A Trip to Bali - 28th October - 8th November 2023

After multiple setbacks and Covid-19 delays, our trip to Bali at long last departed at the end of October. A group of 11 divers, snorkellers, and friends from ECSAC, HGSAC, and beyond made their way to Amed, Bali. The bulk of us flying out on Saturday the 28th of October.


After a gruelling journey, tight transfer window (I may have near-frogmarched the group through Doha airport so we made our connecting flight!), and equally long airport transfer in Bali, we arrived at our hotel in Amed in the dead of the night with little idea of our surroundings. So, it was with equal amounts of pleasure and amazement that we awoke Monday morning to discover the tropical paradise in which we had landed.

Due to our late arrival, we had already decided Monday would be a non-diving day to rest and explore our surroundings. And it didn’t take long! In the balmy 30-degree heat, we were all in the water as soon as we finished breakfast, discovering with delight the incredible reef which started not even a meter from the shoreline. Andy lucked out with the first turtle sighting of the trip on his first foray into the water. All right on our doorstep. Our expectations were being blown away already and we hadn’t even begun diving – it was just superb!


On Tuesday, those of us diving swiftly adopted a daily routine. With the quirky eight-room boutique hotel largely to ourselves, it felt more like a private villa, as the lovely staff worked around our diving schedule and accommodated our every need. Our days began with delicious breakfasts overlooking the sea, before the divers departed to the dive centre leaving the snorkellers to the tempting blue waters of the house reef. We would do two dives followed by nasi goreng for lunch most days, before returning to the hotel early afternoon. Everyone would then converge for refreshments and to excitedly exchange stories before the water would be calling most of us again and a second or third snorkelling session of the day would commence. On a couple of evenings, some of the group undertook a night dive, leaving the rest of us to relax on the beach, in the pool, have a massage, or review dive photos on the beachside deck area. It was hard work!!


The dive sites were incredible. The amount and variety of sea life was wonderful to behold. The efforts of the local fishing community in restoring the corals with an artificial reef to encourage SCUBA tourism (the ‘Pyramids’), had clearly paid off as it was one of my favourite sites of the week. Our idea of ‘easy shore diving’ was challenged, as we hadn’t contemplated the difficulty of walking with dive kit on pebbled beaches. We could only watch on with envy as the local guides strode confidently into the water whilst we made our way with somewhat more trepidation. Mid-week the group headed off extra early for Nusa Penida, an island off the south-eastern tip of Bali. The long journey, by both car and boat, was worth every minute with Manta Rays encountered immediately upon entering the water. The last day of diving was the most fun however, as we used the local traditional boats (Jukungs), to get to our dive sites. Two divers each were just able to fit in the little skiffs, with their two-stroke engines flying us along the shorefront to our dive sites.

Dive Itinerary:

Day #1: Jemaluk Reef &  Amed Pyramids

Day #2: USAT Liberty (WWII wreck) twice plus a Night Dive

Day #3: Nusa Penida, Manta Dive &  Nusa Penida, Mola Mola Dive (sadly absent)

Day #4: Kubu/Boga (wreck), Tulamben Drop Off & a Night Dive

Day #5: Amed Pyramids (second visit) & Jemaluk Drop Off

Following the conclusion of diving, we had plenty of time to explore the tourist sights found further afield in Bali – ask Andy, Dave and Janice about their luwak (civet) coffee tasting experience! Finally, on Sunday evening it was time to return home. Six of us then stopped over in Doha on the way back to the UK for two more action packed days in Qatar. 

The trip was full of incredible experiences. It’s hard to do them justice in this short report. We all have such wonderful stories to share, so please do chat to us about them and ask questions. Everyone on the trip would be happy to answer them and tell you more about our experiences travelling, diving, and snorkelling.

Thank you to everyone who joined us to make it such a fabulous time. We were joined by: Andy, Clive, Janice, Doug, and Hannah (ECSAC); Andrew and Liz (HGSAC); and Paul and Lesley. It was an incredible trip and so good to be able to share the excitement of the diving, sampling the local food, and exploring our exotic location with such good company. We’re looking forward to the next adventure already!

– Clemmie and Dave 

The Finer Details

We flew with Qatar Airways. The journey was smooth and hassle free and they offer amazing stopover packages for a token amount on top of your flight cost.

We dived with Bali Dive Cove. A family-operated business setup by Jordan, formerly of Buddies in Malta. It was great to see her and her husband Wayan going from strength to strength with their newly opened dive centre.

In Bali, we stayed at Amed Lodge by Sudamala Resorts. A beautiful, low-key eight-room boutique hotel just a short 10-minute walk from central Amed.

In Doha, we started at Souq Waqif Boutique Hotels by Tivoli. A large 5* hotel spread across multiple buildings. The location was a fantastic base for exploring Doha. However if you want to relax rather than explore, I’d suggest booking into one of the Western compound-type hotels with indoor shaded pool facilities (and bar 😉).

Manta Rays filmed by Doug