The Morning of the World, Sanur,Bali

Morning is the best time to go walking, jalan- jalan, in Sanur, Bali. Walking along the beach front is a lovely ritual and one best done before the sun rises and the heat becomes too fierce. The pathway meanders for about five kilometres, with long stretches of deep shade provided by large Pohon trees. Along the way, picturesque Jukin are parked on the sand, colourful traditional Balinese outrigger canoes used for fishing or tourist jaunts; sunny sandy sections are lined with white beach chairs and umbrellas, beckoning those who are partial to frying, and shady beach restaurants, morning yoga schools and art markets begin business for the day. The large crunchy fallen leaves of the Pohon are swept away for another day.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIf you are lucky, Gunung Agung, Bali’s sacred mountain, may pop out of the low cloud on the horizon to greet you or the white cliffs of Nusa Penida will glow like silver in the morning sun. More rarely, Lombok’s 3276 metre high volcano, Gunung Rinjiani, will appear from across the Lombok Straight.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWaking in Sanur and walking this stretch of coast, I feel blessed to be back in the “Morning of the day”, especially as I watch the women carefully arrange their early morning offerings, Canang Sari, on small alters, Palinggih or in the larger Puri, district temples.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA nod and a Selamat Pagi or Good Morning to all the locals at this early hour makes the day special. Although most of the locals know rudimentary English, I prefer to use my very basic Indonesian where and when I can. A buongiorno goes a long way in Italy and so does a selamat pagi here in Indonesia. At 8 am, you will meet uniformed security guards of large hotel compounds, beach sweepers and sand rakers, and some of the omnipresent women, Judy, Anna and Norma, trying to make a few rupiah from their tiny beach shop.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAt this time of the year, April, things are very quiet in Sanur. The hotels are half empty and many beach warungs are closed or busy renovating for the season ahead. Some new hotels are being built on the main drag, vulgar looking concrete monoliths designed for those tourists who need to feel insulated from the local environment and its people. At the same time, some overcapitalised international establishments along the beach front have been closed now for some years and the jungle is returning.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMany of the locals worry that the Europeans have been hit by the GFC and their numbers will continue to dwindle this year, affecting the local Balinese economy. Australians, of course, visit at all times of the year, being only a 6 hour flight away from Melbourne or less from Perth and other cities. The Australian accent is recognisable in any Balinese district, though not as prevalent in the Sanur district as say, Kuta/Legian/Semiyak, a district I no longer visit due to its over commercialisation.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEven after 36 years of visiting, Bali still entrances me. This island is Hindu and its culture is alive and well, despite a century of tourism. It is important to keep this in mind when visiting, through appropriate dress and behaviour, and by supporting the local people through the choices we make as tourists. Be mindful where your tourist dollar or euro is going.


Look to this day,
for it is life, the very breath of life.
In its brief course lie
all the realities of your existence;
the bliss of growth,
the glory of action,
the splendor of beauty.
For yesterday is only a dream,
and tomorrow is but a vision.
But today, well lived,
makes every yesterday a dream of happiness,
and every tomorrow
a vision of hope.
Look well, therefore, to this day.
(Ancient Sanskrit)



21 thoughts on “The Morning of the World, Sanur,Bali”

    1. So many people don’t get to see the real Bali, due to being stuck in nasty enclaves such as Kuta or Legian/Seminyak. I would not go there if you paid me. Real Bali is still alive. I plan to do a series of Bali posts on other spots around the island. Glad you enjoyed the poem.


    1. Yes, it is very peaceful and relaxing. I plan to do lots of Bali and Java posts as I haven’t really documented my time here and so many people have bad impressions of the place based on their time spent around Kuta/Legian/Seminyak district which, for me, is like a visit to hell. One hyped up district is not Bali.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Francesca .. stop! What can I say? Your photos are exquisite and make me want to pack my bags now. Oh you my dear are so clever .. camera, prose, heck, you should have your own travel show. Do you? Enjoy your holiday my friend 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mrs Kiwi, i love your comments. That’s enough encouragement to keep me rattling on about Bali for the whole month I am here. Especially now that the wifi is faster and free at my secluded little hotel.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Such colorful, wonderful photos….the beach and kayaks are truly beautiful. I appreciate how you ended your article on Bali, to encourage others to respect another culture through dress and behavior. So important.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This kind of behavior is inexcusable. I know there have been problems in Venice, as well as many other places, with the same kind of thing….unfortunately, I think a lot of them are Americans. This is an embarrassment to me. Its an attitude of, I will enjoy it my way and if you don’t like it, look the other way. I makes me very angry.

    Liked by 1 person

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