EAST BALI, FOR ADVENTURE & CULTURE
East Bali is a large region that has a wide range of topography, from black sand beaches to lush forests and gravel plains. On its south coast is the popular resort of Candidasa and in the far East is Amed, a charming coastal town. It is also home to the majestic Mount Agung, Bali’s highest volcano, and on its slopes is Pura Besakih (Besakih Temple), the island’s holiest temple.
Pura Besakih is considered by the Hindu Balinese to be their mother temple. This is the single most important temple on the whole of Bali. The temple complex consists of more than 20 separate temples and numerous other smaller shrines, spread out over three kilometers. Each temple has a specific purpose – for the worship of a particular god, for the use of the people from a certain region of Bali or for the use of a specific Balinese caste. The only way to move around the temples of Besakih is on foot and there are some quite steep climbs as the complex gradually rises up the slopes of Mount Agung.
Mount Agung, at a height of 3,142m, is Bali’s highest mountain. It is of great spiritual significance to the Balinese who regard it as a fragment of mythical Mount Meru and as the seat of the gods. At its foothills are terraced rice fields. Trekking around the foothills or up to the top of Mount Agung is a popular activity
This is a laidback part of East Bali and a great place for a relaxing holiday. The black sand beaches are narrow and tend to disappear at high tide. It is popular with divers and snorkelers, as well as for holiday makers who want a quiet holiday away from the noisier resorts such as Kuta. As Candidasa is within close proximity to some cultural treasures, such as Pura Besakih, it serves as a base to explore these attractions and eastern Bali. It has a number of exclusive hotels, losmen (hostels) and fine restaurants.
PLACES TO GO, THINGS TO DO AROUND CANDIDASA
Pantai Labuan Amuk (Amuk Bay)
This is a quiet and little visited black sand beach west of Candidasa proper. Despite being situated near the Pertamina oil terminal it has a clean beach in a pretty bay and its waters have beautiful corals which make it perfect for snorkeling. There are many other small coves and bays to explore in this area.
Pasir Putih (White Sand Beach)
Located five kilometers north of Candidasa this white sand beach is one of East Bali’s well-kept secrets. Stretching for about 500 meters the beach is isolated with a few warungs (small shops) that rent sun-beds and umbrellas.
Bali Aga at Tenganan
This is the place to be for a unique cultural experience. Located about four kilometers from Candidasa this is the most famous Bali Aga village where the Bali Aga (meaning the Original Balinese) people live. This community still retains the ancient pre-Majapahit Balinese culture and maintains a strict adherence to ancestor worship, cosmology and other animist beliefs, as well as a rigid social organization. Villagers must live inside the village, marry from within and the village is closed to outsiders after dark. The dialect of Balinese spoken here is heard nowhere else and differs substantially from even the other Bali Aga community in Trunyan. Tenganan is also famous for its
double weave ikat fabric called Geringsing and also produces the best basketwork in Indonesia.
This area is a long coastal strip of fishing villages in East Bali that includes Amed, Jemeluk, Bunutan, Lipah, Selang, Banyuning and Aas. The area is famous for its black volcanic sand beaches, often lined with traditional outrigger fishing boats. The pace of life in Amed is slow and, combined with its stunning scenery; this is the perfect place for a relaxed holiday in Bali. It is a popular getaway for expatriates from other parts of the island, a favorite honeymoon destination and a favourite haunt for divers and snorkelers. The village is a popular base for visitors who want to dive the USS Liberty wreck at Tulamben. There are numerous hotels, restaurants, dive operators and other facilities to serve visitors.