Great time was had by our family of 4. We have travelled to Bali many times now and often like to try new accommodation. This trip we had 10 nights which we split between Zen Villas in sanur and Villas Agung Bali Nirwana in Sambitenteng (3 hours north east). Have written reports on these villas separately under reviews- they are now up on the reviews pages if you want to look at them.
Highlights of Sanur for us were;
* the daily walks from our villa along the beach path and back up the main street back to the villa- it was about an 8km loop for us, we like to walk. The beach was looking good, clean and the tide was in so the water looked clean and inviting. It's enjoyable to walk past the street vendors, say hello and watch life unfold in the mornings. We swam a lot because the weather was warm and dry and we were keen to relax.
* We frequented Hardys supermarket (on a daily basis I think), to stock up on grocery supplies and bits and peices. Upstairs is quite well stocked with clothes, shoes, souveneirs (?sp) and sports equipment. My 17 year old found Fender bass strings for his bass at a very cheap price. Got some great Timberland tshirts at about AUD $3/each for the husband and other assorted items. Also enjoyed the bookshop and the breadshop in the complex.
* Made my annual pilgrimage to the ceramic "factory warehouse", they sell Sari Bumi pottery at knock down prices. It is located opposite Hardys. Square serving platters at about AUD$5.
Restaurant wise we ate at Sudut Senang, Laghawa, Lumut and Picadilly in Sanur. Tried the beach restaurant at the Kumala Pantai the day we went to Waterbom. Ate our breakfasts mainly at The Zoo cafe in Sanur.
We travelled up to Ubud one morning to do a Bali Bird Walk with Victor Mason. It was US$33 including lunch and just outstanding. The tour ran from 0900 until about 2pm after lunch at Murnis Warung, we were a group of 10 with Victor and Sumardi (passionate Balinese naturalist) leading the expedition. Spotted about 20 different types of birds with many other wild life sitings- snakes, dragonflies, etc. There was an article on the tour at this link
Visited Waterbom Park in Tuban which was fun, good value and great fun for kids and adults. Shopped in Kuta mainly for clothes and shoes- bought new Nikes from Nike store near Waterbom. We also bought a couple of Nike Plus IPod kits - major bargain at AUD$20 (rrp here $50)- they are the kits that you use to track running/walking stats. Oldest son stocked up on good shoes and trendy clothes.
Our trip to Sambirenteng was smooth- 3 hours from Sanur along the east coast. The drive in itself is interesting. The villas didn't fail to disappoint and we spent our time walking, reading and swimming. There aren't many tourists up that way apart from those that like to dive and stay at Alamanda. I think we provided a bit of local entertainment puffing our way up and down the hills in the mornings. Our highlight here was being invited to the villages full moon temple ceremony. The villa staff helped us to dress in traditional clothing and took us with them. They explained the ceremony and the prayer component. It was a great experience fo our family.
The snorkelling off the beach at the villas wasn't very good this time as the water was very churned up but previously it has been great. An artificial coral cage has been sunk about 50m out from the villas which attracts a lot of small colourful fish and other marine life.
We briefly dropped into Singaraja to stock up on groceries and check the emails. Had the best nasi goreng of the trip in one of the 4 restaurants at the end of the pier.
Overall greatly relaxing trip.