Coast Road to Kusamba
Bali’s coast road running from just north of Sanur east to a junction past Kusamba has been a hit since it opened in 2006. In fact, at times it gets choked with traffic and slows to a crawl just like the old route, which meandered through towns far inland such as Gianyar and Semarapura.
Efforts to widen the two lanes to four are ongoing and are emblematic both of Bali’s traffic woes and the at-times sclerotic schedule of needed improvements. The road has sparked the construction of scores of warung and trucker cafes along its length. And it has opened up numerous formerly inaccessible beaches. Tourism development hasn’t yet caught up, but as you drive the road you’ll see plenty of new residential villas aimed at foreigners and even more land for sale (signs promising ‘beachfront freeholds’ are as common as tyre-repair shops).
The coast road (formally the Prof Dr Ida Bagus Mantra Bypass – named for a popular 1980s Balinese governor who did much to promote culture) has brought Padangbai, Candidasa and points east one to two hours closer by road to south Bali. Much of the region is now an easy day trip, depending on traffic.