Sleeping & Eating
Most places to stay have cafés and there's
another cluster by the sedate shops at the
Genta Bali (
sleep six (with hot water). The restaurant has
rice paddy views and serves sandwiches and
local classics; dishes range from 16,000Rp
Tirta Ayu Homestay (
Typically travellers bound for the coast of Amed (see p234) travel the inland route through Tirta
Gangga. However, there is a longer, twistier and more adventurous alternative that runs from
Ujung right around the coast to the Amed area. The road climbs up the side of Gunung Seraya,
and the views out to sea are breathtaking. Along the way it passes through numerous small
villages where people are carving fishing boats.
Near Seraya look for weavers and cotton-fabric-makers. Lots of the time, you'll just be in the
middle of fruit-filled orchards and jungle. About 4km south of Aas there's a lighthouse.
The road is narrow but paved, and covering the 35km to Aas will take about one hour without
stops. Combine this with the inland road for a good circular visit to Amed from the west.
22436; dishes 10,000-12,000Rp) Across
the road from the parking area, you can find
a fine yoghurt drink here, as well as pasta
and Indonesian food. It has an impressive
list of puddings, including ones with banana,
jackfruit and taro. All are served with coconut
milk, brown sugar and coconut.
Dhangin Taman (
22697; fax 21383; r 150,000-
) Right in the palace
compound, this has four pleasant bungalows
(cold water only) and three spacious villas
with nice outdoor bathrooms. Free use of
the palace swimming pool is included. A café
overlooks the palace grounds; dishes range
from 10,00Rp to 25,000Rp. One of the villas
is huge and has its own plunge pool.
250,000Rp, villas US$50-150;
22059; r 40,000-80,000Rp) Adja-
cent to the water palace, this fascinating place
features elaborate tiled artworks in a garden. It
has a range of 14 simple rooms - the cheapest
ones facing the rice paddies are the best -
and a restaurant with tables overlooking the
palace. Dishes range from 5000Rp to 8000Rp.
You leave your breakfast order hanging on the
door, just like at the Hilton.
Pondok Lembah Dukah (r 50,000-100,000Rp) Down
the path to the right of Good Karma, fol-
low the signs for 300m along the rice field
and then up a steep set of steps. Three very
simple bungalows are clean and have fans,
cold water and incredible views over bougain-
villea from their porches.
Puri Prima (
Tirta Gangga (Water of the Ganges) is the site
of a holy temple, some great water features
and some of the best views of rice fields and
the sea beyond in East Bali. High on a ridge,
it is a relaxing place to stop for an hour or a
longer period, which will allow for some treks
in the surrounding countryside. There are
many interesting plant nurseries along the
road from Amlapura.
Eating & Shopping
Options are few in Amlapura; there are
various warung around the market and the
main bus/bemo terminal. A vast new Hardy's
Getting There & Away
Bemo and minibuses making the east coast
haul between Amlapura and Singaraja stop at
Tirta Gangga, right outside the water palace or
any hotel further north. The fare to Amlapura
should be 3000Rp.
AROUND TIRTA GANGGA
The main road running from Amlapura
through Tirta Gangga and on to Amed
and the coast doesn't do the local attractions
justice - although it is an attractive road. To
appreciate things, you need to get off the main
road or go hiking.
Throughout the area the rontal palms all
look like new arrivals at army boot camp, as
they are shorn of their leaves as fast as they
grow them in order to meet the demand for
inscribed lontar books.
22363; Jl Diponegoro) supermarket has grocer-
ies and lots of sundries. It has the best range
of supplies like sunscreen east of Semarapura
and south of Singaraja. In the parking lot
there are numerous stalls serving up all man-
ner of cheap and fresh Asian foods (5000-
Getting There & Away
Amlapura is a major transport hub. Buses
and bemo regularly ply the main road to
Denpasar's Batubulan terminal (20,000Rp;
roughly three hours), via Candidasa, Padan-
gbai and Ginayar (16,000Rp). Plenty of buses
also go around the north coast to Singaraja
(about 15,000Rp), via Tirta Gangga, Amed
If you are driving to Amed and beyond, fill
up at the petrol station on the road to Tirta
Gangga. It's the last one until Yeh Sanih in
Five kilometres south of Amlapura, Taman
Ujung is a major complex that may leave you
slack-jawed - and not necessarily with won-
der. The last king of Karangasem completed
the construction of a grand water palace here
in 1921, which was extensively damaged by an
earthquake in 1979. A tiny vestige of the old
palace is surrounded by vast modern ponds
and terraces built for untold billions of rupiah.
Today, the wind-swept grounds are seldom
trod by visitors. It's a bit sad really and you
Amlapura's water-loving rajah, after complet-
ing his lost masterpiece at Ujung, had another
go at building the water palace of his dreams.
He succeeded at Taman Tirta Gangga (adult/child
5100/3100Rp, parking 1000Rp;
/fax 21316; r 50,000-100,000Rp)
About 1km north of Tirta Gangga along the
main road, this slightly modern place offers
outstanding views and nine pleasant rooms.
It has a small restaurant, with dishes ranging
from 10,000Rp to 16,000Rp. Staff can also
organise trekking to Gunung Agung (from
600,000Rp for two people).
Homestay Rijasa (
site 24hr, ticket office
6am-6pm) , which has a stunning crescent of
rice terrace-lined hills for a backdrop.
Originally built in 1948, the water palace
was damaged in the 1963 eruption of Gu-
nung Agung and again during the political
events that rocked Indonesia two years later.
The palace has several swimming pools and
ornamental ponds, which serve as a fascinat-
ing reminder of the old days of the Balinese
rajahs. 'Pool A' (adult/child 6000/4000Rp)
is the cleanest and is in the top part of the
complex. 'Pool B' (adult/child 4000Rp/free) is
pond-like. Look for the 11-tiered fountain and
plop down under the huge old banyans.
Hiking in the surrounding hills is recom-
mended. The rice terraces around Tirta
Gangga are some of the most beautiful on
Bali. Back roads and walking paths take you
to many picturesque traditional villages. Or
you can ascend the side of Gunung Agung.
Guides are a good idea. Ask at any of the ac-
One of Bali's nine directional temples, it is
perched on a hilltop at 768m. To get here,
turn south off the Amlapura-Tulamben road
to Ngis (2km), a palm sugar and coffee- grow-
ing area, and follow the signs another 2km
to Kemuda (ask for directions if the signs
confuse you). From Kemuda, climb 1700
steps to Pura Lempuyang (allow at least two
hours, one way). If you want to continue to
the peaks of Lempuyang (1058m) or Seraya
(1175m), you should take a guide.
21873; r 65,000-125,000Rp)
With elaborately planted grounds, this family-
run place is a good choice opposite the water
palace entrance. Two of the seven rooms have
hot water, good for the large soaking tubs.
The owner, I Ketut Sarjana, is an experienced
Good Karma (
22445; r 70,000-100,000Rp) Good
Karma has four very clean and simple bun-
galows and a good vibe derived from the
surrounding pastoral rice field. The restau-
rant serves up excellent food in a comfort-
able setting right off the main parking lot.
Expect to pay around 10,000Rp to 16,000Rp
for dishes .
Puri Sawah Bungalows (
This small hill has a big view - at sunrise
Lombok's Gunung Rinjani throws a shadow
on Gunung Agung. It is easy to reach from
21847; fax 21939; bun-