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, although 3 stars villa is also available. The serenity of Padang Bai is suitable for old citizens or who want quiet place, no nightlife here.
If you don't want to go to Lombok, rental car maybe is the best option. Rental car can be reserved online and picked up and returned at Ngurah Rai International Airport. Many rental cars now use Low Cost Green Car for Rp 150,000-175,000 per day with capacity maximum for 4 passengers including driver seats. The car Daihatsu Ayla and Toyota Agya is suitable for 2 persons with maximum 170 cm height and 2 children. Indonesia fuel price is relatively cheap and the cars run 15 to 20 km/L.
Padang Bai is about 90 minutes by taxi from Ngurah Rai International Airport and a pre-paid coupon costs Rp 400,000.
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).
Bemos and minibuses arrive at, and depart from, the port entrance; orange bemos from Amlapura (25 km, Rp 30,000) 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.
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.
Everything in town is within walking distance (1-2 km). If you want to explore the surrounding area, motorbike rental and car rental are widely available. You can go on a one day tour to Candidasa, Tirta Gangga, Taman Ujung (Edge Sukasada Park), and see sunset at Lempuyang Temple.
Padang Bai functions as the gateway to Lombok and the Gilis for those traveling by boat.
Slow ferries go to Lembar on Lombok (Rp 40,000) and Nusa Penida (Rp 36,000). Book at the larger pier inside the harbor.
Virtually everyone in town will try and sell you fast boat tickets. During low season (Oct 2014) pricing appears to be extremely flexible. Posted prices can be up to Rp 660,000 for a one-way trip to the Gilis, but you may be able to negotiate open-ended return trip tickets for Rp 333,333. Prices during high season are likely much less negotiable.
Combined bus & boat tickets
Many operators offer combined tickets including both the slow ferry to Lembar and a follow up bus transfer on Lombok, e.g. to Senggigi (Rp 100,000) or Kuta Lombok (Rp 200,000). Such combined Tickets are also a cheap alternative to the fast but expensive speed boats to Gili (ferry to Lembar, bus transfer to Bangsal, ferry to Gili Air/Meno/Trawangan; Rp 150,000).
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.
- 1 Blue Lagoon Beach (Facing to the sea (south) turn to the left until end of Silayukti street, head east on foot over the prominent headland at the eastern end of the main bay. Follow the signs that say Blue Lagoon Beach (not resort).). A great beach for snorkeling, despite the narrow one hundred meters length. The beach is unique in color; the sandy beach is not always white, but sometimes changes to rather black. If the current comes from the west, the beach will be white, but if the current comes from the east, it will be black and white. The coral reef goes right up to the shore and is very pretty with clown fishes and small sepia. Enter on the far left side, where there is a coral-less canal leading to the snorkeling site. There are two restaurants with reasonable food (fried rice, fried noodle, omelette, sandwiches and spirits), showers (only for restaurant guests), chairs, sunbeds, and snorkeling gear.
- 2 Bias Tugal Beach (White Sand Beach) (From the police station, walk 100 m 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.). A beautiful white sandy beach and the best beach in Padang Bai. It's wider than Blue Lagoon Beach and good for swimming, though the currents can be strong. There are about five warungs, serving simple Indonesian dishes, juices and beer. From the path to the beach, you should be able to see the largest mountain on Bali, Mount Agung — a powerful sight.
If you need a break from the beaches, there are some temples to discover. Although not particularly famous, these temples are nevertheless worth a visit. Padang Bai has five major temples: Pura Dalem, downtown, Pura Segara, 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. Don't forget to bring a sarong and a sash.
- 3 Pura Silayukti (Walk along the beach road to the end and up around the headland.). Once 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.
Ocean activities are the way to go. There is good snorkeling in the bay, though the snorkeling at the Blue Lagoon is even better. Many of the local dive operators organize trips to this spot but you can easily walk to your destination. If the waves are large, don't bother snorkeling as the visibility will be minimal. On a calm day, expect great visibility and lots of fish. Buoys mark the farthest point snorkelers should go. For even better snorkeling you can charter a boat.
Padangbai is noted for its diving, and the friendly dive centers are right on the beach with their own bars for after-diving refreshments.
- 1 Absolute Scuba, Jl Pantai Silayukti (North end of the bay.), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. 7AM-9PM. Teaches both PADI and SSI up to and including instructor course, in English, German, Italian, Russian and Indonesian. 3-m deep training pool, classroom, 22 air conditioned rooms, 1 speedboat, 1 small boat.
- 2 Geko Dive Bali, Jl Pantai Silayulkti (North end of the bay.), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Five star PADI dive resort and TecRec dive center. Offers a wide range of courses and fun dives. 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, French, German, Spanish and Indonesian. 2 speedboats, 1 large outrigger boat and a variety of smaller boats. Safe diving is emphasized. US$100 for 2 dives.
- 3 Water Worxx Dive Center Bali, Jl Pantai Silayulkti (North end of the bay.), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. SSI dive center. German and English speaking instructors.
- Paradise Diving Bali (Deutsche Tauchschule), Jl Silayukti 9B (Central Padang Bai), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. German dive center offering daily dive safaris and PADI courses.
- 4 Spiral Spa @ Bloo, Jl Pantai Silayukti (located in the Bloo Lagoon Village), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. 10AM-8PM. Padang Bai's only spa facility. A wide range of massages, also facial & body care, hair treatments and organic spa products. Shuttle service within Padang Bai to pick up guests.
There are many ATMs in Padang Bai: BRI bank 100m away the police station (doesn't always function, gives a maximum of Rp 500,000 and does not accept Visa cards), Bank Mandiri 200 m from the harbour along the beach road (accepts Visa cards and gives a maximum of Rp 2,500,000), BCA and Danamon on the main road next to the Police station.
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.
- 1 Omang Omang Cafe, Jl Silayukti, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. 10AM-late. Opposite the reggae bars, Omang Omang Cafe is one of the best restaurants in town. Serves 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.
- 2 Puri Rai Restaurant, Jl Silayukti (next to the Puri Rai Hotel, but not part of it.), ☎ . 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.
- 1 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.
- 2 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.
- 3 Ozone Café, 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.
- 4 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.
|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.
- 1 Alola Inn (At the street to Bias Tugal, turn right before the jetty, 50 metres up on the left side), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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, Wi-Fi, laundry service, tea and coffee, breakfast included. Rp 150,000-250,000.
- 2 Dharma Homestay, Jl Silayukti, Gang Tongkol 6 (centrally located, 50 metres from the beach), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Accommodation with rooftop 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.
- 3 Kembar Inn, Jl Segara (35 m 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 (small fan room, bed only, no outside window).
- 4 Marco Inn, Jl Segari (On the seafront, a 2 minute walk from the harbor.), ☎ , (Whatsapp), e-mail: Marco.Inn.padangbai@Gmail.com. Check-out: 11:00. Sea view rooms with a roof terrace, secluded courtyard garden and a sea front bar. All eight rooms are fan cooled and have their own bathrooms, some have AC. Run by an English couple with French, Spanish and Indonesian speakers on staff. Fast and reliable Wifi. from Rp 100,000 including breakfast.
- 5 Serangan Inn II, Jl Silayukti (At the top of the hill, 300 m back from the beach; follow the road alongside the market.), ☎ . A budget hotel on top of the hill which catches good breezes. Fan-cooled and air-con rooms. From Rp 150,000.
- 6 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.
- 7 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: email@example.com. 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.
- 8 Zen Inn, Gang Segara 3 (just behind the port), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 Rp 350,000 including breakfast.
- 9 Padang Bai Beach Resort, Jl Panti Silayukti (northern end of the bay), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. 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.
- 10 Puri Rai Hotel, Jl Silayukti (on the main beach), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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).
- 11 Harmony Guest House (Down a small alley just west of the Ozone Cafe.). Check-out: 10:30AM. This small hotel has clean rooms with A/C. The third-floor rooms have a terrace overlooking rooftops of the town. Breakfast is free, and hotel staff can help arrange a shuttle or taxi to your next destination.
- 12 Bloo Lagoon Village Hotel (northern end of the bay, on top of the hill), ☎ , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com. Check-in: 2PM, 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.
There have also been cases with local taxi drivers/touts becoming extremely aggressive and threatening violence if they learn you are going to use Uber/Grab taxi/go-jek. Reports of locals ganging together and opening doors, shouting and dragging bags out of the cars to prevent you using the taxi apps. Be careful as it is extremely intimidating.