I hesitate to write this report as it really won't be very interesting, but I know that I am always glad to read anything at all about Amed, so I am doing it for anyone else who feels the same.
My partner and I have recently returned from Amed. Every time anyone there asked how long we were staying, we got the same response when we replied. "TWO WEEKS??!!" they asked, aghast. We could happily have stayed longer, but then we are very lazy. The purpose of our trip was to escape winter for a couple of weeks of snorkelling, reading and relaxing, and that is what we did. It was blissful.
Our Pacific Blue flight was comfortable and we arrived a bit early at about 3.30pm (from memory) on a Saturday afternoon. The queues for immigration moved slowly and we left the airport at about 5pm.
We had booked Salit Arsa, a TA recommended driver, for the trip from airport to hotel and return, and he was punctual, friendly and reliable. The trip to Amed (about 120km I think) took three and a half hours with a couple of quick stops - much longer than it took last year, due at least partly to road works. We were very happy to finally arrive.
We stayed at Bayu Cottages, where we have stayed before. We enjoyed it and although we had a bit of a look around at other accommodation, we really didn't see anything we preferred. Bayu Cottages is just a small place, with a very small pool, but for us the location is pretty ideal, overlooking Lipah Bay with lovely views from our upstairs room and a very short walk to the beach where the snorkelling is great.
It has been interesting to read the discussion about children selling things on the beach in Amed - we didn't have this experience at all at Lipah. One day a little girl shyly gave me a leaflet for cooking classes at Warung Bali, which I would have liked to do, but I sent an email to the address on the leaflet and received no reply. There were a few adults trying to sell snorkelling trips, model boats and massages, and rent snorkelling gear. We had our own snorkelling equipment and after a few days of hearing "no thank you" they stopped trying, although they were obviously not that happy with us. And actually, I did feel slightly guilty, but we ate every day at local restaurants, so we were at least contributing something to the local economy. We don't really ever do any shopping to speak of when we travel. Interestingly, some of the guys asked who our driver was, and they were clearly not impressed that he was "from Amed" - we couldn't work out why until we realised they meant from Amed village, ie a few kilometres up the road and therefore not local. I really really hate to be hassled, but even by my standards it wasn't at all bad where we were.
One day we did a bike trip with East Bali Bike Tours, starting on Mt Agung and ending at the Kebun Impian hotel near Ujung water palace, and it was fantastic. Downhill almost all the way, so the only exercise we got was in our braking fingers, but it was great. Very safe and the two young guys who run it are absolutely lovely. Highly recommended (and we will do it again). They offer three levels of ride - "fun bike", which we did, medium and difficult.
We had planned a day trip to Ubud to visit friends but ended up both being sick on the day we were supposed to go, so we cancelled. There is often discussion in the forum about what constitutes "real" Bali Belly. I don't know what we had, but it was certainly not just travellers' diarrhoea. Thankfully, though, it went away after a day or two without any particular treatment. I can't relate it to anything we ate - just one of those things, I guess.
I went to A Spa one day, where I had a massage and pedicure. I am no connoisseur of spas but really enjoyed the experience. A nice little place with some very Amed touches, like chickens wandering past, and extremely professional and conscientious staff. I also did my only shopping in Amed here - two sarongs.
We ate at most of the local restaurants (including hotel restaurants) and warungs within easy walking distance and didn't have a meal we didn't enjoy. The prices varied quite a bit, with places on the beach typically more expensive than those on the other side of the road - as you would expect. We always felt that when we paid more, we got something a little bit different or special, and we never felt the slightest bit "ripped off" even in hotel restaurants. It is so cheap to eat there. We never paid more than 250 000 Rupiah for a meal and drinks (usually Bintang) for two, and sometimes a whole lot less. The food was generally reasonably basic and we found it hilarious that we were almost never served our meals at the same time, with the gap between the first meal served and the second often being quite considerable. We always had to wait quite a while for our food, which I thought was a good sign that it was being prepared freshly. The only places where people eating together were consistently served at the same time were Sails (we only went there once, so "consistently" here refers to other diners we could see) and Wayan's Warung, where we ate a lot. Wayan's was our favourite place, and incredibly cheap.
Our flight home left very early in the morning, so we transferred to Tuban the day before and stayed at the Green Garden Hotel, which suited our purposes very well. We spent the afternoon at Waterbom Park, where we had a great time. It was a bit of a culture shock, after hardly hearing another Australian voice in Amed, to suddenly be surrounded by Aussies. Otherwise, we just wandered around Kuta for a bit. I was amazed, never having been there before, that I didn't hate it anywhere near as much as I thought I was going to. The beach, apart from being crowded, is really pretty impressive, even beautiful in its own way, and I didn't find the markets, etc. too bad - certainly nowhere near as bad as Patong in Phuket, which I do hate. I had to buy one Bintang singlet at the request of someone at home, and the guide to market prices made bargaining for that easy, even for notoriously useless bargainers like us. Don't get me wrong, we won't be spending two weeks in Kuta next year, but it was OK.
That's about all I can think of but any questions are welcome. Thank you very much Ursie for your help and information - now you must be about to leave on your holiday, and we are back at work. Have a great time!