Padangbai is a picturesque town that serves as a port for the ferry connecting Bali with Lombok. While many simply pass through on their way to Lombok, many more stop in Padangbai long enough to appreciate just how much this small beach town has to offer in its own right.
Padangbai is situated within a small bay in eastern Bali and features a pretty strip of sand lapped by turquoise waters. Due to it becoming more popular with passing travelers, basic yet comfortable accommodation and friendly local cafes are the name of the game here, and the town has a definite beachy backpacker’s vibe to it.
There are some fantastic diving and snorkeling opportunities to be had in the waters around the bay, with a number of operators set up to cater for this demand. Other than that, the pace of life is slow, with most visitors opting for a simple life of soaking up the sun, enjoying the beach, and feasting on delicious fresh seafood.
The national bus company, Perama, serves Padangbai with shuttle buses leaving from Kuta, Sanur, Ubud, Candidasa, and Lovina. It’s advisable to reserve tickets one day in advance. Regular bemos (converted vans/minibuses) also serve Padangbai, and these depart from Batubulan terminal in Denpasar. There are also public ferries from Lombok to Padangbai every hour, 24 hours a day, plus fast boat services to and from the Gili Islands.