Located at the very eastern tip of Bali is the divers’ paradise of Amed, which is a series of tranquil fishing villages spread out along five miles of spectacular coastline. Amed itself is just one of the settlements along this stretch, however, the whole area has now acquired the name of Amed. The others are from north to south, Jemeluk, Bunutan, Lipah Beach, Selang, Ibus, Banyuning and Aas. Journey time from Ngurah Rai airport in south Bali is around two hours and you can expect to pay rp400,000 for a pre-paid airport taxi.
Coming here from one of south Bali’s major resorts will be a real shock to the system. Before 2002, there were no paved roads at all in the area and telephone land lines were only installed in 2003. It is these back to basics characteristics which have singled Amed out as Bali’s ‘next big thing’ and it is the fastest growing resort on the island. Tourist infrastructure has improved beyond all recognition in recent years but public transport is still very limited.
Public mini buses or ‘bemos’ ply the entire coastline from Amed all the way to Aas at regular intervals but only until around midday. After this time you are restricted to chartering a bemo yourself or using one of the motorcycle taxis (ojek) who can be found by the roadside. Most hotels and guest houses are only to happy to arrange transport for guests and in this tight knit community there are no shortage of tour guides and drivers available for short journeys or daily hire.
There are several car and motorcycle rental outlets in the Amed area, usually attached to the larger guest houses and restaurants. A day’s hire for a decent car will set you back around rp400,000. Bayu Cottages (website: www.bayucottages.com) has a few good quality vehicles available with or without a driver for the day. Your own set of wheels will make life so much easier if venturing inland to explore the countryside. However, be prepared for some hair raising journeys. The area is a maze of twisting, poorly maintained roads which often get washed away during heavy rains.
There are a few tourist bus services from Amed calling at Lovina, Candi Dasa, Tirtagannga Water Palace and Padang Bai. These are operated by Bali’s main bus company Perama (website: www.peramatour.com). There is a direct daily fast boat service straight to the Gili Islands from Jemeluk Bay and Padang Bai, the major port for boat services to Lombok and beyond is easily reached within one hours drive.