If you think Bali is boring then you still haven't explore it yet or all you know is only Kuta area. Even though Bali looks tiny on the map, Bali is bigger than I thought. South area might be familiar for people but did you aware of other regions in Bali? In the west Bali, there is an amazing spot for you to snorkel or dive named Menjangan. In the north, meet the dolphins in Lovina, also some waterfalls are quiet tempting to be watched. In the east, where I visited and I would write about, a famous spot to see the stunning shipwrecks, Tulamben and Amed.
I accompanied a friend (Angki) to take his freedive license in Amed. Fyi, Amed is a popular place to learn and take freedive license. We rent motorbike from Sanur and spent around 3 hours to get to Amed. Pretty easy to drive by yourself, just follow the sign to Padang Bai-Candi Dasa-Amlapura. It was dark when we arrived. We found a cheap homestay and stayed there for few nights. Not so many tourists at that time, even I considered it doesn't feel like in Bali because it's too quiet. The facility still not as modern as South Bali, no streetlight, few bars. Totally different.
Amed is not a white-sand beach. The black volcanic sand stretch to the east with Mount Agung as the background and fishing boats embellish the scenery. Next, follow the coast to Jemeluk Village for snorkeling in submarine mailbox. Go further around 8 kilometers to the viewpoint and another 5 kilometers (not sure about the distance, only my estimation) to find the Lipah Bay wreck, and Japanese wreck spot. It's also possible to do trekking in Mount Agung
and visit Besakih Temple.
The mailbox is located 20 meters from the shore and 5 meters deep. It's easy to find and see the mailbox. It doesn't look like mailbox because of the balinese design, I think it looks more like a small shrine. The mailbox is installed to raise marine conservation awareness. People can send postcards to this mailbox (no idea if it's still applicable). The corals are okay around this area. On the left side from the entrance, there's also a mermaid statue in the depth around 8 meters. So unique.
A viewpoint on the roadside to see breathtaking view of the bay and Mount Agung as the background. Perfect time is in the morning when the light is perfect to capture the sparkling greenish corals in the sea. The cloud still uncovering Mount Agung in the morning, so prepare your camera to capture this astonishing view.
Lipah Bay Wreck/Japanese Wreck
I'm not sure whether this wreck is Lipah Bay Wreck or Japanese Wreck. People around showed me that this is Japanese Wreck spot but from the description I got in Wikitravel
says that it's Lipah Bay Wreck. The small wreck is located not too far from the shore also not too deep. The old wreck is covered with corals.
Up to the north around 30 kms from Amed, here it is, the famous shipwreck, USAT Liberty. The wreck is close to the shore. The deep is from 5 meters to 30 meters which allows non-diver to enjoy the wreck. Please be careful, from the last updated information I got, the wreck is fragile and unpredictable, struck by the strong current few months ago. Keep in mind, be careful when you dive between the pillars. Big fishes swam around me and I could see different underwater view. It's my first time freediving in a wreck, that's why I'm extremely happy, different sensation and experience. The corals are not so fancy but still beautiful covering the body.
Transportation to Amed and Tulamben
The easiest and most recommended for the transportation to Amed and Tulamben is renting scooter. Price is only Rp 50,000/day. Rent car is also possible if you're in a group. Other option is by taxi, price around Rp 250,000/person. There is also speedboat from Amed-Gili Trawangan vice-versa but it cost more. Public transportation is also available, ride transbus/busway to Batu Bulan Station, then change using Bemo (public car) to Amed. But still to get around Amed, no public transportation so you have to rent scooter again in Amed.
Where to stay in Amed and Tulamben
Staying in Tulamben is cheap. There are several bungalow-shaped homestays in Amed. I stayed in Jos Homestay (+6281936557291). Cheapest price is around Rp 150,000/night and if you stay longer you can stay for only Rp 100,000/night. There's also one homestay near Submarine Mailbox/Jemeluk Beach with the same price Rp 150,000. The name is Joli Homestay (+62877622540/+628193631554) Price including delicious breakfast such as pancake and toast, private bathroom, and fan. Aircon homestays start from Rp 200,000. Food ranges from Rp 20,000, but I had one favorite small simple, cheap and tasty restaurant just in front to the left (sorry forgot the name) JOS Homestay, price starts from Rp 10,000. I think it's better to stay in Amed for the cheaper accommodation then go to Tulamben for diving/snorkeling in the USAT Liberty wreck. The villas in Tulamben starts from Rp 300,000/night. Popular one is Liberty Dive Resort
Traveled in 26-30 September 2013
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Labels: Bali, beach, Indonesia, NTB/NTT