Category: Southeast Asia


by Christy Morgan

I’ve had the pleasure of spending 17 days in Canggu (pronounced chain-goo) at the surf and yoga resort Pelan Pelan. You can read all about my days at the retreat here on HappyCow. My breakfast and lunch was provided Monday through Friday but for dinner and on weekends I explored the surrounding area for vegan cuisine. What I found was a pleasant surprise! Here are just some of the many vegan meals I found in this small surfer town that won me over with it’s friendly people and tasty grub.

IMG_3521Peloton Supershop (Jln Raya Pantai Berawa, 8am-4pm, cash only) is one of the two all vegan restaurants in Canggu. I think it’s Australian owned so it has plentiful options of burgers and wraps, gorgeous salads, fresh juices and smoothies, & small plates. If I had been staying nearby I could have eaten here every day, except that they close at 4pm! I had the Be Strong smoothie (Spinach, Mango, Banana, Moringa Protein, Spirulina & Coconut Milk) and the Burn Out Burger (served on a Charcoal Bun with Caramelised Onions, Tomato, Purple Cabbage, Lettuce, & Vegan Mayo with a Side Salad & Sweet Potato Fries) and both were very good. Also had some shots of moringa, mangosteen, and turmeric so I didn’t lose my “healthy vegan” card. It’s a bit more expensive than some of the other places but worth it in creativity and tastiness. Even though it’s air conditioned, the large glass windows keep it pretty hot in there so an ice cold drink is a crucial start to the meal.

green ginger noodle house bali cafe

Green Ginger Noodle House (Jln Raya Pantai Berawa, 8am-9:30pm, takes credit cards) is a vegan cafe down the way from Peloton. It’s Asian fusion so if you’ve had a favorite dish somewhere across Southeast Asia you’ll find it here on the menu. My first meal there was Spring rolls, Pad Thai, and this beautiful White Tiger Salad to the right (roasted pumpkin, sesame, carrot, tempeh, pickled ginger, bean sprouts, cucumber & lime soy dressing). Then I got food delivered later in the week and opted for the Laksa (a flavorful noodle soup from Malaysia), which blew my mind.Bonus: the restaurant is air conditioned and actually cool inside making it a nice reprieve from the scorching heat and humidity. Everything was excellent and the staff is friendly. If you go to other parts of Bali you’ll notice that in general the local people in Canggu are very friendly and accommodating. I noticed this time around people in Ubud were not as friendly. Guess they are getting sick of the tourists.

IMG_3486Warung Bu Mi (Jl. Raya Batu Bolong No. 52, all day, cash only) was shown to me by another vegan who lives in Canggu part-time. It’s the cheapest vegan meal you can get and I went there 3 or 4 times during my stay. Warungs are traditional Balinese cafes that typically have a row of vegetarian/vegan dishes to choose from (along with a row of meat and seafood dishes). You either serve yourself and pay per pile of food or someone serves you as you point to what you want. It’s an experience called “Nasi Campur”. And you’ll pay a measly 25,000 (less than $2) for this huge plate of food. Each time I went I tried something different, but the pumpkin and red beans made it on my plate each time because it was that tasty. Some things had egg but it was pretty obvious what was vegan or not. The veggie dishes are typically vegan in Balinese cuisine anyways and Bu Mi does a good job of keeping most the bottom row of food veg, while the top row is the meat stuff.

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Canteen (Jalan Batumejan No. 33, 7am-5pm, cash only) doesn’t tout itself as a vegan-friendly place but I found their menu easily adaptable and they serve the best coconut milk latte in town! I went here many mornings first thing to work on my computer before the brunch crowd rushed in. One time I had their smoothie bowl, topped with granola, toasted coconut, dragonfruit, and banana (featured right) another time I altered their bagel sandwich swapping out the salmon for tempeh and eggs for avocado. My last morning in town I had them make their breakfast quinoa bowl with tempeh instead of eggs. Easy and delicious. Staff is friendly enough and you’ll even get to strike up conversations with the nice western locals if you go early enough.

I also enjoyed the bowls at Poke Poke, and had a wonderful salad at Avocado Cafe (but sometimes they are out of avocado which is ironic). Betelnut was totally overhyped and I didn’t find many vegan things on the menu.

Do you have any favorites in Canggu? Be sure to leave them in the comments and tell us what you think of our choices! 



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by Christy Morgan

I remember my first time out of the U.S. like it was yesterday. I had just graduated with a fashion design degree and wanted to go to a fashion school in Florence, Italy. The weekends would be spent traveling up and down the country in exploration. In Rome, my camera was stolen out of my backpack in a hostel and I lost all the photos I had taken (back then there was film in cameras!). Even though I had no proof that I had visited the Colosseum and the Pantheon, the memories remained etched in my brain.

I remember traveling down the Amalfi Coast with my mouth agape at the beauty. Cinque Terre was so cute and close to Florence that I went twice. These travels led me to say goodbye to schooling and continue to travel. I had been bit by the bug! I continued up to Switzerland, where my purse was snatched in Zurich and caused so much frustration and pain trying to replace my passport.

camelposeIn every country I’ve visited since you will find similar stories of trials and tribulations, but all the magic I have seen far outweighs the bad. It took me 10 years and traveling to 28 countries to learn how to be a better traveler, the ins and outs of transportation, and surviving as a vegan. Going on a retreat saves you so much stress because someone like me who has been through everything plans it all out for you!

Riding river taxis through Bangkok. Cycling on rickety bikes to Angkor Wat at sunrise. Dripping sweat at the Taj Mahal. Watching the Legong dance in Bali. Taking the tube in London. Picking strawberries in the mountains of Malaysia. Releasing baby turtles into the ocean in Mexico. Sipping the best soy latte in Australia. Doing yoga at an ashram in Vietnam. The list goes on and on of the magic I’ve experienced thanks to traveling the world.

One of the most magical times I’ve ever had was in Bali last year with 13 beautiful and unique women. These retreats teach me so much about myself, but the most amazing thing is watching how they transform others. From the woman who went to honor her parents who had passed during the same week years back, to the mother who had never left her child and fell so much in love with Bali she’s been back again. To the many who had never left the country and trusted they would be taken care of by me. To the puppies we found under a lounge chair on the beach and found a home for. We all have unique stories to tell.

4 reasons why you should go on a yoga retreat

Less planning, less stress
It takes hours and hours of researching to find the perfect hotel, make sure you’ll have the healthy food you desire, what part of town you should stay in, figuring out transportation and customs, etc. When you go on a retreat everything is planned for you. You just show up and enjoy a vacation of a lifetime! That right there is priceless!

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Connection with like-minded individuals
Retreats are perfect for solo travelers or those who don’t want to spend their whole vacation alone. It’s not always possible to travel with your friends or family. But that shouldn’t stop you from going to a magical place to have an amazing experience. If you go on a retreat you instantly have 10+ friends and you aren’t left all alone with no one to share your experiences with. Even the most introverted will feel more secure on a retreat because all the activities are optional and you get plenty of free time to do you own thing too. And who knows, these people may become life-long friends.

Come home better than when you left
Going on a retreat that includes things like yoga, mind/body connection, and healthy food lets you come back home better off that when you left. That is the whole purpose of our retreats! Remember that last vacation where you drank too much, ate crappy food and came home drained and like you needed a vacation from your vacation? Going on a healthy retreat will leave you feeling refreshed, recharged, and ready to take on the world. The Bali retreat will give you a self-care plan to take home as well.

Say-YES-to-life-and-seeSaying yes to you
Most people are living day in and day out trying to make ends meet, caring for their friends and family, some are running businesses and managing families. Women in particular spend less time on themselves than they do on the people around them. Taking time away from everyday life allows you to think more clearly about your needs and to connect with your authentic self. And you deserve it!

 


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