Amlapura is the largest town in East Bali. The name of the town used to be Karangasem, the same name as the district, but was changed in 1963 after the eruption of Gunung Agung. Indonesians believe if something really bad happens to you then you might be better off changing your name. My wife Ika told me that one of her brothers was sick as a baby so they changed his name.
I have been to Amlapura a dozen times and it feels like may other towns in Bali, Tabanan, Klungkung etc. and is complete with one-way traffic system, a local market, pasar malam (night market) and a ton of shops selling vessels and pans. For people exploring East Bali your reasons for stopping in Amlapura might be to grab a bite to eat at one of the Muslim warungs on the main streets, or visit one of the palaces on Jl. Sultan Agung.
Coming in from the direction of Kuta and Candi Dasa you come to a statue at the intersection. To your left is the road to Muncan, Iseh and Sideman, to the north is Tirtagangga, Amed and the north coast and by passing through town you take a right and head down the hill to Ujung.
Puri Agung (one the royal palaces) is open daily 8am-6pm admission 3,000rp. Inside you can observe some elegant furniture carved doors given by Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands. The last king of Karangasem passed away in 1966 and I will go into Karangasems turbulent history next time.