We didn’t really do our homework before going to Bali, so we thought that maybe we could do some diving from Sanur. There are lots of dive operations there, but it turned out they all go to Amed and Tulamben (2 hours drive away) for diving. Since being in the car for 4 hours a day wasn’t an option for us, we decided to find accommodation in Amed instead and do some diving there.
Coincidently our friend Tracey, who I first met in Koh Tao when I was traveling solo for three weeks in Thailand in 2011, had just accepted a job there as underwater photographer with Bali Reef Divers (check out her website www.traceyjonesphotography.com. Tracey and I keep meeting each other on the road, first time in Koh Tao where we both did an underwater photography course, then in Koh Lanta when she was working there as underwater photographer and Mau and I were traveling, then again on this trip in Sanur and now in Amed.
We stayed in Bunutan at Anugerah Villa the first two nights, which was fine and the staff very friendly, but it was a small room for the three of us and a bit more expensive then we wanted. So we were very lucky we found a very cheap and big room available at Star East Bungalows. Our friend Tracey stayed there too and we were her neighbours for two weeks 🙂 Most people there rent long term (dive instructors etc.), so they have very competitive pricing. We ended up paying only IDR 1.750.000 for two weeks, which with the exchange rate at that time was about €100,- The shared kitchen was definitely a bonus and we made some really nice home cooked meals together with Tracey.
At first we didn’t take to Amed so much. It’s not just one village, but a stretch along the coast with a few little villages (Amed, Bunutan, Jemaluk, not sure what the others are called). The whole area is referred to as Amed and there’s no real lively town center. Hotels, homestays, restaurants and small shops are scattered around this one coastal road. This took some getting used to. Star East Bungalows is a bit further from the main road, so we were happy we could rent a motorbike. This made it easy to go out for lunch and dinner, although we often made sandwiches for lunch to save on our budget. For dinner our favourite place was Warung Wayan, a great little restaurant near Eurodive at Indah Beach. We stayed in Amed (or Bunutan to be precise) for 2,5 weeks and at the end were sad to leave. The place had started to grow on us. We really enjoyed discovering the surrounding countryside on motorbike. Some of the views are absolutely spectacular.
The diving around Amed was great. We both especially enjoyed the dive on the USAT Liberty wreck at Tulamben and more local sites like Indah Beach and Pyramids were great too. It took us, especially Jace, a while to get used to our new surroundings, so by the time we were settled we only had about one week left. We each managed to do four dives, which wasn’t nearly enough. But who knows, we might be back one day.