Ranking (1 not recommended to 10 highly recommended)
Amed, Bali: 8
Nestled in the Northeastern coastal section of Bali, Amed actually refers to at least a dozen small fishing villages that line the coast from actual Amed to Aas. The majority of these beaches are rocky. However Lipah Beach has soft inviting black sand. The local people are friendly and the food is tasty. This area of Bali still lacks the mass tourism and traffic that has been the recent bane of travelers to Bali over the past few years.
What To Do:
Lipah is generally a very laid back place. Activities include sunbathing, snuggling up with an enticing novel and chatting with the locals. However the main draw is the excellent coral reef just off Pantai Lipah. Expect to see a variety of soft and hard coral as well as a variety of small to medium sized fish. It is common to see sergeant majors, butterfly fish, bat fish, angelfish, and trumpet fish. Basically, if you were to construct a massive aquarium and needed ideas how to beautify it , you could use this location as a model. In addition, the surrounding fishing villages toward Aas are also picturesque. They can easily be viewed by renting a moped ($5US). In addition, the small Japanese Wreck in the village of Banyuning is also a worthwhile visit while in the area. If visiting the wreck, you can have lunch right on the rocky beach at the Kawi Karma Restaurant. The diced sweet chili chicken and sate dishes are both delicious.
Where To Stay:
We recommend the Bali Amed Hotel. Sweeping views of Lipah Beach from a raised balcony with hot water shower, AC, including breakfast (eggs and toast or pancakes with a fruit plate and coffee or tea) all go for a very reasonable $30 per night (all prices quoted high season). If you wish to be right on Lipah Beach itself with ocean view cottages, also recommended is the Vienna Beach Bungalows, including breakfast and dinner for $45-50 per night for two people.
Where To Eat:
There are quite a few warungs (local eateries) on the main street. All of these places serve excellent ikan bakar (grilled fish), chicken sate and a variety of Indonesian and Balinese cuisine such as cap cay (stewed vegetables), nasi campur (mixed rice dish) and the ubiquitous mie goring (fried noodles). Quenching watermelon or pineapple juices are also recommended. We tended eat at Wayan’s Warung and the Shanti Warung among those that are on the main street. For similar local food options as well as a more international menu, try eating right on the beach at the Vienna Beach Bungalows. French, Indian, and Italian food is available in addition to Indonesian favorites. The staff is quite responsive and respectful. Lunch or dinner for two people at all of these eateries runs under $10US for two entrees with a large bottle of water.
All international flights to Bali land in Denpasar (DPS). From the international terminal, the easiest way to arrive to Lipah Beach is a taxi that can be hired just outside the baggage area. The trip up to the northeast should take 2 1/2 hours and cost $40US. For budget travelers, it is possible to use public transport to Amed but due to the number of legs involved and infrequency of public transport required, this option is quite unappealing.
Surrounding Area Points of Interest:
Nearby Lipah Beach are worthy sites, The aforementioned Japanese wreck has excellent snorkeling when visibility is high. In fact the entire coast is lovely, one fisherman’s village after the next lining the coast. In addition, about thirty minutes outside of Amed the famous dive site, the U.S.A.T. Liberty lays just off the coast in Tulamben. Divers from around the world come to dive this 12o meter wreck that went down during WWII on January 11, 1942. The wreck is shallow enough to view snorkeling but to see within the freighter itself, diving is required. Recommended food spots include Safety Stop that serves up an excellent chicken curry and Warung Koman, serving tasty local favorites with live music from T-Wreck twice weekly. Budget travelers can find a home at Aqua Divers, basic fan rooms with breakfast run $15US per night. More upscale but still basic ocean view and garden cottages with air-conditioning and an inviting pool just over the coast cost $45US.
Lipah Beach just outside of Amed, Bali is an excellent location for those who wish to relax and get away from stress, traffic, and crowds. Lipah is a friendly fishing village with enough amenities to be comfortable yet rustic enough to still see chickens running the streets, school children welcoming strangers with smiles, and the fact that it has up until now, escaped large resort development.