Sanur is one of the main beach resort areas on the south coast of Bali, located NE of the airport in Tuban. Sanur’s history goes back a long way, with some of the oldest recorded writing on the island still preserved at the small temple at Prasasti Blanjong on Jl. Danau Poso. The ancient text, dating back to the 10th Century, is inscribed on stone pillar locked in a glass cabinet only about 10 meters from the street. Wrapped in cloth, you can just manage to see a bit of the writing sticking out. The inscriptions detail the arrival of a Javanese king in Bali of the Mahayana Buddhist kingdom, another cultural / religious influence.
Located 18km from the airport, Sanur is a a handy place for a new arrival. Airport taxis might charge around 70,000rp to Sanur and the journey is around 20-25 minutes. For people choosing Sanur over Kuta or Nusa Dua, the advantages are a less intense atmosphere than Kuta and a more genuine one than Nusa Dua. Sanur was the location Bali’s first large scale hotel, the Grand Bali Beach, but so far that is the only one of it size. The hotel suffered a fire in 1992 destroying much of the hotel. One room was totally untouched and the Balinese dedicate that room as a shrine, never to be occupied. Being a fishing village traditionally, Sanur retains its local flavour even though the busy Bypass Ngurah Rai passes through and the main street, Jl. Danau Tamblingan is wall to wall shops and restaurants.
Sanur has a reef making it ideal for surfers and also people with young kids inside the reef. Sanur does not get a strong beach break like Kuta / Seminyak. Swimming is only possible at high tide as low tide exposes the reef. Swimming outside the reef is not recommended.
Sanur nightlife is basically the local bar and restaurant scene, with the odd place such as the Cat & Fiddle pub providing live music. There are no real nightclubs in Sanur and the younger party crowd do not frequent the area as much.
One of the most pleasant aspects of Sanur is its large expanse of beach front. A footpath covers the entire 5kms allowing visitors to stroll along and explore, stopping when they feel like it for a drink or snack at a beach side restaurant. The sand quality is good in Sanur, yellowish in color and fairly clean. The best spots of beach are in the outside the Inna Grand Bali Beach hotel in the north and outside the Gazebo hotel in the south.
Looking back to the 20th century, Bali attracted a number of famous expats including Australian artist Donald Friend, Belgian artist Adrien Jean Le Mayeur de Merpes and author Vicki Baum who wrote ‘A Tale of Bali’.
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Sanur is made up of 7 small districts, joined together seamlessly by the Bypass and tourist trade infrastructure. Driving from Kuta the main points you’ll see on the Bypass are the Macro supermarket on the left side on the very southern end of Sanur before Jl. Danau Poso. As the Bypass swings through and heads left the main features you’ll notice are the McDonalds at the junction with Jl. Segara Ayu and the KFC at the junction with Jl. Hang Tuah in the north.
Jl. Hang Tuah (KFC) is the small road that leads directly to the beach. It has a row of small hotels and Jl. Danau Toba has a good selection of restaurants and shops. Just south along the beach-side pathway is Museum Le Mayeur (open Mon-Thurs & Sun 8am-3pm, Fri 8am-12.30pm, admission 2,000rp, children 1,000rp). The Sanur Paradise Plaza is a fine hotel located at Jl. Hang Tuah and the Bypass.
The area between Jl. Segara Ayu (McDonalds) and Jl. Pantai Karang is known as Sindhu. This is a relatively high density set up of hotels and restaurants, including the Gazebo Hotel and The Village restaurant.
This area is popular with expats living in Sanur. The Hardy’s supermarket and restaurants close by give a slight ‘Seminyak’ kind of feel. Many expats prefer living in Sanur due to its proximity to the International School and quieter character than Kuta. Cafe Batujimber is a great place for a lunch stop.
The coastal strip to the south of Sanur from the Bali Hyatt to Hotel Sanur Beach. This part of the beach is quiet and you will see the brightly colored jukung (local fishing boats).
The southern section of Sanur close to the Bypass. The location of the Prasasti Blanjong ancient inscriptions. The Bali Cricket Club is based on Jl. Danau Poso.