When you heard about diving in Bali, you might instantly think of Amed, Tulamben, or Nusa Penida. These are three of the most famous diving location in the island. But have you ever heard of Amed? Tucked in the west-north coast of Bali, this little island is dubbed as one of Bali best kept secret and best places for diving. The Menjangan island falls under the protection of West Bali National Park, which have great contribution to make the marine life flourish. Menjangan was actually the place that birthed diving culture in Bali. Back in 1978, the Indonesian Navy sponsored Menjangan Island as the first premier international dive site in Bali. And the dive culture blossoms in full force ever since.
Menjangan; Isolated and Magical
As both international and domestic airport was located in the south of Bali, tourism industry mainly revolves around the south—where the tourists stay. Due to Menjangan’s remote location, not many tourists travel to this off beaten path. Combined with the national park’s protection, this result on very pristine and undisturbed dive site. Coral reefs and complex rocks formations surround the island, which gently slopes down to 40m underneath, creating a wonderful wall dive. This feature allows underwater caves, from small to large ones, to form.
Menjangan has super clear water and high visibility that can reach up to 50 meters. The water temperature is warm, ranging from 27ºC – 30ºC. The dense corals, barrel sponges, and sea fans that populate the seabeds shelters rich variety of marine life. Menjangan have low to medium currents which is perfect for tuna, batfish, angelfish, jackfish, sea turtles, and many other sea creatures to live. Sometimes, you will also find sharks and other pelagic patrolling on the outer corner of the island. All of these features definitely put Menjangan as one of the best diving places in Bali even for beginners.
The Best Diving Places in Bali for Wall Dive
Menjangan’s drop off wall is hands down magnificent. The gigantic wall dropped for about 60 meters and adorned with gigantic sea fans, brightly coloured corals, and soft sponges with hundreds school of fusiliers darting round and about. You will see anthers and damsels lingers around the soft corals and fans. Ocean critters and small reef fishes make shelters on crevices and basically every nook and crannies on the wall. As cold currents don’t flow in, Menjangan blooms as the best diving places to enjoy the largest diversity of sponges and gorgonians in Bali.
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The Anchor Wreck
The USS Liberty wreckage is not only Bali’s shipwreck attraction. The Menjangan has Kapal Budak, which more famously known as Anchor wreck. It is one of the best diving places for wreck in Bali after Tulamben. The 19th Century wooden Dutch ship didn’t have very pleasant background story; it was previously used to ship ‘budak’ (slaves) from Bali to Batavia—the colonial Jakarta. While you won’t find human skeleton on the wreck (hopedully not!), you will see cargoes of ceramics and glass bottles which are completely reclaimed by soft corals. The wreck is also a popular hangout area for turtles and sharks. You might meet the two of them if you are lucky!