Issue 313 | 13 â€“ 27 January 2020
LOMBOK GUIDE ( 0812 3734 4894 | www.thelombokguide.com
PUBLISHED BI-WEEKLY IN LOMBOK, FOR LOMBOK
Goa Buwun Prabu by Olly Gaspar www.weseektravel.com
GETTING TO LOMBOK Wings Air / Lion Air flies between Bali and Lombok daily. The companies code-share, so you may purchase a Lion Air ticket and find yourself on a Wings Air flight. Note: tickets include no The airport is close to Praya (Central Lombok); approximately luggage allowance. Lombok Call Centre: +62 80 4177 8899. Bali, 40km south of the city of Mataram, and around 1 hour drive from ph: +62 361 765132. www.lionair.co.id Senggigi, and 25 minutes from Kuta. DOMESTIC FLIGHTS Airport departure tax is included in the price of all tickets. European connections are easy via Jakarta (the capital city of INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS Java), Bali and other capital cities such as Jogjakarta, Surabaya and Makassar. Direct flights to Lombok from Bali, Jakarta, Jogja and Lombok International Airport has full Visa on Arrival (VOA) Surabaya are available from multiple airlines every day and are facilities, including 30 day “Visa Free” (no charge) for tourists. usually timed to connect with European flights. Ph: +62 370 622987. Lombok International Airport (abbreviated to LIA with the IATA code “LOP”) is the main airport on Lombok.
Air Asia operates direct flights between Lombok and Perth, Western Australia four times per week: every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Book cheap flights now through the AirAsia website. AirAsia also flies direct between Lombok and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, with many international connections available. Flights operate every day, seven days per IN THIS ISSUE week, with two flights daily every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Getting to www.airasia.com Lombok Page 2 Getting Around Lombok Map Best in Lombok Senggigi Senggigi Map Local News Special Feature Special Feature Classifieds Special Feature Special Feature Distribution Land & Property Special Feature The Cities Cities Map Useful Contacts The Southwest South Lombok Map Kuta & The South Coast Kuta Map The Gilis Gili Islands Fast Facts Getting to Gilis Gilis Map
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Silk Air (a subsidiary of Singapore Airlines) flies direct between Lombok and Singapore, three times per week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday). Ph: +62 370 628254 / 628255. www.silkair.com Garuda Airlines connects Lombok to major destinations around the world including London, Singapore, Amsterdam, Bangkok and more, with a short stop-over in Jakarta. Call Centre: 08041 807 807. www.garuda-indonesia.com BALI TO LOMBOK BY AIR It’s easy to get to Lombok from Bali – flight time is only around 40 minutes and fares start from around Rp 200,000 (approx. US $15) one way. Buy tickets online, or direct from the airline counters at the domestic airports, or contact local travel agents in both Bali and Lombok. In Lombok, all flights depart and arrive at Lombok International Airport. In Bali, flights arrive and depart at the domestic terminal at Ngurah Rai (Denpasar) Airport.
Lombok is an important connection for travel to the eastern islands, in particular the islands of Sumbawa, Komodo and Flores. AirAsia operates flights between Lombok and Bali, and Lombok and Jakarta every day; 4 times per week to Surabaya, and 3 times per week to Yogyakarta. All flights use Airbus 320 aircraft. Tickets are available online now at www.airasia.com. Garuda Indonesia (and its subsidiary Citilink) has direct flights daily between Lombok and Bali, Surabaya, and Jakarta. Call Centre: 08041 807 807. www.garuda-indonesia.com Lion Air / Wings Air has daily flights between Lombok, Bali, Labuhan Bajo (Flores), Bima and Sumbawa Besar (Sumbawa), Jakarta, Jogja and Surabaya. Ph: +62 370 6627444 / 642180. www.lionair.co.id Batik Air flies direct between Lombok and Jakarta every day. www.batikair.com NAM Air operates flights between Lombok and Bali, and Lombok and Bima (Sumbawa) every day using Boeing 737-500 aircraft. Bookings can be made online at www.sriwijayaair.co.id. BALI TO LOMBOK BY SEA Padang Bai Harbour (Bali) provides the sea link between mainland Bali and Lombok. Lembar Harbour (Lombok) is on the southwest coast, approx. 1 hour south of Senggigi. Arrange your own transport and buy tickets direct from the harbours, or use a reputable tour company to provide a transfer service. Public Ferries depart every hour for the sea voyage between Padang Bai Harbour (Bali) and Lembar Harbour (Lombok). The crossing between the islands costs Rp 46,000 per person and takes approx. 4 to 5 hours. Lembar Harbour ph: +62 370 681 209. Padang Bai Harbour ph: (+62 363) 41849 / 41840 FAST BOATS There are numerous fast boat services operating between Bali and Lombok. Google “Gili Fast Boats” to choose from a range of operators. Fast boat companies depart from Padang Bai, Serangan (near Benoa Harbour), Sanur and Amed and connect Bali to Lombok (Bangsal Harbour in North Lombok) via the Gili Islands every day.
AirAsia operates flights between Lombok and Bali two times every day. Flights are onboard Airbus 320 aircraft. Tickets are available online now at www.airasia.com.
Gili Getaway operates several comfortable fast boats connecting Bali and mainland Lombok (including the Gili Islands and Gili Gede in southwest Lombok) with daily transfers from Serangan Harbour on Bali. Fares include air conditioned hotel transfers to main points in Bali.
Garuda Airlines has direct flights between Lombok and Bali every day. Call Centre: 0 8041 807 807. www.garuda-indonesia.com
They also offer a VIP transfer service from Gili Gede to the south coast, the cities, Senggigi and other destinations around Lombok. Ph: +62 811 380 1717 or +62 821 4489 9502. (WhatsApp): +62 813 3707 4147. www.giligetaway.com
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Tourism Information DAMRI operate a regular schedule of departures every day to coincide with airline schedules. Three airport shuttle services are available – one to and from central Senggigi (LIA Senggigi), another to and from Mataram (LIA - Mataram Pool Damri), and one to and from Selong in East Lombok (LIA – Selong Pancor).
LOMBOK INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT is a relatively small airport that handles domestic flights between Bali, Jakarta and other Indonesian cities and international flights to and from Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Perth.
There are official taxi counters inside the arrivals hall that will allocate you a fixed price taxi to most destinations plus charge an additional airport fee of Rp 17,500; however, it is just as easy to walk outside and catch a metered taxi independently.
Officially, the scheduled departure times are every hour for shuttle buses to the city of Mataram and every 1 and 1/2 hours to Senggigi, from 3am until 8pm. However, you may find yourself on a bus that combines both routes, stopping first near Mataram and then continuing on to Senggigi.
Getting to the Airport: Lombok Taxi (Blue Bird) is the most convenient taxi operator throughout Lombok and will drop passengers directly in front of the departure terminal. Note: Lombok Taxi cannot pick up passengers from inside the airport grounds. For low cost airport transfers, the DAMRI bus is the cheapest way to travel between Senggigi, Mataram and the airport (see below).
From the Airport: taxis are available to meet all arriving flights. After collecting your baggage, head out of the exit doors of the terminal and through the arrivals hall to the official airport taxi parking area (at the end on the right hand side).
Ignore the many touts that will approach you with offers of cheap fares – they are not licensed operators and often quote low prices, which can quickly change once you are in the car. Avoid eye contact and avoid the hassle. If you do need to use an independent driver – if you are a large group or have a lot of luggage or sports equipment, such as surf boards – make sure you negotiate a fixed price before you get in the vehicle. The public DAMRI bus uses air conditioned Mercedes buses which seat around 40 passengers and are an economical solution to airport transfers to and from Senggigi and the cities.
Kotama and Kotasi are the main operators, using dark blue sedans carrying a maximum of 4 passengers (less if you have a lot of luggage).
Approximate taxi fares: to Senggigi Rp 220,000; to Mataram Rp 160,000; to Kuta: Rp 100,000; to Bangsal Harbour Rp 350,000.
The trip terminates opposite the Galleria shops on the main street in Senggigi (just south of Asmara Restaurant). If you need to stop beforehand, let the driver know and he will usually accommodate your request. The trip to Senggigi takes around 90 minutes and costs just Rp 40,000 per person (Rp 30,000 to Mataram, and Rp 35,000 to Selong). If your hotel is outside of Senggigi, flag down a metered Blue Bird taxi from the shuttle stop in Senggigi to take you to your hotel or villa.
These taxis are licensed and insured and will use the meter to calculate your fare anywhere on the island. Organising an airport transfer with your hotel is often the easiest option, with the hotel driver meeting you on arrival and transferring you to your hotel in comfort. Check with your hotel – charges are usually only slightly more than a taxi.
The helpful drivers tend to stop at other popular points along the route, including dropping off passengers at the roundabout in Gerung (useful if you are heading to Sekotong or Lembar), several points near the city, and outside the old Selaparang Airport on the way to Ampenan (where taxis also await the arrival of the buses).
The DAMRI counter is located inside the arrivals hall, at the end on the left hand side and is manned by an information officer who issues tickets for the bus service. Prices are clearly shown on sign boards at the counter. The bus parks just outside the hall on the left.
Around Lombok: Lombok is easy to get around. The roads are in good condition and there is little traffic, apart from in the cities. The island itself is only slightly smaller than Bali at 115km (70 miles) long and 80km (50 miles) wide; however, it is not practical to drive around Lombok in one day. Continued on Page 8
ko - ko - mo GILI TRAWANGAN RESORT
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GETTING AROUND Continued from Page 4
Taxis are easily available in Lombok and, unlike in other areas of Asia, all use their meters (argo) to calculate fares, so there is no need to haggle a price. Lombok Taxi (operated by Blue Bird Taxi, light blue colour) is the largest company in Lombok and you will find them in the cities and around tourist areas such as Senggigi. Taxis can be used to make trips to Kuta or Lembar and Bangsal Harbours and, if you are shopping or making day trips by taxi, ask the driver to wait and leave the meter running. Fares are still very low compared to those in the west. Short trips around Senggigi will cost around Rp 20,000; a taxi from Senggigi to Mataram is around Rp 65,000.
Phone for a taxi or ask your hotel to phone, or flag one down from the side of the road. Make sure the driver starts the meter when you get in. Lombok Taxi (Blue Bird), ph: 0370 627 000 (or download the ‘My Blue Bird’ App from Google Play, iTunes, or from the Blue Bird Group website).
Motorbikes are the most popular form of transport and are generally small, light 125cc bikes with automatic gears. Modern and economical motor scooters, such as a Yamaha Mio, are easy to ride and do not have gears. Expect to pay between Rp 35 - 60,000 per day for motorbike rental, depending on age and type. Both require an international drivers’ licence. Tours are readily available in all the tourist areas, and drivers and guides are licensed by the local Kotasi (tour organisation), who also regulate prices in the industry. Most tour operators are reliable and will have a wealth of local knowledge, which can make touring a more rewarding experience. It is also the most comfortable way to explore the island, as you have time to sit back and observe, rather than negotiating traffic and unfamiliar roads.
Popular tours, such as day trips to Sedang Gile waterfall, or to Kuta and the south coast, are structured to take in a full day of sightseeing. Tours range between Rp 350 – 700,000 a day for a driver and an air conditioned vehicle for up to 4 passengers, depending on distances and the number of places visited. * Expect to pay high end prices during peak seasons.
Cars and Motorbikes can be hired in Lombok and driving yourself is easy. Cars drive on the left hand side of the road (as in the UK). Modern, air conditioned cars that comfortably seat 5 people including the driver can be hired for between Rp 350 - 500,000 per day, including basic insurance.
Cidomo (pronounced ‘chi doh moh’) are traditional horse drawn carts that were once the main form of transport in Lombok and are still used today, although they have been replaced by cars and
motorbikes in the cities. The covered wooden carriages are pulled by small local ponies and, in villages and at the local markets in Kebun Roek, they are popular transport, particularly for carting goods. Use cidomo for short trips, such as getting to restaurants and hotels around Senggigi. A short trip should cost around Rp 20,000; negotiate the fare with the driver before climbing in. There are no cars or motorised transport on the Gili Islands, so cidomo are the main form of transport and the islands’ cidomo have a fixed price schedule of fares, much higher than on Lombok.
Bemo (pronounced ‘bee moh’) are generally small minibuses used as public transport in towns and cities. They are a cheap way of travelling, but can be uncomfortably crowded.
The small versions used in villages are vans with an open back and seats along each side. Flag down a passing bemo from the side of the road and climb on board; press the button on the ceiling when you want to stop and get off and pay the driver when you disembark. Short hops cost around Rp 5,000. These bemos can also be chartered for your private use; negotiate a fare with the driver for a direct trip to a specific location, without stopping to pick up other passengers. In the cities, larger bright yellow bemos travel the routes from Ampenan to Mataram, Mataram to Cakra, and beyond. You will see them cruising the streets, horns beeping, as they pick up and drop off passengers. If you are travelling between the cities, you will need to change bemo, as each serves only one area. Fares between cities are Rp 5,000.
Photo by Neil Cave
BEACHES People come to Lombok for our fantastic unspoiled beaches! The whole island is surrounded by postcard perfect beaches with crystal clear waters and clean white sand 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 has particularly fine beaches, especially in Sekotong and the small islands off the coast.Visit the small islands of Gili Asahan and Gili Layar for the ultimate island escapes or stay at the luxurious Ko - ko - mo Resort on Gili Gede to explore the secret islands of the southwest. The beaches around Kuta are so breathtakingly beautiful they must be seen to be believed! Visit Tanjung Aan for fantastic scenery, Selong Belanak for long stretches of white sand and turquoise waters, or swim in the lovely protected bay at Mawun.
Snorkelling is easy from the shore and all three islands are well served by professional dive operators who offer certification courses, day and night dives and specialised courses, as well as liveaboard adventures to exotic locations. For the more adventurous, there is superb snorkelling and diving around the islands off the southwest coast, as well challenging dive sites off the south coast and the small uninhabited islands off the east coast. GOLF Sire Beach Golf Club is located on the shores of Sire Beach in northwest Lombok, close to the Oberoi and Tugu hotels. It is less than one hour’s drive from Senggigi.
This world-class course was designed by Thomson, Wolveridge and Perrett, who have respected the unique setting and contours of the location. The 18 hole, par 72 championship course (6245 meters) offers world-class challenges for golfing enthusiasts of all levels in a natural and picturesque environment. SURFING Lombok is a world-renown surfing destination amongst surf enthusiasts world-wide. Huge waves and challenging surf lure die-hards to Bangko-Bangko (also known as Desert Point) on the southwestern tip of Lombok. Kuta, on the south coast, is surf-central and has a range of accommodations and facilities especially for surfers. Here you can hire a board, get board repairs and take surf lessons from the professionals. The waves at Gerupuk and Tanjung Aan offer a variety of challenges from beginners to sheer madness! Ekas Bay has two surf breaks: Inside Ekas and Outside Ekas with waves suitable for beginners to experts, depending on the season.
DIVING AND SNORKELLING With so many 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. And yes – the Gilis are open and already receiving a lot of visitors!
At certain times of the year when conditions are right, you’ll find locals surfing the breaks at Senggigi and Mangsit Beach, and off Gili Air and Gili Trawangan. Surfing Gerupuk by Gretah Gray
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 statues remain today. Perang Topat is an annual festival held at Lingsar and features a ritualised war with rice cakes, which also serve as an offering to the Gods. Taman Narmada (or Narmada Park) in Narmada (around 6 km east of Cakranegara), was created in the late 1800â€™s as a replica of Gunung Rinjani and its crater lake.
Benang Kelambu Waterfall by Iwan Haryanto
The gardens at Narmada are beautifully maintained and surround the pools and lake in this cool hillside setting. Take a picnic and enjoy a few relaxing hours here or combine the trip with a visit to Lingsar or Suranadi.
TREKKING Much of the island is still covered by natural rain forest and jungles, making Lombok ideal for ecotourism and adventure tours. There are a number of spectacular waterfalls on the island which provide lovely trekking opportunities, whether travelling independently or as part of a tour. Air Jeruk Manis, near Tetebatu, is set in a cool mountain location and reached by a pretty walk through rice fields and forest. 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. HISTORIC SITES & TEMPLES
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!
Across the road from the temple is a local market complex where you can sample tasty charcoal grilled satays and buy cold drinks and fresh seasonal fruits. HANDICRAFT VILLAGES Lombok is famous for its traditional earthenware pottery made from local clay with distinctive designs, as well as 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 see the old traditional looms being used to create intricately woven, colourful fabrics. Sukarara is 5 km to the west of Praya, heading south towards Kuta. This is another weaving village where quality ikat and traditional cloth is displayed and sold. Weavers work outside many of the shops, using antiquated â€œback strap loomsâ€? to painstakingly produce works of art. Some of the larger pieces can take several months to weave and collectors from around the world visit these villages 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 has many shops selling pottery produced in the area, as well as from the other main potterymaking villages such as Penujak and Masbagik. Lombok pottery, with its distinctive terracotta styles, is famous internationally and is exported throughout the world. 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.
There are a number of interesting temples around the west coast, many of which are Hindu or ancient animist sites of worship. Pura Lingsar is possibly the only place in the world where Hindus and
Narmada Water Park by Barbara
The West Coast Senggigi Bay by Neil Cave
Senggigi is the main tourism resort area on Lombok’s West Coast and is around a onehour drive northwest of Lombok International Airport.
The Chandi Boutique Resort, with contemporary villas in a peaceful coconut grove, and the resort’s Meru Restaurant, are located on the quiet beachfront here.
The Senggigi tourism strip starts a few kilometres before central Senggigi and 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.
The Cowshed Steakhouse is also located on the main road in Batu Layar, just a five minute drive south of Senggigi.
A few kilometres south of Senggigi, The Hill (locally called The Bukit), is a residential community perched on a green hillside in Batu Layar. The homes and villas here feature stunning architectural design and have magnificent views over the ocean.
road runs parallel to the beach and large resorts occupy the space between; with Kila Senggigi Beach Hotel at the south end and the Sheraton Senggigi Beach Resort at the north end of the bay.
Closer to Senggigi, Batu Bolong is the beach resort area forming a strip between the historic Batu Bolong Temple and the southern gateway to Senggigi.
Café Alberto is located on the beachfront in Batu Bolong, just before the entrance to Senggigi. Directly across the road from Café Alberto is the main entrance to the Green Valley residential area.
Senggigi Beach is a wide protected bay with promontories at each end. The beach is lovely for swimming and relaxing but can become crowded on Sundays and public holidays.
Senggigi Beach is the large bay that forms the centre of Senggigi. The main
Continued on Page 16
Senggigi Beach by Neil Cave
[ Y o u r K e y t o a n I d yl l i c L o m b o k ]
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Continued from Page 12
However, it is still scenic and peaceful during weekdays. In the early mornings, enjoy a stroll along the beach looking out to the ocean dotted with the bright, colourful sails of fishing boats, as the local fishermen return with the day’s catch. 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. In the centre of the bay is the Pasar Seni (Art Markets) with many small shops selling handicrafts, clothing, sarongs and other souvenirs. Lining the beach side of the Markets are small restaurants for dining next to the waves. Come for a drink at sunset and then enjoy pizza and delicious Italian and Indonesian food at Lotus Bayview Restaurant.
Malimbu by Iwan Haryanto
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 Ranger’s hut and basic visitors centre near the entrance. 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. On the south end of Mangsit Beach is the lovely Puri Mas Boutique Resort. The popular Qunci Villas is in the centre and Katamaran Resort is located on the north end.Verve
Beach Club is also located along this stretch of beach, along with small local beach cafes selling cold beer and cheap eats. There is good snorkelling in front of Puri Mas at high tide and, when the wind is right, surfers take to the waves in front of Qunci Villas. Furthest north are Klui and Lendang Luar, with Living Asia Resort located on the long stretch of pristine beach at Lendang Luar. Mainly deserted white sand beaches, flanked by coconut groves 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. West Coast by Barbara
Senggigi Reef, off the southern point, has good coral for snorkelling during high tide. To the left of the reef, Anjungan is a popular surf spot and, in the right conditions, has some decent surf breaks. When the winds are high, local surfers can be seen catching the waves here every day. Canoes can be hired from the beach on the weekends and during peak tourism times. Local outrigger boats (perahu) can be chartered from the beachfront for trips along the coast or out to the Gili Islands. Away from the beach, the main road (Jalan Raya Senggigi) is lined with restaurants, shops, tour agencies, bars and nightclubs; many of which have live music in the evenings. There are convenience stores and supermarkets, numerous ATM’s, money changers, a post office and other tourist facilities. About 2 km north of central Senggigi, Kerandangan has a popular beach nearby and a road leading into a residential area situated in a pretty valley. This area was badly damaged during the earthquakes in August and is being rebuilt.
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 – the Senggigi area caters for all tastes and budgets. From Senggigi, it’s easy to explore the attractions of the south coast or to hop on a boat to the famous Gili Islands for the day. 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 West Lombok.
RINJANI TREKKING SEASON CLOSED The Mount Rinjani National Park Authority has officially closed Rinjani volcano to trekking, effective from 1 January to 31 March 2020. All trekking routes to Mount Rinjani – including Sembalun, Senaru, Torean and Timbanuh – are now closed. The Authority normally closes Lombok’s famous tourist attraction to trekking at the beginning of January every year to protect tourists from the dangers caused by bad weather during the monsoon season. Flash floods are common in the area and landslides make the climb to and from the crater rim dangerous, with the narrow, steep tracks becoming too slippery for climbing. In addition, strong winds make trekking perilous. Falling trees can block paths and high winds can literally blow a person off the ridge. With the past few weeks of heavy rains in Lombok, trying to climb the volcano in this weather is extremely dangerous. Moreover, many areas on the volcano sustained substantial damage during the earthquakes in July and August 2018 and have been off-limits since then; particularly the routes to ascend the summit and the descent to the crater lake. Heavy rains between now and April will no doubt cause landslides and slipping in these unstable areas and National Park Authorities will be able to assess what routes are safe and which are too unstable prior to the 2020 trekking season. Finally, trekking Rinjani during the monsoon is a miserable experience. It’s cold on the mountain at the best of times and with constant rain, the trip becomes a nightmare. The magnificent views are obscured by rain, mist and low clouds most of the time. Some guides will tell trekkers that it is okay to climb during this time. That’s
Photo by Simon Mammino
understandable, as they make their living from trekking and the three month annual closure is tough for them. However, they are risking your life and entering the park illegally, with no access to help if things go wrong. Closing Rinjani each year is also important to allow the national park environment to regenerate from the thousands of people who trek through it every year.
It also allows the Park Authority to assess conditions on the trek and carry out repairs to public facilities along the trekking routes. The Mt Rinjani trekking season will open again from 1 April 2020 and it is planned that the route to the summit will be re-opened at that time.
MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE 2020
The Governor of NTB, Dr Zulkieflimansyah has set the Provincial Minimum Wage (UMP or Upah Minimum Provinsi) at Rp 2,183,883 per month in 2020
The 2020 wage rate represents an 8.51%, or Rp 171,273, increase from the previous year (Rp 2,012,610 in 2019). The 2020 UMP increase of 8.51% is according to the Ministry of Manpower's circular dated 15 October 2019 and takes into account National Inflation Rate and Gross Domestic Product Growth in 2019. In 2016, the Indonesian government adopted a new formula for calculating minimum wages. The new formula requires that minimum wages be adjusted annually based on accumulated inflation and economic growth figures. The government wage formula is next year's UMP = the current year’s UMP + (inflation + economic growth). According to the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) Data, national inflation is 3.39% and national economic growth (GDP) is 5.12%. The monthly rate was determined after the Governor considered the recommendations of the NTB Province Wage Board, including from the regents / mayors throughout NTB, Indonesian Employers’ Association (Apindo), trade unions, and economic experts from the University of Mataram.
Last year, the monthly wage in NTB (the islands of Lombok and Sumbawa) was identified as one of eight regional governments where UMP values were not yet in accordance with the national value of decent living standards (KHL). The monthly wage for NTB in 2018 only reached 97.25% of the national KHL.
Therefore, UMP adjustments for 2019 added an “adjudication” of 2.25% to the minimum wage increase of 8.03%, thereby increasing wages by 10.28% with the aim of bringing NTB wages up to national KHL level in 2020. This year, no “adjudication” is added, as local wages are already in line with those of other provinces. For those working in the city of Mataram, the wage increase is also 8.5%, making monthly city wages slightly higher than the provincial basic wage at Rp 2,184,485 (previously Rp 2,013,000 in 2019). The minimum wage is calculated with the provisions of 40 hours per week. This is based on Law 13/2003 Article 77 paragraph (2) which explains as follows: a). 7 hours per day and 40 hours per week for 6 working days a week, or b). 8 hours per day and 40 hours per week for 5 working days a week. The new wage increase took effect from 1 January 2020.
CHINESE NEW YEAR ON LOMBOK... Celebrating Diversity!
Chinese New Year comes early this year, on Saturday, 25 January, and the Chinese community in Lombok will be celebrating as we bid goodbye to the Year of the Pig and welcome the Year of the Rat!
The festival begins on the first day of the first New Moon in the Chinese lunar calendar and ends with the Lantern Festival on the 15th day (on 4 February this year).
The Rat is the first of the Chinese zodiac animals. According to one myth, the Jade Emperor said the order of the zodiac would be decided by the order in which the animals arrived to his party. The Rat tricked the Ox into giving him a ride and then, just as they arrived at the entrance, Rat jumped down and landed ahead of Ox, becoming the first to arrive at the party.
Chinese New Year is called “Imlek” in Bahasa Indonesia and celebrations incorporate customs and beliefs brought to Indonesia by Chinese immigrants who still follow the practices handed down by their parents.
In Chinese culture, rats were seen as a sign of wealth and surplus and, because of their reproduction rate, married couples also prayed to them for children. Chinese New Year is also called the Spring Festival or Lunar New Year and is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays.
On the days before the New Year celebration, Chinese families give their home a thorough ‘spring clean’. It is believed that the cleaning sweeps away the bad luck of the preceding year and makes their homes ready for good luck to enter. The biggest event of any Chinese New Year's Eve is the dinner every family will host. A reunion dinner is held on New Year's Eve where members of the family, near and far, get together for the celebration.
Many Indonesian people believe that Imlek heralds the start of the rainy season. Today, there are more than 10,000 people of Chinese descent living in Lombok, who play a vital role in commerce and trade on the island. They originate from many areas of China, with the majority being Hakka and Hokkien from Guangdong, and practice a number of religions including Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, as well as being Catholic and Protestant.
In Lombok, Chinese New Year celebrations include to family, relatives and friends and sharing a special feast together, similar to celebrations in the west. New clothing is usually worn to signify a new year and the colour red is liberally used in all decorations.
Red packets, called Ang Pau, are traditionally distributed during Imlek. These packets contain money in certain numbers that reflect good luck and honour. The number 4 is considered bad luck and the number 8 is considered lucky. The people of China have a long held belief that they are descendants of the dragon; a tradition that is firmly embedded in their culture and one that is encountered across all aspects of Chinese society and in the minds of its people. The dragon is held in high esteem for its dignity and power for good.
21 indulgences available at the resort from 18 - 26 January. Guests can feast on delicious Hainan style dishes curated by special guest Chef Sammy Zhou from The Sanya Edition in China. Enjoy a Hainan Style Buffet daily from 6 -11pm at Kebun Anggrek Restaurant from 18 - 26 January from just Rp 350,000++. There are also food and beverage packages available. On 20 and 21 January, Chef Sammy presents a Curated 5-Course Dinner at Bawang Putih Restaurant from 6 -10pm. This will be a celebration of exquisite dishes for lovers of Chinese food and is priced from Rp 550,000++. See page 19 for more.
Photo by Krisztina Nemeth
The most vibrant and spectacular way of expressing fondness for the dragon is the Dragon Dance or the Lion Dance (locally known as Barongsai). This has evolved from what was once a ritual rain dance into a popular entertainment performed during the period from Spring Festival until the Lantern Festival. It is believed that the loud beats of the drum and the deafening sounds of the cymbals, together with the dragon dancing aggressively, can drive away bad or evil spirits.
Many hotels and restaurants will also celebrate the Lunar New Year by hosting Chinese New Year dinners and adding special Chinese dishes to their menus; some entertain guests with lion dances and traditional entertainment. Check with local restaurants in the week before Chinese New Year to see if they have any special celebrations planned. Sheraton Senggigi Beach Resort celebrates with Chinese New Year
In South Lombok, fabulous Aura Lounge & Bar at Selong Selo Residences is hosting a Chinese New Yearâ€™s Eve Dinner on Friday, 24 January from 7pm. Enjoy the stunning sunset over Selong Belanak Beach and then savour a variety of delectable Chinese New Year favourites prepared by talented Executive Chef Anton. Bookings are recommended. See page 69.
Some families and businesses may invite a dragon dance troupe to perform, as a symbolic ritual to usher in the Lunar New Year as well as to rid the premises of bad spirits. It is considered lucky to give Ang Pau to the dancers, so you will often see people placing the red envelopes into the mouth of the lion or dragon during the parades. Lighting firecrackers also signifies a joyous occasion, as well as symbolically driving away bad spirits, and has become an integral aspect of Chinese New Year celebrations. Chinese New Year Events: There are sometimes Chinese New Year celebrations held in the city, usually in front of the Governorâ€™s Office in Jl Pejanggik, Mataram. At the time of going to press, there has been no official announcement of the date, so check with your hotel closer to the date.
Po Hwa Kong Temple, Ampenan by Barbara
An interesting place to visit is Po Hwa Kong Temple, on Jalan Yos Sudarso 180 in Ampenan (the road leading down to the old port). Built in 1806, this is an important temple for Chinese Indonesians living in Lombok and many come to worship here on the Lunar New Year. On the evening before Imlek (24 January), the temple is cleaned and decorated in preparation for the New Year. The Lion Dance is usually performed in the evening and Ang Pau envelopes are distributed outside the temple to the elderly and the poor from the local communities. Visit the temple during the 15 days from New Year to the Lantern Festival and see people making offerings amongst the vibrant red and gold decorations, beautiful statues of dragons and gods, and clouds of sweet smelling incense. Entrance is by donation.
LOMBOK WITH 20/20 VISION
In the first issue of the year, we review the changes 2019 brought to Lombok and speculate about what the coming year may hold for our beautiful island… Driven by the Indonesian government’s list of 10 destinations to become “New Balis”, investment in Lombok continues to grow. The government’s goal is not to compete with Bali’s success but to boost tourism in other parts of Indonesia considered to be equally attractive as key tourism destinations. During 2019, the Indonesian government took strong steps to increase foreign investment in the country and in 2020 is expected to enact more laws to simplify the investment process, improve online processing of licenses and permits, give greater autonomy to regional offices, lower taxes, and more. Investors in Lombok are optimistic and solid development continued during 2019 with both private and corporate projects. With a strong economy, and proinvestment leadership both nationally and regionally, investment in Lombok will continue to grow in 2020. The appeal of Lombok is its incredible and unspoilt nature. The island boasts the second highest volcano in Indonesia, as The Kayana Beach Lombok, a Royal Collection resort by Santika Indonesia Hotels & Resorts, opened in North Lombok in August 2019
well as waterfalls, lush jungles and forests, gorgeous offshore islands, a wealth of coral reefs and dive sites, and pristine beaches; as well as a unique culture with traditional practices, historical sites, temples and festivals to be discovered.
Connectivity: Ease of access and direct flights are, of course, vital for any tourism destination. It’s a problem that has plagued Lombok’s development in the past and continues to be an obstacle to major development.
These are the key factors for any successful tourism destination. Combined with a good infrastructure, and a dynamic community, it is inevitable that Lombok will continue to grow as a tourism destination. Inevitable.
It is now just over eight years since the Lombok International Airport opened on 1 October 2011 and Lombok still needs more airlines and routes to Lombok – both domestic and international.
Eric Levy, Managing Director of Singapore-based hospitality investment firm, Tourism Solutions International (TSI), which also conducts select advisory work related to investment within the industry, summed it up when he said: “I still am bullish on the future…including 2020…it will be better than 2019. The natural beauty and appeal of the island will continue to attract both tourists and investors in increasing numbers, as it has in previous years. In my opinion, Mandalika or any one development, will not be the main driver…what Lombok has to offer will be! There is a definite market for a relatively undeveloped ‘tropical paradise’ type holiday. Lombok has legs and a fairly significant infrastructure that other Indonesian Islands do not have.”
However, many upgrades have taken place at the Airport during 2019 and expansion is set to continue in 2020. This includes finalising the new terminal expansion which will measure 20,000m2 and is designed to handle the growing number of passengers using the airport over the coming years. Eight new aircraft parking areas have been constructed during 2019, allowing up to 18 aircraft to park at the airport at the same time, with facilities for an additional four wide body planes. On 2 May 2019, AirAsia officially inaugurated Lombok International Airport as an “AirAsia Hub” – promising to increase domestic and international connectivity and “unlock Lombok’s extraordinary tourism potential”. AirAsia hubs operate as connection centres for both international and domestic flights across the region. The airline made good on this promise by launching 5 new routes to Lombok during 2019. International Flights: the biggest news of the year was the commencement of direct flights between Perth, Western Australia and Lombok by AirAsia on 9 June 2019. The direct Perth - Lombok flights operate four times per week: every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. The new route has been a major success for AirAsia and a boon for Lombok tourism, with the airline reporting load factors of up to 85% and Lombok International Airport
reporting a whopping 425% increase in Australian passenger arrivals to date.
The Lombok - Singapore route will be transferred to Scoot in July 2020.
90% this December for the Christmas period).
Industry buzz continues to hint that a direct Singapore - Lombok route by AirAsia is imminent, in addition to rumours of a direct Melbourne - Lombok flight later this year.
AirAsia also operates a daily direct flight between Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) and Lombok, which has proven successful for the airline since its commencement in 2012.
Domestic flights: In addition to its two international routes, AirAsia opened four direct domestic connections to Lombok in 2019: Jakarta, Bali, Surabaya and Jogjakarta.
While there has been no official announcement by the airline to date, it is understood that AirAsia have already secured a time slot at Singapore’s Changi Airport and are currently processing the licensing application for the route.
During 2019, the airline again increased its flight frequency between Kuala Lumpur and Lombok to 14 flights per week (twice daily). KL is a key market for Lombok tourism with load factor on the route averaging 80% (and achieved a whopping
If AirAsia do launch a direct route between Lombok and Singapore, they will be competing against Silk Air who have operated 4 direct flights per week between Lombok and Singapore for many years.
AirAsia launched its Lombok - Jakarta flights on 1 August 2019 with 4 flights per week. That route has grown significantly over the past four months and the airline now operates 11 flights per week between the island and Indonesia’s capital. Continued on Page 32
However, Singapore Airlines announced in May 2018 that they would phase out Silk Air – the airline’s regional wing. Over the past two years, Silk Air routes have been transferred to either Singapore Airlines or the airline’s low cost carrier, Scoot. The three-year plan calls for all Silk Air routes to be transferred to either Singapore Airlines or Scoot by July 2020. Once the merger is successfully completed, Silk Air will no longer exist as an airline or brand. The airline has been flying since 1975.
Boat loads of tourists continue to flock to the Gili Islands daily
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LOMBOK WITH 20/20 VISION Continued from Page 25
Tanjung Aan, just one of the breathtaking beaches of South Lombok
Likewise, the AirAsia Lombok - Bali flights also commenced on 1 August 2019 with one flight daily. The route has proven so popular that AirAsia increased flight frequency between the two islands to twice daily from 27 October 2019. Key Tourism Areas The Gilis – Trawangan, Meno and Air – continue to lead the market, consistently attracting the highest number of tourists (and investors) to Lombok. Development continues to boom on Gili Trawangan as investors continue to flock to this ‘sure thing’ and we don’t see that slowing any time soon. The island is continually evolving with a wide range of accommodation to suit all travellers, as well as a broad range of shops, restaurants and activities making it even more attractive as a complete island getaway. Gili Air also continues to develop at a steady rate. The past five years have brought many changes to this small island, with an increased range of accommodation options from simple through to luxurious attracting a broader market. A wide range of activities and facilities are also available, making the island an exciting holiday destination. Gili Meno, the quietest of the three Gilis, has been steadily increasing in popularity over the years, as investors move to both Gili Air and Gili Meno as alternatives to Gili T. Development has been steadily upmarket and low-key, with an ecofriendly vibe in keeping with the island’s laid-back charms.
and national brands. This trend is set to continue in 2020.
The much talked-about Mandalika Resort tourism development area,
Shopping options expanded over 2019 with the opening of new chains such as Lotte Grosir store in Cakranegara, Fresh Market in Mataram, and Mr DIY opening stores in Lombok Epicentrum Mall and Mataram Mall.
comprising around 1200 hectares of pristine south coast land, and being developed by the Indonesia Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) in conjunction with the local government, should see an upswing in development in 2020 as ITDC pushes forward to host the MotoGP in 2021.
Development continues to be bullish throughout the island and we hear that a major investor will be building a new mall in East Lombok soon. The ones to watch: South Lombok (and Southwest Lombok)! The South Coast: With its breath-takin undeveloped beaches, and its proximity to Lombok International Airport, the south coast is a sure thing, investment-wise.
ITDC and Dorna Sports SL officially announced on 28 January 2019 that both the FIM MotoGP™ World Championship and the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship would be hosted in Indonesia in 2021. Since then there has been much speculation about whether the purposebuilt 4.31 km street circuit would be completed on time and whether ITDC can handle the infrastructure requirements for the world-class events.
Over the past five years, many privatelyowned hotels, restaurants and small businesses have opened, providing a greater variety of options to travellers, and According to the MotoGP schedule, we expect this trend to continue in 2020. the Mandalika circuit must be tested by all MotoGP teams one year before the Development is taking place not only in official race is held; this is believed to be the main tourist centre of Kuta but also scheduled for around August 2020. on many of the beaches once considered too remote for tourism development. The date of the Mandalika MotoGP race for the 2021 season is expected to be Kuta town is changing quite rapidly as a announced by Dorna in August 2020 result of new investment and now boasts Regardless of whether the event takes some of the most modern and attractive place, the news – and the ITDC’s lofty restaurants on the island, not to mention plans for the Mandalika development – villas and small resorts.
The Cities: The strength of Lombok’s economy, and its domestic tourism share, can be seen in the cities of Mataram and Cakra. Meeting the demand for domestic leisure and corporate markets, older hotels have been replaced with modern Indonesian high-rise hotels and both international
Sunshine and clear waters on the Gilis
continues to boost investor confidence in South Lombok and drive land prices higher. Meanwhile, much of the progress on the beautiful south coast is being driven by the private sector and investment will no doubt be equally strong in 2020. Southwest Lombok: It is inevitable that the beautiful and largely undiscovered southwest coast of Lombok is taking off. Like the famous ‘Gili Islands’ off the northwest coast, there is no motorised transport on the islands of southwest Lombok. The lack of pollution or development, combined with stunning landscapes and clean beaches, excellent diving, surfing and sailing opportunities, offer a wealth of potential to investors. Gili Gede, the largest of the twelve islands that dot the southwest coast and easily accessed from the mainland in just minutes, is the logical gateway to exploring Lombok’s ‘Secret Islands’. There are now at least 17 different accommodation options on Gili Gede, compared to just four places on the island five years ago, and we expect more to open in 2020. Ko-ko-mo Gili Gede Resort continues to set the standard for luxury accommodation in the area. Stylish Villa Selalu is another upmarket option on the
The islands of Southwest Lombok
island, as is Bukit Pool Suites – luxurious and the Yacht Club and accommodation suites with private plunge pools set on the opened in 2019. hillside above Ko-ko-mo. The international standard Marina is Bakau Estate is currently under already attracting yachts and boating construction and will offer high end villa enthusiasts from around the world, and accommodation and over the water villas, offers port clearance facilities, a 165m a three-tiered swimming pool, as well as beachfront bar and up-market restaurant. dock with safe mooring, and onshore facilities such as boat provisioning, public Stage one of this exciting development is facilities, boat maintenance and other due for completion this year. related services. Other privately-owned villa developments With easy access from both Lembar are currently under construction, with big name investors from Bali also said to Harbour and the international airport, be snapping up land on the island. Plans as well as Gili Getaway direct fast boat include five-star resorts, villas and another from Bali – combined with the untapped yachting marina in the near future. potential of its fabulous islands – the The long-awaited Lombok Marina Del Ray southwest is one to watch in 2020 (and on Gili Gede became operational in 2018 beyond).
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SEKOLAH NUSA ALAM CELEBRATES 20TH ANNIVERSARY! Sekolah Nusa Alam – Lombok’s international standard school – is twenty years old this month! The school opened its doors for the first time on 17 January 2000 with just six students. Creating an international standard school for Lombok was the initiative of well-known members of the Lombok community: Ace Robin, Sopantini, Peter Cranfield and Mark Heyward. “The aim is to provide an international standard education for the children of Indonesian and expatriate families in Lombok,” explained Dra Enny Asmororini,
the Kepala Sekolah (School Head).
“We have children from many backgrounds and many nationalities at our school,” she said. “The beautiful thing is that the children all get along together. Even the different ages mix together: it’s like a big family.”
badminton and futsal. A second stage is planned for the future, to accommodate the school’s growth.
“Sekolah Nusa Alam is accredited by the Government of Indonesia and has an 'A' rating at every level: TK, SD, SMP and SMA,” explained Dr Sopantini, one of the founders. “It is also the only SPK (Satuan Pendidikan Kerjasama) school in Lombok, meaning it is the only school licensed to
Sekolah Nusa Alam is a ‘communitybased school,’ Ibu Enny explained. It was established and funded by the community. “It was not easy in the beginning,” Ibu Enny said, recalling the early history of the school. “At that time, Indonesia was suffering a period of civil unrest and riots broke out in Lombok on the day the school opened. By the end of the day, most of our families had left the island!” Undaunted, the founders and teachers worked hard to develop the school. Now, twenty years later, Sekolah Nusa Alam is thriving. After eighteen years at its previous location in Montong, the school relocated to a new and modern purpose-built facility at Grand Natura on Jalan Terusan Bung Hatta in Mataram in 2018. The four-story building has 17 learning spaces and a total floor space of approximately 2,500 m2. Facilities include modern computer technology, specialised music and early childhood spaces, a rooftop recreation area for senior students, a grassed playground area, and a covered sports area suitable for basketball,
teach both the national curriculum and an international curriculum. Sekolah Nusa Alam is also the only school on the island that is licensed to teach the Cambridge International Curriculum, ranging from early childhood to secondary levels, and is an Accredited Testing Centre for Cambridge IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) in Year 10.”
“Plans are now underway to open a technical school, to meet Lombok’s growing need for high-class training in languages (English, Mandarin, Arabic), and tourism and hospitality,” Sopantini added.
“Sekolah Nusa Alam is unique in Lombok,” Katherine Krom, the school principal, told us. “Our children are both happy and successful throughout their journey from play group through to Year 12. The school offers the academically-stimulating International Cambridge Curriculum delivered in English. We provide support for Indonesian children to be able learn in English. Learning in an English language environment, the children pick it up very quickly.” “The Cambridge programme is widely recognised and accepted at universities throughout the world,” she said. “Sekolah
Nusa Alam has earned a reputation for excellence over the last eighteen years. Graduates have gone on to overseas universities, including in the UK, Australia, and America, and to domestic universities. Some have now started to build their distinguished careers.”
and have a good mindset and, especially, they have mastery of the English language: they can speak, read and write fluently.”
Ibu Tari, a parent whose children were enrolled at the school from pre-school up until senior-secondary class, commented: “My children have grown and developed into independent, responsible, and respectful young people.”
“Enrolments are now open for the new school year, commencing July 2020,” said the Principal. “Spaces are still available in most classes. Sekolah Nusa Alam welcomes children at any age, from pre-school to senior-secondary.”
“They have a good attitude and show tolerance towards others, regardless of background,” she added. “They are collaborative
“Aziz is now doing a double degree in accountancy at UGM,” Ibu Tari added. “Azka has just completed her exchange program in Poland and Belgium.”
An anniversary event is planned for 27 January and current and former parents, teachers, students and board members are invited to attend a gala dinner in Mataram. Register at the school by phoning (0370) 647 510 or email: email@example.com
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Land & Property
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Land & Property
Land & Property
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Located in an established, quiet and secure position at the end of the road, this spacious 3 bedroom, 2.5 bathrooms home is only 10 minute’s walk to Senggigi centre and the beach. Spacious main bedroom with AC. Good sized backyard with laundry and berugaq. Room for a pool. Car parking space. Covered rear patio. Entertaining area. Land size 2.8 are (288 sqm). Sale Price: IDR 1.25 billion Great Investment! Annual Rental Income: IDR 100 million
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Land & Property
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Ray White of South Lombok has a strong team with more than 20 years of local real estate experience. We expertly guide you through every stage of the process. Land, villas and commercial properties â€“ no inquiry is too big or too small. Send us an email or visit our Kuta offices for more information. Office Address: Jalan Terusan Kuta - Mawun 1, Kuta Lombok Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: +44 777 592 1784 (Whatsapp) | +62 821 4515 5326
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11 are - Central Kuta Location - Certified Land Smart Investment This certified land borders a paved public access road. Privacy. Walking distance to all the Kuta shops and developments. Smart investment as the land will appreciate due to prime location. Ideal for villa development. Price: IDR 1,320,000,000 | USD 94,000 | AUD 135,000
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2.5 Hectares of Certified Land. Stunning Ocean Views. Surf Mecca. Ideal for subdivision or development. 2.5 hectares located in Gerupuk, minutes from the most popular surf spot in South Lombok. Clear road access. Flat hilltop. Stunning ocean views. Walking distance to beach and restaurants. Ideal for savvy investment. Cannot be built out. Price: 30 million per are.Total: IDR 7,620,000,000 | USD 550,000
* All prices are in IDR, other currencies estimated for example only
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.
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 shops selling everything imaginable from everyday items to gold and pearls. There are many pearl shops in Ampenan and the nearby village of Sekarbela that sell unset pearls and pearl jewellery at attractive prices. These are genuine pearls – some cheap quality from China and more expensive ones farmed in Lombok and Sumbawa. If you bargain the price, you can usually get a good deal.
Photo by Ambara Jaya
Or just wander around the streets to soak up the atmosphere and discover fascinating insights into Lombok city life! Ampenan was the original 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, where the remnants of the port are slipping into the sea. The streets become a market at night, filled with warung and kaki lima (food carts) for cheap, tasty food and local flavour. 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!
There are gold shops in both Ampenan and Cakra, with 24 kt gold being sold by the gram at market price. For cheap and interesting food choices, explore the many restaurants, warung (local cafés) and food stalls in the cities.
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. 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 walk with gold shops, sporting goods, clothing and fabric stores selling imported silks, laces and cottons, to name a few. There is a local market at the main intersection in Cakra; turn right at the traffic lights and look for the entrance to the market on the left. Inside is a labyrinth of stalls selling everything from woven baskets to fresh flowers and local food. Continued from Page 53
Continued from Page 50
sporting goods, and much more. There are many food outlets and cafés, as well as Burger King, KFC, Bread Talk, J. Co, Starbucks, Excelso, and more.
The next large town east of Cakra is Sweta. The Bertais Bus Terminal is located here for connections to the east of the island and beyond. Near the bus terminal there is a huge local market every day with all kinds of goods on sale, from foodstuffs to clothing, exotic birds, handicrafts and more. Shopping Lombok Epicentrum Mall on Jl Sriwijaya (see cities map) is Lombok’s most modern shopping centre with four floors of retail outlets. The complex houses a Hypermart Supermarket and a Matahari Department Store, as well as a Cinema XXI Movie Theatre and Timezone Entertainment Centre. There is a well-stocked Ace Hardware store, an Informa furniture store, and several pharmacies. Other retailers sell a wide variety of fashion, shoes, electronics,
buildings with raised offering platforms. The interior enclosure has 33 shrines as well as the three multi-tiered meru. The caretaker will meet you and give you a sash to wear in the temple. Please sign the guestbook and give a donation.
The older Mataram Mall on Jl Pejanggik is a more low key shopping centre with a Hero Supermarket, Tiara Department Store, McDonalds and KFC outlets, electronics and home ware stores, and a good selection of specialty shops. 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
Pura Meru by Barbara
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 the middle of a large artificial lake here and an interesting temple is sheltered under huge old trees at the rear of the lake. The gardens and the adjoining Pura Jagatnatha temple complex are a peaceful place to escape the bustle of the city and well worth exploring.
Pura Mayura (Mayura Temple) by Barbara
Taman Mayura is open every day, from 8am to 8pm; admission is Rp 5000 per person. The gardens are popular on weekends so the best time to visit is during the weekdays.
USEFUL CONTACTS EMERGENCY SERVICES Senggigi Police (POLSEK Senggigi): Jl Raya Senggigi. Phone: 0370 693267 | 632733 Lombok Police (POLDA NTB): Jl Gajah Mada 7, Mataram. Ph: 0370 693110. Emergency No: 110 Fire Brigade: Phone: 0370 672013. Emergency No: 113 State Hospital UGD (Emergency Unit Service): Phone: 0370 622254 Ambulance: Phone: 0370 623489. Emergency No: 118 Emergency Rescue (RSU Mataram) Ph: 0370 620009. HOSPITALS (Rumah Sakit) Siloam Hospitals Mataram Jl Majapahit 10 Mataram | Phone: 0370 623 999 / 628 111. Emergency: 1-500-911 Rumah Sakit Harapan Keluarga Jl Ahmad Yani 9, Selagalas. Ph: 0370 670000 | 6177000. Emergency (24hrs): 6177009. Mataram Public Hospital (Rumah Sakit Umum Mataram) Jl Pejanggik No 6, Mataram Phone: 0370 6660224 | 638464 New NTB Province Public Hospital (Rumah Sakit Umum Propinsi) Jalan Prabu Rangkasari, Dasan Cermen Phone: 0370 7502424 Central Lombok Public Hospital (Rumah Sakit Umum Praya) Jl H Lalu Hasyim, Tiwugalih, Praya. Phone: 0370 6635050 East Lombok Public Hospital (Rumah Sakit Umum Dr R Sudjono) Jl Professor M Yamin No 55, Selong, East Lombok. Phone: 0376 21599 Biomedika Hospital Jl Bung Karno 143, Mataram. Phone: 0370 645137 Risa Sentra Medika Hospital Jl Pejanggik 115, Cakranegara. Phone: 0370 625560 | 632117 DENTISTS (Dr Gigi) Drg Farida Istiarini, Sp.Ort (Joli Sourire Dental Care) 1st Floor at Lombok Epicentrum Mall. Jl Sriwijaya, Mataram. Ph: 0878 6490 1535 Drg Yuanita Jl Sriwijaya (opposite Kura-Kura Waterpark), Mataram. Ph: 0812 3763 156 Drg. Mumu Jl Bung Hatta 14, Mataram. Ph: 0853 3730 7008 VETS (Dr Hewan) / PET CARE Dr Dani (Scotty Pet Care) Jl. Majapahit No.40, Taman Sari, Ampenan. Ph: 0823 3910 2011 Dr Wahyu (Nobel Petshop) Jl Sriwijaya (next to Town Palace), Mataram. Ph: 0370 6160300
Dr I Gede Sudiana (FB: lombokanimalrescue) Jl Sadewa 9, Cakra. Ph: 0878 6585 6260 Dr Ajus Ph: 0878 6441 3232 Dr Yoses Kristianto (DC Petshop) Jl Saleh Sungkar, Ampenan. Ph: 0819 99831337 Dr Dwi Ph: 0878 6477 0490 Dr Irfan Ph: 0817 579 0834 Dr Nurul (Kuta) Ph: 0818 0366 2612 TAXI Blue Bird Taxi, Ph: 0370 627000 AIRPORT BUS / DAMRI Senggigi / Mataram, Ph: 370 642947 | 0878 6475 5513 | 0813 9862 4975 IMMIGRATION Jl Udayana, Mataram, Ph: 0370 632520 PUBLIC SERVICES ELECTRICITY PLN Mataram. Ph: 0370 643123 PLN Senggigi. Ph: 0370 693535 WATER (PDAM Mataram) Ph: 0370 632510 TELKOM (Phone/Internet) Ph: 021147 Directory Assistance (Phone Numbers): Ph. 021 108 POST OFFICES (Kantor Pos) Mataram: Jl Sriwijaya. Ph: 0370 632645 Senggigi: Jl Raya Senggigi. Ph: 0370 693711 CONSULATES AUSTRALIA Phone: 0361 2000100. Emergency: +61 26261 3305. Email: Bali.email@example.com BELGIUM Phone: 0343 740274. Emergency: 021 3162030. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org BRAZIL Phone: 0361 8446530. Emergency: 0821 44440018. Email: email@example.com BRITAIN Phone: 021 23565200. Email: john.makin@fco. gov.uk / firstname.lastname@example.org CHILE Phone: 0361 281501 / 0811 394 045 Emergency: 021 252 1981. Email: email@example.com CHINA Phone: 0361 239001. Emergency: 0361 239902. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org DENMARK & NORWAY Phone: 081 1398 0220. Emergency: 021 5761487 / +45 3392 0000. Email: email@example.com ESTONIA Emergency: 0811 987111. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org FINLAND & SWEDEN Phone: 0361 282223.
Emergency: 0817 9723658. Email: email@example.com FRANCE Phone: 0361 9345862. Emergency: 021 23557600. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org GERMANY Phone: 0361-288535. Emergency: 0812 3913938. Email: email@example.com HUNGARY 0361 425924. Emergency: 081 2385 3781 / 082 144 933 506. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org INDIA Ph. 0361 259502/3. Emergency: 08113976388. Email: email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org ITALY Phone: 0361 701005. Emergency: 081 2390 4471. Email: email@example.com JAPAN Phone: 0361 227628. Emergency: 0361 227628. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org MEXICO Phone: 0361 223266, 0361 245828. Emergency: 0361 288218. Email: email@example.com NEW ZEALAND Phone: 0361 8446456. Emergency: 0819 99477552. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org NORWAY Ph: 0361 282223. Emergency: 0817 9723658. Email: email@example.com POLAND Phone: 0361 263967 / 081 238 78324. Emergency: 0811 389449. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org RUSSIA Emergency: 021 5222912 SLOVAK REPUBLIC Phone: 0361 9005583. Emergency: 0811810680. Email: email@example.com SOUTH AFRICA Ph: 0361 751223. Emergency: 0857 39114748. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org SPAIN Phone: 0853 3838 5008. Emergency: 081 38004 1258. Email: email@example.com SRI LANKA Phone: 0361 726200. Emergency: 0361 728483. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org SWEDEN Phone: 0361 282223. Emergency: 0817 9723658. Email: email@example.com SWITZERLAND & AUSTRIA Phone: 0361 264149. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org THAILAND Phone: 081 238 25542. Emergency: 021 2932 8190. Email: email@example.com TIMOR LESTE Phone: 0361 4722099. Emergency: 081 338 556373. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org TUNISIA Ph: 0361 242659. Emergency: 021 52892328. Email: email@example.com THE NETHERLANDS Phone: 0361 761502. Emergency: 0818 789444. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org USA Ph: 0361 233605. Emergency: 081 112 44220 / 081 133 4183. Email: CABali@state.gov
Southwest Lombok by Asriel Haryadi
The Southwest consists of long meandering coastlines of pristine white sand beaches with thirteen small islands - the Southwest Gilis floating in the sparkling turquoise waters just offshore. Unlike the famous ‘Gili Islands’ in northwest Lombok, the Southwest Gilis are largely uninhabited and have yet to be discovered by most travellers... that’s why we call them ‘The Secret Gilis’! The big island of Gili Gede is rapidly becoming the hub for tourism in the Southwest and, with a range of accommodation and facilities, it’s a good base for island hopping and exploring the area. The picturesque Southwest region starts at Sekotong, just south of Lembar Harbour, and features stunning beaches and bays set against a backdrop of rolling green hills. The drive down the southwest coast is an enjoyable trip, meandering through villages where life is largely untouched by tourism
and where the people are involved in their day-to-day activities of farming, fish cultivation, boating and fishing, brickmaking and other traditional pastimes. The peaceful village of Taun (or Tawun), is situated on a wide, placid bay in Sekotong. The ocean is sparkling turquoise and the dazzling white sand stretches in a wide sweep around the bay.
Gili Nanggu has accommodation for visitors, with simple cottages on the beach and a restaurant. The island is small and the beach has soft white sand and a good reef just offshore for snorkelling. There is also simple accommodation on Gili Sudak (the island closest to the mainland). 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.
Just out in the calm bay are the three lovely islands of Gili Nanggu, Gili Tangkong and Gili Sudak (and the tiny island of Gili Kedis) – all easily accessible by local outrigger boats. A small sign in the nearby village will direct you to the local boat hire area, where you can arrange boat trips out Gili Genting sits just off the tip of the peninsular and at low tide you can walk to Gili Nanggu and the other islands. across the sandbar and explore this Accommodation at Taun has grown over uninhabited island. Old volcanic rocks and the past few years and there are now stone carved from centuries of tidal flow a few small hotels and home stays on create small caves and alcoves, providing shelter for picnics and interesting nooks the bay. It’s easy to base yourself on the mainland and take boat trips to explore all and crannies to explore. the southwest islands from here.
Continued on Page 56
Sekotong by Barbara
South Coast by Barbara
Further south you will come to the only petrol station along the south coastal road at Tembowong Village. Nearby is the site for catching boats out to Gili Gede, only a few minutes across the water. Gili Gede: The largest of the islands in the area 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.
Continued from Page 55
resort swimming pool and purpose-built Spa facility and a beachfront restaurant. Guests at the restaurant can enjoy upmarket dining with a menu prepared from fresh locally-sourced seafood, imported Australian meats and in-house breads and bakery items. There is also an outstanding wine and drinks list.
All modern comforts such as air conditioning and ceiling fans, flat screen televisions with satellite channels and DVD, WiFi, fresh (not salt) hot water, plentiful power points for charging devices, and more are provided in each villa. Facilities at the resort include a tennis court, a putting green, a small gym, a
Villa Selalu has a private beachfront and a boathouse equipped with snorkelling gear, sea kayaks, paddle boards and bikes to make the most of your holiday. Individual rooms are available or rent the villa in entirety for the ultimate island escape!
Gili Gede is developing as the main hub for the Southwest Gilis as is one of the few islands in the area that has a choice of accommodation, making it an ideal base for exploring the other nearby islands. The luxurious ko - ko - mo Gili Gede Resort, which opened in February 2016, is the sister resort to ko - ko - mo Resort on Gili Trawangan. The stylish all villa resort, comprising fifteen 1 and 2 bedroom villas with private swimming pools, and one bedroom Villa Kecil (small villas), is spread out over spacious grounds on a pristine beachfront.
enjoy a number of indoor and outdoor living areas, as well as an 18m infinity pool overlooking the ocean surrounded by a spacious deck, BBQ area and lounging pavilion.
At the other end of the scale, there are a few small cottages and home stays on the island with simple accommodation for budget travellers. ko - ko - mo has a purpose-built jetty at the front of the resort and operate their own fast boat service – ‘Gili Getaway’ – making Gili Gede easily accessible, even for a day trip. Perched on the hilltop just to the north of ko - ko – mo is Villa Selalu, a private luxury retreat that enjoys outstanding 360º views of the stunning surroundings. The fully serviced 4 bedroom villa boasts unparalleled luxury with all mod cons and ultra chic furnishings. Guests can
Thamarind Resort is a familyrun resort with reasonably priced accommodation on the beachfront in comfortable rooms or individual bungalows, including a spacious family bungalow. Ideal for a low-key and relaxing holiday on the beach, the resort has private beach area and a restaurant with lovely views serving Indonesian and western meals. The friendly staff at Thamarind can organise a range of activities for all ages and interests. The nearby Ultimate Gili Gede Resort is geared for travellers who are looking for fun and adventure, with a range of activities including diving the Southwest Gilis and surfing trips to nearby Desert Point – a world famous surf location. The resort offers 4 beach bungalows and a 3 bedroom villa for families and friends sharing. On the hillside above the resort is Villa Vista – a spacious and fully-serviced private 4 bedroom villa, which shares all the resort facilities and boasts a swimming pool and stunning views across the ocean. Continued on Page 58
Villa Selalu, Gili Gede by Barbara
VILLA SELALU Gili Gede, Lombok
A private, luxury hilltop retreat on Gili Gede with 360 degree uninterrupted views of a truly unique and untouched part of the world. Villa Selalu offers four king size bedrooms with marble ensuites and can comfortably accommodate up to 12 guests. *private white sand beach *18m infinity pool *hillside BBQ pavilion *private entertainment room *WIFI *spacious open plan living *fully air conditioned *satellite tvâ€™s in bedrooms *commercial kitchen *fully catered *hillside breakfast berugak *bespoke furnishings and amenities *beach lounges *dedicated manager and staff *boat house *bikes *snorkelling equipment, kayaks, stand-up paddle-boards Whether booking one bedroom as a couple or two or more bedrooms as a group, enjoy exclusive access to the entire villa. For all enquiries: email@example.com +62 812 3961 6327 I +61 411 031 607 www.villaselalugiligede.com Visit our BRAND NEW beach box cafĂŠ, Gili Gede during your stay.
58 Continued from Page 56
Schools of hundreds of small iridescent fish swim past and weirdly shaped squid Both resorts provide meals and can arrange transfers, boat trips, island hopping drift by in the deeper areas. and snorkelling around the islands. There is simple accommodation on Gili Gili Gede is large enough to provide a Layar and a restaurant serving fresh juices, range of activities such as hiking to the beers and tasty meals. hills in the centre for fantastic views Slightly further south, beautiful Gili Asahan across the other islands, exploring attracts visitors with its deserted white deserted beaches and hidden coves, and sand beaches, clear calm waters and meeting the people living on the island, swaying palm trees. who are very friendly and, as yet, unspoilt by tourism.
surfers every year from as far away as Hawaii and Brazil to challenge the huge waves of Desert Point, just offshore.
To the south of Gili Gede, the islands of Gili Ringgit, Layar and Asahan are lined up like secret treasures in the calm sea.
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.
Bounty Cruises, a Bali based company, 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, on a fantastic white sand beach. 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, and the scenery and beach are lovely. Many are astounded by the pristine conditions and huge schools of turtles seen near Gili Layar – the island between Gili Ringgit and Gili Asahan. Bright blue starfish drape themselves across patches of coral, and bright yellow and black Moorish Idols dart through the water.
Gili Asahan Eco Lodge and Pearl Beach Resort both offer comfortable accommodation options on the island. Leaving Gili Asahan and back on the mainland, continue south on the coastal road until you come to a main intersection. A signpost to the left leads to the spectacular large bay at Mekaki. The road to the right leads to Labuhan Poh and Pelangan. 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
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 dive sites of the Southwest 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 colourful corals, which harbour an amazing variety of marine life, including ghost pipe fish, leaf fish, pygmy seahorses and much more. For non-divers, the islands are a delight for snorkelling – 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. It’s easy to imagine hotels and resorts on all these beaches and islands in the future but for now, the Southwest is unspoilt and the Gilis remain the secret islands… stunningly beautiful, pristine and unique, and visited only by the lucky few.
Tourism Information 59
KUTA & THE
UBLIME OUTH COAST
Kuta Beachfront by Dian
Tourists are drawn to the south for the stunning beaches and scenery, the laid back lifestyle, and almost year-round sunshine… as well as 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 places of interest in the region. The Lombok International Airport (LIA) is the only commercial airport on Lombok and is located just 25 minutes’ drive north of Kuta , making access to the south very easy. 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. Major roads have been upgraded and the main road to Kuta is in very good condition.
over 1000 hectares of prime beach land, will further transform the south coast in coming years.
traditional homes made of thatch and bamboo, with hardened cow and buffalo dung floors.
But for now, the south is still pristine and spectacular.
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.
The drive down to the south coast is an interesting rural tour through 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
Slightly further south is Sade, another hilltop village with more Lumbung and traditional homes. Both villages have been renovated and cater to the tourist market, but there are still interesting examples of traditional Sasak architecture and communal living within the compounds, where life continues as it has for centuries. Continued on Page 62
The proximity to the airport has sparked an investment boom in the area over the past couple of years and Kuta has blossomed, with many new hotels, restaurants and cafés catering to increased numbers of tourists. The proposed Mandalika Resort development, with its plans for luxury hotels, villas and supporting facilities on
Aura Lounge Selong Belanak
Kuta and The South Coast
Tanjung Aan Beach by Krisztina Nemeth
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. Kuta itself is a town on the move that is evolving quickly and positioning itself as the tourism hub for South Lombok. In the past, it offered mainly low budget hotels catering to the thousands of surfers from around the world who are drawn to the area every year. These days, there is a wide variety of accommodation to suit all budgets and
Are Guling by Neil Cave
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tastes, from simple and cheap hotels to luxurious villas with private swimming pools. As with accommodation options, new restaurants, coffee shops and eateries are springing up in the area almost monthly. Restaurants and cafes in Kuta now rival the foodies scene in Bali and offer a range of choices including Mediterranean, Japanese, Mexican, Asian Fusion, vegan and gluten free, nouvelle cuisine, home-made cakes and breads â€“ diners are truly spoilt for choice and you can dine in a different place every night without being bored!
Kuta offers a full range of tourist facilities from motorbike hire, car rental and tours, surf lessons and surfboard hire and more. There are several mini-markets in town selling drinks, snacks, toiletries and other daily needs, as well as ATM facilities, tour agencies and more. At present, Kuta boasts just one luxury resort: the Novotel Lombok. The Novotel has a range of accommodation, from comfortable hotel rooms to spacious suites and luxurious villas, some with private swimming pools.
Designed to blend in with the environment, the unique style of the buildings at the Novotel are a wonderful example of traditional Sasak architecture. The Novotel occupies a privileged location on the scenic beachfront at Mandalika with a long white sand beach and lovely views across the bay. The stunning resort swimming pool and a bar overlook the beach and happy hours in the late afternoon are popular even with non-staying guests. There is also an upmarket Spa and two restaurants at the resort, which hosts a good variety of theme dinners with traditional entertainment during the week. Kuta attracts thousands of visitors every year for the great surf locations at Gerupuk, Ekas and the beaches to the east.
It’s easy to hire a board and a surf guide from here to learn surfing or, for experienced surfers, to access the more challenging surf breaks in the area. Otherwise, hire a car or motorbike and you can spend days visiting beautiful, mainly deserted beaches, both to the east and west of Kuta. Just east of Kuta is Seger Beach (sometimes called Mandalika Beach,
63 after the legendary Princess Mandalika – a beloved character in Sasak folklore who is believed to have sacrificed herself for the good of her people from the rocks overlooking the beach). It is 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. There are great views from the beach and even better views if you climb the surrounding hills. There are small stalls selling drinks and snacks to enjoy after taking a swim or a stroll to enjoy the views. The government has built a rather ugly building here to host the annual Bau Nyale Festival but nearby there is a lovely monument in the bay commemorating the Mandalika Legend.
The Warung has snorkeling equipment, surfboards and stand-up paddle boards for hire and the local owner, Herman, is a friendly host with a wealth of information to help make the most of your visit. The water at Tanjung Aan is calm and clear, with a white sandy bottom making it fantastic for swimming. There are also perahu (local outrigger boats) available for hire, offering trips around the bay and to the nearby surf breaks.
Tanjung Aan, around 5km east of Kuta, is a long picturesque beach with a wide sweep of white sand, There is a small hill towards the east end perfect aquamarine water with steps cut into the side. It’s an easy and shady trees on the shore. climb to the top for lovely views and you can watch the surfers catching the waves There are a number of offshore. warung or beach cafés along the beach selling cold drinks On the far western end of the beach is Bukit Merese – a larger hill and a slightly and beer, as well as snacks tougher climb – but worth the effort and simple meals. One of the best is for the fantastic views from the top. It Warung Turtle. is popular in the late afternoon, when Guests are welcome to relax on the sun everyone climbs up to see the spectacular lounges on the beach in front of Warung sunsets. Turtle and spend the day swimming in the calm waters. Dine on the beachfront or in Further east of Tanjung Aan is Gerupuk – well known as a top surf location and the shade of the café. situated on a peninsula of land that juts The fresh grilled fish and the Chicken in out into the ocean. Red Sauce are both highly recommended. Continued on Page 64
Selong Belanak Beach by DC
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Mawun Beach by DC
The bay is used for lobster farming and is filled with local boats, which ferry avid surfers to no fewer than five surf breaks nearby.
There are great views over the bay and to the small island of Gili Nusa just off-shore. Are Guling has a good amount of simple accommodation, mainly catering to surfers and a number of local cafĂŠs, including places on the beach.
Gerupuk is also evolving and offers a range of simple accommodation and restaurants to cater to the growing tourist Mawun Beach is around 30 minutesâ€™ drive trade. to the west and is an almost circular bay with small green headlands rolling into the The beaches and scenery continue all the way to the east coast, with fantastic places ocean from either side. such as Bumbang, Awang Bay, Ekas and It is a spectacular beach with calm blue Pantai Sorga (Heaven Beach)â€Ś the name waters, perfect for swimming and spending says it all! a day lazing on the white sand. There are stalls on the beach selling drinks, snacks In the opposite direction, heading west and simple meals. from Kuta, are another series of beautiful beaches and bays hidden behind headlands and rolling hills, providing peaceful and secluded spots for picnics and swimming. All are within easy day trips of Kuta. Are Guling is popular with surfers, with left and right hand reef breaks as well as a beach break for beginners.
Sempiak Villas at Selong Belanak by Asriel Haryadi
Mawi, around another 7km to the west, is for experienced surfers and has good right- and left-hand barrels for surfing when the swell is large enough.
For non-surfers, if you can brave the treacherous road, it is a lovely beach surrounded by small hills, with impressive views; look for the three 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. The beach is lovely for swimming and has good waves for body surfing, as well as being popular for beginners surfing lessons. There are many small stalls selling drinks and snacks, as well as offering surf lessons and surf board hire. Sempiak Villas has plush villas, some with private pools, perched on the hillside overlooking the bay with breath-taking panoramic views. Continued on Page 68
Kuta and The South Coast
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Kuta and The South Coast
The view from Kuta Heights
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68 Continued from Page 64
Surfing at Selong Belanak Beach by DC
Laut Biru Restaurant and Bar at Sempiak Villas is a beautiful all-white venue right on the beachfront with lovely views. It is a popular place for a stop – and justifies a day trip in itself – serving fresh and delicious snacks and meals throughout the day in a pretty restaurant on the beach. There is also a serene Day Spa offering massages and beauty treatments.
Belanak Beach and beyond. It’s a breathtaking vista and one that has been attracting hundreds of guests since Aura opened. There are both covered and outdoor options for dining at comfortable tables and couches artfully arranged to take in the fabulous views. Guests can choose from a delicious assortment of all-day
snacks and meals, or pull up a stool at the stylish bar and order an icy cold beer or signature cocktail. The outdoor viewing deck overlooks a 23m infinity pool edged in white stone where guests can relax on sun lounges or float in the cool water with the illusion of flowing out into the blue of the bay beyond. Further west of Selong Belanak are the picturesque bays of Torok Aik Berik, Pengantap, Sepi and Belongas, and many more scenic beaches along the way; all are mostly deserted. 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.
Spend a day exploring the area, with lunch and a swim here as the highlights of your trip. In the Jabon hills behind Selong Belanak is the stunning Aura Lounge and Bar at Selong Selo Residences. Approaching via the winding mountain road, the contemporary design creates a surprising contrast to the small traditional homes dotted on the hilltops. Perched high on the hilltop, Aura Lounge and Bar overlooks the terraced green valley across to the wide crescent of Selong
Kuta and The South Coast
Lombok’s Three Iconic Islands https://www.facebook.com/BegadangBackpackers/
Three perfect tropical islands – Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air – sit in the sparkling ocean just off the northwest coast of Lombok. The Gilis, together with Rinjani volcano, are Lombok’s most famous icons and are consistently rated among the top destinations in S E Asia by travellers and travel publications. Every year the Gilis attract tens of thousands of visitors from around the world for their pristine waters, great diving and laid-back charm. The word Gili actually means “small island” in the local dialect, and so these islands have come to be known as “The Gilis” by travellers. Today the Gilis 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 accommodation, restaurants and bars, and tourist facilities on all three islands, with the biggest range on Gili Trawangan. While nobody comes to the Gilis for shopping, each island has many 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, liveaboard dive trips and cruises to nearby islands, fishing, sailing, surfing, SUP and all kinds of water-based activities. The islands provide ample opportunities for visitors to swim, relax, sunbathe, explore, snorkel and scuba dive with the many internationally accredited dive operators based in Lombok. Snorkelling from the shore is easy from each of the Gilis and at specific dive locations around the three islands, the pristine waters are home to an abundant variety of corals and thousands of species of tropical fish.
Gili Trawangan – affectionately abbreviated to ‘Gili T’ – is the most developed and popular of the three Gilis, with the greatest range of facilities and activities. It is the largest island of the three and the furthest from the mainland, but is easily reached from Bali in less than 2 hours and is only 10 minutes by speedboat from Lombok. Tagged “the party island”, Gili T continues to cater to the party crowd but also has a cosmopolitan vibe that becomes more evident every year. TripAdvisor® recently rated it as one of the ‘Top 10 Islands in Asia’.
An impressive array of aquatic life can be found here, including green and hawksbill turtles, moray eels, barracuda, reef sharks, and occasionally leopard sharks and manta rays, and more. 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). Many of the popular dive companies are owned and operated by westerners and are PADI and SSI licensed dive operators, with professional standards of safety and environmental awareness. Each Gili has developed independently and at different paces, giving each island a different “personality” or style. This means that travellers have a good choice, depending on their individual tastes and what type of island escape they prefer.
The island itself is around 3km long and 2km wide, so walking is easy and you can cycle around the island in around 1 ½ hours (but will need to get off and push your bike through sandy sections in the north). This is the only Gili to rise significantly above sea level and the hill in the south is a great lookout from which to enjoy the spectacular sunsets across the ocean to Bali or the brilliant sunrise over Mt Rinjani on mainland Lombok. On the far south end of the hill are the remnants of old WWII Japanese gun emplacements and crumbling bunkers, but the hand-dug tunnels have been blocked up.
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Photo by Sander Buis
The busiest area on Gili T is the east coast, Here you will find the greatest number but Gili T’s popularity means development of bars and restaurants, many hotels and extends around the entire island. resorts, and lots of shops and activities.
Located between Gili Air and Gili T, Meno has the lowest population of the three Gilis and the least number of visitors.
Accommodation on Gili T ranges from basic budget places to mid-range and luxury hotels and private villas, so there is something for everyone.
Resorts, restaurants, dive centres, bars, shops and other businesses line the paved ‘road’ that runs around the entire coast of the island.
Restaurants rival Bali in quality and choice, and there are beachside cafés galore. Dining choices range from fresh seafood and modern healthy fare to authentic Indian, Italian and other cuisines; and from inexpensive Indonesian dishes to sophisticated fine dining.
Small roads meander inland from the main coastal road, where many of the island’s local people live. Home-stays, small hotels and private villas here offer a quieter (and often cheaper) alternative to the beachfront choices.
However, Meno’s popularity has soared over the past 5 years as travellers discover this ‘quieter Gili’ with its beautiful undeveloped beaches and laid back charm – all within easy reach of the diving and activities that have made the Gilis famous.
Even the shopping scene on Gili T is starting to resemble nearby Bali and new shops are springing up almost monthly. Shops and kiosks selling the usual sarongs and t-shirts now rub shoulders with 69 Slam, Billabong, and other brand outlets, as well as stylish little boutiques. There is a lively bar scene at night and the island has a rotating roster, where different bars have licenses to host a party on one night of the week (hence the “party island” reputation). These parties are a big draw-card for the crowds of younger people who come to the island. For those who prefer quieter entertainment, there are many low-key and romantic options, such as beachside dining, Spas, yoga retreats and more. The busiest area, called ‘Sentral’, is on the east of the island, close to the harbour.
Photo by Blue Marine Yoga
The north coast of Gili T has a quieter vibe and offers a peaceful alternative to the central area. Although the beaches to the north can be a bit ordinary, the views are beautiful and snorkelling from the beach is good. The location makes it easy to access the dining and nightlife options nearby but also offers a different, more natural side of the island. Likewise, the south and west coasts are popular with travellers seeking a place away from the crowds and are now dotted with small hotels, private villas and a couple of larger resorts. Although the beaches aren’t as nice as those on the east, the sunsets across the sea to Bali are magical. Gili Meno Gili Meno is the smallest and quietest of the three Gilis, perfect for really getting away from it all.
If you base yourself on Gili Meno, it is easy to dive around the other islands and to make day trips to Gili T and Gili Air via public boats and private boat charter. The water surrounding the island is clear turquoise and the beaches are covered in brilliant white sand, fringed with coconut palms and native sea pines. Like all the Gilis, the best swimming beaches and the most tourist facilities (including the boat harbour) are located along the east coast. It is possible to walk around the whole island on a small beach 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 years. The north coast boasts some beautiful quiet beaches and quality accommodation such as the luxurious Mahamaya Boutique Resort, quirky Adeng-Adeng Resort, and the elegant Seri Resort and Yoga Retreat to the northeast. Continued on Page 74
74 Continued from Page 73
Photo by Ilse Verdaasdonk
Apart from these, small hotels and bungalows provide accommodation for those seeking a peaceful place in the sun with uncrowded beaches, clean waters and peaceful nights under the star-filled skies. There is no rowdy bar scene or noisy full moon parties here. Dotted around the island, casual beachfront cafés and bars serve Indonesian and popular western meals, with fresh fish and wood-fired pizzas being Gili Meno specialties.
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. Being the closest of the Gilis to the mainland, 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.
Some provide low-key entertainment in the evenings, more so in the high season, but visitors to Gili Meno largely come for romantic escapes and a chance to rejuvenate on the island’s pretty beaches. A major attraction off the west coast is the underwater sculpture named ‘Nest’ located in the sea directly in front of BASK Resort. Snorkelling trips often include a visit to the sculpture or you can swim out to the site from the beach. Depicting 48 life-size male and female figures, standing together in a circle and entwined together on the ground, the art installation by famous sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor is hauntingly beautiful and well worth a visit. Gili Meno is also famous for the many turtles that live here. To swim with these huge creatures – that are so awkward and ungainly on land but move through their natural element with grace – is perhaps the most special underwater experience of all and a major reason for visiting Gili Meno. Gili Air Gili Air has a relaxed, laid-back style and is a good balance between the buzz of Gili T and the chill of Gili Meno.
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. Alternatively, pull up a seat at one of the beach bars and enjoy live music by some talented local musicians. Activities include walking and cycling around the island, sun bathing, and swimming, snorkelling and diving, free diving, Subwing, kite surfing, glass bottom boat trips, stand up paddle boarding, surfing and other water sports. 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.
Like all the Gilis, the best swimming beaches are on the east coast and most development runs along the beaches here down to the harbour in the south.
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 professional dive centres on the island and, of course, it is easy to explore the other islands from here.
Popular dive sites on Gili Air that attract divers from the other Gilis include Air The views from all points of the island are Wall off the west coast, Hans Reef and stunning but the east coast, facing Lombok, Frogfish Point off the north coast. is probably the most fantastic – looking The water surrounding the island is a clear, back at the big island with its white translucent aquamarine, made even more beaches and green mountains dominated pure by the sparkling white sand beneath. by Indonesia’s second largest volcano, Mt Rinjani. For those who have never had the pleasure of viewing the magical world Accommodation on Gili Air ranges under the ocean, Gili Air offers a superb from simple back-packer bungalows to opportunity to do so in safety and luxurious air-conditioned rooms and private villas with hot water and swimming comfort. pools. Other activities on the island include yoga and meditation classes, cooking There is a good variety of restaurants and beachside cafés on the island, offering classes, browsing the cute shops, relaxing massages and body treatments, and simply everything from traditional Indonesian chilling out on a beautiful little tropical dishes to up-market international fare, island. authentic Italian and other cuisines.
Gili Air, Lombok
GILI ISLANDS FAST FACTS Gili Trawangan by Barbara
Boats and Island Hopping: Gili Air, Meno and Trawangan are grouped together off the northwest coast of Lombok and only a short distance apart, so it is easy to move between the three islands.You may want to explore each island for a couple of days or base yourself on one and take day trips to the other islands. Public boats leave from the harbours on each island with transfers to the other islands available every morning and afternoon, eg; Gili Air to Gili Meno, or Gili Air to Gili Trawangan, and vice versa. Prices are reasonable. Purchase tickets at the ticket office located at the harbour on each island. It is possible to charter perahu (local outrigger boats), speed boats and even glass bottom boats for exploring the islands. Bargain hard! Electricity is fairly stable on all three Gilis, although blackouts are sometimes a problem. Most places have their own emergency generators for back-up power but smaller businesses may rely on candles and lanterns when the power goes out. Water is a scarce resource on the islands and is supplied by desalination plants and ground water wells.Your awareness in conserving this finite resource is appreciated; take short showers and opt to reuse bedding and towels. The tap water on all the islands is not suitable for drinking but bottled water is cheap and readily available. Internet is available on all three Gilis at most hotels and restaurants. Connections can be intermittent and speeds are generally slow. All three islands have ATM machines so you don’t need to carry a lot of cash. 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 improving and there are basic medical supplies available. There are around a dozen clinics on Gili T, including a 24-hour Clinic at Hotel Vila Ombak. Gili Air also has several clinics and there are local clinics on Gili Meno.
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 culture and keep your clothes on!
Dive shop staff are also trained for emergency first aid. For anything serious, it is best to visit a hospital on the mainland (see our “Useful Contacts” page). 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 around 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 generally expensive and rates are fixed by the koperasi on each island. On Gili T, rates are displayed in the front of the cart. Generally, short distances will cost around Rp 50,000 – 100,000; depending on your bargaining skills. Walking or riding a bike is a nicer option.
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 nonprofit organisation based on Gili T that works to protect and conserve the environment. GET activities include reef conservation, waste management and education programmes, to name a few. The Eco Trust raises funds for its programmes through an Eco-tax collected from divers on the islands. The Trust holds regular clean-up days to collect rubbish from the beach and sea. 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
GETTING TO THE GILIS
Photo by Neil Cave
There are numerous fast boat services operating between Bali and the Gilis (as well as many that stop at Bangsal Harbour on the northwest coast of mainland Lombok). Alternatively, you can fly to Lombok and travel across to the Gilis. Fast Boats: With Lombok’s airport based in Central Lombok, fast boat services are a popular option to flying, and provide fast and easy transfers between Bali and the Gilis. Most fast boats leave Bali from either Serangan Harbour in the south of Bali (around 30 minutes from Kuta) or from Padang Bai Harbour in East Bali (around 2 ½ hours from Kuta). 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. The Lombok Strait – between Bali and Lombok – is one of the deepest bodies of water in the region and, during certain times of the year, waves can reach up to 4 metres high. Check sea conditions before travelling. As there are so many boats to choose from, search the internet for “Gili fast boat” to check other travellers’ reviews and choose a reliable operator. Avoid companies that practice “over loading” in busy times.
Gili Getaway is a comfortable fast boat departing from Serangan Harbour daily. Gili Getaway provides transfers to Gili T, Gili Air, Bangsal Harbour (on Lombok), as well as to Gili Gede in Southwest Lombok. Fares include air conditioned hotel transfers to main points in Bali. Ph: +62 811 380 1717 | +62 813 3707 4147. www.giligetaway.com By Plane: Fly to Lombok and either stay on the mainland before making a trip out to the Gilis or travel to Senggigi (around 1 hour) to arrange transport to the Gilis. Alternatively, organize a taxi or private
driver from the airport to Bangsal Harbour (approx 1 hour 45 minutes). There are many different options, as described below. Tour companies and dive operators in Senggigi also provide transfers daily. HOTEL TRANSFERS: Many hotels on the islands 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 northwest coast, about 25 minutes’ drive north of Senggigi, and Teluk Kodek is a smaller bay directly alongside. Most of the dive companies, hotels and many businesses on the Gilis have boats moored here and transfer guests to the islands every day. 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. FROM BANGSAL HARBOUR: Catch a taxi to Bangsal Harbour, the main harbour to the Gilis on the northwest coast, about 30 minutes from Senggigi (and a few minutes north of Teluk Nara). Tickets are available from the sign-posted ticket office on the beachfront and boats are operated by Koperasi Angkutan Laut (Sea Transport Cooperative), which monopolises transport to the islands and sets the prices. Ignore touts who want to sell you tickets and buy directly from the office. Public boats are the cheapest option and depart regularly to each of the three islands. Get there early as departures are easier in the mornings. Boat charters are available, with prices depending on the number of passengers and your bargaining skills. Public speedboats operate from Bangsal Harbour to Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air daily from 9am - 4.20pm; but it’s best to get there in the morning. Boats leave roughly every hour and also provide fast and easy transfers between the islands (eg. Gili Air to Gili T). Price is Rp 85,000 per person. Private speedboat charters are available to all three islands, from around Rp 350,000 to Rp 500,000 depending on your bargaining
skills and which island you are going to. 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 displayed 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 2pm. If you don’t want to wait, or if the public boat looks dangerously overloaded, you may want 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 Bungalows 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. www.arnel-restaurant.com 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.
CHINESE NEW YEAR ON LOMBOK... Celebrating Diversity! | LOMBOK WITH 20/20 VISION | INNIT LOMBOK… Destination Resort on Ekas Beach! | and much...
Published on Jan 10, 2020
CHINESE NEW YEAR ON LOMBOK... Celebrating Diversity! | LOMBOK WITH 20/20 VISION | INNIT LOMBOK… Destination Resort on Ekas Beach! | and much...