Padangbai is a small fishing village in East Bali. Complete with 3 white sand beaches, in Padangbai that might take your fancy. Back in 2004, Charlie Sellers visited Padangbai and gave us his impression.
Charlie Sellers’ view of Padangbai Bali
Predominantly a fishing village, Padang Bai still has enough tourism aspirations to qualify as a great alternative to Kuta – it has plenty of budget accommodations, restaurants, internet cafes (although slow and a little unreliable), beaches and all the other things travellers need…but at least in the off season it can seem more like a working town. It is also the home of the ferry for Lombok, and very occasionally cruise ships drop anchor and disgorge passengers for a brief visit. From Kuta you can reach here by Perama bus in ~4 hours (~35,000 rupiah) with a short pause in Ubud, and you’ll find it to be a small town with only about 2.5 streets that you’ll never get lost in.
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If you arrive by bus, you will be met by a small throng of locals pitching their guesthouse/hotel/homestay/losmen/bungalow, ranging from a little lower in price than you will see in Kuta to a maximum of just moderate in price – I find that talking to them can be a good way to start looking for a place, at least until you settle in and can look more closely. Padang Bai has only a few dozen small accomodations and they are mostly in the “budget” category (
Padangbai can be accessed from Kuta, via Bypass Sanur, to Bypass Kusamba, turning off before Candi Dasa. Driving time 2 hours. No need to book accommodation, as there are plenty of budget places on the main beach. These days Padangbai has seen a bit of a revival, with the Topi Inn ( the large A-frame place at the end of the main beach popular with backpackers and other developments including a large villa site on the hill overlooking Blue Lagoon.