Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
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On the road to the beach towns of East Bali,
about 15km east of Singaraja, Yeh Sanih (also
called Air Sanih) is a hassle-free seaside spot
with a few guesthouses on the beachfront. It's
named for its fresh-water springs, Air Sanih
(adult/child 2000/1000Rp;
North Bali
taste. These villas, 3km east of Yeh Sanih, are
large and have vast private gardens. Other ac-
commodation is in stylish lumbung (rice barns
with round roofs) set in a delightful garden
facing the ocean. Meals (dishes from 20,000Rp
to 40,000Rp) are served in a pavilion.
Puri Rena (
26581; dishes 10,000-20,000Rp) Across
from Air Sanih and up a flight of stairs, Puri
Rena has a well-priced menu of local standards
aimed at parents needing sustenance while the
kids make like Flipper. Good views.
Puri Bagus Ponjok Batu (
8am-6pm) , which are
channelled into large swimming pools before
flowing into the sea. The pools are particularly
picturesque at sunset, when throngs of locals
bathe under blooming frangipani trees - most
of the time they're alive with frolicking kids.
Pura Ponjok Batu has a commanding location
between the sea and the road, some 7km east
of Yeh Sanih. It has some very fine limestone
carvings in the central temple area. Legend has
it that it was built to provide some balance for
Bali, what with all the temples in the south.
Between the springs and the temple, the
road is often close to the sea. It's probably
Bali's best stretch of coast driving, with water
crashing onto the breakwater that's built all
along here, and great views out to sea.
Completely out of character for the area is
Art Zoo (
In many respects, North Bali seems so far away from the rest of the island. And in a literal
sense it is. To get here from the south you either take one of many routes up and over the
mountains or traverse the thinly populated coasts in the west and the east.
21430; dishes 15,000-
30,000Rp) This lovely spot 6.8km east of Yeh
Sanih is next to Pura Ponjok Batu and over-
looks the water. It serves good grilled seafood
in covered pavilions. Call to confirm hours
before making a special trip.
In North Bali's case, getting there can be half the fun. The various routes over and through
the volcanoes and lakes are lush, amazing and surprising. The coastal routes take you through
tiny villages unchanged for decades, and give you access to numerous under-appreciated
cultural and religious sites.
And, as fun as it is to get to North Bali, it's also plenty fun once you're there. Lovina is a
beach town that defines relaxed. Uncrowded and definitely unhurried, it has a huge range
of mellow places to stay right near its reef-protected simple beach. Toss in dining that's both
good and fun and you've got a fine escape from the mania of the south.
Getting There & Away
Yeh Sanih is on the main road along the north
coast. Frequent bemo (small minibuses) and
buses from Singaraja stop outside the springs
If you are driving the coast road to Amed
and beyond, be sure to fill up at the petrol
station 9km east of Yeh Sanih as there isn't
another until almost Amlapura.
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With a population of more than 100,000
people, Singaraja (which means 'Lion King' -
evidently Disney has yet to threaten to sue
for trademark infringement) is Bali's second-
largest city. With its tree-lined streets, Dutch
colonial buildings and charmingly moribund
waterfront area north of Jl Erlangga, it's worth
wandering around for a few hours. Most peo-
ple, however, prefer to stay in nearby Lovina.
Singaraja was the centre of Dutch power in
Bali and remained the administrative centre
for the Lesser Sunda Islands (Bali through to
Timor) until 1953. It is one of the few places in
Bali where there are visible traces of the Dutch
period, as well as Chinese and Muslim influ-
ences. Today Singaraja is a major educational
and cultural centre, and its two university
campuses provide the city with a substantial,
and sometimes vocal, student population.
The 'suburb' of Beratan, to the south of
Singaraja, is the silverwork centre of northern
The north's charms extend beyond Lovina. The region, known as Buleleng, has a deep
history that is a vital part of Bali as a whole. It was the centre of Dutch influence until WWII
and for generations of early visitors, the port of Singaraja was their first glimpse of the island.
Today, Bali's second city is still a local cultural haven.
8am-6pm) , 5.7km east of Yeh Sanih
on the Singaraja road. The American artist
Symon (who also has a gallery in Ubud, see
p179) has a gallery bursting with vibrant,
exotic and often homoerotic paintings and
sculpture. You can chat up his models and
even the man himself if he's in residence.
In the northwest, Pemuteran is both a dive mecca and a leader in ecologically sound
development - just one more reason to explore the 'far' coast of Bali.
Sleeping & Eating
If you're doing the North Bali to East Bali
shuffle along the coast road, you may wish to
break your journey around here rather than
push too far in either direction.
Pondok Wisata Cleopatra (
0812 362 2232; r
50,000Rp) This new budget place has nine nice,
cold-water rooms with showers and tubs -
go ahead and stick your toe in. The big, flowery
grounds are about 1.5km west of the springs.
Pondok Sembiran (
Diving and snorkelling at Pemuteran
24437; r 200,000-350,000Rp;
) There are two facilities here, one with a
pool 20m from the beach and one right on the
beach. The 10 pleasant bungalows are large,
good for families and have kitchens and hot
water. The hotel is off the main road in Alas-
sari, 1km east of the temple and 8.3km east of
Yeh Sanih. It's popular with the Dutch, so be
sure to get your Ver's and Van's right.
Chilling at Lovina (p262), the north's
alternative to Kuta
Yeh Sanih
Heading for the breathtaking hills on the
road from Seririt (p268)
Bobbing in the spring-fed pools at Ye h
Sanih (p257)
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