Issue 164 | 31 March – 14 April 2014
LOMBOK GUIDE ( 0812 3734 4894 | www.thelombokguide.com
PUBLISHED BI-WEEKLY IN LOMBOK, FOR LOMBOK
MINISTRY PROPOSES FEE HIKE
TIGER SUSPENDS LOMBOK
BRINGING MUSIC TO LOMBOK
Page 10 & 46
Page 40 & 44
IN THIS ISSUE Page 2
Getting to Lombok Attractions & Actitvities
Special Feature Page 10 & 46 Senggigi
What’s Hot / Local News
Page 38 & 39
The Beach Club
Beach Bungalows Page 15
TREKKING IN LOMBOK!
Special Feature Page 40 & 44 Land & Property
Kuta & The South Coast
South Lombok Map
Useful Contacts Page 71 The Gilis
Getting to Gilis
Gilis Fast Facts Page 83 Gilis Map
Trekking and hiking enthusiasts will be delighted to know that the 2014 trekking season has started in Lombok and that routes for climbing our famous volcano, Mt Rinjani, are now open. The volcano was closed to trekking in January, to protect the safety of climbers during the monsoon season and to carry out maintenance on trails within the park, and re-opened on 1 April 2014. Our magnificent 3726m volcano is described as challenging, exhilarating and awe-inspiring… just another reason to visit Lombok soon! To find out more, pick up a copy of The Lombok Guide from the locations listed on page 59 or visit www.thelombokguide.com and discover the magic of Lombok for yourself… Like thousands of others, you’ll be enchanted!
...Life is Good!
+62 (0) 370 614 2352 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.beachhousegilit.com
GETTING TO LOMBOK
It’s easy to get to Lombok from Bali – flight time is only 25 minutes Direct flights from Jakarta to Lombok are available every day and and fares start from around Rp 350,000 (approx. US $35) one way. are usually timed to connect with European flights. Buy tickets direct from the airline counters at the domestic airports, Lombok is easily accessible from Jakarta, Bali, Jogjakarta, or contact local travel agents, in both Bali and Lombok. Surabaya and Makassar and is an important connection for travel Lombok International Airport (or Bandara Internasional Lombok, to the eastern islands, in particular the islands of Sumbawa, commonly abbrev iated to BIL, and using the IATA code “LOP”) is Komodo and Flores. the only airport on Lombok. Garuda Indonesia has direct flights between Lombok, Bali, The airport is close to Praya (Central Lombok); approximately Surabaya, Makassar and Jakarta every day, Call Centre: 0804 1 40km south of the city of Mataram, and around 1 ½ hours’ drive 807 807, Sales Office: +62 370 642303 / 649999. Airport: 0370 from Senggigi, and 25 minutes from Kuta. 649100. www.garuda-indonesia.com Airport departure tax is Rp 30,000 for domestic departures (Rp Lion Air has daily flights between Lombok, Bali, Jakarta and 40,000 from Bali) and Rp 100,000 for international departures. Surabaya. Ph: +62 370 6627444 / 642180. www.lionair.co.id BALI TO LOMBOK BY AIR Trans Nusa Air flies between Lombok, Sumbawa and Bima daily. Lombok, ph: +62 370 624555. www.transnusa.co.id In Lombok, all flights depart and arrive at Lombok International Airport. In Bali, flights arrive and depart at Ngurah Rai (Denpasar) Batavia Air has flights from Lombok to Surabaya and Jakarta (via Domestic Airport. Surabaya) every day. Lombok, Ph: +62 370 648998. www.batavia-air.co.id Garuda Airlines has direct flights between Lombok, Bali and Jakarta every day. Call Centre: 0 804 1 807 807, Sales Office: +62 Wings Air (Lion Air) has daily flights from Lombok to Bali and 370-642303, 649999. www.garuda-indonesia.com Surabaya, Ph: +62 370 6627444 / 642180. Bookings via Lion Air. www.lionair.co.id Lion Air flies between Bali and Lombok with three flights daily. The company share-codes with Wings Air, so you may purchase a HELICOPTER FLIGHTS Lion Air ticket and find yourself on a Wings Air flight! Lombok, Call Centre: +62 80 4177 8899. Bali, ph: +62 361 765132. Air Bali operates regular helicopter transfers between Bali and www.lionair.co.id Gili Trawangan, with the possibility of on-services to mainland Lombok, as well as private charters. Ph: + 62 361 767466 or 766 Trans Nusa Air operates flights between Bali and Lombok daily. 582. www.airbali.com Lombok, ph: +62 370 624555. Bali, ph: +62 361 8477395. www.transnusa.co.id BALI TO LOMBOK BY SEA INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS
Padang Bai Harbour (Bali) provides the sea link between mainland Bali and Lombok. Lembar Harbour (Lombok) is on the southwest Lombok International Airport (IATA: LOP) has full Visa on Arrival (VOA) facilities, with fast and efficient visa processing. Ph: +62 370 coast, approx. 1 hour south of Senggigi, Lombok. 622987. Arrange your own transport and buy tickets direct from the harbours, or use a reputable tour company to provide a transfer Jetstar Airways (a subsidiary of Qantas) operate direct flights service. between Perth (West Australia) and Lombok four times per week (Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday). www.jetstar.com Public Ferries depart every hour for the sea voyage between Padang Bai Harbour (Bali) and Lembar Harbour (Lombok). The Silk Air (a subsidiary of Singapore Airlines) flies direct between crossing between the islands costs Rp 40,000 per person and Lombok and Singapore, five times per week (Monday, Tuesday, takes approx. 4 to 5 hours. Lembar Harbour ph: +62 370 681 Thursday, Saturday and Sunday). Lombok, ph: +62 370 628254 / 209. Padang Bai Harbour ph: (+62 363) 41849 / 41840 628255. www.silkair.com Tiger Air also operates direct flights between Singapore and Lombok, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. www.tigerair.com Air Asia operates direct flights every day between Lombok and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. www.airasia.com Garuda Airlines flies between Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and Lombok every day, with a short stop-over in Jakarta. All other international connections are available via Jakarta. Call Centre: 080 418 07807. Airport: +62 370 649100. www.garuda-indonesia.com DOMESTIC FLIGHTS European connections are easy via Jakarta (the capital city of Java), Bali and other capital cities such as Jogjakarta, Surabaya and Makassar.
FAST BOATS There are now numerous “fast boat” services operating between Bali and Lombok. Marina Srikandi operates direct fast boat services every day between Padang Bai Harbour (Bali) and Senggigi (Lombok), arriving and departing from the jetty on Senggigi Beach. This is the only direct service between Bali and Lombok (mainland). Lombok Ph: +62 370 693 383, Bali Ph: +62 361 729 818. www.marinasrikandi.com Most fast boats serve Gili Trawangan, but several including Blue Water Express also serve mainland Lombok, making fast boats from Lombok to Bali (and vice versa) an option to flying. See the “Getting to the Gilis” section on page 72 for details.
Hot Taste, Cool Venue
CELLAR PARTY â€“ Friday, 4 April @ 7 - 10.30pm Senggigi Square Blok B-10, Jl. Raya Senggigi, Lombok, Indonesia Ph: +62 370 6644 888, 693 688 | Fax: +62 370 623 975 email@example.com | www.squarelombok.com
ATTRACTIONS & ACTIVITIES Getting around Lombok is easy by car or motorbike and you can hire these in all the main tourism areas, with an International Drivers License. The roads are generally in good condition and traffic is light. Alternatively, hire a car and driver for exploring or take part in the tours and day trips offered by the many tour agencies on the island.
Surfing at Senggigi Bay by SId Blade Malimbu Beach by Iwan Haryanto
BEACHES The whole island is surrounded by fantastic beaches, most of which are covered in clean white sand and fringed by coconut palms. Drive just north of Senggigi to Malimbu or Nipah and enjoy deserted beaches with fine snorkelling and swimming. The southwest coast also has fine beaches, especially around Sekotong and Taun. Visit the small island of Gili Nanggu for rustic accommodation and great snorkelling just off shore or stay at Secret Island Resort on Gili Gede to explore the twelve other undeveloped islands in the southwest. The beaches around Kuta are breathtakingly beautiful. Visit Gerupuk for fantastic scenery, Kuta for long stretches of white sand and turquoise waters, or swim in the peaceful lagoon at Mawun.
With so many beaches and small islands, Lombok offers a myriad of diving and snorkelling opportunities. The best known locations are around the Gili islands - Gili Air, Gili Meno and Gili Trawangan.
Snorkelling is easy from the shore and all three islands are well served by professional dive operators who offer full PADI certification courses, day and night dives to the many sites around the Gilis, as well as specialised courses and live-aboard adventures to exotic locations. For the more adventurous, there is superb diving around the islands off the southwest coast, as well as near Kuta on the south coast and the small uninhabited islands off the east coast.
Lombok is becoming a world-renown surfing destination amongst surf enthusiasts world-wide. Huge waves and challenging surf lure die-hards to BangkoBangko (also known as Desert Point) on the south-western tip of Lombok.
There are a number of spectacular waterfalls on the island which provide lovely trekking opportunities, whether travelling independently or as part of a tour. Sendang Gile on the slope of Mt Rinjani in the north is an easily accessible waterfall in a stunning jungle setting and popular with visitors. Air Jeruk Manis, near Tetebatu is reached by walking through pretty rice fields and forests. The awesome Benang Stokel and Benang Kelambu waterfalls, in central Lombok, are located within a short trek of each other and make a perfect day trip for those who appreciate truly magical natural surroundings.
Kuta, on the south coast, is surf-central and has a range of accommodations and services catering specially to surfers. Here you can hire a board, get board repairs and take surf lessons from the professionals. The waves at Gerupuk and Kuta offer a variety of challenges from beginners to sheer madness! Ekas Bay has two surf breaks: Inside Ekas and Outside Ekas, which are suitable for beginners to experts, depending on different peaks and tides.
Much of the island is still covered by natural rain forest and jungles, making Lombok ideal for ecotourism and adventure tours.
Benang Setokel Waterfall by Iwan Haryanto
k o - k o - mo G I L I T R AWA N G A N R E S O R T
Get there fast, then take it slow...
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ATTRACTIONS & ACTIVITIES designs. You can also purchase handwoven sarongs and fabrics (ikat).
Pringgasela in central Lombok is a small village which is steeped in tradition and is a major centre for weaving ikat. Visit the small houses and shops here to purchase traditionally woven, colourful fabrics.
Pelawangan Sembalun at Mt Rinjani by Iwan Haryanto
Masbagik, close to Pringgasela, is a small pottery village. Wander the streets and see the pottery being made in the small yards behind the simple homes here and purchase the wares for amazingly cheap prices.
MOUNTAIN CLIMBING Mt Rinjani, Lombok’s famous volcano, soars 3726 m above sea level and is the second highest volcano in Indonesia, attracting thousands of trekkers and climbers annually. The huge crater near the top contains a beautiful lake, Danau Segara Anak (Child of the Sea Lake) and a smaller volcanic cone, Gunung Baru Jari, which was formed a couple of hundred years ago. There are a number of caves, small waterfalls and hot springs located around the volcano.
a ritualised war with rice cakes, which also serve as an offering to the Gods. Pura Narmada (or Narmada Temple), around 10 km east of Cakranegara in Narmada, was created circa 1805 as a replica of Gunung Rinjani and Segara Anak, the lake within Rinjani’s crater. The gardens at Narmada are beautifully maintained and surround the pools and lake.
There are a number of interesting temples around the west coast, many of which are Hindu or ancient animist sites of worship.
Pura Suranadi, a complex of three temples located a few kilometres north of Narmada in Suranadi, is the oldest and holiest of the Balinese temples in Lombok, founded by the 16th-century Javanese priest, Danghyang Nirartha. Underground streams bubble up into restored baths, used for ritual bathing. Huge sacred eels live in the pools and streams here, and can sometimes be lured out with an offering of boiled eggs (purchased at a nearby stall). To see a sacred eel is considered very lucky!
Pura Lingsar is possibly the only place in the world where Hindus and Moslems come together to pray and celebrate. Built around 1714, Pura Lingsar was originally based on the prevailing animist beliefs of the time, and some of the original animist statues remain today. Perang Topat, is an annual festival held at Lingsar and features
Lombok is famous for its traditional earthenware pottery made from local clay with distinctive “Lombok primitive”
In 2004 Rinjani won the World Legacy Award and the volcano is recognised internationally as an important eco-tourism destination. Two, three and four day treks on the volcano are offered by tour companies and trek organisers in all the main resort areas of Lombok.
HISTORIC SITES & TEMPLES
Sukarara is 5 km to the west of Praya, heading south towards Kuta. This is a weaving village where quality ikat and traditional cloth is displayed and sold. Weavers work outside many of the shops, using antiquated “back strap looms” to painstakingly produce works of art. Some of the larger pieces can take several months to weave, and collectors from around the world visit this village to purchase the blankets, sarongs and cloth produced here. Banyumulek, easily reached on the road south to Lembar Harbour, is an important centre for pottery on Lombok. The small village is packed with shops selling pottery produced in the area, as well as from the other main pottery-making villages such as Penujak and Masbagik. Lombok pottery, with its distinctive terracotta styles, has become famous internationally and is exported throughout the world.
CLIMBING RINJANI… LOMBOK’S SACRED VOLCANO
Sembalun Lawang, one of the routes for climbing Mt Rinjani
The annual trekking season to Gunung Rinjani on Lombok re-opens on 1 April, after being closed for the monsoon season since January. Located on the north of the island, Mt Rinjani soars 3726m above sea level and is the second highest volcano in Indonesia, annually attracting thousands of trekkers and climbers to Lombok. Official figures put the number of people climbing Rinjani in 2013 at 19,912, made up of 13,003 international tourists and 6,909 domestic visitors – and increase of 35% on 2012 figures. The volcano is a world-class tourism destination and has been nominated for a number of international awards, as well as being submitted to UNESCO for World Geopark status. Trekking on the mountain is particularly popular from July to September (during the European summer holidays and Lombok’s “high season”), when visitors from around the world come to Lombok to climb Gunung Rinjani. Gunung is Bahasa
Trekking from Sembalun by Iwan Haryanto
Indonesia for “mountain”. Treks include a two day climb to the aweinspiring crater lake, or longer climbs to the demanding summit with its panoramic views across the waters to Gunung Agung, Bali’s famous volcano.
years ago and juts from the crater’s interior at the edge of the lake. It’s been estimated that the force needed to create the new cone and the lake would have been equal to around 300 Hiroshima-type atomic bombs. In early 2009 and again in 2010, Baru Jari came to life and for several months spewed hot rocks and volcanic ash into the air. Being within the original caldera, it posed no serious risk to the rest of the island.
At present, the activity has settled down and the volcano is safe for trekking. The lava flows from the eruptions reformed the base of the Segara Anak Lake view from Pelawangan Senaru by IL FOKUS Baru Jari cone and have changed the shape of the lake. The two volcanoes create a visual and spiritual connection for people living on There are a number of caves, small Lombok and, historically and culturally, waterfalls and hot springs located around Gunung Rinjani has important significance the volcano, most importantly Aik Kalak for both Lombok’s native Sasaks and the on the northeast of the crater, where the Balinese, as it is considered a “Home of volcanic waters are said to cure illnesses, the Gods”. particularly skin diseases. Pilgrimages are often made to the Trekkers love to soak in the heated water mountain, and many people visit the to ease aching muscles after the rigorous volcano to pray and bathe in the pools and trek down to the lake. hot springs, which are believed to have healing powers. Senaru is the usual starting point for climbing Gunung Rinjani and is The huge caldera near the top of the well-serviced with tourist facilities, volcano is around 4 km wide and is almost accommodation and restaurants. filled by a beautiful lake: Danau Segara Anak (Child of the Sea Lake). The lake is Other options, for a slightly shorter route around 230m deep and contains plentiful to the summit, are Sembalun Lawang and fish, as well as being home to birds and Sembalun Bumbung to the northeast. Both other wildlife. are rustic mountain villages, with basic home-stays available and experienced tour A smaller volcanic cone, Gunung Baru centres that can organise your trek. Jari, was formed a couple of hundred Continued on Page 46
West Coast Resort
Just over one hour from Lombok International Airport, Senggigi is the main tourism centre on Lombok and, apart from the Gili islands, the most developed tourism area on Lombok. The town of Senggigi is about 10 km north of Ampenan, and about 30 minutes drive from Teluk Nara and Bangsal – the harbours to the Gili Islands. Nowhere near as large or as busy as its Bali counterparts, Senggigi is a great base for exploring the rest of the island. The pace is laid-back, with activities centred on the beaches and day trips to places of interest, which are all within a few hours drive from the town. At night, Jalan Raya Senggigi (the main street) comes alive. Dine in the many restaurants catering to all tastes and budgets, listen to live music at the bars, or dance the night away at the nightclubs. Senggigi Beach is the large bay that forms the centre of Senggigi, with the main road running parallel to the beach, and large resorts occupying the space between. The Senggigi Beach Hotel, Santosa Villas and Resort, and the Sheraton Senggigi Resort all line the curved bay of Senggigi Beach and offer a full range of resort facilities, equally attractive for singles, couples and families. The beachfront is currently undergoing “revitalisation” by the West Lombok Tourism Department, which threatens to ruin the natural beauty of the beach. It can become very crowded and is best avoided on Sundays and public holidays. However, many more beautiful beaches exist just minutes away to the north. One of the most spectacular sights on the island is the sunset viewed from Senggigi Beach, with the bright orange sun sinking into the sea to the west and Bali’s Gunung Agung volcano silhouetted on the horizon like a giant pyramid floating in the ocean. Senggigi Reef, off the southern point, has good coral for snorkelling and, in the
right conditions, some decent surf breaks. Canoes can be hired from the beach on the weekends and during peak tourism times. Local outrigger boats (prahu) can be chartered from the beachfront for trips along the coast or out to the Gili Islands. The main road in Senggigi is lined with small attractive hotels catering to all budgets, shops, tour agencies, restaurants, bars and nightclubs; many of which have live music in the evenings. There are a couple of supermarkets, numerous ATM’s and moneychangers, a post office and all the normal tourist facilities. Senggigi is a relaxing and attractive place to stay, with a good range of luxury hotels and resorts, as well as mid-range and budget accommodations. Tourism development runs north along the coastal road for about 10 km, with many hotels and restaurants positioned along the beautiful beaches that line the entire west coast. About 2 km north of central Senggigi Kerandangan Valley has a popular beach nearby and some small boutique hotels, such as Puri Mas Spa Resort and Villa Campi Sorga, situated in a pretty valley. Dream Estate Park comprises private villa accommodation for owners and investors, and has villas available for short and long term rental in a secure, well-managed estate. At the end of the road through Kerandangan Valley is the Taman Wisata Alam – Kerandangan Nature Reserve – with clearly marked hiking paths leading through the rain forest along the river. There is a small Ranger’s hut and visitors centre near the entrance, and picnic areas with basic concrete tables along the paths. The park boasts a small waterfall, pretty river scenery, families of local monkeys, and a variety of tropical plants and birdlife. Further north, Mangsit has developed as an accommodation alternative to Senggigi, with boutique style hotels positioned along
the breathtaking beaches of this section of coast. The popular Qunci Villas, Puri Mas Beach Resort, Windy Beach Resort and Holiday Resort Lombok are located in Mangsit. Furthest north are Klui and Lendang Luar, with two hotels – Jeeva Klui and Hotel Bulan Baru – and long stretches of pristine beaches. Mainly deserted white sand beaches, flanked by coconut groves and untouched by hotel development, continue all the way north along the main coastal road. Malimbu and Nipah are two picturesque bays less than half an hour from Senggigi, which are good for snorkelling, swimming and getting away from it all. Teluk Nara and Teluk Kodek are on a large bay that forms a natural harbour, about 25 kms north of Senggigi. All the main dive operators have boats here, which transfer guests to the Gili islands, as an alternative to nearby Bangsal Harbour. Bangsal Harbour, less than 5km further north, is reached by turning left at the crossroads in Pemenang and from there it is easy to catch the public ferries (actually large outrigger boats) out to the Gilis, or to charter boats for island hopping. Whether you are seeking luxury accommodation at a top resort with fine dining and spa facilities, or a budget holiday with days spent exploring – or all the choices in between – Senggigi caters for all tastes and budgets. From Senggigi, it’s easy to explore the attractions of the stunning south coast or to hop on a boat to the famous Gili islands lying just offshore. Swim, snorkel, dive, hike, lie in the sun, have a massage, eat and drink at some of the great restaurants and bars in town; or just take a break and be enchanted by the peace and beauty of Lombok.
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What’s Hot / Local News
Easter Holidays start on 12 April until 27 April (Good Friday is on 18 April), so it’s time to start thinking of an Easter break in Lombok!
Mmmm, who doesn’t love cheese? Especially Swiss cheese! Cheese lovers will be delighted to know that Café Lombi has now introduced an Authentic Swiss Cheese Fondue to their menu. Fondue is a Swiss tradition of placing a communal pot of melted cheese in the centre of the table and dipping pieces of bread into the pot to eat. The secret of a good fondue is the combination of cheeses and the crunchy chunks of bread used! Lombi keeps it authentic by using only imported Swiss cheese and delicious bread baked on the premises. You can try out Swiss Fondue now at Café Lombi, located in Senggigi Square (next to Marshander Spa). Rp 285,000 gets you a Swiss Cheese Fondue with bread for two people and a pot of tea. www.CafeLombi.com
with a delicious buffet meal, including sushi, tapas, pasta, roast meats, salads and desserts, at one of Senggigi’s best dining venues. The Cellar Party starts at 7pm and is great value at just Rp 400,000 per person (inclusive) for a night of wining and dining, or Rp 150 000 for the buffet only. www.squarelombok.com An interesting and useful little shop opened recently in Mataram, offering a tailor-made service for jeans. Waroeng Jeans sells jeans, pants, jackets, shirts and baby jeans – all made to measure.
Yes, it’s on again this month! Get ready for the Cellar Party at Square Restaurant on Friday, 4 April!
This is a great service, especially for expats and tourists who can’t find sizes to fit in the city or who end up with jeans that only reach mid-calf. You can even take your favourite pair of old jeans into Waroeng Jeans and they will copy them for you! They have a great range of denims and other fabrics available.
Held on the first Friday of every month, the Square Cellar Party features three and a half hours of free-flow imported red and white wines, together
Waroeng Jeans is located on Jl Catur Warga (the main road back towards Ampenan from the city). Ph: 0818 0414 1723 or 0813 2250 5040.
Living Asia Resort, on the beautiful pristine beach at Lendang Luar, has a great Easter Package deal with three days / two nights accommodation in an Ocean View room for just Rp 2.9 million for two people. The package includes breakfasts, a special Easter Dinner and many other value-added inclusions. See the advert on page 7 for details. On Gili Air, 7 Seas Cottages has a fabulous package for divers including 4 days / 3 nights private villa accommodation, breakfasts, 5 Fun Dives, Spa treatment, transfers, island tour and more for Rp 4,980,000 – all inclusive. A fantastic way to see the best of Gili Air above and below the water! See page 89 for details. Out on Gili Trawangan, Hotel Vila Ombak is offering guests special Easter deals with an Egg-sclusive Package for Rp 3.4 million including 3 days / 2 nights accommodation, transfers, dinner for two and more. Also check out Dinner Egg-citement with meals at their popular beachfront restaurant for just Rp 300,000 nett. See our back cover for details.
FORESTRY MINISTRY PROPOSES FEE HIKE
A new proposal by the Forestry Ministry to dramatically increase fees for people climbing Rinjani is causing confusion and anger at the start of the 2014 trekking season.
Indonesia’s Kementerian Kehutanan, the Forestry Ministry, has proposed an increase of 1,150% – taking the fee from Rp 20,000 to Rp 250,000 per person – for those wishing to climb Rinjani. Moreover, the Ministry wants to charge the fee daily, rather than the current charge of “per trip”. This means that a climber spending four days on the volcano would be charged Rp 1 million, rather than the current cost of Rp 20,000. The move has drawn sharp criticism from the Rinjani Trek Management Board (RTMB - the Board of Trustees responsible for the management of trekking on Rinjani).
Park for trekkers. This amount includes the Rp 20,000 fee to the Ministry and donations to villages and indigenous groups living on the mountain, with the balance being used by RTMB to fund cleaning and maintenance programmes, including the Rp 25,000 fee paid to porters who bring rubbish down from the mountain.
Lalu Gita Aryadi, Chairman of RTMB, said the increase was too big and, if the new charges were applied, would cause serious problems for the travel agents and trekking companies who organize trips to the volcano. “They’ve given the existing tariff to their partners abroad since six months ago,” he said. “Therefore, their contracts would cause them to lose money if the Ministry applied the new tariff. The charge is so high, they would be forced to cancel trekking contracts.”
The board currently charges Rp 150,000 per person for entry to the Rinjani National The fee hike would also affect the107
registered trekking guides, 650 porters and another 46 people (including 10 women) who offer guided walks around the village and waterfalls in Senaru and Sembalun. This does not include the number of workers in the tourist areas whose livelihood is dependent on trekking. The Chairman has asked the Forestry Ministry to change the implementation of the new rates gradually and also to implement a charge “per trip” rather than charging a daily rate.
The Head of Mount Rinjani National Park (TNGR), Boediono Agus, also said that the new tariff invites rejection and that they are waiting for a response from the Travel Association. We hope that these organizations sort out the confusion prior to the start of the 2014 trekking season on 1 April… and that they don’t make decisions that would be harmful to one of Lombok’s major tourist attractions.
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TIGER SUSPENDS LOMBOK - SINGAPORE FLIGHTS
Tiger later upped its shareholding, giving 51% shareholding to Tiger and the Indonesian private equity firm Saratoga.
Tigerair Mandala is suspending their direct flights between Lombok and Singapore, just five months after commencing the service.
The news comes after Tigerair Mandala suddenly closed eleven domestic and regional air routes, starting from February until April 2014.
The budget airline commenced flights between Lombok and Singapore on 22 November, 2013; operating three flights per week between the two islands.
Passengers were left holding paid-for tickets on the suspended flights.
The newly formed Tiger Mandala Airways managed to lose US $31.6 million in the period April-December 2013.
Tigerair Mandala is a low-cost airline headquartered in Jakarta, Indonesia and is an associate company of the Singaporebased Tiger Air Group.
Tiger and Saratoga are reportedly unprepared to invest more in the airline without proof that a financial turnaround is underway.
On Friday, 21 March, Sandiaga S Uno, President Director of PT Saratoga Investama – the majority shareholder of Tigerair Mandala – told reporters that the weakening rupiah had pushed the carrier to cut a number of its flights.
Tigerair Mandala suspended nine routes in February, effective closing 40% of its flight operations in an effort to stop the financial hemorrhaging at the airline. Affected routes included its direct flights from Surabaya to Hong Kong and to Kuala Lumpur, Surabaya to Bangkok, and Jakarta to Singapore.
Although the airline has yet to make an official announcement, they have been advising passengers of the cancellation of services, believed to be effective from 22 April 2014. Their website shows the last available flight is on Monday, 21 April. While March flights seem to be operating as normal, the entire schedule for April is erratic, with the scheduled flights on Monday, Wednesday and Friday now showing “not available”.
Direct flights between Lombok and Singapore are still available with Silk Air (a subsidiary of Singapore Airlines), which operates five flights per week out of Lombok.
Sandiaga said that the rupiah and the high costs of aviation fuel, charged in US dollar rates, had burdened the airline. However, he said that flight reduction would improve Mandala’s performance. “We are still flying today and we manage good communications with Tigerair. [...] We are hoping that by cutting the routes, we can improve our productivity, hence financial condition and operations too,” he said in Jakarta on Friday, as quoted by Kompas.com.
It is unclear whether this is a temporary suspension of services or a permanent cancellation of the route.
Meanwhile, Reuter’s reports that Singapore-based Tiger Airways is saying that it will sell or close its Indonesian joint-venture with Mandala Airlines unless the airline shows signs of a strong turnaround before the end of 2014.
Direct flights between Lombok and Singapore are still available with Silk Air (a subsidiary of Singapore Airlines), which operates five flights per week out of Lombok.
PT Mandala Airlines resumed flight operations in 2012 after an extended grounding during which the company was restructured and Tiger Air purchased a one-third share.
Tiger Air has demonstrated its ability to make tough financial decisions as demonstrated by its decision in January to sell its stake in the Philippine carrier Cebu Pacific, which was also under performing financially. At this point, Tigerair Mandala continues to operate but with a reduced number of air routes. Sales on the affected flights have been suspended. The airline said that customers who have already made reservations on these flights will be notified progressively along with the possible re-accommodation to other Tigerair Mandala (RI) or Tigerair Singapore (TR) flights, or will be given full refund. Please contact your travel agent or Tigerair Mandala’s call centre on (021) 2939 6688 to obtain information regarding to the reticketing or refund process.
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LOMBOK LUNCH @ DE QUAKE
Even a freak storm couldnâ€™t dampen the spirits as expats from all over Lombok gathered for a fun lunch at de Quake restaurant in the Art Markets last week. Some photos courtesy of Evey
LOCAL GOVERNMENT ELECTIONS 9 APRIL On 9 April 2014, Indonesians will vote for their legislators at the national, provincial, and district levels.
Legislative Assemblies (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat Daerah-I or DPRD-I) with a combined total of 2,112 seats.
Exactly three months later, on 9 July, Indonesians will go to the polls to choose their next president, for the fourth time since the 1998 resignation of President Suharto.
At district level, each province is subdivided into regencies or municipalities (kabupaten and kota). A combined total of 16,895 seats are up for grabs at the district level.
The April elections will take place throughout Indonesia as citizens vote to elect members of both national and regional legislatures.
The campaign period for 2014 legislative elections is from 11 January through to 5 April. During the election campaigns, outdoor rallies, banners, large meetings, and campaign advertisements in mass media will only be allowed from 16 March to 5 April.
At national level, this includesThe National People’s Consultative Assembly (Majelis Permusyawaratan Rakyat) – the national legislature – made up of the Lower House, or the House of Representatives (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat or DPR), with 560 seats and the Upper House, or the Regional Representative Council (Dewan Perwakilan Daerah or DPD), with 132 seats. At provincial level, 33 of Indonesia’s 34 provinces have their own Provincial
Campaigning will cease four days prior to the election, with 6 – 8 April being set aside as a “cooling-down period”. Arrangements for the conduct of elections in Indonesia are carried out under the supervision of the Indonesian Election Commission (Komisi Pemilihan Umum, or KPU). The results of this election will be
ELEVEN FOREIGNERS DEPORTED IN TWO MONTHS
In the first two months since his January 2014 appointment, the new Chief of Immigration in Mataram, Husni Thamrin, has been flexing his muscles – and targeting foreigners on the island.
of a visa on arrival for tourists. But we got the information he was working in Lombok, and after we check it is true, we immediately arrest and deport him,” Thamrin said .
At least eleven foreign citizens have been deported in his tough new “cleanup operation” of those who abuse visa regulations.
“Information from the public is very important because of the limitations of our personnel in Wasdakim [the Immigration Control and Enforcement Department],” he went on to say. “The public should be aware of the presence of foreigners in their areas who may violate the visitors permit or overstay their visa.”
Tourists from Europe, America and Australia are among the list of those summarily ejected from Lombok since January, and Asian citizens are not exempt, with the deportation of a Malaysian man this month for allegedly overstaying his visitor visa (visa kunjungan). “The last two months, there were 11 foreigners who have been deported,” Husni Thamrin told reporters last week. A French citizen was arrested on 17 March after immigration officials received “information from the community” that he was working in Lombok. “In our documentation, he is the holder
“As in the tourist area of Kuta, Central Lombok, we are helped by local people who diligently inform us of the presence of foreigners who make problems.” “If there is information from people who see illegal foreigners, I will follow up as soon as possible,” he said. “As we do in Gili Trawangan recently, where there are foreigners who violate the stay permit.” From the evaluation of the Immigration Department, there were two main areas of immigration violations by foreigners: the
Local News instrumental to the presidential election in July, due to the requirement that a presidential ticket must be supported by a party or a coalition of parties winning at least 20% of votes in the legislative election. Incumbent president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, is constitutionally barred from seeking a third term in office. In Lombok, Governor Zainul Majdi has called on all people to maintain security and conduciveness in the area. Citizens are also asked to actively participate and exercise their voting rights in order for the success of the election. The Indonesian Forum for Budget Transparency, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB FITRA) has asked the public to reject the lure of money in the elections, saying people should reject bribes for votes – a practice deeply rooted in the political system in Indonesia. On Sunday, 16 March – during the Car Free Day in Jalan Udayana, Mataram – NTB FITRA conducted a public campaign urging people to reject “money for votes”, handing out pamphlets and wearing clothes that read: “REJECT Money Politics… Ente ngasi ana repot, hep!” misuse of tourist visas and the overstay of visas. Foreigners living in Indonesia must hold a “KITAS” or similar visa (temporary resident permit), while those working in Indonesia must also obtain an “IMTA” (work permit). It is illegal to work while visiting on a tourist visa (Visa on Arrival), a cultural visa (Sosial Budaya visa) or a social visit permit (Izin Kunjungan). The Immigration Chief admitted to reporters that there are still problems within the immigration service, including allegations of internal staff accepting bribes; and said that he hopes there is information from the public to identify these officials. “If there is, I will direct the execution,” he stated. He also submitted to protesters who accused the Immigration Department recently of extorting a bribe of Rp 70 million from a foreign national whose residency permit had expired, so that he could remain safely in Lombok. If at that time the demonstrators could have identified the official involved, he said he would not hesitate to process the official internally and implement strong disciplinary action.
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DRAGON AIR ANNOUNCE ASTAGA TOUR & TRAVEL BALI - HONG KONG FLIGHTS
Rumours of a direct flight between Lombok and Hong Kong, soon to be introduced by Dragon Air, have been strengthened this week with the airline’s announcement of a new service out of Bali.
Dragon Air, the sister airline of Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific, has announced it will commence twice-weekly services between Hong Kong and Bali on 27 April 2014. Denpasar (Bali) will represent Dragon Air’s first Indonesian destination, becoming the 15th destination served by the airline. Cathay Pacific currently operates a daily service between Hong Kong and Bali. Together, the two airlines will operate a total of nine weekly flights on the Denpasar route. Dragon Air will fly Airbus A330-300 aircraft in a two-class configuration. Flights will operate on Thursdays and Sundays. “We are very excited about launching flights to Denpasar and being able to further expand our presence in Asia,” Dragon Air Chief Executive Officer, Patrick Yeung, said. “We look forward to welcoming passengers on board to experience our awardwinning service and products. This new service will provide customers with greater choice and convenience at the same time as bolstering Hong Kong’s position as one of the world’s leading aviation hubs.”
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Safe and professional English-speaking driver with comfortable air conditioned car (seats 5 - 6). Private airport transfers or airport to Kuta, Mataram, Senggigi, Gilis, etc Available for private charter and Lombok tours. Competitive rates and friendly service!
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Two Storey house in Jl Palm Tree, Senggigi Residence IN THE HEART OF SENGGIGI Open plan living area, furnished to high standard with European kitchen. Air-conditioned throughout, 2 bedrooms plus office, en suite with bath and shower. H/water. For sale from owner, Well maintained pool and 0370 6194 194 / 081 757 94877 garden.
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BRINGING MUSIC TO LOMBOK © 2014. Contributed by Kat Vallera
I was first introduced to Banu Sanusi, a secondary school that serves the villages of Sesela and Gunung Sari, three years ago during a visit to Lombok. Since then, I’ve been dedicated to fundraising and organising the “Music for Lombok” programme based out of my hometown of Chicago, Illinois. “Music for Lombok” is an organisation that aims to bring music, art, supplies and English teachers to an orphanage in Lombok, Indonesia. Our mission is to provide educational enrichment for some of the kindest and most deserving children in the world.
Volunteers Kat Vallera (left), Luke MacRoberts, Andrew Delneky and film maker, Scott O’Brien
dedication. The reason is because they feel comfortable around us, and motivated to learn. For children who would not otherwise have the opportunity to work with international teachers, let alone music teachers, the benefit to their overall education is immense.
I returned to Lombok this February with two volunteer music teachers, as well as a filmmaker, to officially launch the programme. We have since been joined by an additional volunteer English teacher as well. I couldn’t be more proud to announce The language and skills that the “Music “Music for Lombok” a total success. for Lombok” programme provides will give these children a step up in life, and the aptitude they need for future scholarly and career endeavours. The children are well aware that education is the road to success and this offers them a chance to rise out of poverty.
“Music for Lombok” has proven to be an incredible experience for both students and volunteers. At first the children were very shy. They had never interacted with foreigners for extended periods of time, and they weren’t quite sure what to make of us. However, their attitude has changed since all of us volunteers have been living at the school, socialising with them regularly, and interacting with the children both in and out of the classroom. Ask any of the children at Banu Sanusi to tell you about Luke, Andrew, Kat, Scott, or Anya… they will light up with stories! We have built incredible bonds and friendships with the students who study at Banu Sanusi and the children have really come out of their shells. A teachers’ favourite is Harry, who dances and sings like a natural born superstar! All of the children are enthusiastic and eager to learn. We hear them practicing their music and English with great
Why Music? Music is a universal language. Music allows us to communicate and connect with the children like no other medium. It allows us to be creative, fun, and to inspire. I think the number one thing we have noticed during this run of the programme is the children’s eagerness to step up and participate. As music teachers from the United States, we have had our share of students who haven’t shown dedication or simply didn’t care. However, the children at Banu Sanusi have jumped at the chance to take guitar, piano and singing lessons. It is an opportunity that would not otherwise have been available to them, and it is evident that they refuse to take it for granted. Never have we heard so much practicing! From sunrise until late night, the children retreat into groups to sing songs we have taught them, or to practice their scales and other exercises. The best part is that
they are teaching each other what they’ve learned in their lessons, so the knowledge has been spreading through the school like wildfire! Volunteers have benefited greatly as well. “Music for Lombok” has offered us the opportunity to experience a culture and perspective not afforded to typical tourists. It is that of complete dedication and full immersion that has really set “Music for Lombok” apart from other international programs. When we first arrived, we felt like celebrities! We couldn’t walk down the street without being surrounded by dozens of laughing children and curious locals. It didn’t take long before we were accepted and welcomed by the entire community. They have demonstrated open-mindedness and willingness to teach us all about their customs. Last week, we were invited to a Sasak wedding, which was a unique experience for everyone involved. We appreciate the continued friendship and hospitality that the people of Gunung Sari have given us.
This is just the beginning of “Music for Lombok”. The programme has proven itself a worthy cause, and there is no doubt that it will continue to grow. We hope to bring even more teachers and supplies next year, and perhaps raise enough money to build Banu Sanusi a library. Continued on Page 44
Live Music! Great Food! Good Times! Every Friday ‘Ary Juliyant and Friends’ from 7.30 pm in the garden
Jl. Raya (Main Street) Senggigi, Lombok 0370 693619 firstname.lastname@example.org
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BRINGING MUSIC TO LOMBOK
Sanusi, we will expand the programme to the best of our abilities by raising money and awareness, and encouraging more people to come out and participate.
There is so much that the children need, and we will do whatever it takes to bring it to them. The appreciation they’ve expressed has been overwhelming, and we believe there’s no reason these children should not be afforded the same opportunities as other children in Indonesia and around the world. Banu Sanusi is home to numerous orphans and other underprivileged children who would not otherwise be able to afford secondary education.
Continued on Page 44
The opportunity to help children in need through the “Music for Lombok” programme has been simply amazing. May the education we provide enrich their lives – it is an experience that we can all cherish forever. Banu Sanusi founder, Fayed El-Salim
The heads of the school, Fayed El-Salim and Ajiek Imam Sanusi, allow many of these children to attend for free or for a reduced rate because they believe in helping the community.
You can make a private donation to “Music for Lombok” by contacting founder Kat Vallera: katvallera@ yahoo.com. You can learn more at www. mflchicago.org or on facebook www. facebook.com/musicforlombok.
El-Salim and Sanusi are pleased to host the “Music for Lombok” programme as they hope to promote a more progressive and worldly curriculum. So long as underprivileged students are allowed to attend Banu
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CLIMBING RINJANI… LOMBOK’S SACRED VOLCANO Continued from Page 10
Special Feature time temperatures can be very cold, with strong winds and occasional rain. The best time to climb Gunung Rinjani is during the dry season from April to October, or before the rainy season starts. The sunny days and cooler temperatures make this time of the year the most comfortable for climbing, and enable the clearest views of the stunning scenery both on and around the mountain. TIPS FOR TREKKING
Mt Baru Jari at Segara Anak Lake by Yayat FOKUS
More challenging treks are available from Torean (to the north), and newly opened routes from Timbanuh (from the east to the southern rim) and Benang Stokel (from Central Lombok).
At the very top, the jagged wind-razed peak is barren, covered in shale and loose volcanic rock, which makes climbing a frustrating dance of two steps forward and one slide back.
The Rinjani Trek in Senaru, originally funded by the New Zealand government, has set up a series of programmes that involve the local communities and guides, for climbing the volcano and for trekking in the National Park – ensuring better management and safety for trekkers.
Climbers say the panoramic view at the top is worth every minute of the cursing and swearing, with 360 degrees of
When climbing, use an authorised guide, deal with a reputable trekking operator and carry as few valuables as possible with you. There are a variety of different options for Sunrise from Pelawangan Sembalun by Iwan Haryanto climbing Gunung Rinjani. awesome scenery stretching from Bali to Two day, one night treks are the shortest available, taking visitors to the crater rim, Sumbawa and beyond. to view the wide crater and the emerald Trekking on the volcano is not for green lake within. However the most everyone. A certain level of fitness is popular is the three day, two night trek needed and climbing to the summit is which allows trekkers to climb down particularly strenuous. Time Magazine to the shores of the described climbing Rinjani as “...difficult, lake and treacherous and extremely worthwhile”. enjoy a soak in the hot Altitudes of over 2700m are springs. reached on all these treks and, even on It takes three the equator, to four days night to reach the summit of the volcano.
• Treks can be organised at tour offices in Senggigi, Senaru, Sembalun Lawang and Sembalun Bumbung and online. Typical treks include an experienced guide, porters to carry equipment, water, food and cooking utensils, and tents and sleeping bags. • Always use a reputable trekking business and check that they have facilities to cope with emergencies. • Never wander away on your own, even if you’re an experienced climber. A number of deaths and injuries have occurred on the mountain. Loose shale and unstable surfaces are hazards. • Use good quality, comfortable shoes and take a walking stick to help with the inclines. • Make sure you have a jacket and enough warm clothes – it is cold on the mountain • Check that your trekking company is supplying sleeping bags and blankets. • Don’t try to save money by trekking on your own or using unauthorised guides. Licensed guides will have identification, and are experienced to handle your trek and the conditions on the mountain. • Don’t take passports or carry valuables that aren’t essential to your trek. • Carry extra plastic bags to collect and carry your rubish back down from the mountain. • Please respect this natural wonder. Don’t litter or leave anything on the mountain, except your footprints.
The summit of Mt Rinjani by Yayat FOKUS
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THE CITIES Many of Lombok’s weaving and basket making industries are located near Cakra; turn left at the central traffic lights and look for the market on the right near the bridge. The baskets in particular are sold in Bali at many times the local price.
Mataram Mall The three main cities in Lombok – Ampenan, Mataram and Cakranegara – have expanded over the years and now merge together to create what is, for Lombok, an urban sprawl of shops, administrative centres and residential areas. A visit to the cities makes an interesting day trip, exploring the numerous small shops selling everything imaginable at low prices. There are numerous pearl shops in Ampenan selling unset pearls and pearl jewellery at cheap prices. These are genuine pearls from the pearl farms on Lombok and Sumbawa and, if you bargain the price, are a good deal. Gold shops are also popular in both Ampenan and Cakra, with 24 kt gold being sold by the gram, regardless of the design. For cheap and interesting food choices, explore the many restaurants, warungs and food stalls in the cities. Or just wander around the streets to soak up the atmosphere and discover fascinating insights into Lombok city life! Ampenan was the original old port in Lombok during Dutch colonial times and some of the old architecture is still visible around the town, particularly toward the beach to the west. This area becomes a market at night, filled with warungs and kaki lima (food carts) for cheap, tasty food and local flavour. With its numerous shops, cheap hotels, dusty roads and plentiful cidomo (horse carts), gold and pearl shops, and its Arab quarter, Ampenan is a colourful town to explore. Kebun Roek, just near the traffic lights in Ampenan on the road from the old Selaparang airport, is the site of the local markets. Every day traders set up stalls
selling fresh produce from around the island, local snacks and products, live chickens and fresh fish in the afternoon when the fishing boats come in. A stroll through the markets is a pungent and enlightening experience! Mataram, about 3 km to the east of Ampenan, is the administrative centre for Lombok and Sumbawa (NTB Province), with government offices, banks, mosques, schools and colleges, bookstores, the main post office, and Mataram University downtown. In Mataram, the Nusa Tenggara Barat Museum houses historical and cultural artefacts from Lombok and Sumbawa. It’s an interesting place to visit and occasionally hosts special exhibits. Displays include exhibits on geology, history and culture. Address: Jl Panji Tilar. Ph: 632159 for opening times. There is a small admission fee. Also worth visiting is the cultural centre, Taman Budaya on Jl Majapahit. Music and dance performances are presented here regularly. Phone: 622428 for details.
The next large town east of Cakra, Sweta, has a huge market every day near the Bertais bus terminal, with all kinds of goods on sale, from foodstuffs to clothing, exotic birds, handicrafts and more. Nearby Temples and Places of Interest Pura Meru on Jl Selaparang, Cakranegara, was built in 1720 by Balinese Prince Anak Agung Made Karang and is the largest temple on Lombok. Its three meru are for the Hindu trinity – Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma. This is an important temple for the Balinese here and its annual Pujawali festival, held over five days during the full moon in September or October, is the biggest Balinese Hindu event on Lombok. The outer courtyard hall has large drums used to announce ceremonies and festivals. In the central courtyard are two buildings with raised offering platforms. The interior enclosure has 33 shrines as well as the three multi-tiered meru.
Mataram Mall, on the main street in Mataram, has an upstairs food court for cheap local meals. Lombok’s only real mall, there are four floors of shops and stalls selling a vast selection of goods. Particularly good buys are shoes, jeans, and copy brand bags and belts. There is a department store, several electronics stores, and shops selling clothing, CD’s and DVD’s. Hero Supermarket, on the ground floor, is useful for some western goods, food and toiletries. The Chemist next door has imported toiletries, supplements and medicines. McDonalds and KFC have outlets on the ground floor. Cakranegara (usually abbreviated to “Cakra”) is Lombok’s main shopping area. It is also home to many Chinese and Balinese, who make up over 50 percent of the city’s population. The streets of the city make an interesting tour with gold shops, sporting goods, clothing stores and very good fabric stores selling imported silks, laces and cottons, to name a few.
Pura Mayura, just across the street from Pura Meru, was built in 1744 as the court temple of the last Balinese kings in Lombok. An open hall or bale kambang (floating pavilion) stands in a large artificial lake here and is used as a place for meetings and to relax. Today the palace gardens are a playground for children. The temple sits behind the sedate water gardens and is open daily; admission is by donation.
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AIRPORT: Hotel counters outside the airport. BALI: Air Bali, Arena Sport Bar & Rest, Asia Collection Tour, Asian Trails Tour, Balcony Rest, Barb’s Sport Warung, BIMC, Blue Water Express, Bounty Cruises, Caesar Rest & Bar, Café Canggu, Café Marzano, Café Smorgas, Canggu Club, De Banjar Rest, Eco Beach Rest, Exotissimo Travel Indonesia, Gardenia Cafe & Bar, Gili Shop Poppies 1 & 2, Gloria Jeans Coffee 1 & 2, Go Vacation Tour, Golden Kris Tour, Grocer & Grind, Jimmy Sport Bar & Rest, Indo-Ned, Junction Bar & Rest, Khaima Rest & Bar, Made’s Warung Kuta & Seminyak, Maya Coffee & Smothie Bar, Meno Mojo, Ocha Warung, Pacific World, Pacto Tour, Piduh Rest, Poppies Bar & Rest, Red Carpet, Rutica Cucina Italiana, Sate Bali Rest Echo Beach, SOS, Sticky Fingers Italiana, The Cameng Bar & Rest, The Plumbers Arms, The Porch Cafe, Trattoria Cucina Italiana, Ultimo Bar & Rest, Vila Lumbung, Warung Bale Bali, Warung Bonita, Warung Eropa, Warung Italia, Warung Made Bar & Rest, Warung Pregina, Warung Sulawesi, White Sands Rest & Bar. MATARAM: Citramulia Travel, CV Ananta Guna Lestari, Depo Jaya Bangunan, Falcon Developments, Ira Property, Losmen Tjabe Merah, Mataram Mall (Delicio Café, Joli Sourire Dental Care, KFC, Lombok Coffee House, McDonalds, Oceanic Café), NTB Museum, Sinta Pest Control, Toko Susana. GILI GEDE: Secret Island Resort. KUTA: Bombora Bungalows, Bumbangku Cottages, Discovery Coffee House, Kuta Bay Homestay, Kuta Heights, Kuta Indah Hotel, Mimpi Manis Homestay, Novotel, Puri Rinjani, Sekar Kunning/Yellow Flower, The Chili Cafe, Warung Bule. SENGGIGI: Alfa Mart, Anna’s Giftshop, Asmara Restaurant, Bean Bags, Blue Marlin Senggigi, Café Alberto, Cafe Lombi, Chicken Stop, Ciokolata, De Quake, Dream Divers, Dream Estate, Graha Beach Senggigi Hotel, Holiday Resort, Jeeva Klui, Laroz Cafe & Lounge, Living Asia, Lombok Property & Villas, Lotus Bayview Restaurant, Marshander Spa & Salon, Meat Mart, Orchid Spa, Pitstop Motorcycle Rental, Puri Bunga Cottages, Qunci Villas, Santosa Villas & Resort, Senggigi Jaya Abadi Supermarket, Square Restaurant, Stars Cafe, Temptations, The Beach Club, The Chandi, The Office, Ye Jeon Restaurant. GILI T: Blue Marlin Dive, Desa Dunia Beda, Exqisit Spa, Gili T Resort, Gili Getaway, Kayu Cafe, ko-ko-mo Resort, Oceano Resort, Pesona Resort, Hotel Vila Ombak, Kayu Cafe, Manta Dive, Ombak Sunset, Scallywags, The Beach House, The Trawangan. GILI MENO: Blue Marlin Dive, Tropical Hideaways Resort. GILI AIR: 7Seas Bungalows, Scallywags, The Beach Club. SUMBAWA: Mini Mart, Newmont Mining Site. Special thanks to our contributors: Barbara Kathleen, Dian Cahyadi, Didik Hariadi, FOKUS Unram, Iwan Haryanto, Nanang Wirawan, www.balidiscovery.com. Printed by PT. Temprina Media Grafika, Denpasar, Bali Copyright © 2014. All rights reserved. Nothing in The Lombok Guide can be reproduced in whole or part without written permission from the publisher.
Floating in the sparkling turquoise waters just off the southwest coast are thirteen small islands called the Southwest Gilis. Unlike the famous Gili islands in the northwest of Lombok, the Southwest Gilis are largely uninhabited and have yet to be discovered by most travellers... thus we call them “The Secret Islands”. The Sekotong region starts just south of Lembar Harbour and features stunning beaches and bays set against a backdrop of rolling hills. The drive itself is a worthwhile trip, meandering through villages where life is largely untouched by tourism and where the people are involved in their day-today activities of farming, fish cultivation, boating and fishing, brick-making and other traditional pastimes. Along the roadsides you will see people building and repairing boats, laying out hand-made bricks to dry in the sun, working in the fields, and sometimes guiding primitive wooden ploughs harnessed to huge water buffalo, as they prepare the fields for planting.
Secret Islands, Pristine Beaches! Nanggu Cottages providing simple cottages on the beach and a restaurant, as well as deluxe rooms further back from the beach. The island is small and the beach here has soft white sand and a good reef just off the beach for snorkelling. Travelling a little further south, before the marine culture complex (Balai Budaya Laut), there is a small dirt road leading out onto a white peninsular of sand that juts into beautiful clear waters. Drive to the end for superb views and a close up look at Gili Genting. Gili Genting sits just off the tip of the peninsular and at low tide you can walk across the sandbar and explore this uninhabited island. Old volcanic rocks and stone carved from centuries of tidal flow create small caves and alcoves, providing shelter for picnics and interesting nooks and crannies to explore.
Back on the main road and slightly further south is Sundancer Resort, with its distinctive blue roofs dotted on the The peaceful village of Taun (or Tawun), is hillside overlooking another white sand situated on a wide, placid bay in Sekotong. beach. The hotel development is still under construction. The ocean is sparkling turquoise and the dazzling white sand stretches in a wide Across the road from Sundancer, on the sweep around the bay, while the hills beachfront, is Dive Zone – a well-run behind form a perfect backdrop to this diving facility and experts on diving idyllic setting. the southwest islands, having pioneered development of previously unknown dive Just out in the calm bay are the three sites in this area. lovely islands of Gili Nanggu, Gili Tangkong and Gili Sudat – all easily Dive Zone offer dive trips around accessible by local outrigger boats. A small Sekotong and the islands, as well as in three locations in South Lombok – sign in the nearby village will direct you including challenging world-class diving to the local boat hire area, where you can off southeast Lombok. arrange boat trips out to Gili Nanggu and the other small islands offshore. Another few kilometres past Dive Zone is Cocotinos Boutique Beach Resort, set Of the three, only Gili Nanggu has on the secluded beach at Tanjung Empat. accommodation for visitors, with Gili
With 28 rooms, including beachfront villas with private swimming pools, Cocotinos is the only luxury accommodation in the area. Cocotinos in Sekotong is the second venture for the Odyssea Asia group, with their first dive resort already well established in Manado, Sulawesi. Scuba diving courses and dives, operated by Odyssea Divers, are available from the resort, together with snorkelling, boating and other sea sports. Fronting the resort is a glorious white sand beach which spans over 300m, part of which is a private cove. Facilities include a 17m beach front swimming pool, a restaurant overlooking the bay, the Laleina Spa on the waterfront, a boat jetty, and diving and boating facilities. At the next intersection there is a signpost to the right for Labuhan Poh and Pelangan, the site of Bola Bola Paradis. This is a small hotel, situated right on the beachfront with comfortable and clean rooms at reasonable prices. The hotel also organises snorkelling tours and is a popular choice for those surfing at Bangko-Bangko. The largest of these islands is Gili Gede, appropriately meaning “Big Island”. The island lays just offshore and is so large visitors often mistake it for part of the mainland. Gili Gede is easily reached by boat from the village of Tembowong and is only minutes across the water. Gili Gede is one of the few islands in the area that has accommodation, at Secret Island Resort on the south, Via Vaccare on the northwest and Madak Belo on the east. Gili Gede is large enough to provide a range of activities such as hiking to the
61 own a large parcel of land on Gili Ringgit and have constructed a boat mooring and pier on the island. There is good snorkelling on the west side of Gili Ringgit, accessed by boat. Large gardens of hard and soft corals lay just beneath the surface and the reef extends along most of the island’s coast. On the other side of the island is where the pier is located, with a fantastic white sand beach. It is a favourite for guests from Secret Island Resort, and Dive Zone often brings divers to the island to relax in between dives, as the scenery and beach here are so lovely.
hills in the centre for fantastic views across the other islands, exploring deserted beaches and hidden coves and meeting the people living on the island, who are very friendly and, as yet, unspoilt by tourism. Secret Island has comfortable budget accommodation, including a unique bungalow perched on a pier over the reef – the only one in either Lombok or Bali. The Resort offers a host of activities that all the family will enjoy, while also being a place
It’s easy to snorkel offshore, just north of the pier and, although the reef isn’t as large as on the other side of the island, there is still plenty to see. Bright blue starfish drape themselves across patches of coral, and bright yellow and black Moorish Idols dart through the water. Schools of where you can get away from it all. hundreds of small iridescent fish swim past Secret Island can also organise fishing trips and weirdly shaped squid drift by in the and island hopping excursions to the other deeper areas. beautiful islands in the area, most of which We met a boat load of happy tourists on are deserted, about their comfortable 9m Gili Ringgit, out for the day with Dive custom-built boat “Scorpio”. Zone, who described the diving as some of the best they’ve ever experienced. Most To the south of Gili Gede, the islands of couldn’t stop gushing about the huge Gili Ringgit, Layar and Asahan are lined school of turtles they had just seen near up like secret treasures in the calm sea. Gili Layar! Bounty Cruises, a Bali based company, Continued on Page 66
62 Continued from Page 65
All around these Southwest Gilis, abundant coral reefs lay just below the surface waiting to be explored, filled with thousands of brightly coloured tropical fish, huge sprawling blue starfish and magical turtles gently gliding through the water. Slightly south of Gili Gede, beautiful Gili Asahan attracts visitors with deserted white sand beaches, clear calm waters and swaying palm trees. Pearl Beach Resort, the only accommodation on the island, is a lovely boutique hotel with charming and welldesigned bungalows looking out over a breath-taking beach. Of a higher standard than most of the southwest accommodation, each bungalow has a private terrace and western style bathrooms with hot water. There is also a beachfront restaurant serving western and Indonesian meals. The resort is popular with divers and can arrange diving and snorkelling trips, as well as island-hopping tours. Pearl Beach
is perfect for romantic escapes and for those seeking the tranquillity of a private island resort. Leaving Gili Asahan and back on the mainland there are small home-stays and private accommodations spaced out along the road to Bangko-Bangko – known as Desert Point and the surfing Mecca for those in the know – located on the far southwest tip of Lombok. The wide white sand bay is lined with fisherman’s huts and draws hundreds of surfers every year from as far away as Hawaii and Brazil to challenge the huge waves of Desert Point, just offshore. Although the road deteriorates after Labuhan Poh, it is still passable for most vehicles in the dry season. During the surfing season, from mid-May to September and again in December, the beach is buzzing with surfers, but otherwise it is a remote and peaceful area. Bali is clearly visible, with the island of Nusa Penida only about an hour’s sail away.
The drive to the point is dotted with bucolic scenery and tiny villages, making it a worthwhile trip even for non-surfers. There is basic surfer accommodation in the area and plans for development in the near future. Those who wish to explore the underwater world further can join dive adventures with either Dive Zone in Sekotong or Odyssea Divers at Cocotinos The dive sites reflect a good cross-section of what Indonesian diving has to offer. Dive in and be fascinated by turtles, white tip reef sharks, cuttlefish, moray eels and many other varieties of marine life. The reefs are full of bright soft corals and colourful corals, which harbor an amazing variety of rare marine life, including ghost pipe fish, leaf fish, pygmy seahorses and much more. The southwest is slated for tourism development and it’s easy to imagine hotels and resorts on all these beaches and islands in the future, as well as yachts, fishing boats, windsurfers, dive boats and the like. But for now, the Southwest is unspoilt and the Gilis remain the secret islands… stunningly beautiful, pristine and unique; and known only to the lucky few.
Kuta and The South Coast
Kuta by Barbara Cahyadi
KUTA AND THE SUBLIME SOUTH COAST
Indonesia boasts some of the most magnificent scenery in the world and the south coast of Lombok rates as being among the best.
South Lombok has views to inspire artists and photographers, and leaves visitors from around the world speechless at the sublime panoramic beauty that unfolds beach after beach, bay after bay, all along the coast. The beaches of the south draw crowds to bake on the blindingly white sands, swim in the crystal clear oceans and challenge some of the best surf breaks in Indonesia. Kuta (sometimes spelt Kute) is the main town and tourism centre on the south coast of Lombok, and is the hub for exploring the fantastic southern beaches and the many points of interest in the region. Located around 60 km south of Mataram, and about one and a half hour’s drive from Senggigi, Kuta makes for a wonderful day trip from other points in Lombok, or an alternative holiday destination for travellers exploring Lombok. Since the Lombok International Airport opened in late 2011, many of the major roads have been upgraded and the main road to Kuta is very good. The new airport is located only 25 minutes’ drive north of Kuta and has made access to the south very easy. The proximity to the airport has already sparked an investment boom in the area and major developments are expected over the coming year. For now, the south is uncrowded, pristine and spectacular. The drive down to the south coast is an interesting rural tour of small villages and farming communities. Fields of tobacco, corn and peanuts line the roadsides and farmers till the fields using antiquated ploughs pulled by large water buffalo. Just before arriving in Kuta, the road passes two traditional Sasak villages – Sade and Rambitan. On the east side of the road is Rambitan, a village that caters to tourists and has authentic clusters of thatched Lumbung, or rice barns, and traditional homes made of thatch and bamboo,
with hardened cow and buffalo dung floors. Nearby, on the hilltop, is one of the oldest mosques in Lombok, Mesjid Kuno. The small building with a thatched roof is considered holy and many believers make pilgrimages to pray here. Slightly further south is Sade, an hilltop village with more Lumbungs and traditional homes. Both villages have been renovated and cater to the tourist market, but are still interesting examples of traditional Sasak architecture and communal living within the compounds, where life continues as it has for centuries. Residents, who act as guides for a small fee, encourage walks through either of these villages and are happy to share a glimpse of their lifestyles with visitors.
Nearby Mandalika Beach is named after the legendary Princess Mandalika, a beloved character in Sasak folklore. It is near here that thousands of people gather every year to celebrate the colourful ritual of Bau Nyale, when masses of sea worms spawn in the waters offshore.
Ashtari, around 2km west of Kuta, stands out from the usual Kuta cafés and is a “must stop” for those touring in the area. Kuta itself is a small town with hotels, Perched on top of the hill with spectacular home-stays and backpacker’s hostels that views over Kuta and the surrounding cater mainly to the thousands of surfers beaches, Ashtari serves exquisite teas and from around the world who are drawn to juices, and delicious vegetarian meals the area every year to surf the left- and and organic gourmet snacks that are truly right-hand breaks out in the bay. out of the ordinary. Open every day from There is a good variety of accommodation, 6.30am until 8pm for breakfast, lunch, restaurants and facilities for travellers and dinner and all day dining. Get there in time – with investment taking off –more options for sunset drinks! are opening all the time. Kuta attracts thousands of visitors At present, Kuta boasts just one luxury every year for the great surf locations at resort: the Novotel Gerupuk, Tanjung A’an, Ekas, and the Lombok. The beaches to the west. It’s easy to hire a Novotel has a range board and a surf guide from here to learn of accommodation, surfing or, for experienced surfers, to from comfortable access the more challenging surf breaks in hotel rooms to the area. Hire a car or motorbike and you spacious suites and can spend days visiting beautiful, mainly luxurious villas, deserted beaches, both to the east and west some with private of Kuta. swimming pools. Around 4 km east of Kuta is Tanjung A’an, Designed to with perfect white sand beaches and good blend in with the waves for surfers. Slightly further east is environment, and Gerupuk, well known as a top surf location with a stunning and situated on a peninsula of land that juts beachfront location, out into the ocean, with stunning views of the Novotel is a the sea, and the surrounding islands and wonderful example bays. There is a good surf school here and of traditional Sasak no fewer than five surf breaks. architecture. Continued on Page 66
Kuta and The South Coast
66 The beaches and scenery continue all the way to the east coast, with fantastic places such as Bumbang, Awang Bay, Ekas and Pantai Sorga (Heaven Beach)… the name says it all!
Continued from Page 65
At Bumbang, Bumbangku Beach Cottages has simple thatched cottages and comfortable brick deluxe rooms right on a beautiful deserted beach. There is a good restaurant, serving fresh fish and seafood caught by local fishermen, and easy access to the best surfing spots nearby. Even for non-surfers, Bumbangku is a delightful place to spend a few days; swimming, strolling along the wide calm bay and relaxing in the peaceful natural surroundings. Further east, Heaven on the Planet and Ocean Heaven (collectively known as HOTPlanet) currently has the monopoly on accommodation in the southeast, although there are plans to develop the Tanjung Ringgit area. These two exclusive properties feature comfortable accommodation, good restaurants, swimming pool, a Spa and Wellness Centre and a host of water activities, such as surfing, snorkelling, kayaking, wind-surfing and more. Heading west from Kuta are another series of beautiful beaches and bays hidden behind headlands and rolling hills, providing peaceful and secluded spots for
Laut Biru Café at Sempiak Villas is a popular place for a stop – or justifies a day trip in itself – and serves fresh and delicious snacks and meals throughout the day in a pretty restaurant overlooking the beach. Spend a day exploring the area, with lunch and a swim here as the highlights of your trip. Further west are picturesque Sepi and Blongas bays, and many more scenic beaches along the way; all are mostly deserted.
picnics and swimming. All are within easy day trips of Kuta. Mawun Beach is around 30 minutes’ drive to the west and is a picturesque, almost circular bay with small green headlands rolling into the ocean from either side. It is a spectacular beach with calm blue waters, perfect for swimming and spending a day lazing on the white sand. Mawi, around another 7km to the west, has good right- and left-hand barrels for surfing when the swell is large enough. At other times, it is a lovely beach with impressive views of Gili Lawang just offshore; look for the three startling pinnacles of rock jutting out of the ocean. Selong Belanak is a long sweeping bay framed on each end by headlands and surrounded by rolling hills. Sempiak Villas has plush villas perched on the hillside with breath-taking panoramic views.
The road deteriorates rapidly and the going can be rough at times. For exploring this remote area it’s best to use an experienced local guide with a good vehicle. Steeped in history and legend, surrounded by beaches of almost surreal beauty, the south coast is a fascinating area to visit, whether your interests are historical, cultural or just the opportunity to see and explore some of the most beautiful and pristine coastal scenery in Indonesia.
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Kuta and The South Coast
Kuta and The South Coast
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Kuta and The South Coast
South Lombok Map
General Information (Directory Assistance): (0370) 108 BANK / ATM Bank Central Asia (BCA) Jl. Pejanggik No.67, Mataram, Lombok Phone: 0370 632588, Fax: 0370 622347 ATMs - Jl. Raya Senggigi, Senggigi, W. Lombok - Mataram Mall, Mataram, W. Lombok - MGM Plaza, Jl. AA Gede Ngurah, Mataram - Jl. Airlangga, Mataram, W. Lombok - Jl. Jendral Sudirman, Praya, C. Lombok - Jl. Langko, Mataram, W. Lombok - Jl Raya Senggigi (Senggigi Square) Bank Danamon Indonesia Jl. Pejanggik No.117, Mataram, W. Lombok Phone: 0370 631322, Fax: 0370 633068 ATMs - Jl. Koperasi 1, Mataram, W. Lombok - Jl. Raya Senggigi, Senggigi, W. Lombok - Komplek Ruko B1, Sweta, W. Lombok Bank International Indonesia (BII) Jl. AA Gede Ngurah No.48, Mataram, W. Lombok. Phone: 0370 635027, 633347 ATMs - Jl. Airlangga No.25, Mataram, Lombok - Mataram Mall, Mataram, W. Lombok - Jl. Raya Senggigi, Senggigi, W. Lombok Bank Mandiri Jl. Pejanggik No.20-22, Mataram, W. Lombok. Phone: 0370 631311 ATMs - Jl. Pejanggik No.20, Cakranegara, Lombok - Jl. Taruna Jaya, Mataram, W. Lombok - Mataram Mall, Mataram, W. Lombok - Selaparang Airport, Mataram, W. Lombok - Jl Raya Senggigi (In Front of Santosa) Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI) Jl. Langko No.64, Mataram, W. Lombok Jl. Raya Senggigi, W. Lombok Phone: 0370 631046, Fax: 0370 631005 ATMs - Jl. Langko No.64, Mataram, W. Lombok - Jl. Pejanggik No.68, Mataram, W.Lombok - University of Mataram (UNRAM) - Jl. Sandubaya, Sweta, W. Lombok - Jl. Selaparang No.37, Mataram, W. Lombok - Jl. Raya Senggigi, W. Lombok - Mataram Mall, Mataram, W. Lombok - Jl. Jendral Sudirman 51, Praya, C. Lombok Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI) Jl. Pendidikan No.16, Mataram, Lombok Phone: 0370 632246, Fax: 0370 633084 ATMs - Jl. Airlangga, Mataram, W. Lombok - Mataram Mall, Mataram, W. Lombok - Jl. Pahlawan No.92, Selong, E. Lombok MEDICAL / HEALTH CARE Medika Husada Clinic Jl Raya Senggigi. Phone: 0370 6644820 HOSPITALS Rumah Sakit Harapan Keluarga Jl Ahmad Yani 9 Selagalas. Ph: 6177000, 670000. Emergency (24hrs): 6177009. Mataram Public Hospital (Rumah Sakit Umum Mataram) Jl. Pejanggik No.6, Mataram, W. Lombok Phone: 0370 623498 / 6604605 New Mataram Public Hospital (Rumah Sakit Umum Mataram) Jl. Bung Karno 1 Mataram. Phone: 0370 645045 Central Lombok Public Hospital Jl. Jendral Basuki Rachmad, Praya, Central Lombok. Phone: 0370 654007 East Lombok Public Hospital Jl. Professor M. Yamin No. 55, Selong, East Lombok. Phone: 0376 21680
Biomedika Clinic Jl. Bung Karno 143 Mataram. Phone: 0370 645137 Risa Clinic Jl. Pejanggik 115 Cakranegara. Phone: 0370 625560 / 632117 DENTAL drg. Farida Istiarini, Sp.Ort (Joli Sourire Dental Care) Mataram Mall. Jl. Pejanggik, Cakranegara. Ph: 0370 668 1797 drg. Lina Kulsum Jl. Gunung Dieng No.7, Mataram, Lombok Phone: 0818536236 / 0370 632131 MONEY CHANGERS Multigraha Kelolavalas - Jl. Rasa Senggigi km.10, Senggigi, W. Lombok, Ph; 0370 693693 - Jl. Pejanggik No.1, Mataram, W. Lombok, Ph: 0370 631567 Multigraha Valas Jl. Saleh Sungkar No.1 Ampenan, W. Lombok, Ph: +62 370 624045 PT. Bali Mispintjira Jl. Raya Senggigi km.13, Senggigi, West Lombok, Ph: 0370 692247, 0370 692247 SHOPPING Senggigi Abadi Supermarket Jl. Raya Senggigi, Km.8.5, Senggigi, West Lombok. Phone: 0370 693311 Senggigi Jaya Supermarket Jl. Raya Senggigi, Km.8, Senggigi, West Lombok. Phone: 0370 693530 Alfa Mart Jl Raya Senggigi Indomaret Jl Raya Senggigi Art Market (Pasar Seni) - Jl. Raya Senggigi, Senggigi West Lombok - Gili Trawangan, West Lombok Barata Department Store Jl. Niaga II, Ampenan, West Lombok Phone: 0370 646123 Grand Store Mataram Mall, 3rd floor, Jl. Pejanggik, Cakranegara, W. Lombok. Ph: 0370 629931 Hero Supermarket Mataram Mall, 1st floor, Jl. Pejanggik, Cakranegara, W. Lombok. Ph: 0370 629918 Tiara Department Store Mataram Mall, 1st & 2nd floor, Jl. Pejanggik, Cakranegara, West Lombok Phone: 0370 629902 Kharisma Book Shop Mataram Mall, 2nd floor, Jl. Pejanggik, Cakranegara, West Lombok Phone: 0370 629875 Ruby Supermarket Jl. Pejanggik No.111, Cakranegara, West Lombok. Phone: 0370 631092 Jembatan Baru Supermarket Jl. Pejanggik No.41, Cakranegara, West Lombok. Phone: 0370 636106 MGM Plaza Jl. AA Gede Ngurah No.98, Cakranegara, West Lombok. Phone: 0370 646007 EMERGENCY Senggigi Tourism Police: Jl. Raya Senggigi, Phone. 00370 693267 Lombok Regional Police: Jl. Gajah Mada No. 7 Ampenan. Call this emergency number: 110 Fire Brigade: Phone. 0370 672013. In emergency call 113
Hospital UGD (Emergency Unit Service): Phone: 0370 622254 Ambulance: Phone. 0370 623498. In emergency call 118 TAXIS Blue Bird Taxi, Phone: 0370 627000 Express Group Taxi, Ph: 0370 647555 IMMIGRATION Jl. Udayana, Mataram, Ph: 0370 632520 PUBLIC SERVICES ELECTRICITY PLN Mataram. Ph: 0370 632182 PLN Senggigi. Ph: 0370 693535 WATER PDAM Mataram. Ph: 0370 632510 PDAM Senggigi. Ph: 0370 693886 Telkom (Phone/Internet). Ph: (0370) 147 POST OFFICES Mataram: Jl. Sriwijaya, Phone. 0370 632645 Senggigi: Jl. Raya, Phone. 0370 693711 CONSULATES AUSTRALIA (incl. New Zealand, Canada) Phone: 0361 241118, Fax: 0361 221195, Email: email@example.com BRAZIL Phone: 0361 757775, Fax: 0361 751005. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org BRITAIN Phone: 0361 270601, Fax: 0361 287804, Email: email@example.com CHILE Phone: 0361 756781, Fax: 0361 756783. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org CZECH REPUBLIC Phone: 0361 286465, Fax: 0361 286408. Email: email@example.com DENMARK & NORWAY Phone: 0361 701070, Fax: 0361 701073/4, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org FINLAND & SWEDEN Phone: 0361 288407, Fax: 0361 287242. Email: email@example.com FRANCE Phone: 0361 285485, Fax: 0361 286406, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org GERMANY Phone: 0361 288535, Fax: 0361 288826, Email: email@example.com HUNGARY Phone: 0361 287701, Fax: 0361 287456. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org INDIA Ph. 0361 259502/259503, Fax. 0361259505 E: email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org ITALY Phone: 0361 701005. Email: email@example.com JAPAN Phone: 0361 227628, Fax: 0361 265066. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org SPAIN Phone: 0361 975736, Fax: 0361 975726, Email: email@example.com SWITZERLAND & AUSTRIA Phone: 0361 751735, Fax: 0361 754457. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org THAILAND Phone: 0361 263310, Fax: 0361 238044 THE NETHERLANDS Phone: 0361 761502, Fax: 0361 752777, Email: email@example.com USA Ph: 0361 233605, Fax: 0361 222426. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
GETTING TO THE GILIS
The Gilis are easily reached from Bali via the numerous fast boat services now operating between Bali and Gili Trawangan. Alternatively, you can fly to Lombok and travel across to the Gilis.
Fast Boats: With Lombok’s airport now based further away in central Lombok, the fast boat services are a popular option, providing fast and easy transfers between Bali to Gili Trawangan. The crossing between the islands can be treacherous in bad weather, so choose a reliable operator and avoid companies that practice “over loading” in busy times. Blue Water Express provides transfers between Bali and Gili Trawangan, and Lombok mainland. BWE operates two boats, with 30 and 50 passenger capacities, departing from Serangan (near Benoa Harbour) at 8am and 10am, and from Padang Bai Harbour at 11.15am every day. Return transfer from Gili Trawangan is at 11am. Fares include air conditioned hotel transfers in Bali. Ph: +62 361 895 1111 / 0813 3841 8988. www.bluewater-express.com
Gili Getaway is a comfortable fast boat departing from Benoa Harbour, Bali (only 20 mins from Kuta) daily at 8am. The crossing takes around 2 hours to Gili Trawangan and Teluk Kodek on Lombok. Ph Bali: (0361) 751570 / 726 523; or Bali: 0819 1673 3051; Gili T: 0878 6432 2515. www.island-getaway.com Marina Srikandi operates direct fast boat services several times a day between Padang Bai Harbour (Bali) and the Gilis, as well as a direct service to Senggigi. Hotel transfers to main tourism areas in Bali are available. Ph: +62 370 693 383, Bali Ph: +62 361 729 818. www.marinasrikandi.com GiliBookings.com is an online booking service offering easy reservations with the leading fast boat operators between Bali and Lombok. Availability checks, schedules and e-ticketing, as well as accommodation options and more, are all available online from their website: www.gilibookings.com By Plane: Fly to Lombok and either stay on the mainland before making a trip out to the Gilis or travel to Senggigi (1 hour 15 minutes) to arrange transport to the Gilis. There are many different options, as described below. Tour companies and
dive operators in Senggigi also provide transfers daily. By Helicopter: Air Bali offers a regular helicopter transfer service between Bali and Gili Trawangan. Private charters are also possible (subject to availability). Ph: + 62 361 767466 or 766 582. www.airbali. com HOTEL TRANSFERS: Many of the larger hotels on the islands now provide speedboat transfers for guests, as well as pick up services from the airport – enquire when you make your booking. FROM TELUK NARA AND TELUK KODEK: Teluk Nara is a large peaceful bay on the west coast, about 25 minutes’ drive north of Senggigi. Most of the dive companies and many businesses on the Gilis have their boats moored in the bay and transfer guests to the islands every day from Teluk Nara. Blue Water Express, Marina Srikandi and Gili Getaway also operate fast boat services between Lombok and Bali from this harbour. It is possible to negotiate private boat trips (including speed boat transfers) out to the islands with local boat owners here, thereby avoiding the hassles of Bangsal. At the northern end of the bay is Teluk Kodek, where Vila Ombak, The Beach House, kokomo and Scallywags have bases for transferring their guests by speedboat to the Gilis. FROM BANGSAL HARBOUR: Catch a taxi or bemo to Bangsal Harbour, the small harbour on the north-west coast, about 30 minutes from Senggigi. Public ferries (really just large outrigger boats) depart regularly to all three islands and charters are available, with prices depending on the number of passengers and your bargaining skills. Unfortunately, the area is plagued by touts and scams, so ignore them and head directly to the ticket office on the beachfront. Public ferry and charter boat prices are posted clearly on the wall of the ticket office. Be aware that public boats leave when
there are enough passengers to warrant the trip, so you may have to wait for a while. Best times are between 8am and 4pm. If you don’t want to wait, it doesn’t cost very much to charter a boat, especially if you have a few people in your group. Don’t let anyone carry your bags or, if they offer to carry baggage, negotiate a price first. Ignore people who tell you that there are no return public transfers… there are; or that there is no water, mosquito repellent, etc., on the islands. All the essentials are readily available at shops on all three islands. Bangsal is a pretty area; it’s a shame some of the touts try to ruin it for everyone. If you get stuck at the harbour in the evening, there are some basic home-stays on the road from the beach. Arnel is a nice option with pretty rooms at reasonable prices. The attached Salero Minang restaurant serves delicious Minang meals and the friendly owners can help with everything from vehicle hire to travel information and laundry services. FROM SENGGIGI: You can charter local outrigger boats from the beachfront in Senggigi (in front of the Art Markets). The trip out to the islands takes around one and a half hours. The journey up the coast in the morning is very scenic, but you may get wet on the way back. Make sure you negotiate a price with the boatman first! A good alternative is to check out the many dive centres on the main street in Senggigi who offer reasonable rates for transfers, usually including pick up from your hotel. Arranging snorkelling and dive trips inclusive of island transfers is a good way to save time, money and hassles.
The Gili Islands
The Gili Islands
Three perfect coral islands – Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air – fringed with white sands and swaying palm trees, lay in the sparkling ocean just off the north-west coast of Lombok. Every year the Gilis attract tens of thousands of visitors from around the world for their pristine waters, great diving and snorkelling opportunities, and laidback charm. The word Gili actually means “small island”, and so these islands have come to be known as “The Gilis” by travellers. The Gilis are Lombok’s most popular islands and are consistently rated as top SEA island destinations by travellers and travel publications.
Although previously popular mainly with backpackers, the Gilis now attract a diverse range of visitors – serious diving enthusiasts, sun-seekers looking for the perfect beach getaway, singles, families, and couples of all ages find something to attract them to the Gilis. There is a good selection of accommodations, restaurants and bars on all three islands, with the biggest range on Gili Trawangan. While nobody comes to the Gilis for shopping, each island has many small shops selling essentials such as sunscreen, mosquito repellent, toiletries, cold drinks, snacks and more. In addition, there are cheap clothing and t-shirts, sarongs and
local handicrafts stalls. Activities include walking, riding bikes, horse riding and kayaking on Gili T, yoga, massage and beauty treatments, glass bottom boat trips and island hopping, live-aboard dive trips and cruises to nearby islands, fishing, sailing, surfing and all kinds of water-based activities. The islands provide ample opportunities for visitors to swim, relax, sunbathe, explore, snorkel or scuba dive with the many internationally accredited dive operators based in Lombok. Snorkelling is easy in the calm waters directly off the beaches, with plenty of colourful fish to see.
Unique tropical escapes!
At greater depths and at specific dive locations around the three islands, the pristine waters are home to an abundant variety of corals, aquatic life and thousands of species of tropical fish.
Each Gili has developed independently and at different paces, giving each a different “personality” or style, and catering to different types of holidaymakers and travellers.
An impressive array of sea life can be seen, including green and hawksbill turtles, morays, barracuda, reef sharks, occasionally leopard sharks and manta rays, and much more.
This means that travellers have a good choice, depending on their individual tastes and what type of island escape they prefer.
Visibility is very good and commonly in the 15-30 m range; and water temperatures average 23°C (73°F) to 29°C (84°F). Currents around the islands can be quite strong and drift diving is the norm. Many of the popular dive companies are owned and operated by westerners and PADI and SSI licensed dive operators, with professional standards of safety and environmental awareness, exist on all three islands.
Gili Trawangan is the most developed and popular of the three, with the greatest range of facilities and activities; while Gili Air has a relaxed, laid-back style and is popular with couples and families. Gili Meno is the quietest of
the three, perfect for really getting away from it all. Choose the island that suits you most, or it’s easy to combine an island-hopping holiday to sample the best of all three!
The most well-known and popular of the three Gilis, Gili Trawangan is the largest island and the furthest from the mainland, but easily reached in less than an hour by local boat and only 10 minutes by speedboat from Lombok.
and families from all over the world.
alternatives to the central area.
The island itself is around 3km long and 2km wide, so walking is easy and you can cycle around the island in around 1 1/2 hours (but will need to get off and push your bike through sandy sections on the west side).
Such is the appeal of the island, the south and west coasts are now dotted with small hotels, home-stays, private villas and a couple of larger resorts. This part of the island is the quietest and, although the beaches aren’t as nice as those on the east, the sunsets looking across to Bali are magical.
Previously tagged “the party island” by the Lonely Planet, Gili T (as it is affectionately This is the only Gili to rise significantly known) has moved on and up. above sea level and the hill in the south is a great lookout from which to enjoy Gone are the days when backpackers the spectacular sunsets across the ocean flocked to the island for Rp 20,000 a to Bali; or in the mornings, the brilliant night huts on the beach and Rp 5,000 sunrise over Gunung Rinjani on mainland Bintang beers. Today, Gili T has a sleek Lombok. sophisticated side that becomes more evident every year. On the far south end of the hill are the remnants of old WWII Japanese gun That’s not to say that the original charms emplacements and crumbling bunkers, but that attracted tourists in the beginning are the hand-dug tunnels have been blocked gone. The perfect white sand beaches, clear turquoise waters and laid-back island up. style are still there in buckets. The main development on the island is on the east coast, particularly southeast But the island has cast off its grungy in the area called “Sentral”, where origins and now combines the best of a the boats dock. The tracks inland are tropical island paradise with a touch of through coconut groves and pockets of chic and all the mod cons of a top holiday development. destination. Gili T still hosts backpackers and budget travellers, but these days they are joined by expatriates and trendsetters from Java and Bali, together with singles, couples
Development runs all along the east coast with swish places rubbing shoulders with the older bars and accommodations. The north coast is quieter and offers peaceful
Accommodation on Gili T ranges from basic home stays to luxury hotels and villas. The old style bungalows with woven bamboo walls and thatched roofs are slowly disappearing, to be replaced by simple cottages with western style bathrooms to suit the budget crowd. At the other end of the scale, boutique hotels and luxurious villas boast all the comforts of 5 star resorts, including designer furnishings, private swimming pools or Jacuzzis, WiFi internet, iPod docks, satellite TV and DVD. Restaurants rival Bali in quality, if not numbers. There are lounges and sophisticated bars, Internet cafés, movie “theatres” and beachside cafés galore. Most restaurants and bars are located along the east coast, although the north coast has some lovely low-key options. Dining choices range from the typical Indonesian nasi goreng to sushi; barbecued seafood on the beach to international fine dining; and everything between. There is a lively bar scene at night and the island has a rotating party roster, where some of the top places have licences to host a party on one night of the week (hence the “party island” reputation). These, and the full moon parties that take place on the beach during high season, are a big draw-card for the crowds of younger people who come to the island. Continued on Page 79
Luxury Villas on Gili Trawangan
Elegantly furnished villas with private pool Generous living space, dining and kitchen Centrally located to beach, restaurants and bars Last minute discounts available
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79 There is a good surf break on the south coast with a fast right-hander that really pumps in the right conditions. Local surfers will happily lead the way and rent you a board.
Continued from Page 76 For those who prefer quieter entertainment, there are sophisticated dining opportunities, particularly at places such as ko ko mo, Scallywags Resort, and on the beachfront at Hotel Vila Ombak.
The best snorkelling on the island starts on the northern end of the east coast, where you can wade to the reef just offshore. The water is calm and there is a drift from north to south, making it easy to lie on the surface and float down the coral outcrops. Although much of the coral is damaged, there is still an abundant variety of tropical fish species to enjoy and patches of colourful coral.
These days, Gili T is a serious tourist destination with a good infrastructure and range of tourist facilities. Many of the larger restaurants, hotels and dive shops accept credit cards; there are ATM’s in front of Gili T Resort (near Sentral), in front of Vila Ombak on the east coast and further north, near Blue Beach, as well as on the west side at Ombak Sunset. Internet cafés with Wifi are readily available, as are money-changers, tour operators and a large number of fast boat services. There is a tennis club and fitness centre at Kelapa Villas and a medical centre at Vila Ombak with basic emergency facilities and a doctor on call.
Horses can be hired from The Stud on the southeast coast; sea kayaking is available at Karma Kayak on the north coast; yoga, meditation, massages and other health and beauty treatments are available at numerous places around the island. There is even shopping at the Pasar Seni (Art Markets) in Sentral and at any number of shops and kiosks all around the island, selling everything from pearls to sarongs to hammocks. Innuendo has some upmarket resort wear and Silver Dragon sells beautiful silver jewellery.
Cidomo (Horse Cart)
But it is the beaches and the diving that remain the main draw card for Gili T. People flock here to sunbathe on white sand beaches and swim in clean blue waters, to dive the fabulous reefs and to bask in the hedonistic pleasures of a tropical paradise.
Further off shore, the island is famed for its vast gardens of coral and is one of the best dive spots in Lombok, which is why thousands of divers visit Gili T every year. It is also one of the safest and easiest places to learn to scuba dive, with warm water temperatures, calm seas and excellent visibility almost all year round. There is a very good selection of professional western-operated dive shops and a range of dive locations suitable for beginners through to thrill seekers. It’s been a slow evolution over the past 20 years for Gili Trawangan, but the island’s time has come. While the backpackers will no doubt lament, there’s a whole new scene unfolding on Gili T. A world-class tourism destination is emerging – without the traffic and pollution – set down on an idyllic tropical island.
LUXURIOUS VILLAS AND SINGLE SUITES Gili Trawangan, Lombok-NTB Indonesia P: 0370 6647066, M: 087864297487, F: 0370 6147741 E: email@example.com W: www.thetrawangan.com
Clean and comfortable twin and double rooms with air conditioning, satellite television, in-room safes, fully stocked mini bar and private bathrooms with fresh hot water. Fresh water swimming pool and separate kiddies pool. Dine at The Terminal Beachfront bar and restaurant with fantastic views, serving delicious snacks and meals all day Pamper yourself at Marshander Spa & Salon at Gili T Resort Body Therapies and Massages, Hair and Beauty Treatments, Foot Massages Overlooking the Beach
The Jetty, â€˜Sentralâ€™, Gili Trawangan | Phone: 0370 6138513
firstname.lastname@example.org | www.gilitresort.com
GILI ISLANDS FAST FACTS
There are numerous fast boat services operating between Bali and the Gilis. In good weather, fast boats can make the crossing in around 80 minutes but in heavy seas the trip can take two hours or more. Make sure you choose a reputable company who care about passenger comfort and safety, rather than “pack them in and profit”. Check weather conditions before going – the Lombok Strait is one of the deepest bodies of water in the world and seas can get very rough, with waves up to 5 metres in bad weather. Refuse to board overloaded boats. It is also possible to fly to Lombok and transfer to the Gilis from the mainland. See “Getting to Lombok” and “Getting to the Gilis” sections for details. Alcohol and the risk of methanol poisoning have been in the spotlight since 2009 and there have been a significant number of deaths from contaminated alcohol in Bali, Lombok and the Gilis. Avoid bars and places that serve arak or other “local spirits”, including cocktails such as “Jungle Juice” and “Arak Attack”. With imported alcohol heavily taxed in Indonesia, “Welcome drinks”, “Two for one” cocktails and cheap shots should all be viewed with suspicion. If it seems too cheap to be the real deal, it probably is. Large hotels and restaurants generally serve imported alcohol; otherwise, stick
Gili Trawangan by Didik Hariadi
to beer and steer clear of places that put profits before your safety. Electricity on all three Gilis is supplied by generators and blackouts are sometimes a problem. Many places have their own emergency generators but the smaller businesses may rely on candles and lanterns when the power goes out. Water is a scarce resource on the islands and fresh water is shipped from the mainland daily. A business on Gili T now supplies desalinated water and fresh water showers are becoming common. However, smaller hotels and home-stays may only provide salt water showers. Use bottled water to rinse off. The tap water on all the islands is not suitable for drinking but bottled water is cheap and readily available. Internet is available on the Gilis at internet cafés and most larger hotels and restaurants. Connections can be intermittent and speeds are generally slow. ATM machines are available on Gili Trawangan and Gili Air. Credit cards are accepted at most dive shops and larger hotels and restaurants. Money changers are available on all the islands, although the rate is lower than on Lombok. Health services on the islands are limited. There is a 24-hour Clinic at Hotel Vila Ombak on Gili T, and small local clinics on Gili Meno and Air. Dive shop staff have emergency first aid training and basic medical supplies but for anything serious, get to the mainland as fast as possible. Weather is generally hotter on the islands than mainland Lombok. Make sure you drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and use sun protection, even on cloudy days.
There is no motorised transport on any of the islands. Walk, ride a bicycle or catch a cidomo (local horse cart). None of the islands is very large, so walking is an easy option. Bicycles can be hired for between Rp 25,000 and Rp 50,000 per day, depending on the type and condition of the bike. Some hotels provide bikes free of charge for guests. Cidomo fares are fixed and rates are displayed in the front of the cart. Generally, short distances will cost around Rp 40,000; a round-the-island tour costs Rp 125,000 on Gili T. Walking or riding a bike is a nicer option. Dress is casual on the islands and it is normal to see tourists walking around in swimsuits, sarongs and shorts. Remember that the islands’ residents are Muslim and nude or topless sunbathing is frowned upon. Please respect island sensibilities and keep your clothes on! Mosquitoes can sometimes be a problem, especially during rainy season. DEET repellents are the best protection and local products such as “Autan” and “OFF!” are relatively cheap and readily available in the shops. The Gili Eco Trust (GET) is a non-profit organisation based on Gili T that works to protect and conserve the environment. GET activities include reef conservation, resource management, waste management and education programmes, to name a few. The Eco Trust raises funds for its programmes through an Eco-tax of Rp 50,000 collected from divers on the islands. Clean-up days, to collect rubbish from the beach and sea, take place on the first Friday of every month on Gili T. Register at Gili T dive shops and join in the fun! To find out more about Eco-projects and to support GET programmes, visit: www.giliecotrust.com
The Beach House on Gili Trawangan is an innovative and contemporary resort set amidst tropical gardens, facing the sparkling turquoise waters of the Lombok Straits. Accommodation choices include a range of private villas, each with their own freshwater pools. Pool suites sharing a freshwater plunge pool, and 12 bungalows set in tropical gardens. The Beach House provides a range of facilities, including a beachfront freshwater resort pool and bar, and a beachside bar and restaurant serving international cuisine.
Phone: +62 370 6142 352 Fax: +62 370 6148 365 Email: email@example.com
views over Gili Air and to Mt Rinjani in the east. It is possible to walk around the whole island on a small beachside track in around 90 minutes. Those seeking total tranquillity head to the north and west coasts, where more development has been quietly taking place over the past year. Mahamaya Boutique Resort, on the northwest coast, has the most luxurious accommodation on the island, with two exclusive beachfront villas and seven spacious Pool Suites set around a small swimming pool. The resort has been built using cuttingedge environmentally-friendly technology, including a bio sewage system for waste water, waste management and recycling policies, fresh rain water collection tanks, solar power and low wattage devices, and NASA oxygen treatment technology for the swimming pool. The restaurant earns accolades for top quality cuisine served in the shady dining area or at pretty tables on the beachfront; especially romantic at night with fabulous sunsets and views across the ocean to Gili T and beyond.
Gili Meno is the middle and the smallest of the three Gili Islands, with the lowest population and the least number of visitors. The island has not developed as quickly as Gili T or Gili Air and suffered unpopularity when, in the mid-90’s, The Lonely Planet wrote that the salt lake on the island created mosquito problems. This was untrue – mosquitoes are no more prevalent on Gili Meno than anywhere else – but the damage was done. Many would say that the bad publicity was a blessing in disguise. Today, Meno is probably the prettiest of the three Gilis, with the laid-back and uncomplicated charm of a true castaway tropical island. The water surrounding the island is clear turquoise and the beaches are covered in brilliant white sand, fringed with groves of coconut palms. Although investors are steadily buying up land, especially on the west coast facing Gili T, there is no major development on the island as yet. There are a few upmarket villas, but no large resorts.
Fortunately, much of the investment taking place here is low-key and – perhaps recognising the pristine nature of the island – development tends to be along environmentally and ecologically sound concepts. For now, small hotels and basic beachside bungalows provide accommodation for those seeking a peaceful place in the sun with un-crowded beaches, clean waters and peaceful nights under the star-filled skies. There is no rowdy bar scene or noisy full moon parties here. Like all the Gilis, the best swimming beaches and most tourist facilities (including boat docking and departure) are along the east coast. Although there are small places dotted all around the island, many of the hotels and restaurants are located along the south-eastern coast, with beautiful
Stylish and contemporary rooms, attention to detail and personalised service make Mahamaya the top choice for honeymooners and those seeking luxe island escapes. Good mid-range options include Tropical Hideaways and Meno Dream Resort, both in the south. Tropical Hideaways, located a short stroll inland from the best beaches on the east coast (down the lane next to Blue Marlin Dive), has comfortable and modern air conditioned rooms with western bathrooms. Continued on Page 87
87 Continued from Page 85
Set in shady gardens, Tropical Hideaways has one of the few swimming pools on the island and a good restaurant and bar, serving delicious and well-priced meals. The food here has gained a very good reputation on the island and the restaurant welcomes outside guests.
see Green, Leatherback and Hawksbill turtles.
To swim with the turtles – these huge creatures that are so awkward and ungainly on land but move through their natural element with a breath-taking dignity and grace – is perhaps the most Further inland, Meno Dream Resort is a special underwater experience of all and a newly-opened and peaceful holiday option, major reason for visiting Gili Meno. just 3 minutes walk from the west coast There is also good snorkelling off the west and excellent snorkelling offshore from the coast near the now-defunct Bounty Resort. old Bounty Resort. Swim out to where the old pontoon has Meno Dream has six comfortable sunk and become a home for many fish. bungalows set in a pretty garden and Inland from the beaches, the island is quite includes a large two storey family dry with small homes scattered through the bungalow… perfect for mum, dad and coconut groves. the kids, or two couples sharing. All In the middle, toward the west coast, is bungalows can be configured for couples a salt lake from which the local people or groups, depending on your needs. still harvest salt on a small scale. It can be For diving enthusiasts, Blue Marlin Dive quite full in rainy season but dries up in on the east coast, and Divine Divers on the the summer. northwest coast, are the diving specialists for Gili Meno and offer diving courses and Also inland, on the main track from the east coast, Gili Meno Bird Park has dives around all three of the Gilis. some tropical birds and a few interesting There is good snorkelling along the animals. There is accommodation here northwest coast, near Mahamaya and and a great display of Beatles memorabilia Divine Divers, and it is often possible to collected by the owner. Casual beachfront cafés and bars serve Indonesian and popular western meals, with fresh fish and wood-fired pizzas being Gili Meno specialties. Some provide lowkey entertainment in the evenings, more so in the high seasons, but visitors to Gili Meno largely
come for romantic escapes and a chance to rejuvenate in the natural beauty of the island’s deserted beaches... which some argue are the best of all three Gilis.
Unlike the public boats from Bangsal to Gili Trawangan and Gili Air, public boats to Gili Meno do not run as frequently, but transfers are available daily at 10am, 2pm, and 5pm. Return boats from Gili Meno to Bangsal operate at 8am and 3pm (with the exception of Friday, when there is no afternoon boat from Meno to Bangsal). Apart from public boat transfers, you can charter a boat for around Rp 250,000 (one way). Share the cost with other travellers if possible.
relaxing massages and body treatments, are available at H2O Yoga and Meditation.
For exploring, there is a path running parallel to the beach and it takes around 90 minutes to circle the whole island. The interior is criss-crossed with a maze of tracks that can get confusing, but all lead back to the beach. There is a good surf break with a barrelling right hander known as “Play Gili” off the south coast that attracts crowds when it is pumping. It breaks over sharp coral, so check with local surfers about conditions and board hire. Diving opportunities abound and there is a good selection of reliable dive operators on the island, including Blue Marlin, Dream Divers, 7Seas Dive Resort, Oceans 5 and Manta Dive.
Gili Air is the island closest to the mainland and can be reached in around 20 minutes by local boat or five minutes by speedboat. Gili Air has the largest local population of the three islands, combining the charm of a tropical island with access to the people and culture that make Lombok unique. At present, Gili Air is a laid back island with a beachfront lined with simple cafés and bars made from bamboo and thatch. Its main appeal is its unspoilt nature, with few of the swanky restaurants and villas that have sprouted up on Gili T… and that’s why so many people love it. However, with some believing that Gili T is becoming over-developed, Gili Air is taking off as an alternative destination. Over the past couple of years, investors have been snapping up land on Gili Air and a number of up-market accommodations and restaurants have sprung up, with more to open in the next year. Most development is on the east coast and towards the south. Scallywags, who have another popular resort on Gili Trawangan, own Scallywags Organic Beach Club on the southern end of the east coast. The restaurant has an excellent menu and guest facilities, as well as a friendly atmosphere and excellent swimming directly in front of the restaurant. Just to the south of Scallywags, The Beach Club Gili Air is operated by the Australian owners of the successful Senggigi business, The Beach Club, and offers eight charming bungalows, similar to their Senggigi accommodations, with large air conditioned bedrooms, private terraces and semi-open air bathrooms. The bar and restaurant serves aboveaverage meals and the beachfront here is a great place for lounging during the day, or upmarket dining in the evening. There are also free movies for restaurant guests on the beach every night (weather permitting).
Existing accommodation on the island is generally simple and until now, has mainly been the domain of the backpacker crowd; although the Gili Air Hotel on the north of the island has a variety of rooms and a swimming pool. Oceans 5, on the south coast, is a well-managed resort with above-average rooms, a good restaurant and swimming pool. Manta Dive has nice air-conditioned bungalows and a swimming pool. Further south, near the harbour, 7Seas International is a professional dive operation, and also offers comfortable and modern air conditioned cottages right on the white sand beach. It is one of the few places on the island that offers family accommodation, in Duplex Family Cottages, only a step away from the pool. Each has two spacious rooms, a big bathroom, a large terrace and small garden, and sea views from the 2nd floor. The existing bedding is suitable for 5 people and up to 3 extra beds can be added on request. There is a good variety of small restaurants and beachside cafés on the island, with many offering traditional Indonesian dishes and basic western fare. The beach barbecues with freshly caught fish are particularly good. The bar scene can get pretty lively in the evenings and, during high season, the island kicks into high gear with Full Moon parties on the beach. Popular places include Chillout Bar and Zipp Bar. Activities include walking and cycling around the island, sun bathing, and swimming, snorkelling and diving in the crystal clear waters. Yoga and meditation, together with
The calm waters and good visibility make Gili Air an ideal place to learn to dive or to upgrade diving skills. There are a number of popular dive sites that attract divers from the other Gilis, including Air Wall off the west coast, Hans Reef and Frogfish Point off the north coast. The water surrounding the island is of a colour hard to describe – a clear, translucent turquoise, made even more pure by the sparkling white sand beneath. Gili Air still boasts living reefs off much of its coast and there is wonderful snorkelling directly from the shore, particularly from the east and northeast beaches. The coral starts within metres of the beach, making it easily accessible to anyone – even novices who have never snorkelled before. Because the island is protected by reefs, there are few waves and the ocean is amazingly gentle, allowing snorkellers to drift in a dreamy daze above this panorama of aquatic shapes and colours. As is the case on all the Gilis, there are no cars or motorbikes allowed on the island, thus there is no pollution to spoil the clean air and the peaceful atmosphere. The views from all points of the island are stunning but the east coast, facing Lombok, is probably the most fantastic – looking back at the big island with its white beaches and green mountains dominated by the volcano, Mt Rinjani.
â€œExotic Charm, Modern Comfortâ€?
Barefoot Luxury in the Gilis
Gili Trawangan, Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia P. +62 370 6141 575 | F. +62 370 6141 585 | M. +62 811 39 06 76 E. firstname.lastname@example.org | www.desaduniabeda.com
Published on Mar 29, 2014
Issue 164 - Climbing Rinjani, Lombok's Sacred Volcano, Tiger suspends Lombok-Singapore flights, Bringing music to Lombok and much more usefu...