The last time we were in Bali, we drove one and a half hours out to spend our days nestled in a villa in the forest, away from the hustle and bustle. This time, we went further out and drove 3 hours along the coastline to Amed – a long coastal strip of sleepy fishing villages in northeast Bali.
There really isn’t much to do in Amed except to snorkel/dive and relax. The whole area has very little tourists except for the few fellow travellers you find in your own resort. The area is also quite under-developed, and most resorts only have one landline. In fact, our resort room didn’t even have a phone for us to call for room service! Needless to say, I also spent a good 4 days without TV. Thank goodness for free wifi at the resort’s restaurant and my trusty iphone which I happily succumbed to. But I suppose this is why people come to Amed – to get away from it all.
The pace of life here is laidback and peaceful. You wake to the sounds of crowing roosters and the village coming to life. And you go to sleep at night lulled by the soothing sounds of the sea and chirping lizards. It doesn’t matter how fancy your resort is because the minute you walk out, you are greeted by friendly villagers, children playing on the dirt roads, barking village dogs and of course, the usual bunch of cows, goats and pigs. It’s basically kampong life.
We picked Amed because of the great snorkelling just metres from the beach. Staying at the Blue Moon Villas gave us easy access to the beach and we were just a ten-minute walk from the sunken ship wreck. Amed did not disappoint. It was pretty much like snorkelling in a giant aquarium with awesome corals and rich marine life. The ship wreck was also incredibly cool. There are not many places where you get a chance to snorkel from the beach to a sunken wreck sitting on the sea floor, rusting away and covered with corals. Unfortunately, I don’t have photos because our underwater camera decided to die on us on the first day. While I think the waters in Amed are safe for snorkelling, I wouldn’t recommend letting children have a go at it unless accompanied by an adult because the currents can be quite strong. I spent a good part of the first day pretty much getting tossed around by the waves crashing to the shore.
Would I recommend Amed as a travel destination? Only if you’re really into snorkelling and diving as I found the 3-hour drive a tad too long.