bali Gili Islands

3 days in Padang bai

padang bai harbourWe left Ubud for Padang bai, a little seaside town where everyone catches a ferry the various Gili islands. Most people overlook it as a place to stay, as there is not much there, and its generally a place to stop over on your way to and from the Gili islands.

We checked into Serangan Inn II accommodation near the harbour, which was located in a great spot that was within easy walking distance to the harbour, as well as restraunts and the beaches.

We decided to spend a couple of days, and we were glad we did. We discovered a great beach called White Sand beach, which was awesome.

It was not easy to find at first, we had to walk through local housing area and through some back roads, past chickens and cows, and under a fence, to get to the secluded beach.

We knew about the beach via a random post online, and after not knowing if we were going in the right direction, after about half an hour we were relieved and excited to see the blue water, palm trees and white sand in the distance. At this stage we we felt like we were in desperate need of a dip in the ocean, as it was what I call ‘poes hot’, and we were dripping with sweat!

It was well worth the walk, the beach is clean, with soft white powdery sand, and lived up to its name of “white sand beach”. There were a few rustic beach “shacks”, selling delicious cheap local food, and drinks, right on the beach.

We felt really safe leaving our belongings on the beach, something we would never dream of doing in Cape Town, and you can easily spend the entire day there swimming in the warm water and relaxing on the beach.

his was our first proper taste of snorkeling in Indonesia and we were lucky to see a moray eel, two turtles, and lots of small fish. The evenings were very quite and relaxed, definitely not a ‘party’ town. We tried a different local restaurant every night, and on the last night while walking around, we discovered a tiny local pub that had a live band playing covers of rock and alternative music. We were surprised that they were actually pretty talented musicians.

Since this is a main stop on the way to all of the Gili Islands, there is loads of travellers coming and going all the time, and almost every local wants to sell you a discount ticket for the ferry, so negotiating a cheap ticket for one of the fast boats to the Gilli islands is pretty easy.

On the morning of the third day in Padang bai, we caught the fast boat to Gili Air island. All the travellers congregate near the harbour in the morning to board the various fast boats the the various Gili islands and Lombok.

After around 2 hours we arrived at Lombok first to drop and collect travellers, followed by Gili Air, where we got off.