There were a number of reasons that I decided to leave all of my worldly possessions behind and go traveling indefinitely. I was that person that always talked about all the things I wanted to do in my lifetime.

Here are just some of my big ideas:

  • Learn to dance the Bachata
  • Read one book a week
  • Abstain from alcohol – 99% of the time
  • Road-trip a country, preferably a big one
  • Learn to make jewellery

The last one is actually what drove me to finally make the decision to leave because it seemed realistic. I already knew how to make jewellery without soldering, so why couldn’t I learn to solder and smith metal as well? And so, the Bali trip started to take shape.

Without further ado, this is a list of things I did in Sanur, Bali and whether I would recommend them.

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The DIY Cycling Tour

The first thing I did when I got to Sanur was to hire a bicycle. She was nothing fancy, but she was reliable and she had a basket.

I rode the length of Sanur Beach – approx. 4.5kms along the coast from Jalan Pantai Sindu to Jalan Cemara, and then back up the main strip (also called Jalan Cemara but becomes Jalan Danau Tamblingan) which runs almost parallel to the coast.

BEST IDEA EVER. I learned a lot about my surroundings very quickly and set the foundations for my discovery of Sanur. For those of you who want to skip the bike ride and self discovery – here is a quick guide according to me.

FOOD. For super healthy food, check out Genius Cafe (gluten free, dairy free gods live here), Soul in a Bowl (not as good but still good), Grocer & Grind (good coffee) and Ryoshi (Japanese deliciousness). For local delights check out (on the main strip) Mona Lisa Cafe, Casablanca, Warung Beach Breeze and (along the beachfront) Jack Fish or Lilla Pantai.

Genius Cafe breakfast bowl.

BEACH. For a cheap beach chair go to the strip running between Jalan Kusuma Sari and Jalan Cemara. You shouldn’t be paying more than 30k Rupiah here. The food isn’t half bad either – just watch out for the ice in the drinks, you don’t want any! Trust me! For the best service and views head north to the beachfront near Lilla Pantai restaurant. You’ll pay 50k Rupiah here but if you want to be closer to the luxury venues then this is your spot.

Locals day at the beach.

SPA. Anyone who has been to Bali before knows that every second shopfront is a beauty spa so here is my advice. If you want to totally zen yourself to death then go to Aroma Spa Retreat or The Nest Beachside Spa (they do waxing here too!). For a cheap massage you can always try your luck on the beach, but the places I’ve found to be the best are Sanda Spa on Jalan Cemara, and this tiny place on the Jalan By Pass Ngurah Rai on the diagonally opposite corner to McDonald’s. It’s called Salon diGaya – the location isn’t fancy, but go inside, ask for a healer, and you’ll get the best healing massage of your life.

The Jewellery Course

Finding Sanur Jewellery Studio was what started my travel planning in the first place. This was why I ended up choosing Sanur as my base. Run by Ness and Nini (who also have their own jewellery brand) this is the place to go if you really want to learn the art of working with silver.

When I emailed initially, I was nervous because I was asking for custom lessons – essentially I wanted to do a crash course in as many different facets of silver jewellery making as possible in just one week! I can’t even explain how accommodating these ladies were. They let me choose everything – how many days I wanted to do, whether I wanted the lessons spread out or compressed into full time days, everything! And they offered to feed me, which, you know…

If I listed everything I learned in my jewellery course then this post wouldn’t end, but in summary the course is very hands on and I learned everything from how to source silver and gems, to creating whatever shape/style/effect you want out of either silver sheet or silver wire. E.g. a silver ring made from silver wire which I had to design, cut, anneal, shape, flatten, hammer and solder. Using these skills (and with a guiding hand from Nini of course) I made the things below.

Silver Ring with Moonstone

Silver and Brass Earrings

Hand-made Silver Bracelet with Initial Pendant

ME. I MADE THESE THINGS.

A big thanks to Ness and Nini for everything they taught me. If you are a creative person, or you want to become one, then I highly recommend checking out Sanur Jewellery Studio.

The Yoga Classes

OK, so since I was about 16 I’ve always wanted to be one of those people that aced a yoga class. I have been doing casual yoga classes for over 10 years and I’m still not one of those people. Regardless of this, I still make an effort to attend because, strangely, I still enjoy it!

I’m sure if I went a couple of times a week instead of once a month, I would improve. So with this is mind I started going to Power of Now Oasis which is actually the most zen place I’ve ever been. The studio is on the second storey of a beautiful open bamboo tree-house looking structure. I would describe it as a building, but it’s not.

Power of Now Oasis bamboo…structure?

The instructors are definitely the best I’ve ever encountered. They are patient, detailed and obviously love their art. My favourite thing about yoga instructors is when they walk around the class making small adjustments to the postures of their students. Every single instructor here does exactly that.

At RP100,000 a class (and multi-buy discounts), I can highly recommend any yogis or wanna-be yogis to check this place out.

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In summary, Sanur is that place you can go to truly ‘zen’ out, and get your creative side going. If you want to get away from the packed areas of Bali then this is your spot.

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