• Heading to Besakih Temple

    If there is an important ceremony taking place at Besakih temple you can expect a lot of
    traffic heading that way. Cars, motorbikes and little 'bemos' full with people and offerings.

  • On the way to...

    East Bali is full of beautiful rice field landscapes, such as those nearby Tirta Gangga,
    the ancient royal water palace.

  • Padangbai beach

    Surprisingly this beach isn't the most popular in Bali. We are still wondering why as
    its stunning blue water and clean beach is perfect for any beach lover.

  • Discover Sidemen

    Sidemen might not attract such a large crowd yet, but many are seeking a low key
    Balinese feeling which might put this rural part on the tourist map soon...

The East Bali sightseeing route - from Tulamben to Candidasa

Our next favorite route is the East Bali route that takes you all the way from hot and dry Tulamben area to Amed, Tirtagangga, Amlapura, Ujung, Pasir Putih and ends in the little coconut town of Candi Dasa.


The first thing that will catch your eye is the mighty and most sacred and highest mountain of Bali, Mount Agung.

Tulamben village is located in its shadows and because it is on the 'wrong' side of the mountain the area is extremely dry, hot and arid.

No huge banyan trees, swaying palm trees and white beaches here but just some shrubs, lots of volcanic sand and black rocky beaches.


gunung agung tulamben bali
the Gunung Agung near Tulamben, the start of the route


Nonetheless with the USAT Liberty ship wreck just 30m of the coast many divers come here for some scuba diving. Not only diving but snorkeling is great here too with good visibility. Try to dive or snorkel in the morning as this is one of the most popular sights on the island and it gets busy in the afternoon.

What 's great about this route is that it takes you slowly from the dry and arid lands of Tulamben around the other flanks of Gunung Agung, which are tropical and lush green.

You can already see this after 20 minutes of driving when you turn left at Culik village from where the 5-kilometer long road takes you to the fishing villages of Amed.

From Culik village on both sides of the road you'll bump into verdant rice fields against the dramatic backdrop of bold and dry hills.


cornfields amed bali
verdant rice fields between Culik and Amed


Amed is the collective name of sleepy fishing villages where visitors go to for snorkeling, diving and eating fresh seafood all day in an unspoiled area.

There's nothing else to do but relax and since not that many people come here don't be surprised when you are the only one staying in your accommodation (link hier).

If you're planning to stay here you'll need your own transport because the restaurants in Amed are sparsely dotted along the hilly coastal road.

And if there's one thing you definitely don't want to think about it's walking uphill in the simmering heat of the day.

While driving you'll see that the views from this coastal road are really spectacular.


amed coast bali
One of the many bays at Amed with Gunung Agung in the back


Around every corner there's another set of colorful traditional boats lined up on the beach.

From Amed you have two options.

You either continue driving along the coastal road all around Seraya mountain until you end up at the ruins of the water palace at Ujung or you head back to Culik village and turn left towards the royal water palace of Tirta gangga.

When you decide to try the first option you are going to see a Bali you never thought existed.

Here you find small villages high in the mountains without running water or electricity. This is one of the poorest regions of Bali, something you don't find in the tourist brochures or books.


amed bay east bali
The hot and dry coastal road


amed east bali


Just like Tulamben these villages are on the 'wrong side' of Seraya mountain where it's so hot and dry that people here have a hard time cultivating anything.

The drive through this area to Ujung will take approximately 1.5 hour.

The second option will bring you on the other side of Seraya mountain to Tirtagangga. This is one of the most scenic in this area.

The road slowly leads you through rice terraces and gets you higher up the mountain from where you can take some stunning pictures. Just have a look at these...


tulamben east bali
The road between Culik and Tirtagangga


ricefields east bali amed



Once you start your decent from the mountain you bump into Tirtagangga's royal water palace.

This historical site was built by the Raja (king) of Amlapura, Anak Agung Anglurah Ketut in 1947 and he used it as one of his many weekend retreats.

It has suffered many earthquakes throughout the years but today it is still Bali's best preserved water palace.

If you like you can jump into real spring water and imagine how it feels to be royal among the many water sprouting statues and colorful flowers.


tirta gangga water palace east bali
Balinese statues and water fountains at Tirtagangga's water palace


After a refreshing dip the East Bali route will take you to the capital of the Karangasem district, Amlapura.

There's not much to see in this town except for the Puri Agung Karangasem, the royal temple and palace of the last rajas. This was one of Bali's few remaining palaces during the Dutch colonial time.

Unlike other kingdoms in Bali the Raja of the Karangasem kingdom cooperated with the Dutch and so preserved his palace.


klungkung palace bali
Puri Agung Karangasem


Members of the royal family still live here and it is not sure when you walk around the old buildings if you are in someone's home or in an area designated for travelers only.

On the outskirts of Amlapura, just three kilometers south of the city lies the ruins of the royal water palace of Ujung.

Just like the royal water palace at Tirtagangga it was built by Anak Agung Anglurah Ketut and the Dutch in 1921.

Due to earthquakes and the eruption of the Gunung Agung in 1963 the entire water palace was destroyed. In 1974 two Australians started to rebuild the palace until it got destroyed again by a major earthquake in 1979.


ujung palace east bali
Ujung water palace


Next stop on the route takes you back to Amlapura where you turn left towards Candi Dasa.

Just 5 kilometers before you enter the coconut town of Candi Dasa you can find a sign which says "Pasir Putih".

Here the dusty road leads you along rice fields, a Balinese cemetery, a couple of huts and a little building where there is somebody who will request an entry fee.

It's very unlikely that this fees goes directly into the improvement of the road since it takes a good four-wheel drive or motor bike to go around the potholes before you get to the beach.

Nonetheless all that wiggling on the bike is definitely worth it...


pantai putih east bali
White sand beach at Pasir Putih


Spotless Pasir Putih beach has couple of small stalls where you can sip a beer, rent yourself a sun lounger or just go for a stroll to feel the white sand under your bare feet.

We took a drink, stayed here for an hour and chatted with the locals.

A Korean company had plans to transform the Pasir Putih area into a huge villa resort with golf course. So far there hasn't been any action going on but you never know in Bali. So chances are you need to hurry up to enjoy and see the pristine beach the way it is today.

The last part of the route brings you to the little coconut town where there isn't much to do besides floating in your swimming pool, reading the book you always wanted to finish and stare at the azure ocean nearby.


ida homestay candidasa east bali
The final stop of the day, Candidasa


If this route hasn't brought you enough highlights you can always continue driving through Candidasa and take the next 'big' road to the right to the Bali Aga village of Tenganan.

Here the original inhabitants of Bali live according to the same customs as centuries before. This ancient village if famous for its double weaved ikat cloths and calendars on lontar leaves.

Since you arrive in the afternoon it might be very busy with tourist buses so you can always come back the next morning when there's more space to walk around.

Home > Bali Sightseeing Routes > East Bali Sightseeing Route

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