A tiny, charmingly scruffy port of transit for the neighboring island of Lombok and beyond, Padangbai is northeast of Gianyar 29 km, from Kuta 62 km, and from Denpasar 56 km. Padang Bai is the port for ferry terminal to Lombok.
It is a sleepy fishing village situated in a perfectly sheltered bay. A flawlessly shaped bay cradled by the hills, Padang Bai is a perfect escape in the east of Bali.
One of the most relaxed beaches on Bali, the port faces the Bali Strait and Nusa Penida. From Denpasar, take a bus from Batubulan or Amlapura, from Klungkung take a 'bemo'. Or just hop on any bus out of Batubulan heading for Amlapura, get off at the turnoff to Padangbai, then hitch a ride down to the port.
The area offers varied and exciting hiking. Hidden coves a short distance down the coast. The hills behind the bay present gorgeous views of Nusa Penida across the Bali Strait.
Climb the paved road at the bay's northeast corner above the port to visit the headland on which perches Pura Silayukti, once a hermitage of the 11th-century Javanese priest Empu Kuturan, Erlangga's contemporary who purportedly introduced the caste system to Bali. Pura Telagamas is nearby and Pura Tanjungsari is about 100 meters farther along the headland. Watch fishing boats chug out at night and return with their catch in the morning.
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.
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 snorkling 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.
- Bias Tegul 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, black sand beach.
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 35,000. 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.
- Perama runs daily cruises from Lombok at Rp 200,000 and the Gili Islands at Rp 300,000 to Padang Bay one way. The trip takes 4 hours from Gili Trawangan and 6 hours from Senggigi (Lombok). Perama Express leaves Padang Bai daily at 1:30PM and arrives at Gili Trawangan Harbour at 7AM and at Senggigi (Lombok) at 9 AM.
- 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 9AM and arrives at Teluk Kode (Lombok) at 10AM and at Gili Trawangan Harbour at 10:30AM. In high season there's also a departure at 2PM.
- There is another boat service from Sampalan at Nusa Penida to Padang Bai. Travel time is about one hour.
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.
For day or half day tour bookings to the Place please contact Ketut Maryana at DriversBali.com
Phone: +62 81 2397 7705 (Mr. Ketut Maryana)