Artists Donald Friend and Andrian ohn Le Mayeur and Writer Vicky Baum were among the past famed inhabitants of the lovely seaside suburb of Sanur. Nowadays it is home to a number of quiet beachside hotels and friendly dining options. Life in Sanur is almost is almost speely, the nightlife is restricted to bars and cafes catering to a local and expat crowd who prefer to gather around pool tables and televised sport than the latest imported DJ. That said, Sanur has a lot to recommend it. The five kilometers boardwalk that winds from jalan Pengubak to Jalan Pantai Segara is wide enough to ride on bicycles, safe enough for kids and dotted with beachside cafes each with a unique take on what makes a great beach menu.
The beach with soft sand and shallow waters is ideal for kids and remains for most the main attraction. Water sports including a trip in a fishing boat, stand up paddle boarding and kite surfing are offered, while local boats will take surfers out to the breaks beyond the reef. One of the prettiest sights is that of the traditional brightly painted jukung fishing boats going off at sunset beyond the reef.
Sanur’s history is fascinationg and you should not miss the opportunity to see the stone pillar. You will find it down a narrow laneway, called a ‘gang’, near the temple Pura Belangong. The stone is inscribed in Sanskrit and gives evidence of a Hindu influence from more than a thousand years ago. The Le Mayeur Museum is not just a testament to the life of the painter, but is also his home and the temple of his love for the dancer Ni Pollok, who became his wife. The museum shows a story told in pictures, but also tells one of the power the island had over the minds of the European men and women who found a home here before the outbreak of the Second World War. Another Sanur history, or perhaps mystery, is to be found at the Inna Grand Bali Beach Hotel where legend has it the mermaid goddess, Nyi Ratu Kidul, still visits her suite to consort with powerful members of government to give guidance and advice. Decked in green and possessed of powers of attraction she exemplifies the discreet mystique of Sanur, which has never quite gained the cachet that other destinations have. For those who love it, it is better for that sense of separate self.
However, it is not that time has passed it by. The three Monkeys Café on Jalan Danau Tablingan hosts international Jazz performances, Manik Organik has health foods and yoga classes and the ever popular Café Batu Jimbar hosts a Sunday market and caters to a crowd that talks to each other over creamy coffees and fresh cooked pies that have come down from the family farm in Pupuan on the slopes of Batu Karu.
The variety of hotels in the area suits all budgets and is friendly to families, one of the favorites being the Segara Village Hotel on Jalan Pantai Segara.