SMALL village, big fun! Canggu, few may have heard or seen the place in the Indonesian island destination of Bali. If you have, chances are high that you are a surfer. I am not, but my friends are, but anything new to me is worth the visit and Canggu is one of this year’s “visit a new place you haven’t been before” spot.

Off the busy sections of the island, 20 minutes from Seminyak and 30 minutes from Kuta, is the quieter Canggu. Serene at this point, at least, however its “quiet” image has attracted much of the expats and overseas nationals to build their private villas to live in or rent out, and the rapid development is taking over the distinctive feature of the area—the rice paddies on Canggu’s undulating terrain.

Canggu’s coast stretches 8 kilometers and offers renowned and challenging surfing spots. Strong undercurrent, which is typical of surfing waters, makes the water not suitable for swimming while the beaches have dark grey or black sand.

I’m fine with just getting some sun with the handy Bintang, the local beer, or a short dip in the cold sea as the cooling agents, and surfer watched. The scene at Batu Bolong Beach, 15 minutes by foot from the Jungle Joglo Villa, I can liken to a Hollywood or health magazine set.

That will give you a pretty clear picture of who the characters are.

After a couple of days at the Batu Bolong surfing front, I got used to the presence of the magazine model looks of the people around me. Stalking and taking stolen shots became totally pointless as the next person who came along trumped the look of the previous one. That signaled the time to explore the beachfront.

The Canggu coastal stretch takes in Batu Bolong Beach, Echo Beach, Nelayan Beach or the Fisherman Beach where the fresh catch of the day is available at daybreak, Pererenan Beach, Selasih Beach, Seseh Beach and Mengening Beach.

Two main temples, both centuries old, are found along are Batu Bolong Beach, the Pura Batu Bolong and Pura Batu Mejan. It was Danghyan Niratha aka Pedanda Shakti Wawu Rauh, a Hindu traveler in the 16th century, who initiated the construction of the temples. He was also a Saivite religious figure (one of the four most widely followed sects of Hinduism revering the God Shiva as the Supreme Being) and the founder of the Shaivite priesthood in Bali.

The days at Batu Bolong Beach would start and end with a bottle of Bintang. Perhaps even a roasted cob of corn smothered with butter and spices from one of the food carts that come late in the afternoon as beer match. These plus good friends make the best company as the sun sets in the horizon. Canggu Beach is one of the best spots to catch the sunset, plus points if you’re perched on a surfboard.

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