A prosperous and historic resort area,
Sanur is Indonesia's answer to Waikiki. It's nine km southeast
of Denpasar and crowded with high-priced luxury hotels and
clusters of serene bungalows in leafy compounds along the
shoreline of a gentle, reef-sheltered lagoon.
Guesthouses started appearing here as early as the 1940s
and heralded the age of modern tourism on the island. Large
hotel enclaves, shady lanes, trees, and coral walls give
the village a park-like setting.
The sunrise over Pulau Nusa Penida each morning is magnificent.
At sunset, sailboats dot Sanur's horizon. Sanur is smaller,
quieter, prettier, safer, and more sheltered than Kuta 15
km to the southwest. It's also more expensive. The big luxury
hotels which have made Sanur famous are on side streets
off the main street and its 'dukun' and trance mediums are
renowned all over the island.
Despite the throngs of tourists, the village still retains
its Balinese character. Sanur is one of Bali's largest traditional
villages. Nevertheless village life goes on and visitors
can really experience the real Bali.
The trees are mature, the streets in good repair, and there's
less construction than in Kuta or Lovina. Sanur is the preferred
long-term residence for those Bali expats who prefer the
ocean and the city. The most exclusive private estates,
separated by vine-draped coral walls and palm-fringed lanes,
are in the Batu Jimbar neighborhood.
Within these elegant compounds are luxurious gardens, swimming
pools, lotus ponds, well-tended lawns, and elegant, traditional
thatched-roofed villas. Because of its glamour, and snob
appeal, the Sanur area is also a favorite of diplomats and
Only 2.5 km south of the Grand Bali Beach Hotel, just beyond
the village of Kesiman, is an important place of remembrance,
Padanggalak. From the beach enjoy fine views of the coastline
and Sanur's 'hotel row'. It was on this beach that the Dutch
forces which eventually subjugated the Balinese landed in
Thirty-six years later Dutch fleeing the Japanese also
came ashore here. And in 1946, the Dutch were back here
again, attempting to re-establish control over their former
colony, using KNIL units and meeting stubborn resistance
from the Balinese.
Padanggalak also commemorates a tragedy. A monument here
is dedicated to the people who died in the crash of a Pan
Am Boeing 707 that crashed into the side of Gunung Patas
west of Singaraja on 22 April 1974.
Mistaking the lights of boats and fishing platforms off
the north coast for the landing strip lights at Bali's airport
in Tuban in the south, the pilot came in low and crashed
headlong into the mountain, killing all 107 people onboard.
Visitors from 11 nations still come here to pay their respects
to the dead, laying flowers and offerings at the small altar
containing the ashes of the victims.
The village of Sanur located on the eastern coast of Bali
is the ideal beach for snorkeling as it is protected by
a coral reef. Sanur is Bali's first beach resort.
From Kuta to Sanur, take a 'bemo' first to Terminal Tegal
in Denpasar, then a dark blue 'bemo' all the way to Sanur.
Or take a dark green 'bemo' from Denpasar's Kreneng Terminal
to Sanur. A two-km-long four-lane highway runs six km from
the southeastern edge of Denpasar (Renon) to northern Sanur,
dropping you off just north of the Grand Bali Beach compound,
then continuing down Jalan Danau Tamblingan.
With or without prior booking, look for the name of your
hotel on signs or vehicles at the airport for a free air-conditioned
ride to Sanur. A different way to reach Sanur is to walk
along the beach from Lebih, south of Gianyar. This involves
crossing the mouths of several rather large rivers-exercise
The Sanur Terminal is at the south end of Sanur near the
Trophy Pub Center at the end of Jalan Danau Tamblingan.
On Jalan Tanjung Sari, flag down a blue or green public
'bemo' heading northwest to Denpasar's Kreneng Station or
a blue one heading south to Tegal Station. From here you
get another 'bemo' to Kuta.
Take yellow metered Praja taxis, tel. 62361-289090/191,
to the Matahari Department Store in Denpasar. You can also
take private cars or minibuses into Denpasar. If you have
your own vehicle, drive the beautiful new superhighway via
Batubulan in the direction of Ubud. This highway-perhaps
the best on the island-makes Sanur a good base from which
to explore the regencies of Bangli, Gianyar, and Klungkung.
Sanur village is also blessed with the majority of the
head offices of international airlines serving Bali, most
located in the Grand Bali Beach, so it's easy to confirm
or change your departure date here.