Love for Lombok
Updated: Mar 12
Lombok is the new Bali? No it's not. Bali may be high on every tourist's wish list, but I would not skip this beautiful island! The daily offerings made by Balinese Hindus to thank the Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa in praise and prayer alone are worth visiting the island. But Bali's neighbor has also won me over for different reasons. Delicious food, lovely people and postcard worthy beaches that have not been infected by mass-tourism yet.
Sunset at Senggigi beach
Here are some of my favorite must-do's for Lombok.
Let's start of this list with one of my favourite places to stay in the Senggigi area. This villa sits in beautiful, lush mountains hills and has the most amazing view over the ocean. The villa is decorated with impeccable taste and the staff is very helpful and friendly. You need a taxi to go up and down but if you are not in the mood to go downtown you can easily order food from the little in-house restaurant and enjoy the sunset from your pool chair.
The food and the service was so good here that I barely looked at my phone or camera and therefor don't have any pictures from this lovely place :) But believe me it's worth the visit. I can truly recommend the Pepes Ikan, which is a typical Indonesian dish. Pepes signifies the steaming of food in banana leaves, which gives it an earthy flavor. The fish is rubbed with a spice paste, wrapped in banana leaf. Delicious!
"I can truely recommend the Pepes Ikan, which is is a typical Indonesian dish. Pepes signifies the steaming of food in banana leaves, which gives it an earthy flavor. The fish is rubbed with a spice paste, wrapped in banana leaf. Delicious!"
Bale Tajuk Café is on Raya Senggigi street, close to the Rinjani Trekking Club and Papaya Café. Also not far away from a path that leads to the beach where the Kila Senggigi Beach hotel is located. If you are coming back from the beach, the Café is on your left.
The other Gilis
One of the highlights of our stay in Lombok was our day-trip to 'the other Gilis'. Perfect for snorkeling, relaxing and taking instagramworthy pictures. There are three ways to get to Gili Nanggu, Gili Kedis and Gili Sudak. From Sengiggi, you can go directly by boat (2.5 hours). Or, from Sengiggi, drive 2 hours to Taun Harbor, then take a boat (15 minutes), or they can be reached from Lembar harbor, 40 minute with an outrigger boat.
We just booked a day-trip with one of the travel agencies on Raya Senggigi Street, so don't stress too much about booking anything days in advance. You will normally go to Gili Nanggu first, where you can spot plenty of colorful fishes, then head to Gili Kedis, where you will probably have the island to yourself, and finish the trip at Gili Sudak where you can have a delicious lunch and snorkel some more (apart from fish, you will see a car, motorbike and letters from an old sign).
Sunset at Senggigi Beach
If you are staying in Senggigi consider going to the beach close to the Kila Senggigi Beach Hotel just before sunset. You can enjoy happy hour on their beach terrace (and their wifi if you ask nicely to the waiter ;-) ). Local children play in the sea while vendors join you on the beach to sell sarongs and jewelry. When the sun sets you can even spot Bali's Mt Angur in the clouds. Sit back, relax and enjoy the view!
Sendang Gile and Tiu Kelep Waterfalls
These two waterfalls can be reached through to the village of Senaru. There is a small pathway leading to both. You can go on your own or with a guide.
These cascades are a nice refresher during your travels in Lombok and the passage through lush rain forest and tropical trees alone makes it worth the visit. Reaching Tiu Kelep is a bit more of an adventurous trek but it is truly a refreshing and impressive sight with water cascades of 50m.
On our first night in Kuta, I had a vegan burger with lentils and smoked sweet potatoes, while sipping on a green smoothie or something, don't remember exactly.. The vibe here is a bit different. So laid-back and vibrant at the same time! A perfect location to rent a motorbike to discover secluded desolate beaches, take some yoga classes or the dress up for the party of the year. Kuta has it all!
A small note on Gili Meno
First of all, if your travel plan includes Bali and Lombok, I would strongly suggest to take a boat from Lombok because the sea is very rough between Bali and the Gilis. When you arrive at Bengsal Harbour, go immediately to the white concrete building on the left (and don't be sidetracked by touts!). Here you will be able to find the timetable for the day and check the latest prices. You can choose between a wooden-like public boat that leaves the harbour when it's full or if you have a bit more money to spend, or a speedboat. We opted for the latter and it was a very comfortable trip to Gili Meno (and we didn't get sea-sick).
We went for Gili Meno because we just wanted to relax and enjoy the last few days of our holiday and stayed at the Avia Villa Resort on the West-side of the island. This hotel has the best sunset for sure!
As much as I enjoyed staying at Gili Meno it was not the highlight of our trip. The island is great for relaxing, snorkeling and so much more but it didn't have the wow-factor that you might expect from this reputed island. There are other islands and beaches in Indonesia that are far more impressive.
We are coming back for the Mount Rinjani one day...
We ended up in Lombok after visiting Myanmar for a few weeks and since we just wanted to relax and have a good time, we skipped climbing the Mount Rinjani. This beautiful mountain remains on our wish-list and we will definitely come back one day to conquer it!