The next leg of our Indonesian getaway happened in Lombok, an island found in the province of West Nusa Tenggara in Indonesia. It is located at the east side of Bali, having Lombok Strait separating it from its more famous neighboring island. Unbeknownst to many, Lombok is the place to go to when you are looking for less crowded beaches, impressive waterfalls and beautiful terraces. Not to forget, it’s also home to the volcano that had the largest eruption in the past 2,000 years: Mt. Rinjani. Read along to learn how you can go to this interesting and beautiful place when you are in Indonesia.
Here are the places of interest here in Lombok:
Gili Trawangan is one of the three Gili Islands found at the northeastern side of mainland Lombok. The most popular among these islands, Gili Trawangan is a haven for tourists, especially foreign backpackers, who seek a quiet place to stay at day and yearn to party at night. The beaches here are filled with restaurants where one can dine in. Various accommodations can also be found here, from cozy hotels to affordable homestays. If not in front of the beach, they are just several minutes away from it by walking. The beach also has shops that arrange diving sessions.
We stayed in Dua Nina Homestay, which is just about perfect for a group of travelers as they have large air-conditioned rooms that can accommodate 3 to 4 people. Not to forget this homestay is affordable as well.
Here in Gili Island is where you can visit the Ombak Swing and capture the sunset with Mt. Agung at the background. You can also capture the sunrise over Mt. Rinjani at the other side of the island.
Internet connection (if you have availed Indonesia’s telecom services) is only strong at certain areas. It was mostly weak when we were roaming around the island. It is good to point out, though, that some restaurants have free Wi-Fi connection. We dined in a newly built restaurant and they have relatively fast connection.
One of the party places you can go to in Gili Trawangan is Sama Sama Reggae Bar. Reggae music was played the whole night we were there, which was pretty cool considering we wanted our night out to be just chill. Unfortunately, all the bars operate only until 1 AM, that’s why we continued drinking (there were convenience stores along the beach, by the way) at the homestay.
SENDANG GILE WATERFALL
With a height of 30 m, Sendang Gile is one of the two majestic waterfalls that we were able to visit while in Lombok. It would only take about 15 to 20 minutes going here from Senaru Village, the jump off point not only to these waterfalls but also to Mt. Rinjani. Yes, these waterfalls are found at the base of Mt. Rinjani! It would have been great to go to Mt. Rinjani; however, as we only had about 3 days here in Lombok, we were not able to hike the active volcano that could take several more days.
The pathway to Sendang Gile is mostly cemented, which is why it is easier to go here compared to Tiu Kelep. If you already got tired from walking, you can avail refreshments from mini stores that are available in the area.
TIU KELEP WATERFALL
Splendidly beautiful is the second waterfall in that part of Mt. Rinjani National Park: Tiu Kelep. According to Lombok’s tourism website, the name of Tiu Kelep came from the Sasak language. Tiu means pool while kelep means fly. It’s no wonder if it was named as such as we can attest to the fact that the waters that came falling from Tiu Kelep seem like splashing all over the area! Think about our very own Hulugan Falls in Luisiana, Laguna. If you have been there, you can say that the waters coming down the imposing waterfall are flying over the whole area, wetting the people who come to visit. I can say that it is also similar to Tiu Kelep, albeit more restrained and limited as it is not as high as Hulugan. As a consequence, it could be really challenging to take a good picture of Tiu Kelep without wetting your camera!
It would take you about 45 minutes going to Tiu Kelep. While the pathway to Sendang Gile is easy, going here is more challenging. You’d have to cross a river going here as well as trek slopes that could be muddy and wet.
LENK RINJANI RESTAURANT
If you’re looking for a restaurant that offers authentic Indonesian food, Lenk Rinjani is the place to be. We ate our lunch here before heading to the waterfalls that day as it is already located at the jump off point. Another good thing about dining here is that you’ll be treated with beautiful scenery while eating your chosen Lombok dishes.
The first beach we went to was called Selong Belanak. It was a good indication of what was to come that day as we witnessed white, creamy sand in this beach. It was an ideal place for swimming, but it also was perfect for just chilling out.
Surf schools that also have restaurants by the beach offer refreshments for visitors. Also, local vendors selling freshly caught fish at a very affordable price can be found here. Imagine a medium sized grilled tuna on a stick for only 10,000 IDR! The mango smoothie that we bought was even more expensive: 15,000 IDR!
Impressive with its white, fine sand and clear, blue waters, Mawun Beach is the second beach that we visited in southern Lombok. We didn’t spend much time in this beach, though. What occupied our time here were the merchandise being shown to us by the local vendors there. Pretty sarongs, table runners and other woven items caught our attention and so we bought many of them!
Said to be the most famous beach in the southern part of Lombok Island, Kuta Beach is filled with accommodations and restaurants for tourists and travelers. The area is under development when we visited; a lot of construction work was being done with roads and other infrastructures.
According to this Indonesian tourism website, festivities in Kuta Beach happen on the 19th day of the tenth month of Sakar lunar calendar (that probably falls around February or March). You gotta watch out for that should you want to join.
Tanjung Aan was the last travel destination in Lombok that we have visited. Blessed with a wide stretch of white sand and turquoise blue waters, Tanjung Aan also has impressively rugged hills around it. You may want to choose to swim, sunbathe or hike the hills to have a good view of the area. Refreshments are provided by vendors around the area, so you won’t have to worry how you would deal with the scorching heat of the sun.
ROUGH DRAFT OF OUR LOMBOK ITINERARY
Just a recap: If you’ve been following my blog posts about Indonesia, you would know that our Lombok trip was preceded by our Komodo National Park adventure. If you haven’t visited that yet, it’s about time that you do!
Take note: From Labuan Bajo, we flew our way back to Bali before heading to Lombok. After going to the domestic terminal of Bali (Ngurah Rai International Airport), we took a flight and headed to Lombok Praya International Airport. It was only in the airport that we were able to talk to a car rental/ tour guide and there, we were able to talk to him about our intended itinerary.
We spent three days in Lombok and this is just a rough draft of our itinerary:
10:55 AM – Flight from Bali to Lombok
11:25 AM – ETA in Lombok. Make travel arrangements (e.g. car rental service, etc.) in the airport. Head to Lombok Harbour.
1 PM – Lunch at a local restaurant
2 PM – Continue heading to Lombok Harbour.
3:30 PM – Ride speed boat going to Gili Trawangan.
3:50 PM – ETA in Gili Trawangan Island.
4:15 PM – Arrive in hostel. Settle down. Wash up.
5:30 PM – Head to the beach for the sunset.
Past 6 PM – Take sunset pictures in Ombak Swing.
7:30 PM – Look for a restaurant for dinner.
9 PM – Head back to hostel and wash up.
Past 10 PM – Head back to the beach and look for a party place.
7:30 AM – Wake up, eat breakfast, wash up and prepare things. You may opt to wake up earlier to catch the sunrise.
Past 9 AM – Head to port. Wait for the speed boat. Ride the speed boat going back to mainland Lombok.
Past 10 AM – ETA in Lombok Harbour. Meet with tour guide/ driver. Head to the jump-off point for trekking waterfalls at the base of Rinjani.
12 NN – ETA at the jump off point.
1 PM – Start chasing waterfalls.
4 PM – Head back to the jump off point.
4:30 PM – Ride car going to homestay.
8 PM – Dinner at a local food chain.
9:30 PM – ETA in the homestay. Settle down. Rest for the night.
7 AM – Wake up, eat breakfast and prepare for the day’s activities. You may opt to wake up early to catch the sunrise.
9 AM – Start of beach-hopping: Selong Belanak, Mawun Beach, Kuta Beach and Tanjung Aan.
2 PM – Head back to hostel to wash up.
3:30 PM – Leave for the airport.
5:30 PM – Flight to Bali.
LIST OF EXPENSES
Car rental service
Lombok airport to Lombok Harbour – 450,000 IDR (originally 500,000 IDR) per group
Speed boat from Lombok Harbour to Gili Trawangan – 350,000 IDR per group
Bar expenses: 50,000 IDR for one bottle of beer
After bar expenses:
250,000 IDR – a bottle of whiskey
35,000 IDR – Lemon beer
30,000 IDR –Pringles
Speed boat from Gili Trawangan to Lombok Harbour – 400,000 IDR per group
Lombok Tour (waterfalls chasing then Kuta Beach) – 500,000 IDR for 8 hours per group
100,000 IDR – room with air-con
120,000 IDR – room with fan (for some reason, this room has a higher rate because it is larger than the one with air-con)
Beach hopping Tour – 120,000 IDR each (included here is escorting from homestay to airport after beach-hopping)
TOTAL (per pax, without personal expenses such as food & souvenir): at least P1,785.85
WHO TO CONTACT
Bil Local Transport – The person whom we talked to at the airport works for Bil Local Transport and their services were the ones we have availed during our trips around Lombok.
No. 1 Tanak Awu – Pujut Lombok Tengah
Thank you very much for reading, guys! I hope this blog post about Lombok inspired you to travel there. While we have done many things here in Lombok, there are much more activities that you can do should you opt to go here with longer travel time. Try to hike Mt. Ranjini, spend more time in their beaches and explore more of the Gili Islands.
Watch out for my last blog post about Indonesia, and that is about the place where seemingly everyone around the world would want to discover and explore in Indonesia: Bali!