This post was last updated on July 8th, 2020 at 01:47 pm
Amed is a kilometer-long coastal strip in Bali that consists of several small seaside resorts. Amed Village, the busiest place, is one of them. Other popular villages for tourists are Jemeluk and Lipah.
The beaches are full of authentic wooden fishing boats that stand out beautifully against the green hills and the occasional turquoise water. You can also see the 3,142 meters high Gunung Agung from almost every angle, an active volcano, and also the highest peak in Bali.
The fishing village is mainly known for its great diving and snorkeling opportunities. Besides that, you can relax and it’s an amazing experience to jump on the scooter to explore the beautiful region.
So, even if you don’t like diving and snorkeling, a visit to Amed is definitely worth it. Believe us 🙂. In the area, you have impressive nature and beautiful sights to visit. However, if you are looking for bars, nightlife, and liveliness, it is not the destination for you.
In this article, we will tell you all about our experiences in Amed and give you our best tips. It is a pleasant place where time seems to have stood still. The only question is: for how long? Didn’t Kuta also use to be a sleepy fishing village?
Amed, the long road
Simply put, Amed is a long road that cuts through the various villages. It is cozy, somewhat messy, and not really developed yet. The accommodations, restaurants, shops, diving schools, shuttle bus services, and the like are all located along this road. You will find most activities around Amed Village and Jemeluk. Both to the north and to the south it gets quieter and more local.
A disadvantage is that you will hear the scooters on the road in your guesthouse or hotel. After all, the – sometimes busy – road is almost always close by. However, it is not so bad at night. The sound of the scooters without a muffler, in particular, hurts your ears. Fortunately, they are in the minority.
Snorkeling at Lipah Beach
As mentioned before, Lipah is one of the places in Amed, located in the hills and adjacent to kampungs – local villages – where you can take a look at the authentic Balinese life. The beach of the same name is – just like all beaches in Amed – not that great because the color of the (volcanic) sand is a bit greyish and creates a somewhat unsavory appearance. Fortunately, you can lie there because of the sand, while many other beaches in Amed are full of stones and boats. Relaxing on your bath towel is a difficult task when there are stones underneath you.
As soon as you step into the clear water, you immediately become a lot happier. In no time, countless fish swim past you. And sometimes they look at you for a moment and then continue their search for food.
How amazing is it after you wake up and have eaten quietly, to immediately walk into the water and admire all this beauty? Time and time again it was our ideal start to the day.
Here and there you also see colorful coral, although unfortunately – as almost everywhere – there is not much left of it. But if you suddenly see a turtle swim along, that obviously makes up for it.
Sometimes we, unfortunately, saw some plastic materials floating by us. Don’t let it spoil your mood though!
Another great snorkeling spot is at Jemeluk Beach around the rocks. Besides colorful fish, you will find something special here; a small underwater temple.
Road tripping through green nature
We visited Amed in February which is officially in the rainy season. Only, as we have said before, the rainy months in Bali can be very inconsistent. It often comes down to a few heavy showers a day and in Amed, we only experienced 1 day of rain in the 7 days that we were there. On all other days, the sky was mostly blue with a few clouds in the afternoon.
An advantage of the rainy season is that the otherwise dry Amed turns into a wonderful green landscape. Everywhere you see the tropical rainforest and palm trees, both along the road and on the mountainsides. Simply getting on the scooter and driving south was really cool to do. The views of the fishing boat-covered beaches and the green hills surrounding them made us happy. In particular, the view of Gili Selang – a tiny island – and the nearby bay is one that we will not soon forget.
In addition, the people in the kampungs you drive through are super enthusiastic when they see you. It no longer feels like tourist Bali here.
A stunning view from Lahangan Sweet
As you often see on Instagram-like spots in Indonesia, they have put all kinds of funny attributes there. There is a boat that you can sit in and there are several plateaus around trees that you can step on to enjoy the view. And of course to have some nice pictures taken of yourself, as seen below.
Head to Lahangan Sweet to watch the sunset, or stay overnight to wake up early in the morning with a view of Lombok and the rising sun. You can bring your own tent or rent one on the spot.
You can drive there in about 45 minutes, although we have to warn you for the last part of the journey. You will arrive on a steep and bumpy gravel path, where you have to be careful.
The scenic setting at Sunset Point
In the late afternoon, both local and foreign tourists gather in Jemeluk at Warung Sunset Point. In front of you, you can see the round-shaped Jemeluk Beach, surrounded by densely wooded hills. Behind it, the imposing Agung volcano demands all attention.
And when the moment comes when the sky slowly starts to turn pink, a picturesque setting is created.
Unfortunately, someone from Jakarta bought this piece of land and started building a hotel. Due to financial problems, this construction has been halted, but a part of this beautiful place has been turned into a construction site where – at least for now – nothing is being done about it. It is unbelievable that such a thing is possible. Money can buy everything, as it turns out.
The impressive garden of Tirta Gangga
About a 40 minutes’ drive from Amed lies the tourist attraction Tirta Gangga. In this beautifully landscaped garden, which consists of three different levels, you will find all kinds of ponds with giant carp, fountains, tropical trees & shrubs, and baths with holy water to clean yourself.
The eye-catcher is the pond that you see immediately upon entering. Stepping stones have been placed in the pond so that tourists can walk on it. A picturesque fountain, which resembles a pagoda, gives Tirta Gangga a fairytale touch.
Be aware that Tirta Gangga is a tourist attraction. It is almost always quite busy. We honestly thought it was a bit disappointing. The bigger Taman Ujung (see below), is more worthwhile in our opinion.
Bukit Cinta: rice fields and Mount Agung
Bukit Cinta, unlike Tirta Gangga, is a place locals don’t seem to know about. The good thing is that you will hardly encounter people. When we were there, we didn’t even see anyone at all. We only met 2 tourists near the end who had apparently heard of Bukit Cinta.
After a 35-40 minutes’ drive from Amed, you suddenly come to a spot where you see parceled rice fields with some wooden huts and some lost palm trees. Behind it lies the imposing Gunung Agung, which with a bit of luck is fully visible. In our case, around 1.30 p.m., this volcano was almost completely covered by clouds. Only the contours were visible. Nevertheless, the view was still insanely beautiful.
TIP – The best time to visit Bukit Cinta is during the sunrise, around 6 o’clock.
If you use the Maps.us app, you will soon discover that Bukit Cinta cannot be found. That is why you can enter Bali Asli as a destination. The viewpoint on the rice fields and the volcano can be found diagonally in front of it. There is also a narrow path down directly into the rice fields. It’s nice to take a walk there. We came across three fishing kids who asked us about everything. 😀
Afterward, you can continue to the aforementioned Tirta Gangga, this garden is less than 5 kilometers (~ 3.1 miles) away.
Spearfishing and diving around an American shipwreck
Besides tourism, fishing is an important source of income in Amed. And, wouldn’t you love to go out to sea with a local fisherman to catch your dinner yourself?
So this is what we did together with Mus, a local fisherman who goes out every day to catch fish. And not simply fishing with a rod and float, but spearfishing. You use a kind of gun for this and you must be able to free dive. We felt like Mus sometimes stayed underwater for minutes at a time.
We mainly just looked, because freediving with such a rifle in your hand is not exactly easy. Certainly not if your snorkel mask covers your face and you hardly see anything, which was the case for us. It looked quite professional, so the original plan that we were going to hunt with it soon turned out to be unfeasible.
Moreover, we weren’t sure if we could actually pull the trigger from close by. They are still living creatures, sometimes more than a meter long, that can weigh tens of kilos.
Anyway… In the end, we caught nothing.
In between fishing, we stopped at the USS Liberty Wreck, a shipwreck that sank to the bottom during World War II. The wreck is covered with coral and sea plants, and countless fish swim there. Together with the underlying story, we thought this was great to experience. You can also walk into the water at Banyuning Bay and snorkel to and around the wreck yourself. Diving is another option, you can see the former ship up close, ranging from 6 to 12 meters deep.
Mus then took home the black snapper that he had caught the day before. And then we grilled that 3-kilo black snapper on a homemade BBQ. Together with a marinade of garlic, turmeric, and some oil. Super tasty, there is no better way to eat fish.
Do you also want to go through this cool experience? Please contact Mus via Whatsapp on +6281237672476. By the way, using normal fishing rods is also possible, it depends on what you want. Apart from being a skilled fisherman, he is a super nice guy.
Taman Ujung: the water palace of Bali
In Taman Ujung, you will find a former royal palace that belonged to the Karangasem empire. Today it is simply a beautiful garden to stroll through.
You will find three huge ponds and one of them contains the main building of the complex: Bale Bengong. It can be reached via a bridge with all kinds of mysterious gates and inside you see several texts and photos from the Karangasem empire.
Two interesting facts: one of the architects of Gili Bale was Den Hentz, a Dutchman. And during the time of the Dutch East India Company in Karangasem, Taman Ujung was known as the Water Palace.
If you walk up the stairs, the view keeps increasing in beauty. You look out over the ponds, Gili Bale, a kind of pavilion, a huge Hindu statue, and a mix of trees, shrubs, and plants. The sea in the background and the mountains on the other side create a perfect picture.
When you come to the ponds and walk through the garden you will see all kinds of cool Hindu statues and towards the exit, there are still some rice fields to visit.
By the way, Taman Ujung is still quite a drive from Amed, because you are on the road for an hour. Although it is a nice ride. You will pass various local villages, where people are visibly surprised that you come here as a tourist. In addition, near the coast, you’ll have beautiful views of the mountainous landscape and the sea.
Great food at Warung Agung
In Amed, you’ll find a lot of (tourist) warungs -food shops- where you can eat very well and for reasonable prices. We recommend Warung Agung in Lipah, where fresh ingredients are used every day. The dishes here taste quite good and the sweet Dewa serves the food in a nice way.
What do you think of the nasi campur, in the photo above?
In the evening there is also regular live music since Dewa – the male owner – often plays the guitar.
Looking for very cheap and tasty food? Near Warung Agung is Indah Shop & Resto where you can eat delicious Gado-Gado for 10,000 IDR (~ US$0.70). The peanut sauce is made in front of you with fresh ingredients. Please note, this great dish is not on the menu. Ask for it and you will get it.
The Lempuyang Temple: go there?
Pura Lempuyang or Lempuyang temple has become one of the most popular temples in Bali in recent years. She is also known as Heaven’s Gate, because of the long, steep staircase that almost looks like a painting in the sky.
We got there at noon and we can already advise against doing the same. We were happily informed that there was a waiting time of 3 hours just to take a picture. We’re sorry, but that’s a bit too much for us. Yes, you end up with that nice photo, only what’s it worth if the experience itself is terrible?
The only way to avoid the crowds is to visit the temple during the sunrise. Yes, even then there are people, but much less than during the day. You will find Pura Lempuyang at a half-hour drive from Amed.
From Amed to the Gili Islands or Lombok
Did you know that the port of Amed is the closest to the Gili’s and Lombok? With the speedboat, for example, you can sail to Gili Trawangan in 45 minutes. Strangely enough, it only costs more than if you leave from Sanur or Padangbai. Tickets to the Gili Islands or Lombok can be arranged locally, but also online via 12Go Asia.
Places to stay
We recommend staying at Bayu Cottages. In this completely renovated accommodation in the hills of Lipah, you have nice, clean rooms with large and comfortable beds. There is also a swimming pool to relax in. The employees are also very nice and help you with any questions you may have.
You also have a view of the ocean from the rooms and there is a wide breakfast choice. In any case, try the granola with fruit and yogurt. After breakfast, you can walk to the beach in a few seconds and you can go into the sea for snorkeling.
If you prefer to sleep in a somewhat simple room, you also have plenty of homestays to choose from. Take a look at Booking.com.