After the regret of not having completed his Advanced PADI course in Koh Tao, Matt was determined to get certified in Bali before we headed home. We therefore made time to head to the east coast region of Amed for a few days. Amed is one of many popular areas in Bali for diving, however the wreck of the USS Liberty sways many a scuba-enthusiast in favour of this beautiful coastline.
Nestled in the shadow of a volcano and boasting intriguing black sand beaches, Amed is made up of many small villages that are linked together by a pleasant coastal road. Beautiful family run restaurants and accommodation, as well as a multitude of dive companies and even connections to the Gili Islands await you in this chilled out destination and though I was not diving, Amed was one of my preferred areas of Bali.
I think the thing that I liked most about this place was that it didn’t have the uncontrollable crowds that some of the more popular areas of the island have throughout the peak months. Instead Amed was a peaceful retreat away from the hustle and bustle that is characteristic of so many countries in Asia.
Matt spent two days completing his PADI and got some great footage of the wreck on his GoPro, so he was a very happy bunny! I on the other hand had to keep myself occupied during this time. The hotel we stayed in was called Mango 5, a tiny new accommodation option. It is made up of 6 beautiful bungalows that are spectacularly furnished, bright and clean, surrounding a small pool and patio area. This very pool kept me busy most of the time as it was the perfect place to top up the tan! The beach is home to many moored boats and is therefore not a prime sunbathing area, so having somewhere to relax within your accommodation is a must for anyone who is not a diver!
Every day I walked the 20 minute journey to a little cafe called ‘Meeting Point’, where sumptuous salads and mouthwatering milkshakes are their speciality. Along with some well needed air-con and comfy chairs, it’s a great lunch stop that sets you up for the rest of the day.
During the evenings both myself and Matt became serial visitors of Warung Enak, a local eatery that is always full without fail. Booking is essential here and you soon find out why. Authentic Balinese cuisine as well as pizzas, fresh fish and the best juices make up the gorgeous menu and the service is impeccable. Even the little touches such as complimentary bread and environmentally friendly drinking straws are covered here and we loved every single meal we ate.
If you had more time in the region, there are some beautiful rice paddies and temple complexes surrounding the area, as well as tour guides who take you trekking up the volcano (extra training possibly needed).
Whatever you do here, the east coast of Bali is a coastal gem.