I’m a beach person, clearly. I’m always looking forward to my next beach/island holiday and as a fellow islander enthusiast, I’m always looking forward to explore new destinations.
I’ve always wanted to go to Lombok, Indonesia. I’ve been hearing about people’s experiences for a couple of years now and thought to myself, I need to go this year. I just need to go.
Lombok is right next to Bali. I’ve been to Bali twice and I loved it. Yet after going to Lombok, I can agree with those who have been there that it’s better! Like how everyone else has put it, it’s like Bali but quieter and more tranquil. So true. It’s a hidden gem, and more beautiful if I’m not mistaken ;)
So a spontaneous conversation with friends had us on our feet.
We stayed at Novotel Lombok which is situated on the main island. We contemplated between staying on the main island or to stay on Gili Island. The latter is a well known party town though so seeing that most of us preferred peace and quiet, we settled for mainland. Novotel is about 20 minutes from the airport however it is a bit more further from everywhere else (except for Kuta beach) as it is on one end of the island.
Novotel was great though. The resort was a nice size and had a very tropical appeal to the resort. The beach was amazing as the pictures showed and it was very close to Seger Hill which showcases amazing views of the resort from the top (top left pic in my collage). What I loved most about the place is the abundance of daily free activities offered such as sunset tours and volleyball etc.
Because we stayed further away from most places, we used the taxi as our main mode of transport. We did however rent bicycles one afternoon and used Google maps to lead us to some hip Lombokian cafes. It was such a good idea as the route lead us to cycle by the beach – showcasing spectacular panoramic views of the Tanjung A’an beach.
There’s so much to do in Lombok really. We spent 4d3n there which didn’t permit us much time to try everything as many activities took up most of the day. We reminded ourselves that we were there to chill and have a good break. So we spent most days chilling at the beach, swimming, cycling around town, hiking and stargazing. We intended to check out Mount Rinjani and Gili islands but as time did not permit us to do both, we settled for the island hopping. For about 500,000 Indo rupiah (RM~140), we each paid for a full Gili island tour which covered the 3 Gili islands and included snorkelling.
I generally love Indonesian food. Each time I visit the country I will look for nasi padang because it’s a local speciality and it’s always delicious. That accompanied with teh botol, also a local speciality drink which I can never get enough of.
Unlike Bali, Lombok is a predominantly Muslim city so the food is generally halal, making it easier for Muslim travellers like myself to eat freely. Most of the time if I was not having nasi padang, I ordered nasi goreng (fried rice) or simply white rice and local side dishes. I generally don’t recommend having western food in a place like Lombok simply because it’s not their speciality food nor focus, thus to avoid disappointment on taste, do like the locals do and have local food!
My pictures should say enough no? But anyway, what mesmerised me about Lombok was widespread magnificent VIEW. From the indie tropical backdrops to the true blue waters to the hilly landscape. Lombok is your true definition of a laid back island life. Again, this is especially true in contrast to a neighbouring island like Bali which has become dense and overpopulated. Lombok is also home to Gunung Rinjani National park which also situates Mount Rinjani, one of a few active volcanos in Indonesia. Since I didn’t have time to check that out, I definitely intend to make another trip dedicated to that.
There was a recent volcanic ash scare in Bali/Lombok which caused airports to close and flights to be cancelled. A bit scary, but I hope the situation settles soon and that the mountain doesn’t decide to erupt :O
Otherwise, Lombok is a MUST visit and I’m so glad to have finally crossed that off my wish list!