Upon arrival at the small beach resort of Padangbai, don't be put off by the busy pier. Padangbai hides great coves and dive spots behind its hills. Quiet Biastugel lies behind a small hill to the west, while Padang Kurungan, or Blue Lagoon, lies to the north, nearer to the accommodations. Rows of colorful outriggers are lined up on the sandy beach, east of the pier. There is a tourist information office at the harbor. Made's Cafe provides diving services at 50 euro a dive. Only simple accommodations and restaurants are available here.
Padangbai is a main departure point for Lombok and other islands. A ferry leaves the harbor for Lombok every two hours from 9 am. For information on ferries to Lombok, call the harbor office.
There are private boats to Nusa Penida (landing in Buyuk) for Rp.4.500 per person. These only go to Nusa Penida and leave early in the morning. Depending on the boat size, they can carry either 20 or 40 people for the one-half hour journey. Find the boats on the beach just east of the big ferry terminal. They leave between 7 am and 2 pm; same schedule coming home from Nusa Penida. A charter will cost about 7 euro if you bargain well. To sail directly to Nusa Lembongan you should leave from Sanur.
There are direct buses from Padangbai to Jakarta for Rp. 400.000. Public bemos to Padangbai from Denpasar (via Batubulan and Klungkung) charge Rp. 5.000 to those who bargain well.
A few small restaurants are scattered around Padangbai. Topi Inn's attractive sandy floor restaurant serves a wide range of food and is famous for its fried fish prepared by the owner herself. Pantai Ayu Restaurant, right on the beach, is always full. Chinese and seafood dishes. The pleasant English-speaking manager lbu Komang presents you with small gifts a krupuk udang to welcome you and a cute out rigger souvenir to take home. She has also a few rooms for rent: 2.50-10 euro.
Last revised on January 28, 2010
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