Unlike in the big smoke, where mornings tend to be reserved for overpriced takeaway coffee and shitty work commutes, waking up early in Canggu is a real delight. The air is cool, the only sounds to be heard are birdsong and the hum of the call to prayer, and the sky is streaked blue and shell pink. There are not too many people around either, save for the odd local moving their bowels in a roadside stream.
Perhaps you’re the type who rises in need of a croissant, or hankering a wave; maybe you’ve even pulled an all-nighter thanks to the always winning combo that is beer and extra joss. Whatever your reason for being awake early, we’ve rounded up the best things to do in the ‘gu while the rest of the town is still snoozing.
Paddle out at the beach
Canggu is pretty notorious for its packed beaches – especially out of the front of Old Man’s, where you’re just as likely to get fin chopped by a German backpacker than you are to actually get a wave. But if you make it into the ocean early, you’ll find the crowds are much more manageable. If you don’t already have a board, most beach rentals will have someone floating around to rent you one from 7am, with prices sitting at about 50,000IDR an hour – though this is of course dependent on your bargaining power.
In terms of where to surf, well – that all comes down to your ability. Echo Beach has a lot of breaks, and proves ideal for intermediates and even experts when there’s big swell. Its unforgiving reef and sandbars make it no place for beginners though, so if you’re still learning, it’s best to paddle out at Batu Bolong, where there are also numerous surf schools that can help get you on your feet. Berawa is more of a locals-in-the-know spot, but can be a tad more fickle – be sure to give it a miss at high tide.
Treat your eyeballs to a sunrise
Bali has some of the most stunning sunrises and sunsets in the southern hemisphere. Though this is largely thanks to Indonesia’s air pollution and the way light scatters in sulphur dioxide particles, it still makes for some bloody good viewing should you have your eyes on the sky at the right time. In case you’ve forgotten your basic year 7 geography, the sun rises in the east, meaning the other side of the island is better for a sunrise sesh, but if you head to a rooftop – such as the one on your own house or the top of Frii Hotel or D’Koa, you’ll be able to get a great view of old man Matahari as he peeps his head above the horizon.
Chow down on a tasty breakfast
There are quite a few decent warungs open 24 hours on Jalan Raya Canggu if you feel like a campur first thing in the morning, but if you’re more into your poached eggs, French pastries and flat whites, the best early options are Rise And Shine Café on Jalan Padang Linjong, which opens at 6, or Monsieur Spoon on Batu Bolong, which starts serving from 6:30.
For a real palette party – think mung bean dahl or pumpkin and buckwheat pancakes – you can’t look past Eat&Drink at The Slow. Dished up over pick me up harmonies by Reverberation Radio, it’s a sure fire way to an A+ day.
Smash out some emails at Dojo Bali
Dojo, the type of co-working space those stuck in the city slickin’ rat race can only dream about, is open 24 hours to its paying members. Located in Echo Beach, Dojo’s in-house café and attached smoothie shop Nalu Bowls are open from 7am. Both serve tasty fare and excellent coffee. So come in early and stop procrastinating with that big pile of work in your inbox. The best part is you get to spend your study breaks lounging around the gorgeous pool and patting the resident rescued dogs and cats.
What better way to start a big day of chilling in Canggu than a sun salutation à la the ancient Indian art of yoga? Samadi Bali offers classes from 7:00; Desa Seni and The Practice open their doors at 7:15; Serenity Guesthouse starts teaching from 7:30. Do be aware that most yoga studios in Canggu assume that if you’re an early bird, you’re also a yoga guru, meaning the first class of the day is usually not for beginners. Check out each studio’s website for more details: the schedules tend to change monthly.
Hit the Market
Doing your groceries at Canggu Station or Pepito Supermarket is great if you want to indulge in some much-missed wheels of brie, but if you really want to shop like a local, Pasar Semat Sari, located inside the raised walls on the corner of Jalan Canggu Permai and Pantai Berawa, is open from 5am. Here, for ridiculously cheap, you’ll find all sorts of colourful fruit and produce, fresh fish and meat, an array of aromatic spices and even clothing.