Arriving In Sanur Beach, Bali, Indonesia

Arriving In Sanur Beach, Bali, Indonesia

From Bangkok, we flew to the island of Bali in Indonesia.
We will return to Thailand again in two months, so we left one bag for safe keeping at our hotel in Bangkok, so we can travel a bit lighter.

It has been a decade or more since we have last been to Bali.
This time, we decided to stay longer and explore different neighborhoods, so we can really get to know a bit more of the island of Bali.

We stayed in Sanur Beach for a week, in the southeastern part of Bali.
Sanur is considered the less touristy part of the island, compared to Kuta, Seminyak, Ubud and Jimbaran, but still we were overwhelmed by the amount of tourists and the traffic.

Our first bad impression started at the airport, when we spent hours in long lines of tourists, processing entry to the country.
It felt like now that Indonesia is finally open after the Coronavirus closure, everyone from all over the world has decided to come to Bali.

There were three stops at the airport, each with long snaking lines.
The first stop was proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test.
The second was paying the “Visa On Arrival” entrance fee.
Then there was the actual immigration entry, the fingerprinting and passport stamping lines.

It wouldn’t have been as unbearable if everyone stood in line in an orderly manner.
A planeload of Eastern Europeans had just landed from Doha, and as they trickled into the first two lines, they all cut the immigration lines, saying that they were together.
Our line got longer and longer, as they unashamedly cut in front of us.

I have to admit that I was not able to maintain my inner Buddhist cool.
We had already waited in lines for two hours, and they kept on cutting the line, ducking under the ropes, smiling at me with fake apologies with their botoxed lips, Balenciaga sneakers and silicone breasts in pushup bras.

Slowly and unapologetically, we asserted our way back to the front of their group and maintained our places in the line.

It took me awhile to get over the amount of tourists around, and to start enjoying Sanur.

Sanur has three parallel main roads cutting through it, from north to south.
There is the main car road that has businesses and shops, gas stations, commercial artisan shops, car repairs, etc.
Then there is the middle road that is lined with hotels, restaurants, bars, cafes, massage places, and many shops selling clothing, crafts, money exchange, ice cream, minimarts and souvenirs.
This road is also lined with taxi drivers, offering to show you the sites of Bali, for a day or a half day rate.

The third road is the beach road.
It stretches for five kilometers from north to south, and no cars are allowed on it.
It is lined with hotels, cafes, restaurants, bars, juice bars, vendors selling souvenirs, offering massages, beach bed rentals, sarongs, beachwear, bicycle rentals, coconut and water sellers and everything a tourist might need or want.

The boardwalk is paved all the way, and has one narrow lane for walking and another narrow lane for bicycles and electric bikes.
It is often crowded with people, since every inch of the beach road is taken up by cafes, shops, restaurants or hotels.

But even with the crowds, we managed to run 5 km every day, and actually fell in love with Sanur, where we wasted the days away, sitting on the beach in the Genius Cafe, eating delicious and decadent vegan food and raw desserts, sipping fresh juices and coconut water.

I dreamingly looked at other tourists in bathing suits, drinking dragon fruit smoothies and eating big salads, enjoying the ocean breeze.
All my initial fears of being in a crowded touristy island, seemed to dissipate… I simply felt very grateful to be part of this diverse human race.

From Bali with love,

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