Padang Bai – Indonesia – GRANDPAcking Costs

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AUGUST 2015:


My costs start in Kuta, Bali and include:

  • A minivan from my hotel to Padang Bai
  • 8 nights / 9 days in Padang Bai
  • 3 days of scooter rental (including petrol)
  • 10Gb of fast Mobile Data

N.B. I was in Padang Bai in High Season so I was paying ‘top dollar’ for everything. Although this may have made some difference to my costs, given the costs that I negotiated and what I did, I don’t think that those differences ended up being significant.


For more information, read my post on Padang Bai.

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Read About – GRANDPAcking Costs if you don’t know how to interpret my figures.


Padang Bai GRANDPAcking Costs


Accommodation: My accommodation had a harbour-view balcony.

Transport: In Padang Bai I went everywhere by foot. For 3 days I rented a 110cc Honda Scooter at IDR50k / Day (negotiated down from IDR60k / day). Petrol averaged an additional IDR18k / day (but I travelled over 300 kms in those 3 days).

Communications & Fees: At Kuta airport I purchased a Telkomsel SIMpati package for IDR200k which provided me a total of 6Gb of Mobile Data for 1 month. Once in Padang Bai, because the hotel internet was unusable, I had to buy a 4.5Gb top up.

Food: I averaged about IDR70k / day but I didn’t follow the GRANDPAcking ‘standard’; I didn’t have any fruit juices.

LIVING Costs: I tended to have a drink in the evenings with the expats at the cheap bar on the waterfront south of the market square; I averaged 3 large Bintangs at IDR30k each. Laundry costs IDR15k / kilo for washed and ironed; you should be able to get it for IDR10k / kilo for washed and folded.

My ‘Cost of Existing / Day’ was IDR321k / NZ$37 / US$24 / €22 / £16. This put a pleasant roof over my head, gave me necessary transport & other basic necessities, fed me 3 times each day in a ‘local cafe’, and paid for my refreshments.

My available ‘LIVING Funds’ each day were IDR353k / NZ$43 / US$28 / €26 / £18.

I spent most of my time relaxing and ‘soaking in’ the Padang Bai atmosphere. As usual, the majority was spent on Beer.

My actual GRANDPAcking costs came in at IDR412k / NZ$49 / US$32 / €29 / £21 per day. I had plenty of LIVING funds to have fun as and when I wanted to.


Accommodation: You can get places for less than IDR200k / night but they will be (a) exclusive of breakfast and / or (b) lesser quality and / or (c) set back from the waterfront – so, at that price, why would you? Get a nice one on the waterfront. Negotiate hard and offer cash up front and you may be able to get them down closer to IDR150k / night (there’s no harm in trying).

Transport: I include the usual budget to get out of town once a week on an adventure.

Food: There are several cheap options around town for IDR20k / meal or less. This isn’t just Nasi Goreng and Mee Goreng… there must be 20-30 different local dishes to be had at that price.

The ‘Costs Of Existence’ of 2 GRANDPAckers is about IDR360k / NZ$42 / US$27 / €25 / £18 per day.

This is about IDR314k per day to LIVE on (i.e. 47% of your GRANDPAcking budget).

With that money you could:

  • Upgrade your Dinner for 2 and eat in one of the best Restaurants and have money left
  • Drink 10 large Bintangs down the Marco Inn
  • Rent 2 scooters with petrol for the day and have money left
  • Buy 2 full day snorkelling trips and have money left

Having such funds available day after day means that every day is a good day.


I would, normally, have spent a lot more on LIVING. I would have, normally, been out snorkelling or SCUBA diving (both are meant to be very good in this area).

However, I had a couple of infected cuts that still had not healed from TRACC Pom Pom Island. The one on my right foot was exactly where diving fins rub – so wearing fins was out of the question.

I was cleaning and dressing my cuts every day. I needed to keep them dry so that they would heel.

Also, for the last 3 days, my tonsils ‘flared up’ again so I was a bit feverish and on antibiotics and panadol… they seem to do this (on average) every 2 months! I’ll have to talk to my doctor about it when I get back to NZ late August…

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