My friend Mark from California joined me in Ubud a few days ago. It is so nice to see a familiar face from home and have a traveling companion for the next 12 days. We stayed in the wonderful Rice Paddy Bungalows where Kadek, the manager gave us nothing but perfect service and helped us arrange day tours.
After spending a few days in Ubud eating our way around town, seeing temples, rice paddies, watching traditional balinese dances and taking a cooking class, we decided to head off to the east coast of Bali to find a nice, low-key beach where we could relax and do some diving. We were recommended Amed; where the diving is both suitable for beginners (like me) and advanced divers (like Mark). Amed is a nice long coastal strip made up of 7 villages and is located in the southeast part of the island on the Bali Sea. We visited the villages of Amed and Jemeluk. There is a lot of natural beauty in these villages; the perfect representation of ying and yang where mountain meets ocean. From our bungalow on the beach in Amed, we had perfect views of the beach/sea to the east, Mt Agung (the tallest volcano on the island) to the north, and a dense, lush, green jungle to the west, right behind our room. The water is dark blue and the beach is made of black sand and big volcanic rocks. Every morning we got up early enough to witness the beautiful sunrises. Just the perfect place for nature/outdoors lovers like us! People here make a living from farming, mostly corn, fishing and hotel and diving tourism. Our second day here, we went to Tulamben, another coastal town 15 min south of Amed. A very popular stop for divers due to its diverse marine life, warm waters and low currents. I joined a beginners introductory course which included two dives for $75. After a quick safety course on the basics of diving, our dive master took me and a couple of other girls on our first dive where we reached a depth of 11 meters or 36 feet. We went around the US Liberty ship wreck and some nice coral gardens where we saw a good number of different colorful schools of fish, a small manta ray and different types of star fish. On the third day my friend went diving again and I went snorkeling in Jemeluk. It was yet another perfect and relaxing day seeing tons of coral, fish and eating mackerel on the beach. I highly recommend visiting this place if you come to Bali. Its natural beauty is pretty spectacular! I give a high rating to the hotel Lucky Paradise and the diving company Dream Divers for their excellent service and attention.