Living in Padangbai
After getting my PADI Open Water certification about a year ago, I quickly racked up my PADI certifications and got myself ready to do my Divemaster internship. I decided that the three months I have off for summer break was the perfect time for me to go do the course. The first step was deciding on a location, Indonesia, the Philippines or back to East Africa where I did my PADI Open Water and Advanced. When I did the research, there was no question Indonesia was the place and the Island of Bali would be the most accessible location for a college student from North America to get to.
Choosing a program proved much more difficult. I had to consider location, course timeframe and of course, the cost. Like most people I went to Google and went to Tripadvisor where I found a dive shop with amazing reviews in this small town on the east side of the island of Bali. I had heard not so great things about the south of Bali so I found OK Divers diving resort in Padangbai to be the perfect place! Their program was pretty flexible and the diving staff was willing to work with me to make a course that fit my limited time in village of Padangbai Perfectly. Some of the aspects of a Divemaster Course I was looking for was the size. I’ve heard of massive dive companies that just mass-produce Divemasters and PADI Instructors and that was certainly not what I was looking for. I wanted a place where I would be able to learn comfortably and in a hands on, individual way. The only way I thought I would get this was to come to OK Divers who had about three or four Divemaster Trainees at a time.
I am three weeks in now and have learned a lot. The diving in Padangbai is by far some of the best in Bali with a ton of dive sites to choose from and a hefty amount of aquatic life, I saw two Rhinopia on my third and sixth dive here! As amazing as the scenery is underwater, the changing currents add an exciting and slightly technical aspect to the diving here, that can give you very different experiences from dive site to dive site.
I had my apprehensions about Padangbai, coming from a big city, I wasn’t sure how living in a small port town would be for me. Padangbai has an energy that the south just lacks entirely. Padangbai is a place where a foreigner can really experience Balinese culture and traditions. On that note, the night life, and 24 hour Balinese restaurants open by the ferry terminal just make Padangbai that much better.