Things to do in Amed, Bali
Obviously if you ask us for things to do in Amed, we would have to say freediving, freediving, freediving … and yoga. That said there are many other amazing things to experience on this beautiful, rugged and lesser developed side of Bali. Whilst by no means and exhaustive list the following outlines some of the attractions and activities you could schedule into your stay.
Snorkelling and General Beach Shenanigans
Amed has fantastic snorkeling, beginning with Jemeluk bay the coral reefs line the coast stretching as far south as Gili Selang. Jemeluk is probably the pick of the bays with mild currents and nice coral walls. The Japanese wreck is also a pleasant place to snorkel with a small ship wreck and nice coral beds.
One major advantage is that the coral starts only metres from shore so there is no need for boats in order to explore the rich marine life.
In Jemeluk you can also rent sit-on top Kayaks and sailing Jukungs. If relaxing is more your thing it’s a good place to get a massage on the beach, kick back with a beer in the Warungs or enjoy a healthy Juice in “Amed Organik”
USS Liberty Wreck
110 metres long and lying in between 5 mts to 30 mts depth, The USS Liberty wreck is perfect to practice new freediving skills.
The wreck is an underwater wonderland of marine life – schools of trevally, bream, fusilier and anthias mill all over and around the wreck, coming curiously right up to the freediver. Well worth going there for a freedive, Scuba or snorkel and located in Tulamben only 20 minutes from Jemeluk.
East Bali Bike Tours
Cycling is one of the best ways to see the spectacular countryside and the mountain scenary of rural east Bali.
Led by knowledgeable and friendly local guides, East Bali Bike Tours offers travellers a unique opportunity to go deep into Bali’s countryside and experience the daily life of rural rice farmers and craft farmers firsthand.
The mountains and coastline around Amed is stunning and there are numerous options for getting off the beaten track and exploring. Trekking is a great way to see the area and a variety of routes are being discovered ranging from Gentle 1 hr walks to full day treks. A local guide will ensure you don’t get lost and also to be able to tell you lots about the area that you might otherwise miss out on. We can help recommend a guide for you that will consider both your safety, education and enjoyment.
Towering 3,142 metres above sea level, Mount Agung is the highest mountain on the island of Bali and the fifth highest volcano in the whole of IndonesiaMount Agung has huge spiritual significance to the people of the island, and is home to the ‘Mother Temple’
Balinese legend has it that Agung was created when the Hindu God Pasupati split Mount Meru (the spiritual axis of the universe) and formed Mount Agung with a fragment.
Many guides offer a chance to climb Agung and truly this is an amazing experience, but again its essential to choose the right guide as there have been some nightmare stories of people departing totally unprepared for what is a relatively challenging climb.
Half hour drive from Amed. One of the eight most sacred temples on the island. Park in the car park and walk up the steps to the temple. It’s situated high up a mountain and there are magnificent sunset views at dusk.
“Tirta Gangga” literally means water from the Ganges and it is a site of some reverance for the Hindu Balinese. Strictly, the name refers to the water palace built here from the late 1940′s to the 1950′s by Gusti Gede Djelantik, heir to the former Kingdom of Karangasem. It is widely used, though, to refer to the general area which includes the water palace and some particularly stunning rural areas around.
The primary draw in this area for visitors is the Tirta Gangga water palace, a lovely maze of pools and fountains surround by a lush garden and stone carvings and statues. The one hectare complex was built from 1948 onwards by the late heir to the Kingdom of Karangsem but was destroyed almost entirely by the eruption of nearby Mount Agung in 1963. It has been lovingly re-built and restored and has an air of authentic royal magnificence. The centrepiece of the palace is an eleven tiered fountain, and there are many beautiful carvings and statues adorning the gardens. This is a great spot to unwind and it has a real atmosphere of old Bali. You can bathe in the pools for a small charge which is additional to the Rp 20,000 (foreigners) entrance fee.
The area around Tirta Gangga holds some stunning rice paddy terraces. Those postcard pictures of Bali rice terraces which you have all seen are usually from photographs taken here.
The area surrounding Amed is not just a freedive haven, it is also home to some of the best scuba diving in Bali. With great diversity of species and excellent coral and marinelife. Amed should definitely be on the go to list of anyone interested in Scuba. There are a number of excellent operators, Baruna: firstname.lastname@example.org, Eco Dive Bali: email@example.com, Adventure Divers bali: +62 81353136113.
Sailing / Fishing
Amed’s picturesque Jukung boats are characteristic of the Area. These small outrigger boats with colourful sails can be seen up and down the coastline. Despite being a relatively simple design they sail surprisingly well, the crab-claw rig providing lift
as well as forward momentum.
The fisherman make a little extra money taking tourists out diving and are very happy when asked to go out sailing or fishing . Ask to “pakai layar” (use sail) when your out with them and they will be delighted to show you the ropes. A Sunset sail in a traditional Jukung, sun dropping behind Mt Agung is a beautiful thing to experience.
Spa & Massage
No trip to Bali would be complete without indulging in a massage or spa treatment. Until recently most of the massages on offer have been conducted by the friendly ladies on the beaches. This is a great experience which often ends up in you having several ladies working on you at the same time (they share the money) its good to support them and you know that the money you give is going directly to the people who need it most.
Recently several more up market Spa’s have opened and if you feel like treating yourself (you know you should) Villa Santai and Aqua Terrace spa are well worth visiting.
Making salt from sea water is a traditional livelihood in the Amed area. Nowadays only a couple small communities, namely at Amed village and Jemeluk, still make salt. There, out on the beach, you can see large open areas full of rows and rows of wooden trays filled with slowly evaporating sea water transforming into salt.
This technique is dying out quickly as farmers sell their land and children look for employment in more lucrative fields or move south to the bright lights of Denpasar and tourist areas of Kuta and Seminyak.
Tours to these areas might just help to preserve what is left of this traditional method and can help provide a valuble income for the salt farmers that remain.