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The busy port of Padang Bai sits on a very pretty bay surrounded by hills with easy access to some pleasant nearby beaches. In East Bali’s Karangasem region, it lies smack bang in the middle of the coast between Sanur and Amed. To the majority of travellers, Padang Bai is just a gateway to Lombok or the Gilis, but this charming little village has a relaxing vibe and is worth a stop as a destination in its own right.
If you do, you may find yourself hanging around longer than intended, and it’s a good base to explore East Bali. In recent years, the number and quality of both places to stay and places to eat has significantly increased. The majority still cater to the budget end, but there are a few decent midrange places too — and up on the hill, top-range Bloo Lagoon, if you are planning a splurge.
Padang Bai offers some excellent opportunities for snorkelling and diving. Numerous dive operators line the beachfront, and a flotilla of local fishing boats offer snorkelling trips to colourful reefs. Snorkelling is possible directly from the beaches at nearby Blue Lagoon Beach and Bias Tugel Beach. Both beaches are good for swimming and relaxing spots for whiling away a day in the sun. For geology buffs, deserted Pantai Pasir Hitam has some interesting rock ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 800 words.)
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