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Padang Padang Beach

Awesome beach town on Bali's southern coast

Padang Padang beach map
Padang Padang is a special beach.  It's a small beach, a wedge of sand between a chasm of limestone cliffs. Its guarded by a Balinese temple and a tribe of mischievous monkeys that roam these hillsides. They scavenge for sunglasses, pee on tourists, and get a lot of their photos shared on Instagram under hashtags #bali, #monkey, #naughty. The sand is soft, sandy and the waves crest over in perfect barrels.  We run a beach resort just next to the beach and we thought we should introduce this beautiful beach to our guests. Hopefully, they'll consider staying at our awesome resort.
Padang Padang beach draws visitors from all walks of life. Surfers come for the waves. Travellers that don't surf come to enjoy the pristine sand and waters of the Bukit coastline. Yoga practitioners come for retreats to be close to the ocean and meditate. Recently, we've been even getting package tourists coming to visit the location where "Eat, Pray, Love" was filmed. 
Padang Padang beach guide
Padang Padang beach has a pretty dramatic entrance. The roadside beside the beach has got this festive feel to it. There's usually a few vendors touting sarongs, offering transport, or selling bakso on the side of the road. If you got a strong stomach and want to try do some authentic Indonesian snacking, order up a bowl of 'mystery meat' noodles, pay your 5000 rupiahs add a dab of hot sauce and you'll be ready to go. Perfect beach day food, Indo-style. 
First you got to pay parking. Yeah parking sucks, we didn't have to pay parking 6 years ago. Well it wouldn't have been worthwhile at that point to collect parking. As of early 2015, it's 2000 rupiahs for a motorbike, or whatever the parking guy can get from you. To get to the beach, you have to go through this giant split in the rock.  It looks literally like by some magic force, somebody opened up the mountain and created an entrance.  If you remember Ali Baba and the Forty thieves, you'll get the idea.  
things to do in Uluwatu
Once you get to the beach, it's a pretty typical laid-back Bali beach scene.  You got the ladies hawking sarongs. You got some local dudes that rent surfboards and sell cold drinks.  You got lovely ladies from Europe, Oz and Brazil sunning themselves. The Asian ladies are all tucked under umbrellas or in the shade, trying to avoid the sun. You get the surfer dudes grasping their boards and paddling out over the lagoon. During the summer months, the beach can get super busy and it becomes a bit packed. That's when it's time to head over to Bingin or Balangan to avoid the crowds. 
things to do in Padang Padang
More than just the beach, there's a new town that's emerging in the area. It's probably one of the easiest areas to spend overnight in South Bali.  You've got ATMs and money changers. No supermarket yet, but there's one just eight minutes up the hill towards Ungasan village. There's a good selection of Italian, Mexican, Thai and even Indonesian food. Indo food took the longest to get here for some reason. 
Padang Padang town can be a sleepy little town the waves are down. It's the largest village in the Uluwatu area and the most easy to overnight. You can rent a surfboard, eat out, buy groceries and change money easily. 
cheap places to eat in Padang Padang
Quality pasta and pizza can be had for pretty cheap at Trattoria. It's at the entrance of Pink CoCo. We personally love the calzone farcito, a stuffed crust folded pizza with ham, lots of cheese and a sausage baked into the crust. The Tortellini with Panna is also pretty yummy.  
cheap places to eat in Padang Padang
Warung Heboh II just opened on the entrance to Bingin. You grab a plate and load it up with rice. You get to choose red rice or white rice. You can then select some yummy Indonesian dishes including pepper chicken, chili eggs, crispy tempe or stewed squash. If I stuff my plate, it's usually about $3 USD. Deal!
Fun Facts about Padang Padang Beach
Padang Padang appears in a few scenes from Eat, Pray Love. The final scene in the film was shot here. 
A Taiwanese fishing ship crashed up on the reef in summer of 2010. Turns out there was a mutiny aboard, the crew allegedly murdered the captain and scuttled the ship. It turned out to be too big to move so the locals ended up burning it. 
Rip Curl hosts Bali's largest surf competition at Padang Padang beach every year. There's no set date. It sort of happens between July and August when the waves are just right. 
The local neighbours hold a BBQ party every Saturday night on the beach. It's kind of like the classic Jimbaran beach BBQ experience but with a lot less tourists.
Padang Padang beach is also occasionally occupied by Balinese locals to conduct religious ceremonies. 
This article was authored by Jing and Wayana, we've been hosts on Airbnb for 2 years and we have over 160+ positive reviews as of January 2015.  We have a villa rental service in Bali and we love to explore, discover new beaches and restaurants. We enjoy meeting as many of our guests as possible. 
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