Padang Bai (also Padangbai and Padang Bay) is a small port town in East Bali.
Most visitors to Padang Bai are there to catch a boat to Lombok. However, it is a charming little place in its own right and many people cancel their trip in order to spend more time in this lovely village. Spending a night or two here will certainly not be time wasted.
There is good diving and snorkeling in the immediate area, and a number of operators are present to cater for those activities. This is also a fairly convenient base from which to explore some of the wider attractions of East Bali. Accommodation tends to be quite basic and aimed at the backpacker market.
Padang Bai is about 90 minutes by taxi from Ngurah Rai International Airport and a pre-paid coupon costs Rp 365,000. Padang Bai is 54 km east from Denpasar and takes about 1 hour to 90 minutes to drive from the southern tourist areas of Kuta and Legian.
The national tour bus company Perama has Padang Bai in its network. They will pick you up from your accommodation in many areas of Bali and take you to your destination. Perama shuttle buses to Padang Bai leave from Kuta, Sanur, Ubud, Candidasa and Lovina. Reserve one day in advance. The Perama office in Padang Bai is at Dona Restaurant, Jl Pelabuhan, near the jetty (tel: +62 363 41419).
Regular bemos ply the main east coast route between Klungkung, Padang Bai and Candidasa. Bemos routed through Padang Bai leave from Batubulan terminal in Denpasar. Bemos and minibuses arrive at, and depart from, the port entrance; orange bemos from Amlapura via Candidasa, blue or white bemos from Klungkung and pale-brown minibuses for Amlapura or Batubulan terminal in Denpasar.
There are slow public ferries from Lembar (Lombok) every hour, 24 hours a day. The trip normally takes four hours (but it can be considerably longer in poor weather) and costs Rp 36,000. Ferry staff often offer their private room to tourists for an extra Rp 50,000. The room is clean and comfortable with 2 or 3 beds. It should be understood that this ferry has a poor safety record. There is a ticket office, waiting area and small cafe adjacent to the pier.
Bali4Ride offer one way or open return trip ticket for Fast boat to Gili Islands or Lombok with maximum seat capacity of 92 people. Their price is Rp 450,000 one way and Rp 650,000 for return trip. You will got insurance (provided by PT. Jasa Raharja), cushioned, reclining seats, LCD TV with DVD player, clean toilets, sun deck, ample storage for baggage.
BlueWater Express is the fast boat pioneer from Bali to Gili Trawangan. They have three daily departure from Serangan harbour and Padang Bai harbour in Bali. Their price is Rp 690,000 one way and Rp 1,380,000 for return trip. You will got insurance, snacks and mineral water on board.
Perama runs daily cruises from Lombok (Rp 200,000) and the Gili Islands (Rp 300,000) to Padang Bai one way. The trip takes 4 hours from Gili Trawangan and 6 hours from Senggigi (Lombok). Perama Express leaves Padang Bai daily at 13:30 and arrives at Gili Trawangan Harbour at 07:00 and at Senggigi (Lombok) at 09:00.
There are fast boat services from the Gili Islands via Teluk Kode (Lombok) to Padang Bai. Operators have been coming and going, but one constant has been the Gili Cat service  for Rp 660,000 one way. Travel time is 2 hours. Gili Cat leaves Padang Bai daily at 09:00 and arrives at Teluk Kode (Lombok) at 10:00 and at Gili Trawangan Harbour at 10:30. In high season there's also a departure at 14:00.
There is another boat service from Sampalan at Nusa Penida to Padang Bai. Travel time is about one hour.
You do not really need any transport within Padang Bai as everything is within walking distance. If you want to explore the surrounding area, motorbike rental and car rental are widely available.
Padang Bai functions as the gateway to Lombok and the Gilis for those traveling by boat. There are two main options:
Public Ferry/Slow Boat
Book at the larger pier in the harbor. Tickets should be around 50,000.
Virtually everyone in town will try and sell you fast boat tickets. At least during low season (Oct 2014) pricing appears to be extremely flexible. Posted prices can be up to 660,000 for a one way trip to the Gilis, but we were able to negotiate three open ended return trip tickets for 1,000,000 RP (333,333/p). Prices during high season are likely much less negotiable.
The main beach is generally awash with colorful double outrigger fishing boats in the shape of a marlin. The front of the boat is shaped with the point of its mouth open wide and large eyes looking to the heavens. Either side of the main beach are two other hidden coves with nice, quiet white sand beaches:
- Blue Lagoon Beach is a great beach for snorkeling. The coral reef is right up to the shore and is very pretty. Best way is to enter on the far left side, where there is a coral-less canal that leads to the snorkeling site. There are two restaurants with reasonable food, showers, chairs and snorkeling gear. The beach is easily accessible. To reach Blue Lagoon Beach, head east on foot over the prominent headland at the eastern end of the main bay. Follow the signs that say Blue Lagoon. Note that wading through the water can be both frustrating and dangerous due to an abundance of coral and submerged rocks.
- Bias Tugal Beach, also called Pantai Kecil (Little Beach), is a beautiful white sandy beach and the best beach in Padang Bai. Good for swimming, though the currents can be strong. There are several restaurants, but they are not very good. The beach is surrounded by a monstrous, unfinished resort. To reach the secluded Bias Tegul Beach, walk from the police station for 100 metres up the hill. Directly after Bamboo Paradise turn left (there's a sign that says Bias Tegul) and climb the steep hill along a construction road for about 5 minutes and then descend. Be careful going down on the hillside track. While descending - weather permitting - you should be able to see the largest mountain on Bali, Mount Agung on your left - a powerful sight. If you continue over the hill and follow the road, you will eventually come to a long, white sand beach.
If you need a break from the beaches, there are some temples to discover. These are not especially notable temples, but still worth a visit. Padang Bai has five major temples: Pura Dalem, located downtown, Pura Segara, located next to the beach in between town and the main beach, Pura Telagamas, Pura Silayukti and Pura Tanjungsari in the eastern end of Padang Bai. Of the five Pura Silayukti is the most notable, having been the home of the great Hindu sage Empu Kuturan and dating back to the 11th century, making it one of the oldest extant temples on the island. Just walk along the beach road to the end and up around the headland. Don't forget to bring a sarong and a sash.
- Spiral Spa @ Bloo, Jl Pantai Silayukti 80872 (located in the Bloo Lagoon Village), ☎ 081237356868, e-mail: email@example.com. 10AM-20PM.. Spiral Spa @ Bloo. Padang Bai's only Spa Facility. Here they offer a wide range of massages, but as well Facial & Body Care, Hair treatments and organic spa products for sale.Spa service is daily available from 10:00-20:00. They offer a shuttle service within Padang Bai to pick up guests.
There is good snorkeling in the bay, though the snorkeling at the Blue Lagoon is much better. Many of the local dive operators organise trips to this spot. If the waves are large, don't bother snorkeling as the current is extremely strong and visibility will be 1 to 3 metres at best. On a calm day expect lots of fish and great visibility. Buoys mark the furthest point snorkelers should go. For even better snorkeling you can charter a boat.
Several places in Padang Bai rent snorkeling equipment.
Padangbai is noted for its diving and the friendly dive centres are right on the beach with their own bars for after-diving refreshments.
- Absolute Scuba, Jl Pantai Silayukti, ☎ . 7AM-9PM.. Teaches both PADI and SSI up to and including instructor course, in English, German, Italian, Russian and Indonesian. 3 metre deep training pool, classroom, 22 air conditioned rooms, 1 speedboat, 1 small boat.
- Blue Lagoon Divers, Jl Silayukti (on the beach just in front of the pier), ☎ +62 363 42077/812 3619139, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. A PADI diving school.
- Bluebubble-Bali, Jl. Segara, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Day trips and diving safaris around Bali. German and English speaking.
- Geko Dive, Jl Pantai Silayulkti (northern end of the bay), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Five star PADI dive resort which has been awarded GoEco operator status by Project Aware. Offer full range of courses and fun dives. Very active in the community and with environmental projects. Maximum of four divers to each divemaster. This ratio is reduced if requested or needed. Dive groups are welcome. Courses taught in English, Dutch, German, Japanese and Indonesian. 2 speedboats, 1 large outrigger boat and a variety of smaller boats used as needed. Also has a cafe called Cafe Deco. US$55 for 2 dives.
- Paradise Diving Bali, Deutsche Tauchschule (email@example.com), Jl Silayukti 9B (Central Padang Bai), ☎ . German Dive Centre which offers daily dive safaris and PADI courses.
- Q-Dive Bali, Jl Silayukti 7x (in the front of the Puri Rai Hotel), ☎ , fax: +62 363 41386, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. A 5 star PADI dive center offering a full range of fun dives and courses from Open Water to Assistant Instructor, as well as a wide range of specialities including NITROX, night, deep, naturalist and wreck dives. Courses are taught in English, Dutch, German, French and Spanish. Maximum of four divers per divemaster, ratios can be reduced upon request. from US$55 to 115 for 2 dives depending on sites.
- Water Worx Dive Center Bali, Jl Pantai Silayulkti (northern end of the bay), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. SSI dive centre. German and English speaking instructors.
There are two ATM:s in Padang Bai: BRI bank near the police station (doesn't always function, gives a maximum of Rp 500,000 and does not accept VISA cards), and Bank Mandiri 200 metres along the beach road (accepts VISA cards and gives a maximum of Rp 1,250,000). There are also plenty of ATMs nearby in Klungkung.
Padang Bai restaurants feature good-priced seafood and the usual travellers' fare.
- Cafe Kerti (Kerti Beach Inn), Jl Silayukti (in the middle of the main beach), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org/. Kerti is a not so good budget place to stay, but serves good food in their restaurant. Nice views from the second floor.
- Martini's Warung (in the main square). 6AM-11PM. Set in the corner of the main square (where buses drop off), Martini's Warung is a great little local treat. With budget prices Martini's offers authentic local food, often cooked by Martini herself. Tourists come to chat to Martini and each-other over beers and home cooked meals. Mie Goreng is highly recommended.
- Omang Omang Cafe, Jl Silayukti, ☎ . Open from 10:00 till late. opposite of the reggae bars , omang omang cafe is one of the best restaurants in town. With a Western and Indonesian cuisine, very good bbq selection and various cocktails. Many home grown organic ingredients, home made cakes and ice cream. Also a regular venue for live music.
- Puri Rai Restaurant, Jl Silayukti (next to the Puri Rai Hotel, but not part of it), ☎ 036341187. A decent restaurant serving Indonesian food including locally caught fresh sea food.
There are plenty of bars and small cafes to choose from along the beach in the village. On entering Padang Bai, head over to the left of the bay, keeping the ferry jetty to your right. The road here runs along the beach and is full of activity, dive shops, bars and small home stays (nice and cheap).
- Babylon Reggae Bar, Jl Silayukti (next to Kinky Reggae Bar). A tiny reggae bar with very friendly staff. They will make you feel this is your place, and you can enjoy live music with everyone in the bar.
- Kinky Reggae Bar, Jl Silayukti (next to Babylon Reggae Bar, opposite Omang Omang). A tiny reggae bar with extremely friendly staff. Their Long Island Ice Teas are good value.
- Ozone Bar & Cafe, Jl Silayukti, ☎ . A long established institution in Padang Bai, the food is good, especially the pizzas. It is a lively place for a drink and a good place to swap information with fellow backpackers.
- Sunshine Bar, Jl Silayukti (near Kinky Reggae Bar and Babylon Reggae Bar, but a bit closer to the main beach). Another friendly music bar. The owners are almost too friendly and will sit and chat with you about life for hours. Instruments are available and they love nothing more than getting the whole bar singing, playing guitar and bongos.
- Buddha bar & restaurant, Jalan Pantai Silayukti (located at Absolute Scuba). 07.00am-22.00pm. The only bar in Padang Bai with a swim-up bar, serving half price cocktails every night. Asian and western style food is prepared using only the finest ingredients. Friendly staff with a happy atmosphere.
|This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:|
|Budget||Under Rp 250,000|
|Splurge||Over Rp 1,000,000|
A wide choice of budget-leaning accommodation is available in the village, and along the road behind the beach. Upstairs rooms in the village places, especially up on the hill, catch the breeze and have fine views.
- Alola Inn (At the street to Bias Tugal, turn right before the jetty, 50 metres up on the left side), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Clean rooms in a nice bamboo cottage, each with private veranda, plus more expensive deluxe rooms in a house behind. Air-conditioned, hot water, swimming pool with pool Bar and jacuzzi, free Wi-Fi, laundry service, free tea and coffee, breakfast included in the price. The place is new, still mostly under construction. Rp 150,000-250,000.
- Dharma Homestay, Jl Silayukti, Gang Tongkol 6 (centrally located, 50 metres from the beach), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Cheap accommodation with roof top beach view. There are eleven rooms with a choice of single or double bed, fan or air-con and hot or cold shower. Aimed at backpackers. Has a restaurant.
- Kember Inn, Jl Segara (35 metres in from the beach on Jl. Segara), ☎ . Offers a selection of rooms from cold water only with a fan at Rp 40,000 to hot water with air-conditioning at Rp 150,000. As of June 2011, they offered the cheapest room for Rp.100,000 - quite unreasonable for what you get (small fan room, bed only, no outside window).
- Marco Inn, Jl Segari (on the seafront, a 2 minute walk from the harbour into town), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Sea view rooms with a roof terrace, secluded courtyard garden and a sea front bar. Daily rooftop yoga classes, courses & retreats are also on offer. All eight rooms are fan cooled and have their own bathrooms. Run by an English couple with French, Spanish and Indonesian speakers on staff. Home made breads and cakes. from 100,000 Rp including breakfast.
- Serangan Inn II, Jl Silayukti (at the top of the hill, 300 metres back from the beach; follow the road alongside the market), ☎ . A budget hotel on top of the hill which catches good breezes. Choice of fan-cooled and air-con rooms. From Rp 150,000.
- Topi Inn, Jl Silayukti 99 (northern end of the bay), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Five very basic rooms suited for backpackers. Also a dozen mattresses with mosquito nets up on the balcony, beautiful going to sleep to the sound of the waves. Has a good restaurant. Double room €14, balcony €5.
- Zen Inn, Gang Segara 3 (just behind the port), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. A small boutique hotel situated near the ferry port and the beach. Each room is furnished in a funky, eclectic style with double bed, western bathrooms with hot water shower, and a private courtyard garden with additional outside shower. Free WiFi in all rooms and the restaurant. The restaurant serves excellent western and asian food using local ingredients. Fish is fresh from the local fish market. There is also a bar where the beer is cold and where expats and backpackers hang out. Aircon rooms 350,000 IDR including breakfast.
- Kerti Beach Bugalow. Check-out: 10:00. Rooms and villas available. Breakfast included. Free WiFi. Reports of bed bugs.
- Padangbai Beach Inn, Silayukti St. Check-in: Before 22/00, check-out: 10:30. Great beach bungalow created in a semi modern, semi traditional style. Split level with attached bathrooms, sit toilets with cold water showers, breakfast included. Also has hotel styled rooms. No WiFi 100,000 bungalow, 250,000 for rooms.
- The Lemon House, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: before 22:00. New, fresh, clean home stay with panoramic balcony view of the sea & village, the 70 steps are worth it, western bathrooms, communal area with free WIFI, friendly staff and relaxed environment.
- Mustika Sari Beach Hotel, Jl Raya Silayukti (northern end of the bay), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Check-out: 13:00. Offering nice sea views this hotel has a decent sized swimming pool and a passable restaurant. Traditional paintings, wall hangings and Balinese handicrafts in the rooms are nice touches. From Rp 400,000.
- Padang Bai Beach Bungalow Resort, Jl Panti Silayukti (northern end of the bay), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Pleasant rooms with indirect sea view and garden bungalows. All rooms and bungalows are supplied with air-conditioning, bathroom with hot shower, satellite TV, safe and a balcony or terrace. The resort has a dive-instruction pool and a restaurant and swim up bar. Garden bungalows have outside 'Balinese style' bathrooms. Offers 'stay & dive' discounts. Low season rates: bungalow US$57, garden terrace US$47, upstairs balcony room US$57, triple family room US$63.
- Puri Rai Hotel, Jl Silayukti (on the main beach), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. A 1 star hotel with three swimming pools. This is probably the nicest hotel in town and prices follow suit. All rooms are supplied with a bathroom with hot & cold shower, TV and a terrace and balcony. The air-con rooms have a refrigerator. Standard fan room US$ 38, standard air-con room US$ 50 and family fan room US$ 55 (a small continental or Indonesian breakfast included).
- Bloo Lagoon Village Hotel (northern end of the bay, on top of the hill), ☎ , fax: +62 363 41099, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: noon. Bloo Lagoon, an environmentally friendly 3-star resort, offers 25 fan-cooled one, two and three bedroom villas with kitchen. Has a restaurant, a 18 m lap pool and a spa. From US$ 120.
There are reports of cases involving aggressive porters at the dock demanding excessive payments when you are waiting to board the ferry. To be safe, do not allow anyone else to carry your luggage.