The village of Sanur has a rich history and it is one of Bali’s only tourism destinations that successfully manages to respect the past and embrace the future. Sanur came into prominence in 1904 when a Chinese ship ran aground on an outer reef and its wares were plundered by local fishermen. This incident led to an invasion by Dutch colonial troops and a bloody battle that saw Denpasar’s royal family massacred.
From the 1920’s onwards, Sanur produced some of the island's finest architects, storytellers, musicians, dancers, witch doctors, sorcerers, and priests. During this early period the picturesque village was also home to foreign anthropologists, writers, and artists. Sanur’s first bungalows were built in the 1950’s and the era of mass tourism began ten years later with the opening of the Bali Beach Hotel, built with Japanese war reparation funds.
Today, modern Sanur offers a wide variety of accommodation options catering to every budget. It is a popular spot for older travellers and families due to the coral-protected beach and a footpath that runs for several kilometres along the coastline. Visitors can enjoy lots of different water sport activities and there are plenty of beachfront cafes serving inexpensive food and drinks. Sanur hosts an annual village festival as well as a kite flying competition, which are both important events of Bali’s social calendar.