Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Join our Newsletter
Search Our Site and Blog~ Enter Destination, Activity, or anything you like.
Stay Connected


Featured Indonesia Blog on GO! Overseas


Vacation, Travel & Adventure Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory

Entries in Sanur (5)


Great Insider’s Travel Tips to Amed, Bali

Great Insider’s Tips to Travel in Amed, Bali

Whoever said Amed was a small sleepy fishing town much smaller and less to do than its neighbor Candi Dasa was giving you a handful of bull honkey.  In actuality it is now a fun town sprawling approx 15 km chock full of restaurants, hotels, beach bungalos and even a nightlife.  Actually I think there is more to do and see in Amed than Candi Dasa.  Candi Dasa does have access to the Bali Aga, which, while incredibly interesting, and a look into early Bali, can be dangerous for outsiders and is not recommended without an experienced guide.  Don’t get us wrong, Candi Dasa is worth a visit and is quite charming with some great hotels and some right on the beach.  We recommend The Nirwana Resort in Candi Dasa.  It’s a bit pricey (maybe $100 per night), but it offers a great pool and it’s right on the water.  This brings us to one of the big downfalls of Candi Dasa.  While I say its right on the water, this does not mean on the beach.  In fact, there is very little beach in Candi Dasa at all, and much of it is a breakwater with very little swimmable area.  This is another reason to prefer Amed, as there is a good beach with entertaining snorkeling right in front of many of the hotels and bungalows.  The coral is not plentiful and much of it has been destroyed, but you can find some coral gardens if you know where to go.  There are however, many colorful fish that make the snorkeling worthwhile.  The waves are generally small but can reach almost a meter kicking up the sand and decreasing visibility but the beauty of it is, you can watch the conditions from the hotel pool, and walk a few steps into the ocean whenever you feel the time is right.

Bali travel tips amedThree Brother's Hotel's infinity pool overlooking the ocean and Mount Agung Volcano

The guidebooks and travel sites will tell you ‘Life in Amed’ Restaurant is the best in town but that is highly inaccurate.  Our meal there was fairly tasteless but the presentation and alang-alang roof covered dining area is quite nice.

For some confusing reason, several businesses in Amed share the same name but are different entities. For example there are 3 different ‘3 Brother’s Hotel’ and a couple Wa Wa We We’s, so you need to know which one is better.  Wa Wa We We 1 is the bar and WWWW2 is the hotel and restaurant.  #1 is fun on most nights and currently has live music on Wednesday and Saturday nights.  You will find many local expats here, mainly from the diving community along with some true locals as well as tourists.  It’s a good mix and for a town that is supposed to be small and sleepy, it can really be a good time.  As for the 3 ‘3 Brothers’ locations, they are right next to each other and choose the one with the pool (the northern most location).  It hosts a small but quite nice infinity pool over looking the ocean.  It can’t quite accommodate all the guests of the hotel at once but that’s rarely a problem as some are sure to be out snorkeling, diving or elsewhere in town.  While the staff is not overly welcoming, we found the hotel to be a good value.  It’s inexpensive at about $30 per night (including AC and hot shower) with a small breakfast (the egg jaffels are tasty).  The best room is most likely the 2nd closest to the pool/ocean as it’s a bit more private than the one overlooking the pool and ocean. The 3 rooms in the back offer a second floor with 2 additional beds for families or those traveling with a driver. While we like 3 Brothers, we think Kembali Bungalos right next door is an even better place to stay. Its still inexpensve but just a bit nicer, the staff is much friendlier and the snorkeling right out front is even better. Head straight out and then to your left for wonderful coral gardens and lots of big colorful fish.

3 Brothers- a good choice for accommodation in Amed, Bali

As an aside, don't try to translate 3 brothers into Bahasa Indonesia (tiga suadara) as surprisingly; none of the local Balinese seemed to know what this referred to.  There is no Wi-Fi at 3 Brothers but we would simply walk 2 doors down to the Amed Café, order a Bintang, overlook the ocean and use theirs.  The Amed Café also offers more beach chairs by the ocean if the pool at 3 Brother’s is at capacity (which it never was while we were there ever during full occupancy.

The main reason for the change from sleepy fishing town to Amed’s current state is the diving industry.  There are several good dive spots in the area including two shipwrecks.  The Japanese sunk the SS Liberty about 7 km north of town in Tulamben, and the US returned the favor about a half hour catamaran ride south of town.  Both are quite shallow and can be enjoyed snorkeling,.  You can see the cannons, the deck and the splayed open hull.  But to get the full feel a good scuba company can get you inside the wrecks.  We recommend Diving Concepts and if you are lucky enough to get Miki as your guide, you will be stoked. But all the instructors and guides are highly trained and speak several languages well.

 Bali villas hotels tips amedAmed's black sand beach provides spectacular views of Mt Agung Volcano and BOTH sunrise AND sunset!

For a real local traditional experience head to Culik Market in Amed. The food is excellent and crazy cheap.  We got a truckload of nasi bungkus, fish satay, lawar, and other super tasty treats for about $4 USD.  It’s quite a deal and a great experience too considering we spent over $30 USD at Life in Amed and the food was nowhere near as tasty as the market.


One last note that makes Amed a really special place is that you can view both the sunrise and the sunset from the same beach!  Both illuminate massive Gunung Agung volcano, the anchor of Balinese tradition and houses Bali’s Gods.


Amed has earned its place into our regular tour itineraries and we look forward to visiting again.  For more information on Amed, Candi Dasa, accommodations and other tips and tricks, just contact us at

We hope these tips help and make your holiday in Bali even more rewarding.  We share the very best secrets with our tour participants and Balifornian members, but we are happy to share these.  Want more?  That’s easy.  Read our blog regularly, Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and if you want the very best tips, email us at to become a Balifornian. Get the best travel deals, time saving tips and much more. We will never, ever give, sell or transmit your information in anyway, to anyone.  Email us today and benefit right away.


Thanks and happy travels from all of us at Balifornian Villas, Tours and Travel Blog


Photo of the Day ~ Top Dog. Sanur Beach, Bali ~ Balifornian Tours and Travel Blog

A friendly dog keeps us company while we enjoy our Bintang and Nasi gorang.  Fisherman dot the horizon with thier colorful hats and clothes.  The gazebos in the distance on the tiny island provide a great spot for picnics and relaxing. Sanur Beach is a wonderful peaceful place to spend some time while in Bali.

Bali Sanur Beach travel tipsCopyright © 2011 Balifornian Tours and Travel Blog ~ Michael Doliveck

For more on Saur, where to stay, what to eat and what to do, visit our past blog on Sanur here...

And keep an eye out for the upcoming Balifornian Films documentary.

Interested in touring Bali and Photography? Our Adventure Photo Safaris are a great option.  Contact us to find out about our special tours for photographers.  Take a look at the images in the gallery, as they are good examples of the types of images you will be able to create on our tours.  The tours are led by Michael, a professor of art and photography, as well as some very special guest teachers and pro photographers.  Contact us at today for more information.

Do you have some great images from your Indonesian travels you would like to share? Want to submit your fantastic photo for the Balifornian Tour and Travel Blog Photo of the Day?  Please send your JPEG, location and description to  Files must be under 500 kb.

Salamat Jalan!

Michael and Maryam ~

Balifornian Tours voted the Top Blog for Bali and Indonesia.  The best site for information and the best tour option.


Sanur Beach ~ A great place to stay in Bali ~ Photos

Sanur is certainly one of our favorite places to stay in Bali.  It’s close to our land so we can easily check on things in Ketewel, so we tend to spend a good amount of time in Sanur.  Despite it being one of the oldest places for expats to occupy, it has retained its charm and boasts one of the best beaches in southern Bali.  When the Dutch came to colonize Bali as far back as the late 1800’s, Sanur was their point of entry and where they called home.  Also during World War II, The Japanese used Sanur as their entry point. This being said, current day Sanur shows very few remnants of these past events and is a cozy small town with excellent restaurants, great little shops, a fun nightlife and plenty to do to keep you busy. It's a great alternative to loud and crowded Kuta and it's still close enough to the airport so its not a difficult journey.

Bali Sanur beautiful girl beachThe many Gazebos dotting Sanur Beach are great spots for a picnic But as mentioned above, the biggest draw might be the clean white sand beach. It's protected by a reef making the water calm for swimming and snorkeling at high tide. And at low tide the beach can be explored for marine life.  Although many areas like Amed and Menjangan Island are far superior for snorkeling and scuba, its still a nice way to pass the hours hanging out at the beach.  There is a lovely beachfront walk that covers the length of the town’s downtown area (over 4km) and has some little cafes, which are perfect for a beachside Bintang and there are many hotels that you can pop into for a nicer bite to eat.

Bali Travel Sanur beach bestColorful catamarans line Bali's Sanur Beach

There is some surfing as well, but mainly the surfing done here is wind surfing.

Our two biggest suggestions for Sanur are The Village and The little Pond.  Little Pond is a small hotel with perhaps 15 rooms and a nice small pool.  It’s nothing fancy but the value is excellent as the rooms range from about $17-35 USD and they are clean and fairly well appointed.  If you are not looking for really cush accommodations and want to save a bit of money, this is a great place to stay.

 Best Bali Travel Sanur VacationA great way to spend a day in Sanur

On the other hand, a bit more pricey suggestion is The Village restaurant.  While I much prefer traditional Indonesian food when I am in Bali, once in a while its worth it to try something else.  The Village is one of these places.  I lived in Italy and this modern eatery in Sanur is perhaps one of the top 10 Italian meals I have had outside of Italy.  The design of the restaurant is modern and stylish and the wine cellar is one of the best in the area.  The volcano pizza is one of the most bizarre looking entrees you can imagine but its really not quite as tasty as some of the other dishes.  It is certainly a head turner and a fun option but I would suggest the pasta dishes.

Bali travel tips sanur best tour

I do also want to mention Warung Pregina as it is also an excellent option as it serves delicious traditional Balinese food.  The crispy duck is fantastic and the value is hard to beat.

Sanur is a great place to spend a few days.  While it is heavily touristed and you will be annoyed by hawkers and the inexplicable practice of each and every taxi passing by honking at you, its still a nice place to stay and enjoy the beach and it’s turquoise waters, good food and minimal but fun nightlife.


Balifornian Tours Photo of the Day 1/2/11~ Black Leopard

Black leopard (Panthera pardus) are quite common on Java.  This guy was spotted on our tour in Java.
Bogor, Java, Indonesia 2010.
Balifornian Tours

Copyright © 2010 Mikaku ~ Michael Doliveck Balifornian Indonesia Tour and Travel Blog

Want to submit your photo for the Bali Tour Photo of the Day?  Please send your JPEG and description to  Files must be under 500 kb.

Let Balifornian Tours take ALL the stress out of your vacation planning.  We have tons of options to meet your desires.  Contact us today to see how we can help you.

The following is from articlebase...

Bali is popularly accepted with young families and couples alike, and delivers excellent value vacation trips, whatever sort of getaway you want.  Whether you're looking for an action packed vacation, surfing, scuba diving or white water rafting or simply  love to relax by the swimming pool or chill out on the coral beach locations then Bali has got it.

This tropical isle provides all the things you can want for the ultimate holiday getaway and there is a lot to do and see that it'll have you returning for more and more.

The primary area is Kuta well liked with the more youthful crowd and it has a variety of bars, restaurants and nightclubs where one can party on through the night. Close by is Seminyak, that tends to have all the sophisticated crowd. It's the in-place to get seen in Bali and it has a lot of beautiful Seminyak villas and a wide range of fantastic dining restaurants that provide top of the range food at very low prices.

Nusa Dua comprises of the vast majority of top 5 star hotel rooms and it is on the East Side of Bali. There's a sizable beachfront in Kuta although great care should be taken as rip tides are typical and it can be incredibly treacherous if you're caught unawares.  The hotels are laid out around a shopping centre. The area is spread out and possesses picturesque landscaped gardens. You will find there's good sized water sports beach where one can learn to scuba dive, in the crystal clear blue water feeding the a lot of bright colored fish.

People arrive from around the entire world to scuba dive in Bali and also the other Indonesian islands. You could go kayaking, ride a banana boat or even the flying fish which lifts you about 3 meters on top of  the water. If flying  is your thing then you can go parascending on your own or with a partner. Another highlight is kite surfing, windsurfing or ride a horse or ride a few of the most desirable waves around the world, on a surfboard.

Sanur is surely an place that is certainly popular with families. There is a fabulous white sandy beach and its safer for children swimming and not as busy as the Kuta region.

Ubud is North of Denpassar the Capital of Bali and is known for the monkey forest and additionally Art. There are many of artist and handicraft specialists there which is really worth a visit. Other places like the Bukit are developing in reputation and they are famous for the impressive cliff top views.

In relation to eating in Bali, there's something for everyone. Through McDonalds fried chicken and Pizza Hut to local Indonesian dishes like babi guling, ayam betutu or rendang to the other end of the spectrum with Michelin star restaurants serving truffles and other fantastic delicacies and, of course, everything in between.

Under Creative Commons License: Attribution


Hidden Paradise in Bali- Far away from tourists

Have you seen this Bali too?

Far from the madding crowd ... Sanur, Bali.

Far from the madding crowd ... Sanur, Bali. Photo: Dennis Walton/Lonely Planet

Uncrowded beaches, authentic warungs, great waves and not a tour bus in sight. Lee Atkinson investigates beyond Kuta.

BALI is busier than ever, with tourist numbers hitting record highs. However, sometimes it can seem as if the whole world has joined you to watch the sunset on Kuta beach. There are places where you can relax with very little company. Here are 10 places to take your towel.


In the 1960s, when Kuta was attracting its first wave of tousled-haired surfers, Sanur was the ‘‘in’’ place, where visiting royals, heads of state and superstars such as Sophia Loren holidayed. About a 30-minute drive from Denpasar airport on Bali’s east coast, Sanur is where Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall married in a traditional Hindu Balinese ceremony in 1990 and where celebrities flocked to enjoy upmarket hotels and resorts.

Fast- forward two decades and Sanur has been overshadowed by the glitzier Seminyak and party-hearty Kuta but there’s still a lot to love about this seaside resort area, even if some southern Bali expats call it ‘‘snore’’ rather than Sanur. Edged by one of the best beachside promenades in Bali, it has brilliant white sand, umbrella-shaped trees for shade, clear water, a few little waves to make it interesting, great cafes and bars and enough life to remind you that you are indeed in Bali. What Sanur doesn’t have is the aggressive sales pitches you get on Kuta, the traffic or the crowds.


On Bali’s north coast, Lovina is not just on the opposite side of the island to Kuta and Seminyak, it’s about as far removed as you can get. Laid-back, quiet and low-key, this is what Kuta might once have been but with volcanic black sand and minus the rolling waves. Hotels are shabby and cheap and almost all front the beach.

There are no upscale restaurants, although all the seaside warungs have million-dollar water views and there’s none of the pesky hawkers you find in some of Bali’s other beach enclaves. In fact, there’s not even very many tourists and the handful that are here don’t do much. It’s a wonderful place in which to laze around while making friends with the locals and eating grilled fish that was flapping around in the bottom of a boat at the beach only minutes earlier.

When you tire of that, head into nearby hills to visit Brahma Vihara Arama, Bali’s only Buddhist monastery, a mini-Borobudur with grey stone stupas and an overriding sense of calm, although there are plenty of Hindu touches as well. Or go to the magical Air Panas Banjar, the natural hot springs surrounded by lush gardens where you can stand under the demon-head fountains and let gushing warm water work its magic on aches and pains.


Bali’s second-largest city is not a tourist town but is well worth a visit. It was the capital under Dutch rule and you can still see traces of its colonial past in the architecture, particularly on the old harbour, lorded over by the cantilevered Yudha Mandala Tama monument to independence. A highlight is getting lost in the crowded warren of woven baskets overflowing with fruit and vegetables at Pasar Anyar, Singaraja’s chaotic and colourful produce market.

Bookish types will like the little library next to the Museum Buleleng (give the museum a miss, though: it has some dusty archaeological exhibits and a room with some images of the local rajahs of the 1930s but not much else) for its collection of lontar books made from dried palm leaves.


You don’t go here for the nightlife, surf, or the beach, although Candidasa is beside the sea. Sadly, most of the sand has been washed away, thanks to the mining of the offshore reefs in the 1980s. The beach is slowly returning but you can’t really walk the length of it because hotel walls drop straight into the sea in some places. Despite this, I love Candidasa for its relaxed attitude and easygoing nature. At the beach’s northern end is a fishing village where you’ll find coconut trees and chickens and piglets rooting around the gardens.

In the middle section is a beautiful lily-covered lagoon. If you want to swim, paddle or hire a boat, head to the southern section, where you’ll also find warungs serving fresh fish. Take a day trip back in time to the nearby Aga village of Tenganan, famous for its traditional arts and crafts, particularly the finely woven baskets, hand-woven ikat cloth and lontar books.

There’s no denying the village is touristy but it’s worth visiting. It’s the perfect place to pick up a souvenir or two and at least you know your money is going directly to the person who made what you buy. Remember, it’s cash only.


A seafood meal on the beach at Jimbaran at night is one of the most magical things you can do in Bali but be prepared to share the moment with several thousand other diners. Go during the day for a long, languid seaside lunch, however, and the place is pretty much deserted and the drinks are cheaper.

Start at the fish market at the beach’s northern end – it’s crowded, a little smelly and full of action. Watch where you step because there are fish scraps and puddles and try to keep out of the way of carters with baskets of just-caught fish on their shoulders. The best time to go is in the morning; by mid-afternoon, it’s all but over. By that stage, you’ll be enjoying the fruits of the fishers’ labour as you watch the surf roll in without a sea of people spoiling your view.

There are three warung strips, each with dozens of almost identical restaurants and cafes spilling across the sand and all charging much the same price for much the same food. The southern section, near the Four Seasons Resort, is the best pick of the three and the swimming is also best at that end of the beach.

Pura Taman Ayun

Despite being a stop on many tours to Tanah Lot, this former royal temple at Mengwi, built in 1634, is free of T-shirt sellers and the hawkers you find at Bali’s other big-ticket temples (Pura Besakih, ‘‘the Mother Temple’’; Tanah Lot; Ulu Watu) and seems to swallow the crowds the way other temples can’t. Perhaps it’s the beautiful gardens that surround the complex of three interconnecting yards.

Most tours stop here for half an hour but if you can avoid the pre-sunset crush about 3-4pm, you can wander almost alone on the riverside paths or relax in one of the pavilions scattered around the grounds, which are perfect for a moment or 20 of peaceful contemplation.


Ubud moves at a gentler pace than the tourist towns of the south, although that doesn’t mean the traffic is any better and sometimes it can feel just as crowded on Monkey Forest Road as it is in Kuta’s Poppies Lane. Ubud’s saving grace is that it’s so easy to escape the crowd – you have to walk only a block or two away from the shopping streets before you’ll be surrounded by terraced rice fields.

The Botanic Garden offers even more serenity. You could spend all day sitting quietly in these gorgeous gardens with its meandering creeks, rainforest gully, silent meditation court, love nest (just follow the signs), bamboo grove and orchid garden – and that’s without getting lost in the maze. It’s about two kilometres north of Ubud; a motorbike taxi will cost about 10,000 rupiah ($1.14) each way, or catch a ride and walk back down the gentle slope through rice paddies.

Pasifika Museum

I can’t quite work out why this museum in Nusa Dua is often empty, given its extensive collection of art. Most of it is either painted by Balinese, or features paintings of Bali and the Balinese by visiting Asian and Western artists. All the big names are here, including Donald Friend, Arie Smit, Theo Meier and Le Mayeur, as well as works by luminaries such as Gauguin and Matisse.

For those who don’t fancy room after room of art, the Pacific Room has a fantastic collection of Pacific carvings, masks, canoes, jewellery and artefacts from across the Pacific and is well worth the price of admission (about $10, which is steep by Balinese standards).


For many tourists, Denpasar is little more than the name of the airport into which they fly before heading to their hotel in Kuta or Seminyak, hillside bungalow in Ubud, villa in Jimbaran or resort in Nusa Dua. Few visitors go into the Balinese capital unless they have business or an emergency.

If you want to get a sense of the workaday Bali, this is the place to go and, despite its (deserved) reputation as a sprawling, traffic-choked metropolis, you can see the best of the sights on a one-day walking tour. Start at the Museum Negri Propinsi Bali for a crash course on Balinese culture and art, visit the state temple, Pura Jagatnatha, next door, then head around the corner to Pasar Badung, Denpasar’s main produce market.

Just across the river is the art and craft market, Pasar Kumbasari, a great place to pick up a souvenir. It’s a wholesale as well as retail market, so this is where most of the work you see in the shops of Kuta and Legian comes from. The surrounding area is called Kampung Arab, the heart of the Arabic district, and the streets are lined with gold shops, where, if you’re bargaining skills are up to it, you can pay local not tourist prices.

Ulu Watu

A temple has been perched on the cliff-top at Ulu Watu since the 11th century. Non-Hindus can’t enter the temple courtyard but do go for the views of the line of sheer cliffs being pounded by the super-sized surf for which this part of the southern coast is famous. The best views are at the end of a short walk along the cliff edge and through the forest on the right-hand side, although the views are almost as good on the left, too.

Like Bali’s other famous sea temple, Tanah Lot, Ulu Watu is a popular sunset spot when tour buses from Kuta and Nusa Dua arrive to take in the scene and see a traditional Kecak dance, in which the singers enter a trance as they chant. Go early in the morning, though, and you’ll have the place to yourself. The delinquent monkeys may also still be half asleep and less likely to steal your sunglasses.

It will cost you the equivalent of about $10 each way by taxi (from Jimbaran; a little more from Kuta, Seminyak or Nusa Dua) and most drivers are happy to wait free while you visit the temple.

Frommer’s Bali Day by Day, by Lee Atkinson, will be published in April.


Getting there

Garuda, Virgin Blue and Jetstar fly direct from Sydney to Denpasar. 13 31 33

Staying there can help make your Bali Vacation the best it can be

More information

You can obtain an Indonesian visa on arrival in Bali.