The next few articles will be dedicated to several places that we went to in Bali. These are all places that we enjoyed discovering and that brought us a lot of memories..
And what better way to start off this series of articles, Bali’s beautiful places , than to talk about a place that we loved : Amed. Let’s talk about this area together : Some basic informations on the villages and surroundings, our more personal opinions on this place and our experiences there (where we stayed, what we did the most, who we met).
BASIC INFORMATIONS ON THE VILLAGES AND SURROUNDINGS
What we usually call Amed isn’t really a city in itself, it’s more of a 14km long area full of small fishing villages, on the east coast of Bali. Amed is just the name of one of these villages but usually when people talk about Amed, they are refering to all these small fishing villages and not just one of them.
Amed has more and more tourists coming to visit every year.
Why ? Because it’s a paradise, guys.. This area is known for its amazing snorkelling spots, scuba diving, black volcanic beaches and just one of the best places to lose all notion of time and to live happily ever after !
There are a lot of tourists but it’s nothing compared to Ubud or other cities in the South of the island. Also, there are a lot of french people over there. Not just backpackers but expats that live there all year round. The scuba diving is one of the main reasons why. Scuba diving in Bali, is way cheaper than in the Western countries. Which means that foreigners who want to have a scuba diving diploma can earn it in Amed way easier and way cheaper than in their own countries ! And if they want to teach scuba diving, what better place than in Amed where there are outstanding fish and a well-known boat wreck to discover. For the less experienced or less interested in scuba diving, you can also snorkel by yourself (or with a guide).
It isn’t just about underwater life, though. You can also capture tender moments above the water. Let me explain. Amed is a fishing village, which means that all the beautiful fishing boats lay on the sand all day long. We loved looking at these boats, how they were made, how they were used. However, the true beauty of these villages happen at around 4 or 5 am. At dawn, all the fishermen get up and take their boats out to go fishing. I am not going to lie, we got up to see them leave only once because we didn’t have the courage to wake up so early each morning. But the view was almost magical. The sun was very very slowly coming up and the sky was a light pink-orange colour. There were so many boats at the same time floating towards the horizon and everything was so quite, so still. It was a real moment of peace.
At around 10 am, fishermen come back and once again, you can see an army of boats floating on the deep blue sea.
Speaking of peacefulness, Amed is also apparently beginning to be a place with more and more yoga retreats and such in the area. It was also a place where we felt that people in general were just more chill than in other areas.
Once again, as always in Bali, if you have a scooter and explore the surroundings of Amed, you just discover amazing places.
We stayed in Amed for a whole week because we felt so much at peace, there. We felt like there were so many things to do over there and one of our favourite activities was to drive the scooter in all the little hidden roads of the village. It was amazing how we always ended up in luxurious nature, beautiful Balinese forests and even mountains. We once took a road that led us at the top of a small mountain where we had the most beautiful view of the fishing villages and the sea. And as always, once you get out the main area, there are no tourists. If you want to get lost (but not too much, be careful) in nature, Amed is the place to be. Well basically, Bali is the place to be.. But Amed is awesomeeee.
We didn’t go scuba diving even though it seemed great, but we went snorkelling together a couple of times. We just rented a mask and tuba for the day and could go anywhere we wanted with it all day long. Snorkelling in this place was impressive with all the coloured fish swimming below us, just chillin’ ! There are also some corals to see and visiting the boat wreck is quite impressive even without diving. If you are lucky, you can also see turtles !!! We did not see them.. But, some people did, yay !
A few words on snorkelling in Amed. It’s amazing, really. We went snorkelling almost every day. Buuut. It’s very polluted. And on some beaches, when you snorkel you can see a sort of thick line of pollution at the top of the water. It has an oily aspect, probably a small mix of sunscreens, toothpaste and soap (most people put toothpaste or soap on their mask to clean it in the sea before going snorkelling). Small touristic boats also come through some beaches, just next to snorkellers so it could also be added as a cause for the oily aspect you have above the water. Moreover, you can also find some small plastic bags in the water or small threads. We collected a few of these to take them out of the water but the next day there were always some other ones.
Finally, some tourists also stand on the corals or touch them, which spoils a bit the corals. However, it was a pleasant surprise to see that most of the tourists were very cautious and respectful towards the sealife while they were snorkelling !
WHERE DID WE STAY AND WHO DID WE MEET ?
We stayed at a place a bit further away from the main fishing village (about 10 minutes by scooter), which was called Meditasi Bungalows. This was the best choice we could’ve done. The place was incredible and just really romantic.
For those who read or saw Eat, Pray, Love, the owner was really proud to tell us that the author of the book stayed several times at his place and just loved it ! She stayed in the same bungalow as we did, the oldest one.
I do not remember how much we paid, I just remember that we usually slept in the cheapest places in Bali but this one was just a bit more expensive than usual for us. However, we booked at a time where the owner didn’t have a lot of bookings so we had a discount for our whole stay.
Meditasi was perfect for us. The bungalow we stayed in was very basic and simple. You entered a small door and arrived at the entrance of the bungalow : an outside toilet and outside shower surrounded by walls. The shower was just a bamboo that was cut to let through the cold water (no hot water). And the toilets didn’t flush. There was a water bucket next to the toilets to flush. There was also a small frangipani tree, that lost a bit of its flowers everyday so we had this place covered in frangipani flowers very quickly.
Imagine yourself, naked as a baby, taking a cold shower with water flowing through a bamboo and frangipani flowers falling all around you. BEST SHOWER IN THE WORLD.
After a small staircase : the small room and a balcony with an amazing view on the ocean and the fishing boats. Apart from the bed, nothing much in the room. The floor was wood and we could see the grass below between the cracks.
There was also a sweet, sweet pool. Empty almost all day long, as if it was made just for us !
The place was really quiet and smoothing and had good vibes. The owner had a good energy and also had a restaurant, yoga classes and massages. However, we found the restaurant a bit too expensive for our taste and the massages seemed expensive as well. The owner was really caring of our well being and just really really friendly ! Only thing that we didn’t like too much was that he told us everyday to put a good comment for him on booking. Not that we wouldn’t have done it, we loved the place !!! And when he asked once, we were just like “Of course, we will do that ! He deserves a good comment !”. But then he insisted every day, sometimes several times a day when he saw us and promised us a free cocktail if we did it. We really liked him, but we both aren’t keen for arrangements like this one and our interactions became less pleasant with him. However, from start to finish he was a lovely man with us and at least he was honest with us and didn’t hide his intentions or anything and this place is amazing, good job to him and to his good vibes, yo !
Another event that made our visit to Amed so memorable, was our encounter with the man living next door. We met this fisherman when we were walking on the beach in front of our bungalow and while we were looking closely to all the boats around us. He came up to us in a very friendly matter and showed us his boat, how it worked, and just talked to us about his work as a fisherman. He was born and raised in Amed and spoke a bit english but not very well. He often tried to find his words and mimicked them so that we could understand. He seemed genuinely interested in sharing a part of his life with us and asked us if we wanted to come and have tea at his house later that day, around dinner timer.
It was a big yes for us and so we came at his house the same evening. It was outstanding how he went out of his way to make us feel comfortable.
He lived next door from where we slept. We had a pool, a view on the sea, beautiful trees everywhere, peace, etc, etc. He had a very small house, not entirely finished. There was no door to his house, and only one main room where they ate, cooked, did their homework and slept on the floor all together.
We all sat down on the floor and drank tea and coffee. Wayan lived with his wife and two young children. He was the only one to speak a bit of english but we still managed to stay several hours all together, trying to communicate as best as we could. We wrote down words to learn Balinese and to teach them a bit of french on one of their kid’s schoolbook, we tried to learn and have the right pronunciation for their name and they did the same for us. It was a wonderful evening and their kindness, even though they had a lot less than we did, was a real gift for us. What really made my heart melt was how I could understand so much and communicate so much with Wayan’s wife just by looking at each other and smiling at each other in a certain way !
After asking a billion questions to Wayan about their life and culture, sometimes several times and by mimicking because he couldn’t understand, we thanked them and wished them a good night. Wayan had to wake up early, as he was on one of the boats, sailing out to sea at dusk.
As you can imagine, for all of this : Wayan and his family, the nature, the snorkelling, our little bungalow, the good vibes, the sea and the peace ; We loved Amed and it has a special place in our heart.
And so, after that peaceful week, we decided to leave Amed, even though it was hard.
Our next stop : Sidemen !