- A laidback atmosphere
- Balinese culture
- Fast boats terminal
- Sunrise watching
- Local culinary
Old but Gold
Sanur is one of Bali’s oldest tourist areas. Its beautiful white sand beach began attracting visitors before Kuta became popular with the surfing and backpacking crowd, and it is still clean, peaceful, and quiet. Sanur has very strong ties to traditional culture and is controlled by local village organizations. It is famous for its art style and is known as a Balinese home of black and white magic. It is an ideal place to stay for families and more senior travellers.
Sanur also functioned as the harbour for fast boats depart daily to Lombok and Nusa islands. Most of the accommodation in the area is old but gold, perfect for family staycation. Many great local warungs can be spotted by a long line of costumers in many streets near the beach, while fancier restaurants mostly attached to front beach resorts. The main attractions of Sanur are lines of beaches, Le Mayeur Museum and numbers of watersports. Spas and yoga shalas mainly located near Jalan Danau Tamblingan.
The ocean here is clear and gentle, and any waves break on a reef roughly 500 meters out to sea, making this an ideal place for swimming and playing in the sand with kids. Sanur is good for surfing, but only on rare days where the waves are huge everywhere else on the island, and the waves are a long way out from the beach. The peaceful waters of Sanur make it a great place for boats to dock, so expect to see many colourful local jukung canoes and fisherman.
Sanur is not famous for fine dining but has some excellent restaurants serving creative cuisine from around the world, as well as some great smaller Indonesian restaurants and warungs. Many local families in Sanur successfully maintain food places serving authentic Balinese menu like Nasi Campur, Lawar and Babi Guling. Food carts set up near the beach in the mornings, and in the markets at night.
Sanur has new beach clubs and some relaxing bars where you can play pool, chat to visitors and regulars, or watch a live band. There are also quite a few karaoke bars closer to the Ngurah Rai Bypass. Look for places that advertise “family” karaoke or expect to meet bar girls and “hostesses.” Sanur’s nightlife shuts down around midnight and is less-wild than the party scenes in Kuta and Seminyak.
Sanur is very strict on managing transportation in its territory. Many local taxi groups have an agreement with hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions, to cater guests exclusively. Bali government has started an eco-friendly public transportation recently; the electric buses are expected to hit the roads in Sanur, Kuta, Denpasar and Gianyar soon.
Still, if you want to have a smooth experience for your holiday, hiring a car rental with a driver is the perfect choice. Renting a scooter from a rental, also a great idea; but only if you have an experience to ride two-wheelers.
Sanur has many pleasant places to stay, with most in the middle to upper price range. Homestays and guest houses here are often family-run, as are some of the mid-sized hotels. There are several beautiful beachside luxury hotels and villas in Sanur that are worth splurging on.
Sanur was the face of Bali tourism in the 1950s and 60s, and its pretty beaches drew travellers from around the world, including artists and celebrities. The Bali Beach Hotel was the only structure in Bali allowed to exceed the local building height regulations, which state that no building can be taller than the tallest coconut tree (40 meters). When Bali began to be a popular stop on the backpacking trail through Asia, the focus shifted to Kuta, but Sanur continues to thrive today. Hindu culture is very strong in Sanur, and the area is also well-known for the practice of magic and sorcery.
Sanur is a good base for divers and snorkelers who want to be close to dive sites but stay in nicer accommodation. Even the snorkelling directly off Sanur beach can be good, and it is a popular place for local spearfishermen. When the tide rises, Sanur is a great place to swim, as it is shallow and sheltered from strong currents. As it is open to winds, it is also a popular place for kite surfing and windsurfing. Further out into the ocean, some reasonably good surf spots can get much better with a big swell. Other water sports, including wakeboarding, paragliding, and banana boating, can also be done here. Sanur beach is a great place for a long walk, a jog, or a bike ride on the footpath.