Things to do in Bali
You should go snorkling!
We visiited Amed, a section of coast in the north-east of Bali. The big draw card attracting us to the area is the great snorkelling. We based ourselves in Jemuluk, one of the central villages which has great snorkelling directly in front, just meters from the shore!
The main reason we came to this place was for the ability to snorkel off the beach, which means that one of the adults can stay and play with the boys while the other explores. Olive is a very competent and enthusiastic snorkeller now, so she goes with the other adult. Just in front of our hotel there was a fantastic reef with lots of coral and colourful fish, even a sunken temple to view. Further along the coast in Banyuning we found the Japanese shipwreck which is just 20m off shore. The day was windy and the water was rough, but once we got out the water was quite clear and absolutely amazing to snorkel a ship right there off the shore.
The beaches in this part of Bali are made of black volcanic sand, ranging from coarse sand to large rocks. It is actually not dirty as you may imagine as it doesn't stick, but the worst part is trying to walk on it, ouch! The boys had lots of entertainment collecting interesting rocks, shells and coral to fill up the treasure box.
Along the beach front are many casual restaurants with killer views. Lucky because the menus were rather uninteresting. We enjoyed some good fresh fish, and quite a few sunset beers.
Amed was very quiet, considering it was peak season, and you could relax on the beach with little hassle from touts. The local kids were very friendly, and Jetson made friends with some girls. It was hard to work out how genuine they were as they were also trying to sell us bracelets.
Other water activities to try was SUP (stand up paddle boarding), which we hired for an hour. Clare used it most of the time, although Olive was impressive, but I could not even stand up! A tough gig when the wind is strong?
Apart from the beach, massage and eating there is limited things to do. Many tourists come for the diving. For kids, there was a small shell museum that they found interesting, and a mini zoo which turned out to be in ruins and a total waste of our time.
On our final night we went on a sunset cruise on a traditional fishing boat. On our journey we saw a traditional ceremony on the beach. Surprisingly the imposing Mt Agung came into view and it was spectacular as the sun set.
We had great time in Amed, we even extended our stay an extra night, staying 4 nights in total. If you are after a relaxing beach stay, particularly if you love to snorkel, we could not recommend a better place on mainland Bali.