Bali has some of the best underwater landscapes and marine life in the world. If you are into diving, around South East Asia or thinking of starting, you do not want to give this place a miss.
The east coast of Bali has the most popular sites for diving, namely Amed and Tulamben. Getting to these places is an ordeal in itself. To take the taxi there, it will cost around Rp400k-500k, buses (by Perama company) will cost Rp165k but the only bus is at 7am from Kuta or Ubud and bemo (local pick up truck, if you can find out) will be much cheaper if you find an appropriate one. The journey will take 3hrs or more depending on mode of transportation.
The difference between Amed and the main cities is a vast one, with Amed being a lazy beach resort town. The peak periods for Bali in general is from June to September (summer holidays for US and Europe) and December to February (Australia). Unless during peak season, Amed is relatively quiet.
There are many dive centres and resorts all over Amed and Tulamben, choosing one will be a very difficult one. Every dive centres will have roughly the same prices, go to the same dive spots and have the same standards.
Other than basing it on reviews, the best way to choose is to find the best deals with packages. Such as if you are there to do 10 dives or a combination of a course and some dives, a discount should be instated.
The best dives spots are located in Amed, Tulamben and Candidasa, (also in off shore islands). There you will find the best corals, most interesting animals and famously clear water. One of the most important tip about diving in Bali is the current. If you don’t have a lot of experience diving with currents or if you are a new diver, I would stay away from strong current areas or brave it with a good divemaster. It takes a special skill and a strong state of mind to deal with it. There have been reports of divers being drifted off and lost. However, that being said, where there is current, there is a lot of life, soft corals and marine life.
There is a near endless things to see in Bali: shipwrecks to explore, caves to dwell, piers to check out and the never-ending coral reefs. Like other dive posts, I will let the pictures do most of the talking.
Disclosure: Most of these pictures are taken by my divemaster Jay. They are credited to him. We agreed to trade photos for videos during my time in Bali diving with him.