Padang Bai is a tranquil fishing village set along a picturesque curved bay in the east of Bali. It has a lovely beach lined with fishing boats and makes for a relaxing few days in the sun. Traditionally little more than a transit point to and from Lombok and the Gili Islands, nowadays it has a laid back travellers’ scene with plenty of cheap accommodation, dining and a handful of lively beach bars.
Excellent scuba diving and snorkeling attracts a steady flow of visitors and it is also one of Bali’s most delightful spots to simply kick back and soak up the sunshine. Despite its increasing popularity, Padang Bai still retains much of its traditional charm. The beachfront transforms into a vibrant marketplace at first light as fishermen return with the day’s catch from a flotilla of brightly-coloured outrigger boats. The town also has some historic temples overlooking the ocean and wherever you wander in town, the sacred volcano of Mount Agung offers an imposing backdrop.
Padang Bai guide – fishing villages and beach relaxation
It is a refreshing change of scenery compared to south Bali’s hectic beach resorts and is virtually free from the annoyances of noisy traffic and beach hawkers attempting to part you from your cash.
The pace of life is very laid back and provides the perfect environment for a few welcome days of pure relaxation. There is an excellent variety of beach cafes offering delicious home cooking at bargain prices.
Padang Bai is a busy port and the main departure point for travel eastwards to Lombok and beyond. Visitors can still choose a breezy hillside bungalow or a room right on the beach, all at unbeatable value. A short stroll off the beaten track will also discover some lovely secluded coves and imposing black sand beaches, often overlooked by some of the area’s most imposing Hindu temples.