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Snorkeling Trip for Kids to Amed and Tulamben – the East Coast of Bali
By Laetitia Knight
For kids who are good swimmers and enjoy looking at fish and coral, Amed is a good destination.
Lipah beach is sandy and kids can already see lots of fish from the shallows and if your child is still learning how to use his masks and snorkel this place is ideal.
The success of a snorkeling trip often relies on having the right equipment and although adult size gear is readily available everywhere in Amed, kids’ equipment can be hard to find and it is better to go with your own snorkel, mask, fins or reef shoes. Crocs can also be useful to walk on pebbles or to help kids float.
When children are still young, parents can take a body board or a blow up ring and pull the children around while they dip their heads in the water to look at fish and gain confidence. It is also a good way not to kick the coral at low tide and avoid cuts.
Rash vests and high protection sun cream are essential because it is easy to forget how strong the sun can be when you are looking at the wonders of the underwater world.
If your child is already a good swimmer there is a small Japanese wreck just off the shore at Banyuning beach with beautiful coral and fish. At low tide the highest part of the wreck is only 3 or 4 meters under the water and around 30 meters off the shore. Be careful as the currents can be stronger there and check if there are other swimmers on the spot. The stony beach makes it a little difficult to come out of the water and parents should accompany their children.
If your child enjoys wrecks, a piece of history under the sea, Tulamben and its Liberty wreck is only half an hour away up the coast. Kids who can swim well will love the myriad of fish coming close to them and the colorful corals. It is worth looking at a drawing of the wreck previously to understand a bit better what you can see when snorkeling.
It is fun for children to fill an empty plastic bottle with pieces of bread, open the top the bottle and let the fish swim right up to them. They will find this very exciting. However, if at all possible, bringing raw fish or fish pellets is better to preserve the fish natural habitat.
Another fun way to raise the awareness of kids towards the fragility and importance of coral is to sponsor a baby coral. They will send you a picture of the coral you sponsored with your name attached to it as well as updates for 2 years. Check out www.biorockbali.webs.com
There are various hotels and restaurants in Amed. Most of them are comfortable enough but remain simple. The idea is to go to Amed to enjoy the beauty of nature and the sea. The coastline is gorgeous, the views of Agung in clear weather are impressive and it is one of the best places in Bali for its coral. It is a good idea to search for options on Trip Advisor or read travel forums for parents’ opinions. Hidden Paradise Cottages is one of the oldest hotels in Amed offering simple but good accommodation for families. Their rooms are in small individual cottages with a simple bathroom and a fridge. They can provide an extra mattress for children. The grounds are spacious, the medium size swimming pool is in a shaded area and it has a beach of grey sand. The restaurant for dinner is not busy but their cuisine is great. It also has a kids’ menu and a low table with cushions that children enjoy. At one end of the garden there is a small play area with sand and two swings.
Our thanks to Laetitia Chanéac-Knight, Language teacher and author of Bali with Kids.
© Laetitia Knight, 2011