Bali has numerous surfing breaks, and as any good surfer will know, the best breaks are down on the Bukit. The Bukit Peninsula is the ‘upside down mushroom’ shaped chunk of land at the southern end of the island. Its mostly reef breaks and this afternoon I went to have a look at Padang Padang.
Break: Padang Padang
Location: Bukit, between Impossibles and Uluwatu.
Directions: Bypass towards Nusa Dua, Uluwatu turn off, past Dreamland turnoff, right hand turn towards Bingin, down hill to Padang Padang.
Driving time from Kuta: 25 minutes.
Accommodation: Yes close to cliff top. No review yet. Locals will probably let you crash in their bamboo shack on the beach for a few rupiah.
Access: Beach is 2 minutes from road. Have to leave vehicles at the top of the stairs on the road.
Break: Fast left-hander for experienced surfers only.
Facilities: A couple of bamboo shacks selling food / drinks.
Beach: Yellow sand, with shady areas.
Padang Padang is located on the western side of the Bukit, after Impossibles and before Uluwatu. To get to Padang Padang, I took the Bypass towards Nusa Dua, the Uluwatu turn off, and the right hand turn towards Bingin, that loops around the western Bukit, passing a few beaches.
At the bottom of a steep hill is a parking area off to the right and drink seller. The stairs leading down to the beach are right there. I recognized a couple of the ladies from the last time I came and they looked after my helmet. Padang Padang has a great wave, though the reef is known to be jagged. One reason I like visiting is there is a nice beach and its close to the road. Some beaches like Bingin require you hike down stairs for 10 minutes. At Padang Padang, its a quick 2 minutes down some steps, and through a narrow crack in the cliff.
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At 4pm today it was high tide. Wind was almost non existent and there was minimal swell. Still 10 or so people were out catching the occasion small wave. Padang Padang has a few beach vendors, as well as a basic warung, that sells drinks. I got a small Bintang for 9,000rp after bargaining. Down on the beach maybe 12 tourists in all enjoyed the sunshine and the shady part of the beach. When it high tide at Padang Padang you can swim. Low tide means exposed reef and not much for the family tourist of surfer.
There is accommodation close to Padang Padang, though when the surf is working in June-Sept, it might be full. There is plenty of accommodation on the cliff tops overlooking other surf breaks within 15 minutes, including Bingin and Balangan.
Riding home around 5pm I said goodbye to the ladies at the drink stand and headed back to Jl. Uluwatu, then took a left turn in the direction of Dreamland. One thing I hate about the Bukit is the police station in Dreamland. As I came up today 3 cops were outside looking for westerners to flag down. Suspecting they would be having a feeding frenzy at 5pm, I considered my options. The police station is located on the left side of the road going up to Dreamland, just around the corner before the big entrance off to the right. Coming down the hill I knew as soon as I passed the entrance and swung around the corner they might be waiting. My solution was to find myself a dark blue SUV traveling fast down the hill, tailgate him as close as possible and rely on surprise and speed to get me past any cop activity.
The plan was moving along well and as we swung round the corner I saw the cops had gone in for the day. People were friendly at Padang Padang and I think it would be a good place for a relaxing afternoon.