centred around the cool and easy-going bars that line the stretching, golden beaches.

As with many hipster locales, the coffee and restaurant scene here thrives. Visitors will be hard pressed to choose between the number of excellent boutique cafes serving fresh, clean flavours and the selection of organic produce on offer matches those in any liberal Western capital. Our personal favourites are Little Flinders and Crate Café, but if you’re in search of the best local juices look no further than Café Organic on Batu Balong – their delicious green smoothies are the perfect way to rejuvenate after a late night of hedonism.

Located just north of Kuta, it makes the perfect stop on a journey up to the north of the island to see the Twin Lakes of Tamblingan and Buyan, the Jatiluwih rice terraces and Bali’s most famous ancient temples.

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I had a very lovely time and was looked after splendidly. My first visit to India could not have been better, save for being longer! But I shall return at some point and I shall look to you to make the arrangements.
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So many highlights to choose from! The hotels were amazing but Maya Villa was a highlight… I loved just hanging out in the hammock reading my book and watching the peacocks chase the cows!
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