On the coast road to the beach and diving towns of east Bali, Yeh Sanih (also called Air Sanih) is a hassle-free seaside spot. It’s named for its fresh-water springs, Air Sanih, which are channelled into large swimming pools before flowing into the sea. The pools are particularly picturesque at sunset, when throngs of locals bathe under blooming frangipani trees – most of the time they’re alive with frolicking kids. It’s about 15km east of Singaraja.
Pura Ponjok Batu has a commanding location between the sea and the road, some 7km east of Yeh Sanih. It has some very fine limestone carvings in the central temple area. Legend holds that it was built to provide some spiritual balance for Bali, what with all the temples in the south.
Between the springs and the temple, the road is often close to the sea. It’s probably Bali’s best stretch of pure coast driving, with waves crashing onto the breakwater and great views out to sea.
Completely out of character for the area is a place run by quite a character: Art Zoo is 5.7km east of Yeh Sanih on the Singaraja road. Symon, the irrepressible American artist (who also has a gallery in Ubud), owns this gallery and studio, which are fairly bursting with a creativity at times vibrant, exotic and erotic.