Mount Agung, a giant in front of Amed’s beaches
Amed is a region located on the northeast coast of Bali. If you are one of those who don’t like places that are full of tourists and souvenir shops like for example the Kuta area in the south of Bali; Amed is an ideal place for you.
The Amed region is divided into seven small villages, mostly fishing villages, humble and with few tourists where one can enjoy quieter beaches and locals much less interested than other areas of Bali. But what is most surprising about Amed is the view from the beach of the impressive Mount Agung, an active volcano 3142 meters above the sea that occasionally spews smoke and ash. For me, it was the most impressive landscape during my trip through Bali and Indonesia, so I have made this travel guide for all those backpackers who are thinking of visiting Amed.
How to get to Amed?
If there is one thing I don’t like about Bali, it is that there is very little public transport and what little there is is quite bad. That’s why we rented a car to go from southern Bali to Amed without problems. In addition, during the way there are several temples and areas where to stop to see the coast and discover that Bali more unknown, at your pace and without rushing. Even so, if you prefer to go by bus, the two best known tourist companies to move around Bali are: Kura-Kura Bus and Perma.
Where to stay in Amed and how many days to stay?
As I mentioned earlier, the Amed region is divided into 7 villages: Amed, Jemeluk, Bunutan, Lipah, Selang, Banyuning and Aas. The most recommended villages to stay for their beaches overlooking Mount Agung are the same village of Amed and the village of Lipah, which is just next door. They are very simple villages, without big constructions and with a main street parallel to the coast full of restaurants, hotels and small shops, most of them familiar.
With two days you have more than enough to see the temples and beaches around. We stay at Pacha Hostel, a hippie hostel for backpackers next to the beach. It’s the right place to meet people and have a few drinks in the evening with live music. With breakfast included, you can stay for only 12 euros in a double room or in a mixed room for 5 euros.
If you are looking for a higher quality hotel, at the Amed Café & Hotel Kebun Wayan you can stay for 25 euros in a double room. Moreover, this hotel is right on Amed’s beach, it has sea views and a swimming pool.
What to see and do in Amed?
The quiet beaches of Amed
The beaches of Amed may not be the best in Bali but they have a unique touch: the sand on the beach is black volcanic sand, the fishermen come and go with their peculiar fishing boats and Mount Agung looms in the background, smoking.
Mount Agung, the highest volcano in Bali
Mount Agung, at 3142 meters high, is the highest volcano on the island of Bali and undoubtedly the biggest attraction in the area. From almost anywhere in Amed one can enjoy its impressive views and enjoy taking pictures. As if that weren’t enough, the volcano is active, so it continually spews out smoke and ash. You can hike to the top of Mount Agung as long as you hire a local guide. You can ask for the guide in your hotel or in the agencies in the surroundings.
Pure Lempuyang Lahur, the Temple of the Gates of Heaven
The Lempuyang Lahur Temple is a complex of several temples along the path that leads to the top of Mount Lempuyang, 1175 meters above sea level. It is part of one of the six Sad Kahyangan: the most important sanctuaries in Bali. Previously, we spoke about these shrines in the post about the Uluwatu Temple in the south of Bali.
The Pure Lempuyang Temple, although the name probably doesn’t ring a bell, you may have seen it in one of the many photographs seen on Instagram of iconic Bali landscapes: someone among Bali’s typical divided gates, the Agung volcano in the background and all perfectly reflected by what appears to be a pond of water.
To our surprise, when we arrived at the temple we discovered that this photograph has a trick. In reality, there is no pond of water, but a local who, when he is going to take your picture, places a mirror right in the middle of your mobile phone camera. The photograph comes out with this very misleading, but at the same time, very efficient effect. Even so, all in all, thanks to the views of the Agung volcano, the wonderful picture you will take as a souvenir and the beautiful walk through the mountain between temples, it is a place worth visiting.
Besakih Temple, the Mother Temple of Bali
Once you’re settled in Amed, you can make a return trip to Besakih Temple. Coincidentally, it is also considered one of the six Sad Kahyangans, but it is the most important of them all. It is located on the slopes of Mount Agung and is also a temple complex where the largest is the Pura Penataran Agung. The entrance to the temple costs 50,000 Indonesian rupees (3 euros). From there you can climb to the top of Mount Agung on a night route of about 8-10h.
The beautiful Tirta Gangga Park
Tirta Gangga Park is an old water palace built in 1946 by King Karangasem. The name of the park, literally means “The Water of the Ganges” making mention of the sacred waters of the river Ganges according to the beliefs of Hinduism.
In 1963 the complex was almost completely destroyed by the eruption of Mount Agung. Today, it is carefully rebuilt. It is characterized by large fountains surrounded by gardens and curious statues. Among all the fountains, the main fountain stands out. There you can walk on flat stones that stick out of the water, while colorful fish swim around and try not to fall into the water when you come across someone. And if you want to relax even more, for 20,000 rupees (1.30 euros) you can also take a bath in one of the pools.
Boat trip from Amed to the Gili Islands
Indonesia’s three most famous islands are right next to Amed, located off the northwest coast of Lombok. You are here: Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, Gili Air. That’s why Amed is used as a port connecting Bali with the Gili Islands.
In Amed you will find many travel agencies that offer routes to the islands or Lombok. The one-way trip by fast boat, which takes only one hour. Usually costs 450,000 Indonesian rupees (30 euros). If you are planning to return to Bali via Amed, the return trip is worth 750,000 (50 euros). Although, I advise you to make a circular trip via Lombok.
Snorkeling and Diving in Amed
Finally, Amed is also a good place to snorkel and dive. In my case, I’m not a big fan of Bali’s beaches because there’s already coral there, so you have to be careful not to cut yourself. But that’s also why, for snorkel fans, it’s an idyllic place. Just getting in the water opens up a world of colour to you. If you prefer diving, you can also dive in Amed, where near the coast you will find an old American ship sunk by the Japanese during World War II.
I hope that this Amed Travel Guide will be useful during your trip to Bali and you can enjoy Indonesia, its people and its landscapes. If you found this utility post you can subscribe to the blog to receive updates on travel.
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I just own my memories.