Lombok – Alluring island in the West of Nusa Tengga
Every year, million of tourists travel to Bali for a getaway and being the less famous island in the east of Bali, many places on Lombok is still untouched, therefore this place is also coined as the “unspoiled Bali”. Do take note though that just as any other cities in Indonesia, it is always advisable to drink from bottled mineral water than from the tap. With isolated beautiful beaches, enchanting waterfalls, large volcanoes, friendly and interesting people, tasty food and fantastic nature, Lombok is unmistakably a paradise.
=How to Get There=
Lombok has its very own airport, the Lombok International Airport located near the city of Praya on Jalan Raya, Tanak Awu Lombok Tengah in central south Lombok.
Bemos, a converted passenger-carrying minivan, is the main mode of transport of short and medium distances. They can be hailed down on all larger streets and the fares are inexpensive, ranging from Rp 4 000 to 5 000per person. Alternatively, there are also metered taxis from the usual taxi companies, Bluebird Taksi and Express Taksi. It is courtesy to round up your fare to the nearest thousand.
=What to See=
Quiet and very beautiful, Kuta Lombok is vastly different from Kuta Bali. The white sandy beaches and splendid surfing location, it is also a great destination to relax and enjoy the dramatic landscapes, cliffs, lagoons and palm tree forest all around the beach. Be sure to watch out for buffalos roaming and grassing around the area.
Narmanda Water Park
Located 10km east of Mataram, this park was once a place of relaxation for the king during the period of feudalism. The park has a Hindu temple, a swimming pool and also a “Youth Fountain” believed to give long life to the person who drinks it.
To get to Malimbu Hill, it is best to rent a scooter or get someone to ferry you up the hill as you explore the road. It offers a marvelous view over Malimbu Beach and the 3 Gili Islands
Pusuk Monkey Forest
Named after the numerous wild monkeys in the jungle and near the street. Be aware of the plastic bags or even your own bags that you are holding as these monkeys have the tendency to snatch your items from you. Feed them at your own risk, or shoot them with a camera and scoot off as soon as it is possible.
Another ideal beach location with soft white sand and turquoise water, this beach is mostly secluded and located uniquely in an almost enclosed bay. It is definitely a place you can really kick back and bask in the sun and sea.
=What to Do=
- There are three islands to visit, Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air, which are located just 20 minutes away by boat. These Gilis are very popular for scuba diving, snorkeling, and partying. Each ticket on a public boat to the Gilis cost between Rp 8000 to 12 000 whereas shuttle boats that take up to 10 people start from Rp 135 000 for a one-way charter.
- Traditional massage by local Sasak women within the main tourist areas such as on the beaches of Senggigi and Mangsit is a must to try. These massages are authentic and delivered at the beachside itself, on a platform to soak into the atmosphere of the beach. Prices range from Rp 180 000 for 1.5 hours to the pricier and also fancier spa salons that start from Rp 300 000.
- Trekking around the island is another attraction, which includes hikes up Mount Rinjani Senaru or to see waterfalls and other island attractions. It is essential to be adequately prepared for the hike up Mount Rinjani, the second highest volcano of Indonesia. From the foot of the mountain, the landscape shot of it is spectacular.
- Cooking classes are available at Anggrek Putih or Gili Cooking School, where you will be offered a half-day cooking class consisting of a minimum of 2 people to a maximum of 6 people. It will be a great experience learning the different flavours of Indonesian cuisine and their local products.
=What to Buy=
Traditional markets that sell fresh vegetables, spices, fish and many more can be found in Ampenan. Another thing to look out for are the pearls from Lombok as pearls can be found in huge variety and caters to any kind of taste and budget.
=What to Eat=
The best know local dish is ayam taliwang and it is uniquely Lombok because of the different interpretations of the recipe. Generally, this dish consists of chicken coated with rich red sauce flavoured with galangal, tumeric and tomato. It is normally served spicy.
One of the most popular dishes of Indonesia is undoubtedly the nasi campur or mixed rice. It consists of rice and a variety of accompanying dishes such as tofu, tempeh, chicken, beef, and fish depending on what you want in your plate. One of the most popular condiments to be served alongside every meal in Lombok is sambal.
Besides traditional Indonesian cuisine which can be found everywhere in Lombok, there are also a variety of cuisine from other places that you can find. Below are some places worth going.
Address: Jl. Ikan Duyung 7, West Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia
El Bazar Café & Restaurant
Address: Jl. Raya Kuta 5
Address: West Nusa Tenggara
Bau Nyale Restaurant
Address: Jl. Pariwisata Dusun, Baturiti Desa
=Where to Stay=
[Budget] T&T Homestay Kuta
Address: Jalan Pariwisata Kuta Lombok Km 3, 83573 Kuta Lombok, Indonesia
[Luxury] Shu Villa
Address: Jalan Raya Kuta Pujut, 83573 Kuta Lombok, Indonesia
[Boutique Villa] Villa Bau Nayle