In South-East Bali, east of Denpasar lays the picturesque coastal area of Sanur. As the tourism in Bali flourished, Sanur quickly developed into a quaint but thriving beach-side town. Even though other coastal destinations in Bali are well-known and therefore, much-visited, Sanur will surely give you a quiet, natural and relaxing experience. The streets and cafés, museums and markets would not only give you a true account of the authentic culture there but also prominently offer you a quiet getaway amidst the natural charm of Bali.
Pura Blanjong is the local’s beloved temple in Sanur’s Intaran Village. The name ‘Blanjong’ is a mixture of two words, Belahan, meaning ‘pieces of’ in Indonesian and Ngejung, meaning fish-boat. The locals believe that a huge stranded fish-boat was found at the nearest beach from the temple, which lent its name to the temple. It was built as a monument in the honour of Sri Kesari Warmadewa, one of the earlier and well-known Balinese Kings. It is also home to the oldest known artifact of Bali, which is the famous Prasasti Blanjong, or the Blanjong Pillar, dating back to 914AD. It comes with an inscription, spelling ‘Walidwipa’, the name for the Bali island. Pura Blanjong is certainly a place of mesmerizing architecture and immense historical significance.
Though the cluster of beaches found in Sanur is collectively referred to as the Sanur Beach, only two or three actually make up the coast. Sanur is well-known for its sandy and sparkling beaches, where you can enjoy a beautiful sunrise view. There are so many things you can do on Sanur beach, including leisurely walking on the Sanur Boardwalk. One of the things that Sanur coast offers is excellent and perfectly safe water sports. Jetskis, stand up paddle-boarding and windsurfing are just some of the many water activities you can enjoy there. Pretty shacks and cafés line up the beach too, where you can enjoy your meals, looking over at the sandy paradise.
Turtle Conservation and Education Centre
The Turtle Conservation and Education Centre (TCEC) is located on the south of Sanur, on Serangan Island and strives to end the turtle trade and conserve this cute species. The turtles here think that this place is the perfect one to lay their eggs. TCEC then collects the eggs laid on the beach and helps them to hatch smoothly, until the time when they are absolutely ready to live on their own in the vast ocean. They also take good care of sick or injured turtles and send them back once they are healthy and happy. TCEC also provide some insightful and definitely interesting information on turtles, so as to raise more awareness for these cute creatures.
Bali Orchid Garden
Orchids bode well in Bali’s tropical weather and volcanic and rich soil. Therefore, it makes sense that orchid gardens have cropped up over the Balinese island. Bali Orchid Garden, located just at a 10 minutes distance from Sanur beach, is a beautiful showcase of the staple flower of the Bali island. There are around a thousand different varieties of pretty orchids covering huge acres of lush land, along with different beautiful flowers. You are welcomed with a refreshing beverage, before being assigned to a friendly guide who gives an informative tour of the entire expanse. There is also a café tucked in the garden, along with neat and hygienic washrooms and a little souvenir shop. It has an inexpensive entry fee, where you can get to know about one of the finest creations of nature.
Dream Island is named like that for a reason; it is like a dreamy paradise in the middle of reality. The iconic ocean swings – which can be found on Gili islands – are replicated here too! Hidden away on Mertasari Beach, Dream Island provides a lot of activities, including Camel & Horse Rides, Canoeing, Wind-Surfing, Diving, Stand Up Paddle Boards & Snorkeling, among others. There’s a beautiful photo-ops, right in front of the place’s shack, where you can click a lot of memories. The meal that they serve here is authentic Indonesian cuisine, and quite delicious at that. Hop on the Ocean swings, enjoy some good food and relax by the beach; that’s what the Dream Island is all about!
Taman Festival is a large amusement park, situated on Jalan Pantai Padang Galak in Sanur. However, there’s a catch – it’s an abandoned amusement park. The park was left in mid-construction and now all that remains is a bunch of spooking, crumbling buildings, statues and figures covered in vines and a dark crocodile swamp, all of them wrapped in a mysterious air. The buildings seem that they can fall down any minute, giving it an otherworldly, frightening aura. The locals, in fact, refer to this amusement park as a ‘ghost town’. It is believed here that the crocodiles who lived in the swampy pit turned cannibalistic after leaving the park. Therefore, people are warned to not go too near the crocodile’s pit, filled with dark, murky and ominous waters. Get your fill of terrifying fun in Taman Festival.
Museum Le Mayeur
Museum Le Mayeur is one of the best places to experience art and history, located on the north end of Sanur Beach. It was formerly a house of a Belgian expatriate, by the name of Adrien-Jean Le Mayeur de Merpres. After he died in 1958, his house was comfortably transformed into a beautiful museum, without changing the essence of the place. Le Mayeur’s works are now up in this museum, with many of them being portraits of his wife, Ni Wayan Polok Tjoeglik, a renowned Balinese dancer. Other Le Mayeur’s exhibited arts include Bali’s picturesque landscapes and female inhabitants of the house. The surrounding area is just as beautiful as the museum, with the traditional Balinese style garden and the collection set there.
Jalan Danau Tamblingan
While Jalan Danau Tamblingan is well-known for Massimo, this little street in Sanur is the main street and has many options which you can enjoy, include its artsy shops, neat little cafés and restaurants and excellent accommodations. Cafés and warungs on the street are quite cheap and serve delicious food, with the best of the places being Massimo. It is an Italian restaurant, which serves the best gelato in Bali. The range of shops here is seen selling trinkets and products which are pure Balinese in nature. There are colourful kites, unique masks and intricate wood carvings as well as gifts and souvenirs that you can take back with you as a memory.
Jalan Danau Poso
Sanur seems to have a lot of excellent food options, including whole streets dedicated to food. Jalan Danau Poso is a pretty little street, filled with a variety of warungs, i.e. small restaurants. Most of the warungs provide local Balinese cuisine, with a small amount of them focusing on Western cuisines. If you are looking for a food-and-fun-filled day, then you can plan to enjoy your whole day in the pocket-friendly street of Jalan Danau Poso. Some of the recommended restaurants here are Warung Dapur Sanur and Warung Jawa, which offer delicious Balinese nasi campur, curried mixed rice and other proper side dishes.
Pasar Sindhu Night Market
The Sanur Night Market is literally one of the best night markets you could ever visit and experience in Bali. Since it is located close to Sindhu Beach, this market is also known as Pasar Sindhu Night Market. It wakes up at 5 in the evening and functions smoothly till midnight. It is exclusively a local food market, where everything is culturally authentic and absolutely delicious. The market’s small cluster of warungs provides people with some amazing eating options, including savoury rice dishes and refreshing fruit juices. Right at the entrance of the market, there is a little play ride area, where people can keep their children engaged. There are also some shops, where you can get inexpensive clothes, footwear and bags.
Genius Café is a unique beach-front café, situated on Mertasari Beach in Sanur. It is a coworking café, where people from the fields of entrepreneurship, health and lifestyle, education, wellbeing and caring for the environment can meet up and have some fruitful conversations and discussions. They provide a beautiful and stimulating ambience for the people, where the café provides both, indoors as well as outdoor seating arrangements. It is a vegetarian café, with the menu being delicious and healthy, both at the same time. You can munch on the dishes of salad bowls, pizzas, soups, burgers, tacos, falafels, quesadillas, as well as soothing juices, mocktails and smoothies, to name just a few. Chilling by the beach, while making your entrepreneurial ideas into reality - that is exactly what Genius café is all about.
Griya Santrian Art Gallery
The place where this amazing gallery is located – Griya Santrian – is a Beach Resort & Spa, where one can relax by the calm sea waters and enjoy the true Balinese experience. Griya Santrian Art Gallery is a creative place present inside the premises of this resort, where exhibitions of talented artists are held frequently. Admission to the gallery is absolutely free. Artworks exhibited here hail from contemporary as well as abstract genres, all of which are certainly stimulating food for thought. In addition to paintings, photography and ceramics are also put up for people to see and enjoy. Regular book launches are hosted here, along with signing events and featured artists’ meetups, which makes it a perfect place for all kind of art lovers.
Casablanca is one of the popular bars located on Jalan Danau Tamblingan, well-known for its live music and fun vibes. The place is open by the day too, serving excellent breakfast and lunch options. As for the night, not only the dinner menu is great, but the place also magically transforms into raving party area. The music is a soft addition to the place, not too loud so as to facilitate smooth conversations around. While Casablanca is usually always busy, you won’t feel that you are cramped in it, thanks to its spacious feel. The bartenders are friendly and give excellent recommendation on beers, cocktails and other mixes. Single, couples and even large groups, everyone is guaranteed to have fun times at Casablanca.
Bali Seawalker is a fun activity you can enjoy in the Sanur waters. Alternatively known as the Sanur Seawalker, it is sort of a scuba diving activity, where you actually get to walk underwater! Provided by Puri Santrian Hotel, you just have to don on your swim-wear and the sea-walker equipment - you are then good to go. You don’t have to worry about it all - the professional staff will coach you through the process. The Seawalker helmet is actually the magical element of such tours, which lets the wearer breathe and even talk to fellow sea-walkers. The fishes will swim right by your face, as you feel the beautiful coral reefs all around you. You will get around 30 minutes underwater, i.e. 30 minutes in sparkling paradise.
Mercure Resort Sanur
Sanur is blessed with an amazing selection of resorts, especially beach-side ones. One of the best ones is Mercure Resort Sanur, which is located in close vicinity of Sanur beach. They have meticulous and absolutely amazing Balinese-style accommodation, with traditional cottages, complete with thatched roofs and private terraces. Along with these, there are cosy family suites, having bunker beds and connecting rooms for the family to live comfortably. There are two pools and a spa, along with huge tennis, badminton and volleyball courts, where visitors can relax and have some fun.
The resort also provides a free shuttle bus for people who wish to explore around. The nearby Pandawa Restaurant and Mercure’s two bars complete the heavenly experience that Mercure Resort claims to provide.
Sanur has some excellent selection of things to do and places to visit. Sanur gives off some real pleasing and calm vibes, which can swing anyone’s mood from sadness to joy and contentment. If you are, therefore, planning your Bali Itinerary, Sanur is that one place you should definitely add in there.