Amed

Amed Beach with the sun disappearing behind Mount Agung
For the city in Turkish Southeast Anatolia with the Kurdish name Amed, see Diyarbakir.

Amed is a long coastal strip of fishing villages in East Bali.

Understand

Amed refers to a long stretch of coast running from the village of Cucik about 14 km eastwards incorporating the seven villages of Amed, Jemeluk, Bunutan, Lipah, Selang, Banyuning and Aas. The pace of life here is slow and the coastal scenery quite stunning making Amed the perfect place for a relaxed holiday in Bali.

Amed is the most recent tourist development area in Bali. It was only in 2000 that tarmac was laid on the roads. Telephone lines were installed in 2003 and it took until 2007 for a bridge to be built over a section of the main road that regularly washed away during the rainy season.

This is the most commonly used base for visitors wishing to dive the USAT Liberty wreck at Tulamben and that area is also covered by this article. There are other good dive sites close at hand and a thriving dive industry has developed all the way along the coast here.

Amed's inhabitants live from fishing, salt-making and tourism. The lack of tourism-based revenue, its remote nature and the generally harsh environment for farming, meant that this area was very much one of the poorer areas in Bali. Amongst others, the East Bali Poverty Project drew attention to the plight of the local villagers in this area and that, together with recent tourist development, has gone a long way to improving general standards of living, health and education.

Get in

Map of the Amed Area

Amed lies on the north-eastern tip of Bali, a little more than a 2 hr drive from the Ngurah Rai International Airport. A taxi service to Amed is available at the airport for about Rp 400,000.

Amed is accessed by turning east at the village of Culik which lies on the main east coast road from Karangasem to Singaraja.

Shuttle buses regularly serve the destination from Candidasa and Lovina and now that the road has been greatly improved, they take you all the way into Amed (previously all buses stopped at Culik and motorbikes ferried visitors into Amed). Perama operates optional shuttle buses from Padang Bai or Candidasa to Tirtagangga, Amed and Tulamben (Rp 125,000, min. 2 people). Depart : 9:30AM & 2PM - Return : 11AM. There is no Perama office in Amed.

The easiest way into Amed though is to hire your own transport with a driver. Be aware that the Amed district is stretched out over more than 10 km. Transport by local drivers is widely available in Amed. Transport to Padang Bai should not cost more than Rp 150,000.

If you are coming from the islands to the east, Amed Sea Express offers pick-up in Lombok, Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air with twice daily service to Amed arriving at 9:15AM & 1:15PM.

Get around

Public transport in Amed is rare. There are bemos (mini buses) from Culik as far as Aas (that pass through Amed) but mainly in the morning. Later in the day it is almost impossible to find public transport. The easiest way to get around is to hire a car and driver. Motorcycles are widely available for rent and you should expect to pay Rp 50,000-80,000/day.

See

Amed's beaches, are lined with traditional outrigger fishing boats, which depending on your point of view make a scenic photo or restrict walking on the beach. Amed village beach consists of coarse black pebbles; as you move further east (and away from Mount Agung), the beaches become sandier but remain somewhat grey-brown in colour. The prettiest bays are probably those at Jemeluk and Lipah but the whole stretch of coastline is very attractive.

Salt production is a declining but still important industry in this area. As you drive along the main coast road through the villages you will see large open drying pans crusted with salt crystals. Those little boxes of gourmet Bali salt crystals you see in delicatessens and speciality food stores all over the world may have started their long journey from these very pans.

There is vibrant marine life close offshore in clear seas.

Do

Most people come to Amed as a getaway, including expats from other parts of the island. It is a favourite honeymoon destination for tourists and is very popular with divers and snorkelers. Day trips to local places of interest such as the water palace at Tirta Gangga and Bali's most sacred temple, Besakih, can easily be arranged. Mount Agung with lots of trekking options just 30–40 minutes from Amed.

Traditional outrigger boats are available for fishing charters from the main beaches in the Amed area. This normally involves early morning trolling for mackerel.

Have a traditional massage on the beach. Women from the local villages are always on hand for an invigorating massage, speciality so at Lipah Beach.

Enjoy nature and go with the wind on a traditional sailing boat for diving, fishing, exploration, dolphin watching, snorkelling or just swimming and relaxing.

You can get your visa extended here for Rp 500,000, and it takes a week. Dive Concepts can tell you where to go for that and other dive centres may also assist. The standard charge at a Kantor Imigrasi (Department of Immigration office) for a 30 day extension is Rp 250,000 for a VOA, 211 class SOSBUB visa, presumably they are supplying the standard forms (normally Rp 5,000) and the footwork. You will need to provide 2 passport photos, and your passport. A receipt should be provided for your passport and ensure that you have a couple of photocopies of the photo page, your arrivals card and the visa you used to enter. Do it at least one week prior to expiry date.

Yoga

Viktoria. Hatha Yoga since 2006. Lessons are 90 min in duration.

Apneista Yoga and Freediving school,. Beachside yoga sala and training in Jemaluk bay, most days there is a 90 min Asana class in the evenings and often in the mornings. Workshops in pranayama and meditation.

Snorkelling

Amed has some good snorkelling within metres of the shore. A reef follows the majority of the coastline and is quite close in. Due to the limited number of visitors to the area and a growing conservation awareness among the locals, the sea life is healthy and abundant. There is a small wooden wreck in only 1.5 m of water off Lipah Beach. Banyuning is great for diving & snorkelling with abundant coral & fish life - this dive site is locally known among the dive operators as the "Japanese Wreck" and is clearly signposted with ample car parking and snorkel equipment rental on location.

Best places for snorkelling are:

Diving

There is some fine diving in Jemeluk Bay both from the beach and from boats in deeper water. After a gentle slope out from shore, the wall here drops off dramatically to depths of 40 m plus. The coral is healthy and fish life abundant. There are some good drift dives further east at Selang and Bunutan but these are generally only suited to more experienced divers.

Beware of diving after a heavy rain, the water from the run-off can greatly reduce visibility in the water.

Tulamben

Tulamben is a small fishing village, 30 km north of Amed, about 20-30 min by road. As well as local dives off the various Amed beaches a notable attraction is diving the wreck of the USAT Liberty at Tulamben. Some divers base themselves at Tulamben itself where all of the hotels have either in-house dive operations or are associated with one of them. Local operators run shore dives, since both the wreck and the two other local dive sites are within 100m of the shore.

The Liberty is a US Army transport ship torpedoed by a Japanese submarine in 1942. The wreck lies about 30 m offshore and is covered in soft corals. A huge range of reef fish have made this their home with occasional visits by pelagics. Some of the wreck can be seen by snorkellers. There are other dives in the Tulamben area and keen divers will have no problem entertaining themselves for a few days in this area. A night dive on the wreck is strongly recommended, with bumphead parrotfish looking for a place to sleep and chances of seeing the Spanish dancer. One word of warning - The Liberty is a very popular dive and unless you are actually staying at Amed or Tulamben and get there early in the day, it can be very crowded indeed.

Buy

There are a few shops in Amed selling basic necessities as well as sarongs and T-shirts. It does not have the range of handicrafts and clothing that you find in other more developed tourist areas of Bali.

There are no ATMs in Amed. The nearest is in Amlapura (a 30 minute drive) so bring some cash with you. In Amlapura there are two banks: BRI (no ATM) and Bank Danamon (ATM, but only withdrawal of small amounts of money). Larger amounts can be withdrawn at the stand-alone ATM on Jl. Diponegoro at the Hardy's shopping centre. An ATM is coming soon to Culik.

Eat

Most restaurants in Amed cater only for tourists and no local will ever or can afford to eat there. It is virtually impossible to find any food that is not adapted to western palate (read: bland). In some restaurants you can ask and they will be happy to make it a little more authentic.

Budget

There are not many budget options, unless you want to eat satay from the stalls and instant noodles every day. And even those will try to get more money from you than they ask from the locals.

Mid-range

There is a huge selection of mid-range small family restaurants. Most of them have the same items at the same prices, but quality can be vary greatly. It is worth trying a few of them as alternatives to the more expensive places, as some of the mamas cook a lot better.

Splurge

Drink

For an evening drink and entertainment, a local band performs live at the Double One Restaurant once a week and there are sometimes free Balinese dance performances in some of the restaurants. Generally Amed is quiet at night and it is certainly not a late night drinking spot.

The best places for an evening are Wawa Wewe, Wawa Wewe Beach Restaurant or Pacha Bar.

Sleep

This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:
Budget Under Rp 250,000
Mid-range Rp 250,000 to 1,000,000
Splurge Over Rp 1,000,000

There is a wide selection of hotels in the area and more are appearing all the time. Most tend to be quite small and intimate and built by westerners in partnership with local Balinese. These have brought a welcome increase in employment and prosperity to the area.

Everyone knows everyone here so there is a real feeling of village community. The hotels are well spaced out though so you feel that you have your own private space. There are few TVs in the hotel rooms, so bring a good book to read or better still, spend your time getting to know the locals. The pace of life is very slow and relaxed in Amed, the people are friendly and they have time.

There are also several hotels at the village of Tulamben to the north of Amed which specialise in providing for visitors intending to dive the wreck of the USAT Liberty. These establishments are normally affiliated with a dive operator or run their own dive operation.

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Connect

Phone lines are limited in the area and most hotels only have one landline each. It is wise to bring a mobile phone when visiting if you need to stay in touch with the outside world. Local Indonesian (GSM) SIM cards can be purchased in thousands of places around Bali. There is a public telephone office at Lipah Beach close to Coral View bungalows.

Internet coverage was non-existent until quite recently but is getting much better with several hotels investing in their own ADSL backbones. Public internet facilities are available at Amed Cafe in Amed village, in Lipah next to Hidden Paradise and Anda Amed in Bunutan. Coverage is expanding fast though and any visitor should look out for public internet cafe signs.

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Sunday, November 29, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.