Padangbai, More than just a Harbor Town in East Bali
Padangbai is a remote coastal town area in East Bali. This small town is popular for its harbor, the main harbor that connects Bali and Lombok. Padangbai is much more than just a harbor town though.
You can find many natural attractions in Padangbai. You will find a very laid-back retreat with many secluded beaches and also several dive spots. You can also discover traditional salt farming activities in its black sand beaches. Here are some of the best attractions of Padangbai.
This beach is located in a very crowded bay. The waters on this beach are always filled with traditional boats, ferries, and motorized boats that take passengers to Lombok or other destinations. Since the traffic is very crowded, the waters here are not ideal for swimming even though the white sand beach is quite beautiful and the water is very clear.
Wates Yeh Malet Beach
This beach has deep black sand and is relatively free from tourists. The main activities here are salt farming and fishing. This beach can be seen quite clearly from Jalan Tengading, including the number of fishing boats parked on the beach.
There are several stalls serving traditional food, soft drinks, and snacks. Local residents often use this quiet beach to fish or play volleyball.
Blue Lagoon beach
This is a hidden beach located north of the port. This beach is quite small, only about 60 meters long. This place is also very popular for divers who want to enjoy the underwater beauty of Padangbai. Here you can find various marine species such as reef sharks, napoleon wrasse, stonefish, moray, and many other critters.
Bamboo House Pengalon Beach
As the name suggests, this place is a structure built entirely from bamboo. The shape is very striking and you just can’t miss it. This building was actually built for ‘7 Temples Eco Beach Venue’ for Bali Unite, an event that was supposed to be held in 2016. But because it did not get the required permit, the construction was abandoned. This place is still a very interesting selfie spot.
Bias Tugel beach
Only 150 meters from Padangbai port, you can find the Bias Tugel beach. Even though it is near the bustling port, this white sand beach is relatively quiet and provides an ideal atmosphere to relax. You can be lazy all day here, relaxing under the beach umbrella installed by a local beverage seller. You can also swim or snorkel in its waters.
Penataran Agung Temple Padangbai
Not too far from Padang Bai Harbor, you can find a temple complex with a grand gate. This temple is named Pura Penataran Agung and was built in the 16th century. People believe that this temple was built by the legendary Dang Hyang Nirartha. Like all temples in Bali, this place is always visited by Hindus who wish to pray.
Just like Yeh Malet, you can find a salt farm in Kusamba. All the processes of harvesting salt from the sea are done traditionally. The sea water is splashed onto the soft black sand. The sun’s heat will evaporate the water and leave the salt crystals which are then filtered and harvested. Here, you can also buy salt directly from farmers at a relatively cheap price.
This is one of the oldest temples in East Bali. Built in the 11th century, Pura Silayukti is located northeast of the port of Padangbai. This temple often holds a ceremony of purification. If you are lucky, you might be able to get blessings with holy water from a Hindu priest there.
Padangbai is a small, quiet seafront area. If there is no port, Padangbai may be one of the quietest tourist destinations in eastern Bali. Although the area is not too large, Padangbai has many hidden charms that you just have to visit.