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Published: July 14th 2015
Aquaria Resort, Candi Dasa
The view from our ‘Ocean View Aquaria 2’ room
We made our way from the Ubud countryside east to the seaside town of Candi Dasa
. I must say, from the moment we got there it was such a relaxing place! We stayed at Aquaria Resort
at the north end of town, farthest from Padang Bai. The owner is from New Zealand (we had heard from locals) and so there were plenty of Aussies - our neighbours were from Victoria Point! We stayed in ‘Ocean View Aquaria 2’ beachfront room - it was so peaceful in fact that the wifi password was "peaceful". I could have easily have lounged on a sun bed and watched the world go by all day (whilst sipping their delicious $4.50 cocktails) but we had exploring to do. That first night we ate at the Crazy Kangaroo
on the main strip - I had some yummy home-style pork loin steaks with veges whilst Matt opted for a beef and bacon burger. Dinner with garlic bread and beer came to $32AU (320,000 IDR).
East Bali is known for its stunning beaches and fabulous snorkelling/diving so we hired a scooter the next morning (for $5AU / 50,000 IDR at the top of
View from the Road
We scootered up to Amed past some stunning views!
our driveway) and headed north 45 minutes to Amed
. Many locals had told us Jemaluk Beach
was the best beach for snorkelling - which is the first village after Amed village. I'll admit, it is a little difficult to tell the difference between beaches in Amed... we had saved a few crude maps from Wiki Travel to help us. We stopped just after "Sunrise Beach Hotel" where there was a wide opening and road down to the waterfront. We parked our scooter and made our way to the far south end/right hand side of the beach. The snorkelling was best here - with a bit of everything coral wise, with mainly Angel, Tang and Wrasse fish. We were admittedly a little underwhelmed here as the locals had really pumped up this spot! The colours weren't that great, however there was a really cool underwater pagoda with coral growing off it. This is marked by a double float (two grey balls) about twenty metres out from the beach.
From Amed we drove back south towards Candi Dasa for around 25 minutes to White Sand Beach
. The turn off is difficult to spot!! Coming north
from Amed we basically waited until we passed through Amlapura and found ourselves on Jalan Raya Perasi. From there we spotted two white Balinese flags and a very small sign saying "White Sand Beach" (must have been made up by the locals – will attach a pic). From that point you drive through the local village and then onto a dirt road. At this point you will be charged 30,000 IDR per person entry. THEN a different bunch of locals will try get you to park at the top of the mountain for 30,000 IDRR because they "made the road". The man who had rented us the scooter had told us we could drive all the way to the beach on a scooter but taxis had to stop here. Knowing full well we could drive all the way down we just paid them the 30 cents and kept driving! Now I warn you, it's not exactly the easiest drive down...it's quite rocky and bumpy. I wouldn't be trying it if you were a scooter novice! But with his many scooter experiences' Matt got us down there safely, where we had to pay another 20 cents to park. The morale of
Jemaluk Beach, Amed
The best beach for snorkelling, though fairly average.
the story is don't get wound up by $1.10 to access this total GEM of a beach!
Once we got down there we instantly relaxed and felt at ease...this beach is gorgeous! But one should note, that pretty much from the moment you step foot on sand you will be 'attacked' by hawkers with menus and offerings for sun beds. My advice is take a look at their menus (most have seafood only) and negotiate a price for your poison of choice. Ours was large Bintags - which we negotiated down from 40,000 IDR to 30,000R IDR at D Tropical Warung
. I personally chose this Warung (about half way up the beach) because of the friendly owner and their sign which read "delecious hot dogs here" with a picture of a Weiner dog dressed in a hot dog suit. Priceless. We ended up having Seafood Skewers, Gado (steamed veges with tofu, egg and peanut sauce), Chicken Satay, Fresh Coconut drinks and plenty of beer (including sun beds) for around $55AU for the entire afternoon. The restaurant owner’s wife even gave us half hour neck, back and leg massages for $5AU per
person (50,000 IDR).
The weather was a little off when we arrived back in Candi Dasa from White Sand Beach so we ate in house at Aquaria. I had pasta and Matt had a burger, with beers I believe it came in at around $35AU (350,000 IDR) and it was all hot and yummy. We left Aquaria the following morning with hung heads – it really was sad to leave! The view is so beautiful and the staff so lovely. The rooms had handmade local toiletries that were so gorgeous we took a swag of soaps home with us - available from reception for $1 to $2. The black volcanic soaps were a big hit back home!
While it was sad to be leaving Candi Dasa we were totally pumped to be going over to the Gili Islands in Lombok!
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