Amed, Bali: definition #1: a place to which I hope to return
Amed, Bali: definition #2: a definite must-visit for any Bali-bound traveler (if you like the beach and would like to snorkel, dive, or learn to dive)
Amed is a set of tiny villages on the east coast of Bali. For the local Balinese, there is fishing, agriculture (I saw corn, various green veggies, fruit trees), salt collected from the ocean, and water sports, namely diving and snorkeling. It's a polar opposite from Ubud in some ways– hardly crowded at all, small, and all about the shoreline. But there is still the tourist industry which seems to be everywhere, not to the same degree as in Ubud.
I came here because I had done some research on TripAdvisor for good places to do a scuba course. It also shows up in the Lonely Planet guide as a nice getaway place to visit. And I have been rewarded many-many-fold.
First, I have to highlight the amazing place where I stayed and learned to dive: Adventure Divers Bali (the dive shop) and Geria Giri Shanti Bungalows (the attached guesthouses), currently owned by David (an Englishman, but totally seems like a So-cal diver dude with a proper English accent) and Liselotte (a Belgian, a beautiful tall, tanned blonde who's completely loving and charming).
If you come to Bali, you must come to Amed, and if you come to Amed, you MUST come to this place. They are amazing hosts, and the accommodations are perfect.
- I paid 180.000 rupiah ($18USD) each night. That's their low season rate.
- I had a beautifully clean and spacious room with two twin beds (nice, firm mattresses, sparkling clean sheets) each with their own option-to-use mosquito netting.
- And the rooms all have open air showers, which are wonderful in this really hot, humid area.
- Breakfast (with some options of banana pancakes, toast, and /or eggs any style), tea/coffee/instant cappucino are all included.
- It's a hop, skip, and a jump away from the beach, which was nice, so I just took a towel down to the beach and swam for awhile and then hopped, skipped, and jumped back to my room for an open air shower.
I can't say enough good things about this place. It's not a super luxury resort with a-c and swimming pool, jacuzzi, etc. But if you have a budget and want somewhere really nice and clean to stay where the owners are super helpful and not just out to get your money, then this is your place. They have glowing reviews on TripAdvisor. It really doesn't feel like a budget place…
The only downside was that it's really hot in Amed. I mean oven-roasting hot. And it doesn't rain here, even during rainy season, which helps to cool things off (like in Ubud where it rained every evening). So you kind of sit in your sweat, even with a fan on you. Sleeping isn't the most comfortable. If it were just a touch cooler, I think I could stay here for the rest of my vacation!
- I had good meals here, better than in Ubud. Not amazing, but more tasty. I'm just realizing I'm not crazy about Indonesian food, I guess.
- I saw a sunset and a sunrise. With views of Mt. Agung, an active volcano that last erupted in 1963.
- I swam in the sea on an empty beach with occasionally a few other swimmers, but mostly by myself. Peace and quiet.
- I sweated buckets.
- I met a bunch of local Balinese who work at the dive shop and guesthouse. Everyone was so kind and helpful.
- I met a few other travelers and commiserated about diving and travel.
- I got my scuba diving Open Water Diver license. But more on that later.
My faith in Bali as a tourist destination was restored by Amed. If only it weren't sooo hot.