Amed Trip

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Category: Bali

May 2nd, 2013. Currently in: Ubud, Bali, Indonesia / GMT+8

This blog post is also available in Japanese.

 

It’s already been a month since I arrived in Bali. Yep, the time flies!

As Japan is now during the Golden Week, one of the big holidays, I find larger number of Japanese tourists here in Ubud. I think places like Kuta, Seminyak and Jimbaran are more popular destinations for tourists, the get-drunk-and-party type of places, but Ubud has recently (and quickly) become one of the popular destinations too. Often people stay in the South but come up here for a day to visit Monkey Forest and enjoy some calmness that is harder to find in the South. I love this village, Ubud. The size, the people, the beautiful green we see everywhere, the culture, the artists… It’s just that we don’t have the beach and I had been dying to go diving and snorkeling ever since I come here.

So I went. I picked Amed, a small village located on the East edge of this island, as numbers of people suggested me to go. And I cannot be thankful enough for those who did because I LOVED IT!

 

From Ubud to Amed

It takes about 2.5 to 3 hours by car to go to Amed from Ubud. I went there with a local friend this time, and he kindly offered to drive so the cost was only the car rental (450,000 RP, about USD45 for 3 days) plus gas. Many people charter a car with a driver, which is widely available in Ubud or any other larger places in Bali. There are also options like tourist buses and taxi. People told me I can even go by my scooter, which I’m not confident enough that I can without getting caught (you don’t really need a license to drive a scooter within Ubud, but you do if you are going far) or making a sore butt.

The way to Amed from Ubud was beautiful, going through towns like Gianyar and Semarapura on a winding road. This is the shortest way in distance, but I was told that because the road is really winding it is actually faster if we took the coastline.

 

The weather was very nice that we were able to see the beautiful Gunung Agung, the highest mountain (volcano) in Bali on the way.

 

Stay and Diving

Amed is one of the popular places for diving and snorkeling.

The place we stayed is Galang Kangin Bungalows & Cafe (they only have their website in Japanese but the information is widely available in different websites if you search with the name + Amed). This place is owned by a very friendly Japanese lady, who is actually more like a Balinese now that she has been married to a Balinese living in Amed for over 10 years! I decided to stay here as I can also ask for diving (I don’t have a license yet) and it is located right in front of the beach that I can go diving and snorkeling easily from there. I’d like to say I made a very good choice.

They have different types of rooms (although not many) that you can choose from: with air conditioning or with fan, beach front or in the garden, twin, double, etc. It’s clean, very reasonable in price, and I had not realized how nice it really is to be just right in front of the beach! There are several very nice hotels up on the hill with your own swimming pool, but imagine the long stairs you have to climb up after a nice swim in the ocean. My newly made friend said, “by the time you are back, you’re so sweaty that you need another swim”. So if you like to enjoy the beach, how close you are to the beach could be quite important.

 The horizon you can see from the bungalow is just amazing. We see many boats lined on the beach, that are full of fish in the morning and later in the afternoon when they come back. Amed is a place also to enjoy fresh fish :-)

 

Although it was a very nice day when we got there, it had rained two days before that the visibility of the sea wasn’t so good. But because of that we were able to find so many fish happy with the rich plankton. After arriving at 11am, I dived once before lunch, and once after lunch.

 

I had only dived once before in Japan but I loved it. And it was sooo much fun this time too! I love the feeling that I am knocking on the door of the fishes’ home and secretly (well, not really, probably I’m too big for them to not to notice) joining their life. The owner of the bungalow, Mutsumi, dived with me, gave me all the instruction of things that I need to know. She is so experienced, really good to dive with.

I also enjoyed snorkeling. Although I did not have a chance to try this time, there is a new sport called “Free Diving” which is quickly becoming very popular around here. It is diving, but without the air on your back. It’s a combination of yoga and diving, going under the water with huge fins, holding your breath. So you do yoga beforehand in order to breathe better. It seems like some people love it, and some people really don’t like it, but a girl from Switzerland I met there seemed to have enjoyed it a lot.

 

The Mountains and Ricefield of Amed

Ubud is famous for Ricefield. If you drive just a little bit out of Ubud, you will see an amazing view of ricefield. But the ricefield in Amed was also very nice, different from the view of Ubud as they have mountains and the beach.

A very nice gentleman from Australia I met in Amed took my new friends from Switzerland and I to the “secret spots” of his. He liked Amed so much that he built a villa of his own. All the places he took us to were so beautiful. Just a thanks is not enough for what he gave us. Moreover, he says, “Taking you all there and seeing how much you appreciated it, I was able to realize once again how beautiful this is. Thank you!” What a person he is.

I had lots of wonderful meetings with people, and enjoyed diving and snorkeling. I cannot ask for more. It was an amazing weekend. I am definitely coming back to Amed.

 

If you are looking for a little more calmness on your vacation, Amed would be a wonderful place to be. Highly recommended ;)

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