Island Life in Bali: Amed

20151125_140728Our first visit to Amed, the easternmost point of Bali, was during our big trip to Southeast Asia about 3 years ago. Amed is one of a group of fishing villages in the area – Amed, Jemeluk, Bunutan, Lipah, Selang, Banyuning and Aas. I remember how much fun we had relaxing in our 2-storey brand new modern guesthouse, where we stayed on the second floor. We saw the most gorgeous sunsets with Mt. Agung from our private balcony and spent the day snorkeling and swimming.

IMG_8262We even did a road trip from Amed to the north of Bali and left our bags at the guesthouse. We have such amazing memories from our time there where, Wayan, the guy who owned the guesthouse used to tell us not to rush ‘Slowly, Slowly’, we were on vacation after all. A lot can change in 3 years, and as soon as we arrived in Amed this time around, we noticed just how developed it has become compared to our first visit there.

IMG_8299  Our motorbike helmets IMG_2679The main road through Amed

We used to have to walk on the road for a few minutes until we reached a store and restaurants. Our guesthouse was right on the black sand beach but now there is another guesthouse next to it, even closer to the beach. There are even more restaurants and guesthouses on the right and left , where there used to only be a pen for pigs, goats and a small hut. I remember saying ‘Good Morning!’ or ‘Selamat Pagi’ (Bahasa Indonesia) to our neighbours each day.

IMG_2558The neighbour’s piglets, back when there weren’t other guesthouses next door.

IMG_2532IMG_2758Our old Guesthouse ‘Buburacok’ 3 years ago when it was the only guesthouse standing there. On our current trip, another guesthouse had been built infront and there was a restaurant as well.

IMG_8329There are also so many dive shops now. 3 years ago I remember only a handful but now just walking along the main road it seems like 20+ dive shops have sprung up probably because of the Tulamben wreck but also the fantastic diving in the Jemeluk bay and a few other bays in the nearby fishing villages.

I did my first Night Dive here in the bay just by the dive shop and I will always remember coming up to see a gazillion stars in the night sky. It was absolutely phenomenal. There are even a couple shallow wrecks you can see snorkeling very close to shore.

It’s great to see that our old favorite spot in Bali is doing well. It is busier than before (There are a few places playing live music but it’s nowhere near as crazy compared to some other places in Bali) and it still retains that chill feeling that it always had.

IMG_8251On our trip 3 years ago…My co-pilot taking in the view.

If you are looking for a quieter, less crowded place away from the busy south of Bali, Amed is a wonderful option. There is excellent snorkeling (beautiful coral, and lots fish), beautiful black sand beach, and really friendly locals. Amed remains a nice, relaxed place to visit, but it really was special during our first visit 3 years ago…

IMG_2755Mt. Agung, some outrigger boats and the black sand beach.

IMG_3783Delicious grilled fish served at the local cafes was a real treat.

20151125_075712When in Bali, one should try the balinese breakfast which consists of rice flour pancake (plain or with fruit often banana or pineapple), fruit and bali coffee (similar to turkish coffee, where you stir it and let it settle making sure not to drink that sludge on the bottom)

20151125_154611The dive shop let us borrow sit down paddle boards. After our morning dives, we decided to try them out.

Roosters were all over our beach area. They belonged to the guest house we stayed in.

IMG_2761Beautiful black sand beach and lots of outrigger fishing boats.

Getting to Amed
We hired a car to take us from Ubud to Amed. This takes about 3 hours with traffic. We paid around 400,000Rp for 4 of us but no stopping at any sights on the way. On our first trip there we paid about 300,000Rp for 2 of us and we stopped at the Water Palace and a few other temples in the way.

Ask your guesthouse in Ubud or wherever you are in Bali if they can help with transport. Otherwise, there are drivers asking you about transport all over Ubud and Bali. Be sure you negotiate to get the price you want.

Where to Stay
There are many Guesthouses to choose from when you come to Amed. You can either book ahead or you can get to Amed and then walk around and see what’s available. The latter option allows you to negotiate a price after you see what the accommodation looks like. This is something we often did in Bali and it worked out quite well. We ended up staying in Jemeluk bay which has some fantastic snorkeling (rent some fins with your snorkel and mask!). Our guesthouse was called ‘Warung Ombak’ – Warung means ‘cafe’ as most guesthouses also have little cafes on the beachfront which serve their guests breakfast and offer lunch/dinner. Make sure to ask whether breakfast is included in your nightly rate.

Scuba Diving
Amed has some really great reef wall diving right in Jemeluk bay but also as I mentioned above at the Tulamben wreck. Bali has a few different areas for diving as well such as Nusa Lembongan and a couple places in the North of Bali. We decided to go with a French dive shop next to the cafe we went to when we first arrived in Bali. They were really nice and knowledgeable about the area and they offered us a discount on the boat ticket to Gili Air as well. We did a day of diving BLD divers. Check out their website here

Remember to really enjoy the place you are traveling to. Take in the sights, sounds and enjoy each moment. In a few years, it will likely be a much different place than you remember, but hopefully you will always have wonderful memories from your time there. I know we will always cherish the memories we have from our special time in Amed 3 years ago, and the new memories from our most recent trip in December 2015.

Happy Travels!

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