- Beach / Seaside Resort
- Water Sports
Padang Bai was one of my favourite stops in Bali. I stayed there twice and each time I had a great deal of trouble leaving again. It is also an ideal place for a family holiday.
In the town centre, I found several bars, cafés and very nice restaurants that serve delicious fish and seafood dishes. It is a terrific diving spot and fans will be delighted, even if with just my flippers, my mask and my snorkel I was already able to have fun.
Padang Bai's beaches are paradisiacal : the water is transparent, the sand more white than white! Some locals offered to give me a traditional Balinese massage right there on my beach towel and I sampled fresh pineapple and coconut, all the while enjoying this postcard setting: heavenly!
After a week long road trip, we stopped in a welcoming home stay. With only a few rooms, a relaxation space with pouffes of all colours and bamboo furniture, it was a zen atmosphere only a few steps from a paradisical beach.
We took a straight path which sunk into the forest. At the end of the path there was a beautiful discovery: further down was the beach and its two traditional warungs.
Further away, one after another, Balinese people in white ceremonial clothing were walking along the length of the rocks with their arms full of offerings. We were able to chat with them when they returned, it was a 6 month party for a child. I learned a lot about the local culture thanks to them.
In spite of its big port and some unattractive streets, Padangbai still has a certain charm. The main street runs along a white, sandy beach, the pretty bay is surrounded by wooded hills and the wide selection of restaurants and hotels (suited to all budgets) were enough to make me stay a few days.
At each end, broken up the reef, you'll find the lovely beaches of Bias Tugal to the south and the Blue Lagoon to the north. I particularly liked the latter. The first is idyllic, but more suited to lazing around. The second is better if you want to go snorkelling. If you don't have the right equipment, you can hire all you need at the beach, so as to make the most of the amazing corals and fish. I even came across some curious squid!
It's perfectly possible to organise a diving holiday. It's a laid back place, there are loads of dive centres, as well interesting, varied sights. I highly recommend Tulamben where there's a superb shipwreck dive, Tepekong for its young sharks and Manta Point for its 'Queens of the ocean' - manta rays.