Padang Padang – Surfer’s Heaven
Our next stop after Kuta was Padang Padang beach, where we spent two days. Located in the souther tip of Bali, this is one of the best-known areas on the island for both aspiring and adept surfers. The nearby villages/beaches offer similar sights of the Indian Ocean, but we chose Padang Padang for its unusual beach.
We stayed at the Devata Giri Homestay, a simple homestay with super friendly staff. They charged us 16 Euro/night for a room with a balcony and air conditioning. The room and the bathroom were both very clean and neat, and the staff was very accommodating. On the downside, the stay didn’t include breakfast – but this dilemma was solved by visiting the cafes and shops down the street, which offered plenty of budget-friendly options.
It’s worth noting, though, that most of the food places here (except for two homestay restaurants) are more expensive than in Kuta, where, again, the competition and the fact that visitors tend to stay there longer drive the price down. This goes also for anything you buy at Padang Padang beach – from overpriced sarongs to surfboard rentals that charge twice as much as in Kuta.
Padang Padang Beach
The beach is rather small, but very pretty. I’m not sure how it is during other time of the year, but during our stay the sea was very calm and easy to actually swim in. The best thing to do, however, is to come earlier in the day to avoid the crowds – yes, they have actual tour buses coming to this beach as a stopover on the way to the Uluwatu temple.
So at around 2-3 pm you find yourself surrounded by flocks of Chinese tourists taking selfies with your pasty ass in the background.
The other thing that attracts the tourists here is the view – as soon as you climb up the 500,000 stairs going up from the beach (seriously, do this beach trip twice a day and you won’t need your supersquats anymore) you get a gorgeous view of the Indian Ocean, the cliffs near Padang Padang, as well as of the beaches further up the coast of Bali. For a good photo op, head to Blue Heaven (past the bridge and up the hill) – they have a rooftop tearrace and a cliffside garden with an infinity pool, and the staff there don’t mind if you forego buying a drink and just come in to snap a few pictures.
Tips for This Location
All in all, for me, personally, it was just enough to spend a couple days at Padang Padang. However, it probably would have been wildly different had we rented a motorbike and explored the other beaches in the area. if you’re experienced with motorbikes, I would strontly recommend this, since you’ll have the added flexibility of exploring the surrounding beaches without spending a fortune on taxis. Usually, the homestay you’re at will have bikes for rent – but always take pictures before and note down any damages, in case someone is keen to scam you. Normal bicycles are not recommended since it’s quite hilly, and the lack of sidewalks renders the area less walkable than desired.