Monday, 28 May 2012


We hired a taxi for 140,000IR to drive us from Padang Padang to Sanur. This was the cheapest price we could find and there are no other means of transport which means taxi drivers can charge what they like.

We arrived in Sanur after a 1hr drive and asked to be dropped off somewhere with cheap accommodation. There was only one street with about five guesthouses that offered cheaper rooms. I found one place for 125,000IR (breakfast not included) but they were fully booked. Many of the other guesthouses charged 150,000IR plus, but I then found one called ‘Coco Home Stay’ where we paid 140,000IR for a fan room with breakfast.
The room price was right at the top of our budget limit and I would have preferred to stay somewhere cheaper but after asking around this appeared to be the cheapest that we would find in Sanur. Breakfast consisted of a small omelette with toast and a few pieces of fruit. I don’t feel that the tiny room was worth paying 140,000IR per night.

We checked out Sanur Beach which was a short walk from where we stayed. The beach was pretty average, nothing special, and quite touristy. We had some lunch in the town (the beachside restaurants were too pricey) and walked to a different part of the beach that was near to the only large high rise hotel built in Sanur. This part of the beach was jam packed with locals due to a holiday so we never did find the quiet spot that we were after.

 The high rise hotel in the background

There is not a lot to do here during the evenings and after some dinner we spent a most of the evenings in our room.

For dinner we ate at a small place in the town that served cheap local dishes. I never did find out the name but it was opposite a bar called ‘Jimmys’ and well worth visiting.

Two days here was more than enough, so we booked the slow boat 60,000IR each to Nusa Lembongan. We had to leave at 8am but there is a later boat at 10:30am although the price is higher at 80,000IR.

Nusa Dua

After some advice one evening from our friend Andy, we decided to head to Nusa Dua and pretend to stay at one of the posh hotels there and use their private pool and beach. Andy said he had tried it with some friends but they had all got asked to leave, however he was confident that we would be ok.

We rode to Nusa Dua which took about 30 minutes from Padang Padang and found a posh hotel called ‘Nusa Dua Resort & Spa’. Security is super tight here due to the threat of terrorism and we were stopped by the security guard at the gate. We told him that we were there to use the spa and were let in after he checked inside our bike seat.

We confidently walked through reception, smiling and saying ‘Hello’ to the friendly staff and made for the pool and beach area. Well, this place was simply beautiful and that was just the resort. The sea, the sand, the beach, everything was perfect, but...yes there is a but, because although it was pristine, it was also quite artificial, with workers even clearing away the seaweed line from the shore!

The beautiful beach and the seaweed that was soon raked away

We found a sun lounger (now we looked like proper package holiday tourists!) on the immaculately raked beach, and went for a swim in the sea. No one questioned us, not even when Ian had the cheek to take two of the huge complimentary hotel towels from the poolside. These actually helped us blend in with the other guests.

We really enjoyed our free use of the beach and pool but left in the early afternoon to get some lunch as it was too expensive for us to eat at the resort.

Tip: You can gain access to the Nusa Dua Beaches without having to go through the resorts like we did. There are three beaches that are separated by the natural coastline, the one in the middle being the smallest, which was where we were when we visited the resort. 

On a separate occasion, at Nusa Dua Ian went to go for a surf when we saw these strange figures. After taking some photos a lady came over to speak with us and told us that the statues were due to be sunk just off shore to enable coral to grow around them. Strangely enough, the day before we read in National Geographic about a similar sort of thing in Mexico, so it was really interesting to actually see these before they were sunk out to sea.

Saturday, 12 May 2012


Uluwatu is only a 5 minute bike journey from Padang Padang. We often came here to check the surf which unfortunately was never very good but that didn't stop Ian. During peak season the surf is pumping and the sea is often packed with surfers waiting for that perfect wave. There is a small beach below the cliffs, called ‘Suluban' although the beach is only accessible during low tide.

For beautiful sunsets and a chilled out atmosphere this is the place to be

There are many places to eat here, some being more expensive than others and there is also a small spot on the cliff where you can hire deck chairs for the day, see below.

You can stay at Uluwatu but much of the accommodation here is top end and quite expensive. The cheaper places are dotted along the roads between Padang Padang and Uluwatu. Ian enquired at board hire prices here but was being quoted between 300,000 – 500,000IR just for 1 day use, which is extortionate! He eventually found somewhere cheaper at a place called Jockeys in Padang Padang for 150,000IR for 2 days. 

*I just have to clarify that Ian doesn't ever surf in budgie smugglers but he didn't have any boardies, so funny!

During one afternoon we visited the Pura Luhur Temple. We were charged 3,000IR to park and 20,000IR for entry. You will be given a shawl to wear to cover your legs if you’re not wearing long trousers; almost every tourist there had to wear one, including myself. 

Before reaching the temple there is a lovely walk along the coast path, where we encountered mischievous monkeys that pinch everything and anything from you, so do be careful. 

The temple was a little disappointing, but only because we had recently been spoilt by the incredible Angkor Wat and so our temple expectations were high. I would still recommend visiting here if not for the view alone.

The temple

The weather turned stormy and we were blessed with moody skies

Safety First! Ian thinks i look hilarious in the bike helmets we have to wear