Padang Bai is a sheltered little bay in the eastern part of Bali. It’s idyllic enough but there is a downside – it is also the place where rust bucket ferries depart for the long and slow trip (anything from 5-7 hours) to Lombok. As a result, there is a lot of traffic coming through - mostly tatty trucks and belching buses.
But is it worth coming to Padang Bai, even if you are not getting the ferry across to Lombok? Well, possibly it is. If you are heading north to Amed, for example, and are too tired to continue your journey, Padang Bai is a good place to stop given the availability of affordable - albeit rather basic - accommodations.
What makes Padangbai worth visiting, though, is its secluded beach called the Blue Lagoon.
It’s located to the north of the village and you just have to climb a small hill to get there. At the top there is a small carpark and a signpost showing the way. If in doubt just ask for directions.
The Blue Lagoon is certainly a very nice spot and doesn’t get too crowded. When we were there, there were only a handful of other tourists - a far cry from the mayhem at Kuta! If you are lucky and the sea is calm – which is not very often! – the snorkeling is said to be pretty good. Otherwise just lie back and soak up the sun!