Hi guys! We are back with #pawahtravelogue. Many of you have been asking about our trip to Lombok back in 2017 when two of #pawah members went to Gunung Rinjani for a hiking trip. I know it’s been almost a year now (we apologise!) but we made our promise to share with you some of the places that you can venture out on this beautiful island. This has been my (Naddy’s) favourite island amongst all that I have been to. Partly because of its not so developed and serene, surrounded with beautiful beaches and its friendly people!
So where do you go around the island? These are some of the best spots for you!
You may use our itinerary to help plan your vacation to Lombok, with suggested places to visit for travellers with different interests, things to do and timeframes to do them in. Use this as a guide, or mix and match from different itineraries to make it fit for you ?
Have fun reading!
1. GILI TRAWANGAN
An island holiday in Gili Trawangan offers access to the largest of the three Gili Islands located off the main coast of Lombok.
Public boats can be chartered from BANGSAL harbour in Lombok to either Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno And Gili Air, and in between all 3 islands. Please take note on this, guys – Bangsal harbour is only open between 08.00am and 4.30pm. It can also be busy and has many street sellers, but ALWAYS buy your tickets from the official concrete offices located at each harbour.
Mind you, there are no cars/motorbikes around the three Gili(s). you either opt for a very cute cidomo or horse-drawn carriage, the local transport in Gili Trawangan island in Lombok to/from your place OR rent a bicycle (some hotels/hostel do provide this service) or just walk! My very first time coming to Gili Trawangan challenged me to walk around the island for about three (3) hours! Yup. I stopped over one beach after another and dipped myself into the sea hehe. It was so relaxing that nobody ever cares or notice you!
What else can you do here?
Nothing. So, relax and enjoy the sunrise, sunset & the music at night!
Once you have touchdown Lombok, you have to go to Senggigi Beach for some beach relaxation. The beach is located close to Bangsal harbour, so you can take a taxi to the beach and enjoy the beautiful view along the way.
Senggigi’s big attraction is its long stretches of white sandy beach. Head to Senggigi Beach to hang out with tourist crowds and local hawkers.
There is a wide range of budget homestays in Senggigi, most within easy reach of the beach. Homestays on Lombok tend to offer no-frills accommodation and may not provide hot water or air conditioning, so be sure to check the fine print before booking.
More hostels/hotels via booking.com!
Visit Pura Batu Bolong Temple!
Located near Senggigi Beach, the Hindu temple Pura Batu Bolong sits above a holey rock (that’s holey, with an ‘e’). It is, in fact, named after this volcanic rock, ‘Batu Bolong‘ translates as ‘Rock with Hole‘. The temple makes for another great place to watch the sunset, with the sound of the waves crashing below you.
From Lombok International Airport, their official taxi would cost around 150,000 IDR to Senggigi, while the public bus costs 35,000 IDR and takes about 1.5 to 2 hours.
3. KUTA MANDALIKA
Kuta Mandalika is the main town and tourism centre on the south coast of Lombok, is a privately-owned area of land that has been set out for high-end, luxury development including 5-star hotels, a golf course, private villas and residences, marine and watersports activities.
Located around 60km south of Mataram, I would say that the journey takes about one hour from Senggigi. For now, the south is uncrowded, pristine and still spectacular ?
Kuta itself is a small town with hotels, homestays and backpackers’ hostels that cater mainly thousands of surfers around the world. Of course, there is also a good variety of accommodation, restaurants and facilities for travelers – so don’t worry too much!
Our stay in Kuta Mandalika was Surfer-Inn Hotel, a very run-down Inn that has a decent swimming pool in the middle of the hotel. Located adjacent to the beach, we couldn’t complain much as facilities are close by. Price? Murah babe for cheap travellers like us! Stay for at least three to four days for you to tour around the beaches in Lombok.
4. BUKIT MERESE
One of my favourite spots! Here’s a highlight for travellers who love to hike up Bukit Merese Hill on Kuta Lombok, where you can enjoy a stunning panoramic view of different coves below. We heard about Bukit Merese and decided to jump on our motorbike from town and make the 15-minute journey out to the hill. When we arrived, we had to pay MYR1 (I think!) to park and the bottom of the hill. Grab a water, a coconut or some snacks at the parking lot before you begin hiking up (trust me, it’s not that high) the hill.
5. TANJUNG AAN
Around 4km east of Kuta Mandalika, there’s Tanjung Aan. A perfect white sand beach and good waves for surfers too! There are coconut trees all over Lombok so this area is nothing extraordinary to me. However, it’s right next to Bukit Merese and we decided to cruise around our bikes and took some photos as its close to sunset at that time. Just beautiful!
6. MAWUN BEACH
My favourite spot! Mawun Beach is around 30 minutes’ drive from Kuta Mandalika. Honestly, this has been my favourite in Lombok because of its spectacular beach with calm blue ocean, perfect for swimming and spending a day lazing on the white sand. You might get burned here but who cares! (Well, my mum does).
7. SELONG BELANAK BEACH
Selong Belanak Beach is another long sweeping bay framed on each end by headlands and surrounded by rolling hills. This is probably mat saleh’s favourite beach to go surfing I believe. Spend at least and hour or so on this beach, have a drink or eat during lunch time and enjoy the view. The journey takes about 20 minutes from Mawun Beach; hence we spent a day going to these beaches when we’re in Lombok.
8. PINK BEACH
Even Indonesia has a pink beach, guys! Pink Beach is a two-hour journey from Kuta Mandalika. The best way to get there is by a car (they don’t usually rent a car to tourists, hence often provide a driver-guide) and not many tour or even local guides would want to drive you there actually, mainly because there aren’t much attractions. But is this Pink Beach really pink? Don’t be surprise when you arrive at the beach and it looks like the usual white sandy beach. But if you look closer, it really does look pink! The sand is so smooth, the water is so pristine and clear, I bet you can’t resist yourself to dip into the ocean, can you? I’d like to recommend to bring your own food and drinks, though there’s some stalls here. But just in case yeah.
What makes it a destination for travellers?
A speedboat away from party beach Bali, Lombok in Indonesia has something to offer tourists of all backgrounds and beliefs.
While it continues to attract Western tourists because of its beaches, Lombok also seeks to promote its Islamic heritage and boost tourist arrivals of Muslim travelers. Known as “the island of 1000 mosques”, getting halal food while travelling is not a worry for us as compared to Bali whereby Muslims are minority. I am one of those happy ladies out there who get to eat whenever I want, because it’s not that expensive!
Lombok certainly offers travellers a variety of fun activities to do and sights to see from cultural attractions to outdoor activities. The beach spots are deemed less-crowded compared to Bali, with vibrant beachfront restaurants serving various (including Halal) food options, beaches and water-based activities like snorkeling, scuba diving, surfing and fishing.
It is fascinating to learn about people’s culture and way of living while you are travelling especially in Muslim countries. Blessed with exquisite white-sand beaches, beautiful hiking trails, scenery and blue, the colour of the sea, this is why Lombok is a perfect destination for me (again) to experience for a few days with peace and quiet.
I think I spent around MYR600-700 (excluding my flight) on accommodation, food and transportation. You never know what to expect when coming to Lombok but based on our experience here, I’d recommend you to explore and embrace the beauty of this island.
Experience it yourself!