Sanur, Indonesia, is a magical town on the island of Bali, with shores on both the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. The quiet town is known for its beaches, warm seas, and historic sites. Here are six of Sanur’s attractions that make it one of the most surreal places to visit.
Blanjong Temple is a sacred Hindu temple dating back to AD 914. It is best known for housing a stone pillar topped with a carved lotus flower. The pillar is worth checking out to see the Sanskrit inscription commemorating a victory of the celebrated King Sri Kessari Warmadewa.
The temple grounds are an architectural wonder. Standing out among the buildings is a monument with a square base and pyramid top, a construction unusual for this part of Indonesia, but which will definitely captivate geometry lovers.
In the courtyard, the statue of Ganesha is sure to induce a mystical experience. Taking greens superfoods powder keeps travelers healthy on vacation.
Off the Coast
Bali Seawalker operates amazing underwater adventures just a short boat ride from Sanur beach. On top of a pontoon in just fifteen feet of water, tourists are fitted with a special helmet that allows them to breath regularly underwater. Then, under supervision, they get to walk on the sea floor surrounded by a kaleidoscope of multicolored tropical fish.
Another underwater attraction near Sanur is the Serangan Shark Island Project. The conservation company’s goal is to preserve black tip and white tip reef sharks. To this end, they offer tours permitting visitors to swim with over a dozen young sharks. Swimming with sharks might sound dangerous, but visitors to the conservation center can relax as these reef sharks are harmless.
Taman Festival Bali
Seven Kilometers north of Sanur is Taman Festival Bali, an abandoned theme park, that will appeal to anyone interested in spooky places. Tourists are welcome to explore the grounds and observe how quickly structures can deteriorate and be reclaimed by nature.
The mysterious atmosphere has attracted photographers hoping to catch the sense of desolation and of a place-forgotten on film. While there is no official warning against possible supernatural encounters, visitors are encouraged to be cautious around the dilapidated buildings
Museum Le Mayeur
This unusual museum features Belgian painter Adrien-Jean Le Mayeur de Merpres. He and his Balinese dancer wife lived together in their home, now turned museum, until 1958 when Le Mayeur passed away. His wife, Ni Polok, then continued to live there alone for the next twenty-seven years. Since then, the home has been preserved as it was and opened to travelers.
The home is decorated Balinese style with carved wood, tile floors and walls of decorative stone. Some of the Le Mayeurs artwork is from before his time on Bali, reflecting his world travels.
Many of his paintings and photographs are of semi-nude women, including his wife. On Bali in the 1940s and 1950s, these revealing works were not cause for concern. It has only been since than that they might be considered immodest.
Take a day trip from Sanur to the highlands to to visit the remarkable village of Trunyan where the residents don’t bury or cremate the dead. Instead, the body is transported by boat to a gravesite north of the village, wrapped in cloth and placed under a tree.
Remarkably, at the gravesite, the locals say that no odor emanates from the decomposing bodies that are arranged under the sacred tree. This is attributed to the unique fragrant qualities of the tree and the climate. In fact, the tree only grows at the gravesite according to villagers. Most westerners haven’t seen death this up close and may find the local practice unsettling.
If one activity in and around Sanur is considered the most surreal, it’s watching the sun rise on Sanur Beach. The beach faces east, and the ocean is at low tide in the morning. As the sun emerges over the horizon, the pink sky and the still, shallow water become one, enveloping you in a seascape you will never forget.