Padang-Padang Beach, Bali

Padang-Padang beach was one of the first beaches I head right to in Bali. I read it somewhere that it is one of the secretive best beaches in Bali, though it turns out not that secretive anymore, it is still one of the best.

This beautiful beach is surrounded by big rocks and overgrown plants and monkeys. The beach is covered with huge rocks and small caves for exploration and when the tide is high, it is also good for swimming. Just beware of sharp corals and sea urchins.

Padang-Padang beach, Bali
Padang-Padang beach, Bali. Photo by Philip Al

Where is it

Located close to the Uluwatu temple in the southwest of Bali. If you are heading from Kuta or Ubud, just ride to the west and down the coastal line.
-> See Uluwatu Temple Guide

Why visit

If the crowd is not a problem, come here for the long sandy bays of golden sand. With all year consistent surf break, it is popular for surfers. Non-surfers come here to soak up the vibe and relax on the beach. Currents may be strong but swimming is possible with some care and sticking to the shallow waters.

Surfing at Padang-Padang, Bali
Surfing at Padang-Padang, Bali. Photo by Sam

When is the best time to go

All year round is a good time to go to Padang-Padang beach. If the sun is out, the more reason to get there as soon as possible, be it to surf or just to soak it all in.

Padang-padang Beach, Bali, Indonesia

Mossy rocks by the Padang-Padang beach. Photo by indrabastari

Where to stay

Suarga Padang-Padang

A luxurious beachfront villa with a grand mix of modern and Balinese interior design. One of the best places for honeymoon and couples due to its privacy. Best of all it is a sustainable resort and supports the local communities.
Check out the latest prices on Booking.com *.
Check out the latest prices on Agoda.com *.

Pinkcoco Bali

An alternative and more affordable option with prices starting only from 75 USD is this eclectic and modern resort. It is situated a short walk from the beach. Every room is air-conditioned with own private balcony. The service is also well known to be great and friendly!
Check out the latest prices on Booking.com *.
Check out the latest prices on Agoda.com *.

Dreamsea Bali

Another steal at a good price, this still a secret resort is located on the cliffs. Bright rooms with lots of sunlight and nature-inspired design that overlooks the seas. This place is true to its name. This place access directly to the secluded side of Padang-Padang beach.
Check out the latest prices on Booking.com *.
Check out the latest prices on Agoda.com *.

Get in and get around

You would need to get pass the narrow passage and steep steps to this hidden paradise. If you are coming by car or a bike, there is a parking space available before the steps at the beach entrance.

Nearby tourist attractions

Bingin Beach – one of the best beaches in Uluwatu. Well known for surfing but also for swimmers.

Uluwatu Temple – one of the best temples in Bali that should be visited to round up your trip in Bali.

Jimbaran beach is also just a stone’s throw away. Why not head there in the evening for a romantic sunset dinner by the beach.

Best Time to Visit Bali

When to visit Bali depends of course on what you are planning to do there and not too much on the weather. The weather, in general, is pretty stable in Bali, and here are some tips to find the best time to visit Bali. If you are going there for specific reasons or activities or festivals, then you might want to plan around it.

Nusa Dua Beach, Bali, Indonesia

Nusa Dua Beach, Bali. Photo by Adhi Rachdian

Weather in Bali

Bali’s has a tropical climate and it is considered to have only two seasons – dry or wet. The dry season is from April to October and the wet season from November to March.

In terms of weather, the best time to go to Bali is from July to August as the temperature is at its coolest at these times and also the driest in terms of rain. But it is also the peak season naturally, thus take note of the tourist crowds and do book in advance.

Also, note that the weather is also changing nowadays and it may differ from the usual schedule that we know about. Therefore, come to Bali with an open mind and heart and don’t let any weather changes affect your trip.

However, it is still possible to travel in the rainy season. It may still rain during the dry season and not rain for a week in the wet season, and it usually comes down in short blasts in the evening or late afternoons. Therefore if you must, traveling in Bali during the wet seasons is still possible if you do most of your sightseeing in the morning and early afternoons and rest in the evenings.

Pura Pura Tanah Lot @ Bali

Pura Tanah Lot, Bali. Photo by Kevin Poh

High/Peak and Low Season in Bali

From April to September will be the high season in Bali, as it is purportedly the dry season and also generally the summer holiday season in many parts of the world.

The quieter months are from October to March, and though it is considered the rainy seasons, most of the rains come only in the evening and leave pretty quickly. Therefore, it is still possible to enjoy Bali in this weather if you plan your days earlier and rest in the evening.

Best time to visit Bali

The best months to go to Bali in terms of weather and also the crowd are the shoulder seasons, that is either March or October. At these times, you will have a relatively dry weather yet without the tourist crowds!

Take note also of peak seasons, which are July and August during the summer vacations of the Europeans and mid-December to late January for the Australian school holidays. This is especially obvious in the famous touristy places like Bali, Lombok and Gili Islands.

Hike Volcano Mountain Batur, Bali, Indonesia

Hike Mount Batur, Bali. Photo by Kevin Poh

Festivals in Bali

If you want to visit some of the festivals in Bali, here are some of the popular and interesting festivals to visit that you might want to look out for:

February / March

Bau Nyale Festival – In February or March, hundreds of people will rush to Lombok to catch a glimpse of the first nyale (worm-like fish) at the huge fishing festival.

March / April

Bali Nyepi day – also known as the day of silence, is celebrated every year as the Hindu New Year (Saka new year). The date changes according to Balinese calendar every year but would usually fall between March and April.
Bali Spirit Festival – a gathering of world-renowned musicians, yogis and dancers from around the world for a celebration in April.

Opening Ceremony of Bali Arts Festival, Indonesia

Opening Ceremony of Bali Arts Festival. Photo by Pandu Adnyana

June / July

Bali Arts Festival – Normally around June-July, There will be performances from all remote corners of Indonesia, almost forgotten ritual and village dances, food and offerings, classical palace dance and even contemporary dances from the schools of Denpasar.
-> Check out more about Bali Art Festivals.

July / August

Bali Kite Festival – held yearly in July in Padang Galak Area, Sanur Beach, Bali. People from Denpasar villages will make their traditional giant kites and fly them in a competition.

October

Ubud Writer’s Festival – its mission is simply to create a literary event that encourages free speech among people from all walks of life, race and gender to celebrate the beauty of the written words.

Related articles:
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Top 10 Must Visit Places in Bali
Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Bali
Top 10 Best Beaches in Bali

Top 10 Things to Do in Gili Trawangan

Gili Trawangan is part of the trio of Gili Islands along with Gili Meno and Gili Air. At this paradise island that is part serene and part hype, you will be sure to find lots of things to do.

Affectionately known as ‘Gili T’, this island has a reputation as a party spot for a reason. Half the island is dedicated to late-night bars and loud music. The far side of the island, however, is just as beautiful as its two sisters. The beaches are clean and beautiful and make a great base for a day of swimming and snorkelling. Again, there are lots of opportunities to dive, be it your first or hundredth time.

Cycle and explore island

One of the best activities around here is cycling, as there are no cars on Gili Trawangan. By cycling, you will also find yourself exploring the island in depth. One can easily rent a bicycle here on Trawangan and you can spend few hours circumventing the island.

Gili Islands, Indonesia

Birdeye’s view of the islands. Photo by yeowatzup

Enjoy the viewpoint

Gili Trawangan is known for its highest point which is aptly named ‘The Viewpoint’. It takes around half an hour to walk there from the central hub of the island but it is well worth it for the views over the sea and towards the other islands in this part of Indonesia like Lombok and Bali.

Sunrise at Gili Air, Lombok

Sunrise at Gili Air, Lombok. Photo by brian

Catch Gili’s famous swing on the sea

Find the famous swing on the sea and get a beautiful picture with the romantic sunset as backdrop. This swing can be found on the west of Gili Trawangan at Ombak Sunset resort hotel *.

The swing at Gili Islands at Ombak Sunset, Indonesia

The swing at Gili Islands at Ombak Sunset resort hotel *. Photo by Dennis Keller

Diving

The Gili Islands have some of the best dive spots in the country as the conditions here are clear and calm. Most people choose to dive off the coast from Gili Trawangan as this island has the best variety of dive shops and diving packages. Although not one of the top sites to dive in Indonesia, Gili Islands still offer quite a diving experience with some (harmless) sharks, rays, turtles and more.

Snorkelling

One of the best and easiest way to enjoy the sea is by snorkeling. You will find lots of snorkeling rentals in Gili Trawangan so just grab one and go spotting turtles, colourful fish, and maybe even a baby shark for far less than the price of a diving excursion from Gili Trawangan.

Gili Trawangan, Lombok, Indonesia
Gili Trawangan, Lombok, Indonesia. Photo by Luis Medina

Take a boat tour

A boat tour can be easily arranged from Gili Trawangan with its many operators. They offer boat trips ranging from a simple trip between the islands to a luxurious glass bottom boat tour of the surrounding seas. If you charter a boat to island hop, it can coast around IDR 300,000 depending on your haggling skills. But if you want to check out the other islands more cheaply, you can also get the local ferry for IDR 30,000.

Boats at Gili Trawangan beach, Lombok, Indonesia

Boats at Gili Trawangan beach, Lombok. Photo by yeowatzup

Visit the local night market

The local night market here is something not to be missed. Every evening a night market will be set up in the main square of Gili Trawangan at around dusk. This is also one of the best places to grab some dinner on the island. You will find many local stalls selling traditional snacks such as grilled satay and spicy corn on the cob or you may go for some simple fried noodle or rice dishes. The food here is usually cheaper than the restaurants or cafes on the island but it is equally if not more delicious.

 Night Food market at  Gili Trawangan, Indonesia

Night Food market at Gili Trawangan. Photo by Henrik Palm

Eat some seafood

If one is on a paradise island, eating loads of fresh seafood is a must. There are many local restaurants here that will display the day’s catch. There are no better ways to enjoy the fresh seafood than having them simply grilled over coconut husks and served with steamed rice.

Grill seafood at Gili Trawangan Gili Islands, Indonesia

Grill seafood at Gili Trawangan. Photo by Marie

Nightlife Gili Trawangan

Gili Trawangan is known for being the ‘party island’ but don’t expect this to be anything like the nightlife scene in Kuta in Bali. Nonetheless, you will find a range of beach bars here that play music well into the night. Some venues will have special themed nights and dance parties, so look out for it. If you prefer a more relaxing evening, then head to Evolution Bar for live bands music.

 Live Band at Evolution Bar, Gili Trawangan, Indonesia

Live Band at Evolution Bar, Gili Trawangan. Photo by Reinardt Gilfillan

Try an open-air cinema

This may not sound like an activity you thought you would do here but it is really an experience itself. If you happen to know one coming up, do give it a try. At the open air cinema, you can sit on bean bags and enjoy a movie on a big screen under the stars. The most famous open-air cinema takes place on the main beach on Gili Trawangan. But many guesthouses and hotels here have noted its popularity and have set up their own open-air cinemas too.


Best Accommodations on Gili Trawangan

Pearl Trawangan
A beachfront resort with its own outdoor pool and bar, this place is ideal for those who want to relax in style. Styled with rustic designs, the individual huts are unique and inviting. Themed with a tropical island feel and filled with lush gardens, it is truly a dream to stay here. Prices starting from 140 USD.
Check out the latest prices and reviews at Booking.com *
Check out the latest prices and reviews at Agoda.com *

Desa Dunia Beda
Another beachfront resort, this one features spacious standalone bungalows and villas with a traditional wood interior. Each villa has its own private terraces and there is also an outdoor pool. Prices starting from 120 USD.
Check out the latest prices and reviews at Booking.com *.
Check out the latest prices and reviews at Agoda.com *

-> For more read Gili Trawangan Best Accommodations

Related articles:
Gili Islands
Lombok and Gili Islands Travel Guide
Top 10 Things to do on the Gili Islands
Top 10 Things to Do in Lombok
Top 10 Things to Do in Bali

Where’s the best places to Stay in Ubud

Go no further if you are looking at where to stay in Ubud. Our guide will give you the best accommodation choices ranging from luxury to budget.

With so many things to do in Ubud, staying here is a good idea. Moreover, its central location helps to easily explore the rest of Bali.

Luxury (from 250 USD)

COMO Shambhala Estate, Ubud

Nestled in a private location deep in the tropical greenery, with just 15 minutes drive from Ubud, this hotel offers the best luxurious retreat in nature for two. Each room features wooden furniture and flowing white adornments against a backdrop of greenery, with relaxing outdoor terraces and open bathrooms. This place is almost like in a dream.
Check out the latest prices on Booking.com *
Check out the latest prices on Agoda.com *

Hanging Gardens of Bali, Ubud

Villas inspired by the ancient Hanging Garden, you will find this place simply out of this world. Overlooking the Ayung River, the villas come with private infinity pool with a superbly beautiful view of the surrounding greens, perfect for a couple. The rooms are well designed with a hint of Balinese interior with lots of wood and soft plushes. There are also a 5-star facilities of spa and dining options.
Check out the latest prices on Booking.com *
Check out the latest prices on Agoda.com *

Uma by Como

A popular boutique hotel located on the hillside in Ubud. It is far enough from the hustle and bustle of the city but yet close enough to the tourist attractions around. Its villas are nestled within beautiful gardens with private terraces overlooking the valley. The breakfasts are well loved and the free daily yoga classes are highly rated.
Check out the latest prices on Booking.com *
Check out the latest prices on Agoda.com *

Mid-Range (from 50-200 USD)

The Purist Villas & Spa

This is another popular place to stay in Ubud, as it’s a stylish boutique villa complete with meal and spa facilities. Amidst tropical greeneries and a private pool, you will find modern Balinese inspired villa.
Check out the latest prices on Booking.com *
Check out the latest prices on Agoda.com *

Green Bird Villa, Ubud

Tucked away in Ubud, just 15 minutes walk to the famous Monkey Forest, this affordable villa features eclectic designs with a common theme true to its name. There are trees and greens surrounding the pool and the individual villas. The high ceiling with wood interior is definitely a unique experience itself. Recommended for couple who appreciate unique designs and experiences.
Check out the latest prices on Booking.com *
Check out the latest prices on Agoda.com *

Sri Ratih Cottage, Ubud

For those who is looking for unpretentious comfort with Balinese charm. Located in Ubud village, our favourite place to stay in Bali, the Balinese style cottages with carved wood furnishings are set in beautiful gardens with a pool. A double room with breakfasts start only from 90 USD.
Check out the latest prices on Booking.com *
Check out the latest prices on Agoda.com *

Budget (below 50 USD)

Nick’s Pension, Ubud

For those who are seeking a mixture of peace and action in the heart of Bali – Ubud. The rooms come with traditional Indonesia architecture and air-condition. There are also a swimming pool, restaurant, Wifi and parking provided.
Check out the latest prices on Booking.com *
Check out the latest prices on Agoda.com *

Related articles:
Top 10 Best Places to Stay in South & Central Bali
Best Luxury Hotels in Bali
Best Beachfront Hotels, Resorts and Villas in Bali
Best Budget Hotels in Bali