Some people say that the relatively undiscovered north east coast of Bali (oft-referred to as Amed) is what Bali was like before mass tourism wrought its devastating effects on the southern, touristy part of the island.
Amed is the Bali that was, they claim.
But what a ridiculous thing to say!
Because Amed doesn’t have painters. Or sculptors. Or even any elaborate temples. Nope, Amed is nothing like the artisan villages in the south of Bali but rather a poor area where many of the men work either as fishermen or sometimes as salt farmers – and more recently in the growing tourism industry (often as hotel staff).
But be that as it may, Amed is still a wonderful place to visit. The scenery is spectacular with the majestic Gunung Agung volcano in the background, and the high coastal cliffs afford sweeping views of serene bays with their beaches dotted with little fishing boats.
Amed also has some of the most spectacular snorkeling in Bali, and indeed in the whole of Indonesia. This is because the seas are plankton rich and there is an abundance of coral. What’s more, you don’t have to rent a boat but can snorkel directly from the beach.
But where to stay?
Well accommodations abound of course but one really cool place is the Double One villas perched high on one of the cliffs between two bays.
Being on a slope it’s a bit of a walk down – and not the sort of place you want to find yourself legless – or you may be in for a shocking fall!
There are 11 rooms at Double One (surprise surprise), and some of the rooms are better than others. Choose a room with air con and mini fridge (it cost a bit more but is worth it).
The rooms lower down and near the pool are especially spacious and have two beds (one double, one single) and an absolutely massive bathroom which is almost as big as the room itself!
The prices for the rooms are pretty good at around US$30/night. Breakfast is included – which is not bad and includes the usual fare of toast, eggs, juice and a big pot of either tea or coffee.
The food is a bit on the pricey side but you can always eat out. Some of the better places in Amed are Café Indah, which often has live music, and the value-for-money Sama Sama. The menus are pretty limited but at least the seafood – prawns, fish, and squid etc - is fresh and good for you. If you like spicy food, make sure to have your meal served with the traditional spicy Balinese sauce.
Double One also has a nice little swimming pool, and it’s a great place to relax or merely seek refuge from the fierce tropical sun.
The snorkeling in front of Double One is pretty good and there are some wonderfully surreal corals with loads of different types of tropical fish – including fearsome looking tigerfish – and some other creatures as well like squid, and would you believe, sting rays! Well, I saw one. Honest….
Double One Resort, Amed, Bali. Phone: +(62)363 22427