Sanur is a resort area on the east coast of Bali. It has a quiet and relaxed feel, quite different from Kuta, Legian and Seminyak on the western side of the island.
Sanur tends to appeal to an older traveller and while it certainly lacks the pizazz of Kuta, Legian and Seminyak, it has the advantages of less traffic, stunning sunrises and a quieter pace.
Here's my list of top ten things to do in Sanur, some of which you cannot do on 'the busy side'.
Of course this is always my number one thing to do on my travels as I'm always on the hunt for fresh, local, seasonal food. There is so much food to choose from in Sanur, I've divided it into two sections. I've called this first section 'Upmarket'
Arguably the most upmarket restaurant in Sanur is The Village - Cucina Italiana
. You'll find it on the main street of Sanur, Jalan Danau Tamblingan and they'll even send a driver to your hotel or villa to collect you. The atmosphere is romantic and the cuisine is Italian. In fact it is so authentically Italian I was surprised to meet the chef, Made, who is Balinese (and not Italian). Prices start around $9 Aus for ravioli up to around $21 for a meat dish.
The Village-Cucina Italiana
There are a multitude of wonderful restaurants right on the beach at Sanur offering fresh seafood and other tasty treats. Try Bamboo Cafe. They have a menu of authentic Balinese dishes for around $5 Aus.
2. Eat some more.
Restaurant Right on the Beach at Sanur
I've called this section 'Street Food'.
There's plenty of it, it's cheap, fresh and delicious and the best selection is at the Sanur Night Market
every evening from around 5pm.
3. Walk along the Sanur Beachwalk
Night Market Sanur
, or perhaps hire a bicycle and pedal it.The Beachwalk stretches for over six kilometres from Sanur to Mertasari and there's lots to see along the way.
4. Try Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP).
Sanur Beach Walk
It's my new favourite thing. It's great for outdoor recreation and sightseeing, a bit like going for a walk on the water. And it's fantastic for enhancing core strength and, if you're careful, you don't even have to get your hair wet.
You can't do it on 'the busy side' because the waves are too fierce, but the calm lagoon in Sanur is perfect for first timers. If you are more experienced than me you can paddle to the reef and catch a wave.
There are quite a few places offering SUP but I went to Bali Stand Up Paddle
on Jalan Cemara where I found great service, quality equipment and a reasonable price.
Stand Up Paddleboarding
Bali is the perfect place to practise Yoga and it's huge here. Power of Now Oasis
is set in a tranquil garden among beautiful shady trees,right on the beach at Sanur. There's a resident cow named Angelique.
6. Why not combine both SUP and Yoga?
Yoga Space at Sanur
I giggled when I saw three strong and gorgeous people practising yoga on their SUP's because I knew for sure that I would fall off immediately if I tried it. Apparently it's excellent for achieving good balance.
7. Visit Le Mayeur Museum.
Yoga on a Stand Up Paddle Board
Adrien-Jean Le Mayeur de Merpres was a Belgian painter from Brussels who arrived in Bali in 1932. He met and married Ni Nyoman Pollok, and she became Le Mayeur's model for his paintings. They bought land and built a house on the beach in Sanur which, after Le Mayeur's death in 1958, became a museum.
An entry fee of around $2 Aus allows you as much time as you like to wander around the house and garden, view Le Mayeur's paintings and gain an insight into what his life in Bali may have been like.
Le Mayeur Museum
Sanur has an abundance of Art shops selling carved wooden statues, cheap clothing and knick knacks. There are a few more up-market clothing boutiques, surf shops and leather shops. I recently had a fabulous leather jacket made for around $200 Aus. Possibly dearer than Kuta prices but certainly cheaper than in Australia and it's a perfect fit.
Hardy's Supermarket is both convenient and fascinating in equal measures. You'll find most things you might need while in Sanur but they are likely to be presented, packaged or branded differently from your usual.
9.Have a massage.
Hardys Department Store
A one hour body massage in Sanur starts at around $6 Aus and masseurs are easy to find on the beach or the street. As a matter of fact you don't need to find them as they will find you.
If you are willing to jump in a GrabTaxi or get a driver, try my most favourite place, Cozy Spa, about 20 minutes away at number 66 Jalan Sunset, towards Kuta. Try the 1.5 hour Cozy Dream for around $19 Aus.
Cozy Spa on Jalan Sunset
Next level up is a ritzy day spa. Expensive by Indonesian standards but far better value than a similar experience in Australia. Try Aroma Spa Retreat
on the beach.
10. Give something back.
There are so many families in Bali who will never afford a holiday and many struggle to afford basic necessities. If you can help, even in a small way, it will make a difference. The Jodie O'Shea Orphanage
needs blankets, towels, clothing and other items and if you were to take some, you'd have room in your suitcase for shopping on your return journey.
Or you could support BAWA (Bali Animal Welfare Association)
or visit their shop on Jalan Danau Tamblingan.
BAWA Shop. Sanur, Bali.
The easiest way to give something back in Bali is simply to chat, in standard English, with children and their families. Teaching someone a few polite, useful phrases may help them get work in later life and achieve well in school in the meantime.