To put it simply, they’re basically the same suburb only their split by ‘THE SHORTCUT’.
What’s the big deal you might say? There isn’t one really….. (Depending on who you talk to… and how many times they’ve had to ‘Cross the cut’ that day) but to fully enjoy your time on holiday, the least amount of moving around would be ideal, at least in Canggu anyway.
So. First things first, a quick download on ‘The Shortcut’ as this is vital information for planning / moving around. 6+ years go the Canggu Shortcut used to be a beautiful picturesque ‘depiction of Canggu’, and most days you could see the Volcano’s in Java as you came across and looked out over the rice-paddies. At first it was a dirt track which then evolved into cobblestones and now… is a mash of all those things & more. The shortcut used to be so quiet that my friends & I joked that we would have her wedding on it (We also lived on one of the only houses ON the short cut at the time!). These days, I almost need to get paid to go across… OK, maybe a little extreme, but I do need at least 3 reasons / things to do over there for my mental barrier to break through the neck-breaking pot holes & anxiety of Batu Bolong to get me riding my scoopy over it. The shortcut is now quickly being built on with tattoo palours, clubs, gyms & co-working spaces so while the picturesque days are gone, this road is still the main vein connecting mainland Canggu / Echo Beach to Berawa….with some handy mini-marts & stop off’s along the way!
Don’t get me wrong, this road takes all of 3 minutes to cross on a good run. On a bad run? We’re talking an hour….
So Shortcut aside, which side of Canggu to stay on?
It’s pretty simple (well… kind of…) If you’re a night owl & like to be right in the thick of it, then Batu Bolong is your spot. While this comes with some ‘limitations’ ie loud music at night, very busy roads (both for walking & scooters) as well as many many tourists, the upside is that you could never be more than 20 metres from your next meal, Spa or drinks spot! If you like to go out at night, this side of the Shortcut houses many a club & drinking hole. Old Mans, The Lawn, Gimme Shelter, Neverland, Mason just to name a few. If you’re here to Surf, Batu Bolong beach has the most amount of surf schools & board hires on the beach but there are learner waves the entire way from Echo Beach through to South side of Berawa.
If you’re less here to party, more here for a gals trip, family and do value quiet nights then Berawa would be my pick for you. While Berawa side still has an endless amount of cafes, restaurants and beach clubs (Finns takes over almost all of Berawa beach), there is only one late night party spot – The Vault – that goes on past midnight. And the Vault is exactly that, an underground Vault which means noise pollution is kept to a minimum – Woohoo! Berawa also houses some of our favourite boutiques including Cove, Bungalow, Yoli & Otis, Jungle Trader and of course, Luna & Rose and is a little more kid friendly in the café offerings. (Milk & Madu, Marigold & Tamora Gallery all have playgrounds for kids!)
In terms of location, no matter which side of the shortcut you stay on, I would recommend always trying to book somewhere beachside of the main busy road ‘Jl. Raya Canggu’. This road is a main vein with trucks & cars and is busy 24/7 so if you can avoid staying or crossing this road – you’re off to a great start on your stay in Canggu!
So, Berawa or Batu Bolong side of the shortcut? The choice is yours my friends, but I hope this helps you understand a little more on which side of the shortcut to stay on & approximate locations for your next trip to Bali! Can’t wait to see you here soon, be sure to stop by our boutique & say hi to the girls x
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