On the road to Amed: snorkelling the aquatic marvels of Bali
Snorkelling in Amed is just one part of a 3 days thrilling adventure we shared with 2 crazy German friends that we met during our stay in Ubud.
The story begins with the four of us taking the fun decision to fit in our tiny rental – Suzuki Jimny – and head to Amed, the land of aquatic marvels.
Google maps app OPEN; navigation to Amed ON.
Squashed like fish in a Sardine can, everyone had to endure the unpleasant suffocation for more than 2 hours. Except for me since, I was the driver 😉
Getting stuck in the Jungle
On our way to Amed we took a wrong turn without noticing that the 3G signal got lost and Google maps went Coocoo maps. The road led us up the mountain where paved roads soon turned to stone and mud. We were in the middle of “Jungle nowhere”. What started as a pleasant road trip turned into the beginning of a horror movie. Our only neighbors were the deep sounds of crickets and the sudden flash of huge moths twirling around the car’s lights. And that’s not all. The situation got more dramatic when the car went dead on the choke of the weak engine, which failed to carry our weight up the steep slopes. Reversing was an impossible task since my rear vision was clogged with piles of backpacks. The guys had to step out of the car for several times to guide me towards flat lands before we continued pushing our way further into solitary jungle territory. At last, hitting an unsurpassable dead end of fallen car-size rocks and dirt, we surrendered and decided to turn back and find an alternative road.
Amed at night and nowhere to sleep
When we finally got to Amed, the sea village was asleep. We could only hear the voice of a drunken tourist singing his lungs out in the last open restaurant. We joined for a night meal before heading to the beach where we camped in our hammocks. The morning lights unfolded a magnificent colorful dawn and an infinite horizon of waters and skies. A kind local offered me a hand to start a small fire to which we brewed our morning delicious Balinese coffee.
Snorkelling the wander of Bali: Amed Beach
Later on we headed to Amed beach where we spent a whole day snorkelling the beautiful coral gardens surrounded with colorful aquatic life (check the video clip). We were so amazed by the clearance and richness of the place that we didn’t pay attention to the current drifting us away from the beach. We soon came on shore, 2 kilometers away from our original spot. To find our way back, we had to walk barefoot and half naked, chasing shadows to escape the pain of the burning asphalt road.
Sunset watching from Jemuluk lookout
A long snorkelling day ended with one astonishing sunset from the top of Jemuluk lookout. Tourists along with locals gathered in numbers to reserve the perfect spot from which they could watch the red sun dying behind the gigantic silhouette of mount Agung. Handcrafters, reggae singers and street marketers spread between the masses making this small gathering look like a village kermis.
With the night folding above our heads, we rushed to get potatoes, cheese and charcoal before heading back to our “5 stars beach hotel” where our tents and hammocks were waiting.
Camping with the locals
Our camping spot was too tempting and too beautiful not to comeback to. So we decided to camp again only this time with a bun fire. Little did we know that we were going to end up sharing our dinner with locals, exchanging stories and clapping our drinks in cheerful laughs. With two German rappers on board and competitive locals, the night ended with a mixed-cultural rap battle from which we couldn’t extract the slightest meaning.
With the beginning of Monday school morning, we woke up to the sound of several scooters driving kids to the nearby teaching institute. Bewildered by our presence, locals gathered around us until we were fully awake. We felt as if we were the hosts of a morning TV show with more than 50 Balinese as our spectators. It didn’t took long for them to start selling us sweet rice breakfast and morning coffee, taking pictures with us and engaging with conversations full of curiosity and admiration.
Amed is the name given to a 15km stretch of beach villages from which we cite Jemeluk, Bunutan, Lipah, Leon, Seloug, Banyungang and Aas.
Amed is located on the northeastern part of Bali with a drier climate than the rest of the Island so keep in mind to stay hydrated and constantly apply sunblock.
Best time to go?
The high season in Amed is during June, July and August. But we always prefer to tackle a destination during its off-season where you can bargain the price of pretty much everything, from accommodation to tours and activities. Plus you will skip the chaos of the touristic season.
How to get there?
You can take the bus or hire a taxi from almost anywhere in Bali. But it is advisable to rent your own transportation (scooter or car). The road to Amed is astonishing with multitude of worthy landscape photography spots.
How long does it take to get there?
It roughly takes 3hours to get to Amed from the main cities of Kuta, Seminyak and Ubud.
Where to stay?
There are many homestays and beach bungalows along the beach stretch of Amed. Price rates are suitable for everyone and can range from 10USD/night to 200USD/night.
Where to eat?
Amed is deliciously famous for its seafood, which makes sense since it is a beach village. Many restaurants along the coast line will be serving freshly picked seafood.
What are the activities?
- Jemuluk lookout: You witness a beautiful sunset
- Diving: Many dive centers to chose from once you’re in Amed.
- Amed Jukung boat trip
- Snorkelling in Amed Beach
- Witness the making of coconut Arac.
- ATMs and money exchangers are available in limited quantities.
- Small grocery markets are scattered around town but don’t expect big supermarkets with imported products.
✔ Snorkeling in Amed Beach.
✔ amping on the beach and sharing dinner with locals over a bun fire.
✔ Watching the sunset from Jemuluk lookout
✗ Getting lost in jungle (although it was a very thrilling experience)
✗ The inescapable current drift while snorkeling.
Venturing around Bali comes with lots of thrills, fun, suspense and even dangers sometimes. Snorkelling in Amed was truly an awesome experience but not as awesome as it would have been without the whole story behind it.