DIVE! : The Peaceful Depths of Amed and Tulamben, Bali

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A beautiful backdrop of mountains and padi fields in Amed

In the East of Bali, there lies a long stretch of coastal road which incorporates the 7 villages of Amed, Jemeluk, Buuntan, Lipah, Selang, Banyuning and Aas. This stretch of road is more commonly known as Amed. Life here is slow and peaceful unlike the fast pace of Kuta, Ubud and Seminyak. There are also less tourists here, making it a good place to relax and unwind without disturbance from others.

Bali has some of the more beautiful dive sites in South-East Asia and Amed and Tulamben are one of the top spots for diving in Bali. The dives here are mostly shore dives and a diver might experience strong currents and low temperatures at times. The USAT Liberty Wreck dive at Tulamben is especially popular with divers all around the world.

It is a 3 hour taxi ride from the airport and cost me 550 000 IDR. The price initially quoted was 800 000 IDR but I managed to bargain it down to a cheaper price.

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Mount Agung! One of Bali’s toughest climbs

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DIVE! – Amed

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Day1, 1st DIVE – Pyraminds, Amed

Time Entered: 12:41 pm, Bottom Time: 52 minutes, Depth: 26 m, Visibility: 10 – 15 m

The first dive site of the day would be the Pyramids of Amed. Initially, these man-made structures were placed on the seabed by fishermen in the hopes that it would bring in more marine life to boost the fishing there. However, it turned out that this idea brought in more revenue from diving! These pyramids then became a popular dive site in Bali.

I did not see any large fishes there but the pyramids are teeming with life. Expect to see many schools of fishes. Notable marine life included some very beautiful lionfish, a giant moray, many garden eels as well as blue spotted stingrays.

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The pyramids of Amed

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Many blue-spotted rays at Amed!

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Instructor trying to get a cleaner shrimp to clean those pearlie whites

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Hard currents at the end, but still a fun dive!

Day 1, 2nd DIVE – Jemeluk, Amed

Time entered: 2:55 pm, Bottom Time: 59 mins, Depth: 25 m, Visibility: 15 – 20 m

The second dive was a short walk away and had pretty much similar marine life. However I managed to see a white tip reef shark (in the distance) and a loggerhead turtle. There were also some crazy drop-offs and thermoclines at Jemeluk, making the dive very enjoyable and freezing cold so make sure you wear a wetsuit!

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Crazy dropoffs!

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Up close with a logger-head turtle

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Day 2, 1st DIVE – USAT Liberty Wreck, Tulamben

Time Entered: 8:58 am, Bottom Time: 45 mins, Depth: 31 m, Visibiltiy: 15 – 20 m

We set off pretty early for the USAT Liberty Wreck dive. It is better to do so as it can get pretty crowded, being such a popular dive site. The Liberty Wreck was a United States Army cargo ship which was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine. She was then beached on the eastern shore of Tulamben for some time. However, the eruption of Mount Agung caused the vessel to then slip into the sea where she now lies and is now one of the most popular dive sites in Bali!

While you will not be able to penetrate the wreck (unless you are a certified wreck diver), there is still a lot to see around the wreck. The wreck is suitable for all levels of certification. However if you are just Open Water certified, you will not be able to dive to the deeper parts of the wreck which can go up to 30 meters.

Notable sights include a tiny leaf-fish, 3 white tip reef sharks (they rarely come close to the site so I was really lucky! No photos as they were in the distance), another logger head turtle and two beautiful bumphead parrot fish!

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All packed and ready to go!

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Shadow of the wreck

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The very small and tiny leaf fish!

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I love diving!

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A beautiful nudi

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Two bumphead parrotfish that swam very close to us

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Another turtle digging for food!

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Day 2, 2nd DIVE – Coral Gardens, Tulamben

Time Entered: 11:19 am, Bottom Time: 29 minutes, Depth: 29 m, Visibility: 15 – 20 m

This dive site was about a 3 – 5 minutes walk away (with all the gear!) from the USAT Liberty wreck dive site. You’ll be walking over slippery rocks and stones so watch out! Booties are definitely going to help here.

There are some ruins here in the dive site, small temples and statuettes of Buddha and whatnot. Again, there are not much large fishes here but the site is full of life. Notable sights are a big stonefish, a solefish and many small schools of fish!

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Finding peace while diving

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A moray and it’s cleaner shrimp!

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A large stonefish

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A well-disguised solefish

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Nemo!

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Summary: The diving at Amed and Tulamben were some of the best I’ve had so far (not that much sadly!). The visibility was great during all my dives, there was quite an abundance of marine life. There are not too many large fishes (i.e. sharks, mantas) around. I was very lucky to see 4 white tip reef sharks but they were not close-up experiences. Do head to Bali for sure if you are in the SEA region and want to do some great diving!

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The sun setting over Mount Agung

I am currently interning at Gill Divers in Singapore and am a Divemaster Trainee. If you have any questions regarding dive trips or diving, feel free to contact me through my Facebook page!

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