Bali’s east coast gets far less tourist traffic than the popular (and often overcrowded) west side. I, like many others, clung mostly to the built-beach towns of the west on my first few trips to Bali but on my 2022 trip I finally decided to explore the east, with Amed my first stop. Looking for the best things to do in Amed? This post is for you!
Hang Out at the Beach
Black sand beaches tend to be looked down on when compared to white sand beaches. Amed sits in the shadows of Mount Agung, and black sand is the price you pay to be so close to an active Volcano. Personally, I like a black sand beach, mostly cos I don’t see them often. The beaches in Amed (I visited the two main ones) are pretty good looking, and from the northern one you can get a view of the Volcano.
There are plenty of places to sit around and eat and drink, with the added bonus of snorkelling off the beach (more on that later). The main beach was full of boats when I was there — kinda cool to look at but a bit annoying to walk along!
To see the best view in Amed (the one you’ve probably seen if you’ve seen one photo of the place) head up to Jemeluk Viewpoint. I visited in July 2022 and there was lots of construction up there — it meant I couldn’t quite get the best view. Whatever they’re building up there is going to have an amazing view when it’s done!
READ MORE: 13 of the Best Places to Visit in East Bali
The Quiet Streets of Amed
Amed is spread out along one main road, which is lined by the usual travel agents, hotels, bars and restaurants. It’s a lot quieter than the east coast beach towns – more similar to tourist towns on other islands in Indonesia. If I were staying in Amed I’d go for the area just below Jemeluk Viewpoint — apparently the sunsets are nice up there and there are a few eating and drinking options.
You can see Mount Agung from some areas of town — it’s always cool to see a natural wonder in your street scenes (that was towards the northern end of Amed).
Just outside of Amed you’ll find rural scenes that are a long way from the bustle of places like Kuta and Seminyak. The scenery is dominated by Mount Agung — I just stopped by the side of the road but you could walk down some of the side paths and maybe meet some locals (I did something similar in Ha Giang, Vietnam and it was fun).
Diving and Snorkelling
Amed is mostly geared towards people interested in snorkelling and diving. I’m not one of those people, so I can’t really comment, but if you want to get in the water and see some sea creatures you’ll almost definitely want to visit Amed.
Bali in general isn’t known as much of a diving / snorkelling destination. Candi Dasa is another exception, but Amed is a much nicer area to spend a few days in. Other options for snorkelling and diving include nearby islands such as Komodo National Park and the Gili Islands.
Things to Do Near Amed
There are heaps of things to see on the way to Amed. If you hire a driver to take you to Amed they should be able to stop off at a few places — I chose the places below after a good amount of research.
This water palace is a popular stop for those driving to Amed, and for those exploring the eastern side of Bali. It’s a series of shrines and temples, with the big attraction being the pool full of steppingstones.
If you’re unsteady on your feet you might want to give the stones a miss and stay on dry land. Tirta Ganga is a nice place to visit, but if you’ve seen several other similar places (Bali has a lot of temples) you can easily skip it.
If you’re after an awesome view of Mount Agung, complete with rice terrace, you’ll want to check out Bukit Cinta. The clouds rolled in when I was there, but the view was still impressive — I reckon if you get lucky (and maybe visit for sunrise) this could be one of the best views you’ll see in Bali. There’s a restaurant there but it’s expensive — the views would be worth it on a clear day though.
If you’re looking for a spectacular sunset spot in East Bali Lahangan Sweet is your spot. It’s a 40 minute drive from Amed (depending on the traffic I’m guessing). You’ll eventually end up on a ridge with stunning views over Bali in all directions – the best view I’ve seen in Bali so far!
Other Things to Do in Amed
There are plenty of other things to do in Amed — generally the typical things that you can do most places in Bali. These include getting a massage, treating yourself to nice food and wellness activities like yoga. You can also rent a motorbike (or a car / driver) and explore more of the area — it’s pretty quiet compared to other areas of Bali and it seems like a slightly more relaxing place to ride.
Getting to Amed
There are shuttles to Amed, which will set you back around 180,000 IDR. You can also rent a private car and driver — it should be around 300, 000 – 400,00 IDR to drop you off with a couple of stops along the way. I visited Amed on a day trip — I had a driver for the day which cost 500,000 IDR.
Is Amed Good for People Who Aren’t Diving or Snorkelling?
It’s definitely a nice place, but if I were going to spend a week or so relaxing by a beach, I’d go for the Gili Islands or Nusa Lembongan over Amed. It doesn’t take much longer to get to those places, and the beaches (Gili Islands especially) are on a whole different level. Amed could be a good option for people burnt out on the bustle of the west coast — you’re only a (long) car ride away from somewhere a bit quieter!
Are you planning a trip to Bali in 2023? Check out my post comparing Bali in 2018 and 2022!
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