Before going to Amed, I was confused by this place – relatively apart from other other points of interest (as it is possible on Bali), Amed looks strangely on a map: one road, tens of diving schools (usually it is several beach boys and some equipment). No budget guesthouses on Booking.com. One recommended food shop and two recommended restaurants. That’s it.
The only one street of Amed – just as Goa, but better!
But we were tired from Tuban, no matter how friendly it is, and we didn’t succeed much in seeking a budget long stay in Ubud (no less than 150 000 rupees for 1 night in a guesthouse, no less than 4 000 000 rupees for a house monthly). So, we packed a small bag and get away for snorkeling and mountains!
The first thing you notice going east – mountains! We’ve almost forgot how beautiful they are. Just before Amed, greeting a perfectly clear sunset on Tuban, we noticed them – it was like a friend’s handwave, come to us! And here we are, near the biggest volcano of Bali, Agung (3031 m height, last eruption in 1963). It appears suddenly in front of us, being so high that it was invisible – only the smooth blue silhouette on the blue sky, coming up to the clouds. Huge! Of course we will try to climb 😉
But before we need a room. And that was surprising too: Amed has more accommodations than tourists! Stopping by the very beginning of I Ketut Natih street, we were called from two sides of the road – “Room? Room!”. And we chose to go to the beach side.
That was a good guess – we were first in a freshly open guesthouse, and got the ocean-view room for a really reasonable price! No wifi, no hot water – but it was really one of the best room we lived as backpackers! To the moment of our leaving it was full, and I guess it will be more pricey now, but it’s still nice!
We started to snorkel from the first day: it was my first snorkeling, and, literally, my life is now “before and after” that day – that was magnificent! Seeing so many fishes and corals at one place, feeling yourself a part of this unearthly world (unlike than when you see them in aquarium), following this underwater life – it is unbelievably beautiful and fascinating!
No matter how hard it is. Although, I expect it will be harder: I am not really good in swimming, I can’t manage more than 20 sec without breathing, and before I thought, who, me? No, I won’t be able! But, in fact, all you need is a basic swimming skill and a mask. Better a good mask with pipe, but an ordinary mask will bring you to the same perfect world too!
Only swimsuit and mask is enough. The pipe will be a good adding! As well as swimming t-shirt – the sun is burning!
We snorkeled in three places:
Jemeluk bay – looks like the most popular place in Amed, and worths it! Safe (no strong currents, not deep), full of different species and, therefore, quite crowdy. The only disadvantage is a shingly shore.
Lipah bay – bigger and less crowded place, however quite strong current in low tide. The beach is small – if you can find a place between the boats, you are lucky – but black sand looks and feels nice!
Tulamben – another village, 5 km to the north from Amed, is famous by the shipwreck: during WWII, U.S. Liberty found its end here from a Japanese submarine attack. The local diveschools should be grateful to Japan for this gift: I never saw more divers in one place! For a snorkeler there is something to see as well, especially if to have pipe and flippers. The fishes are less, but they are so big and colorful! The wreck itself is picturesque too, however the sea is working hard to diminish it.
The beach of Tulamben is a suffer: big, painful rocks, huge waves (I spent 10 minutes watching where they are less, and ran really quick – so got in safely). The wreck is not far from the beach, but waves and current are challenging. Honestly, I don’t think I will come twice! Better seeking for statues (gossips!) in Jemeluk bay!
Apart from snorkeling, Amed is good for trekking: hills, mountains and paths are many! We chose to try Agung trekking path from Kedampal (900 m, meaning 2 km up), but it was bad idea for two burger lovers without trekking shoes! At least we found a water reservoir looking more like UFO station 🙂
And we came back to burgers! Everything was more expensive in Amed comparing to Kuta: Coke, Nasi Goreng, fruits were +2-3 000 rupees to Kuta prices (meaning budget places), but these mahi-mahi fishburgers in Hoky restaurant were a joy for 35 000 rupees, and totally worth that! Hoky is easy to find: the most crowded place just in front of Amed beach entrance.
Overall, these 5 days stay were a perfect rest from Kuta – which is not always noisy, but never gives a nice impression! It is also a perfect place for nature lovers, beautiful from the sunrise to the sunset. And the sunset point, full of relaxed people with guitars! We will definitely come back there 🙂