After a wonderful week in Bali, as you have been able to read in our previous story, we have also been to Lombok for a short week. It is such a lovely island! So much quieter than Bali, beautiful white beaches which you can’t find in Bali and great nature! It is still the authentic Indonesia! Lombok is still undiscovered and you will not find many other tourists, except for some places. So if you want to visit Lombok then go quickly, because it is getting busier and busier! The culture is also different in Lombok. While Bali is Hindu, the rest of Indonesia is almost all Muslim. So is Lombok. You will therefore find mainly mosques. But we really liked this difference in religion after a week in Bali.
After our short flight from half an hour from Bali, we arrived in the evening of 10 September on Lombok. This time we were smart enough to get an official airport taxi with a meter. The cab brought us to Kuta, in the south of Lombok. Here we stayed the next nights in Yuli’s Homestay, a simple but great hotel.
In Kuta Lombok we would have a bit more rest the next two days so we made use of that by sleeping in a bit longer the next morning. Breakfast at the hotel was delicious (a huge banana pancake) and the weather was great today! Time to rent a scooter and explore the beautiful beaches of this area!
Kuta beach was actually the first beach we ran in to, but we decided to go to a bit further away first, towards the east. There are many little bays here with the most beautiful beaches! The next beach was Pantai Seger. Already a bit more beautiful than the Balinese beaches!
The fuel tank of the scooter was not so full, so we went to refuel. And again they use bottles of petrol! They sell it at every stall beside the road. It is easy and it looks so funny!
The beaches here are really quiet. There is almost no one, except for some sellers. Luckily they aren’t as pushy as in Bali. But you also have an ice-cream scooter driving around… It’s fun, and they also have a nice tune coming from their speakers. Well, the first time we thought it was funny, not knowing yet that this was going to be THE tune of Lombok :P. What an annoying beep! We were going to hear that very often…
We continued driving to the next beach: Tanjung Aan. Through a bumpy road we arrived at this beautiful white sand beach! And the sea was so clear blue! And there was also a nice swing to top it off!
We decided to chill here. There was almost no one here again, and the water was lovely! The sellers were a bit more persistent, but telling them no and ignoring them works fine. This was the moment the ice-scooters lost there charm 😛 Especially when one of them decided to have his siesta next to us on the beach, while still playing his tune…
A bit later that afternoon we raced further. We bobbled over a sandy path to a little promontory at the bay. From there we had a beautiful view over the beach. Along the path were a few simple huts. They often have a few cows and goats, but it looks pretty shabby. You notice that they are much poorer here than on Bali and simply live a much more authentic life. Yet they live nicely, straight at the beach.
A bit further to the east we came at Gerupuk, a small fishing village. This also looked like a poor part of Lombok, but very cosy! We had a drink at a home stay and then drove back to Kuta.
What we noticed during our drive is that they are working on a huge project here. They are building a mega resort, and over a kilometer long stretch they are building everywhere and laying new roads. It’s a shame for the current scenery. It is still so simple now, something we really like, and then they build such a gigantic resort. In about 10 years it will probably be just as touristic here as in Bali. It’s a shame because the undiscovered feeling has a lot of charm. It will be good for the economy on this island though.
On our way back, we ran into a very long parade. A lot of music and traditional clothing. It looked beautiful and later we found out that this is a parade for a typical Sasak wedding. All the family and friends from the bride and the groom walk along in this parade, and this couple had a lot of family and friends!
That evening we ate something at El Bazar, the food was really good! And afterwards Manon went for a massage at the hotel, it is so cheap here! And it was great!
The next day we went looking for the most beautiful beaches of Lombok as well. This time on the west side of Kuta. First we stopped by a tourism office to organise transport for tomorrow. For 750.000rp (50 euro) we organised a driver for the 4 hour drive tomorrow. We had to pay in advance. We were not sure if we could trust this, but if not, we could easily go back to this office tomorrow…
We drove to the first western beach next to Kuta called Pantai Are Guling. After a somewhat difficult drive we arrived at the beach, although we didn’t think this beach was really special.
The next beach was Mawun Beach. Already a much nicer beach!
And the great thing here was that many local children were playing in the boats on the shore, and they loved to pose for us haha.
Along the road we were following a secret beach was signposted. And tipped by a friend of ours we decided to check this out. The beach is called Lancing secret beach. And this looked so amazing! Next to a nice swing there were also beautiful huts made from bamboo and palm leaves. It all looked so cozy! We had the whole beach to ourselves. The seller was sleeping next to the scooters. If we needed anything we just had to ask him haha. Look, this guy knows how to do it!
While looking for the next the beach, which we couldn’t find, we suddenly arrived already at Pantai Selong Belanak. The last one from our list. The strange thing was that it was a fair bit more crowded. There were many eat and drink stalls and many tourists too! It’s a shame because those quiet beaches had something special. We do understand that it’s crowded at this beach, because it was so beautiful! But to be honest, the deserted beaches were just as beautiful if not even more beautiful.
Nevertheless, we stayed here to chill a bit in the afternoon and we made some friends with the local dogs… We were hungry, and so were the dogs. And they were not afraid to show it! They are full of fleas so we didn’t want them here, but some of them were so stubborn that they even lay down on Bram’s beach towel haha.
At the end of the afternoon we drove back to Kuta. Along the way, we stopped at a cute stall. We got ourselves something to drink and we wanted some photos of the typical stalls. It was no problem at all, and the whole family came outside because they had tourists as customers haha! They all wanted to be in the photo, even a naked little boy had to be in there too. So funny!
After this we passed a beautiful viewing point. There were also busy building over here, but we made some pictures anyway.
That evening we went for dinner at Ashtari restaurant. It’s on a mountain and you have an amazing view over Kuta! The food was great and not expensive. Soup as a starter, a main and some drinks for only 300.000rp, that’s 20 Euro!
The next morning we rose early. Today we were going to Senaru, in the mountains.
Luckily the driver showed up. Along the way we stopped at Sukara Weaving village. It’s a traditional village, where Sasaks live, the original residents of Lombok. Here they make Sarongs in the traditional way and other traditional clothing. They gave us a tour around the village and we noticed the weaving isn’t as easy. The techniques are transferred from mother to daughter and the weaving of a rug or sarong can take months. They wear the traditional clothing at weddings and such. They still live very traditionally here, something we really enjoyed to witness. The homes are simple huts and everybody lives outside.
After the tour they dressed us up in the traditional clothing, which was great for a funny photo!
After this visit we drove straight to Senaru. And that driving here is just as in Bali: a special experience. The markings in the middle of the road is pure decoration! 2 lane roads are at least 3 lane roads 😛 After 4,5 hours we arrived at our simple hotel this time. Senaru is located at the mountain Rinjani, 800 meters above sea level. The driver offered to drive us to Bangsal Harbour tomorrow. He wanted to be paid in advance again and we decided to pay partly up front.
We stayed at the Anak Rinjani guesthouse, which means the children of Rinjani. There was no aircon, but that wasn’t necessary over here. It was a bit more chilly here in the mountains! When we arrived the power had dropped out, but that’s quite normal here. It happens almost every day 😛
Most people come to Senaru to climb Mount Rinjani, the second highest volcano of Indonesia at 3726 meters high. This trip will take 2 to 4 days and we unfortunately didn’t have the time. But also when you don’t climb this mountain, it’s still a perfect place to discover the scenery! Our main reason to visit were the beautiful waterfalls in this area. That’s what we had planned for tomorrow, this afternoon the intention was to relax.
That’s why we walked over to the Rinjani lodge, the most luxurious hotel here. At the restaurant is an infinity pool with the most amazing view over the valley and the volcano. If you order something to drink or eat you can use the pool, isn’t that ideal! Our afternoon plans were clear! And we even stayed for dinner.
That Thursday we rose early again, and after a quick brekky we started the hike to the waterfalls. We deliberately went very early to beat the crowds. There was an easy way from the hotel we took. The official track starts further uphill and then descends again through many stairs. But the path we took was flat and a much easier walk. You will also avoid the intrusive guides, which you absolutely don’t need here.
The first waterfall we came across was the Sedang Gile. There was nobody here yet so we had it all to ourselves!
We continued the path to the next waterfall, for which we had to take a side road. The path was still easy to follow and we passed a beautiful bridge.
Until the path stopped at a certain moment. From there we had to go criss cross over the rocks of the river and a little further the path continued. Yet, we had to search a bit for the path haha.
And there it was, the absolutely stunning Tiu Kelep waterfall! The best thing: we were the first to be there. There was nobody else! However, it was rather difficult to get the camera ready, because of all the water that misted around here. The camera got actually quite wet, which isn’t really good for it. After a few shots without people, unfortunately the first group arrived. And they didn’t want to wait just a little bit to let us take a few more shots and stood right in front of our shot, to have a really long photo shoot themselves. So rude… if they just waited a little bit then we would have been finished. Now we had to wait for them for really long to finally get out of our shot while the camera was only getting wetter and wetter and it was getting more crowded too. Luckily we could take a few more shots without other people in it!
We stayed for a while at this waterfall to swim in the chilly water and to take the necessary photos. We loved this place so much, it’s one of our favorite waterfalls for sure! And wow, it suddenly was so crowded! As quiet and calm as it was this morning, so mega full of people it was now. It was unbelievable haha.
Around noon we walked back and we ate something at a simple restaurant/hotel. The view was amazing again. When we were finished, a group arrived to check out the hotel. Apparently, the people came from a place called Someren, which is close to our hometown. So funny to meat some other Brabanders (people from our province). They were on holiday with a friend who lives in Lombok half of the time.
We walked back to our hotel, where we would be picked up at 3 o’clock. But the driver had not showed up yet. After a while we tried to call them, but the number we had wasn’t working. Nobody answered the phone of the tourist office either, of course… We had the feeling that he wouldn’t show up, and that feeling was right…
At 4 we organized another driver to drop us off. It was clear to us that you should never pay in advance here! That’s what our feeling was before, but because it went ok yesterday we did it anyway. It was only 14 euros, but it’s just not amusing to be scammed. It was our first time here, and it won’t happen again!
A 1,5 hours drive later we arrived in Bangsal Harbour. Here we had a simple guesthouse, Arnel Bungalows, to go to the Gili islands early next morning. The owner seemed to be Dutch too. That’s funny! He had many experiences here in Indonesia. We first went looking to buy some toiletries. It suddenly was so crowded here again! Not very touristic, because the little stores were really focused on the locals, but so many cars and scooters. And then you had the mosques that you could hear over the entire city. One big chaos :p We ate something at our hotel and chatted for a long time with the owner. Afterwards we went to bed early, because tomorrow we finally go to the Gili islands!
And that were our few days at Lombok. Way too short in our opinion, because there is so much more to discover at Lombok! We loved the quiet pace of traveling on this island, the authentic feeling and especially the incredibly friendly people you meet everywhere! Some great reasons to return someday!
Anyway, after a few days Lombok we were also really excited to go to the Gili Islands, our next destination, which was one of the main reasons for going on this trip to Indonesia! 9 days we enjoyed all three paradisal Gili islands located just west of Lombok, where we chilled at the beach, slept in the most beautiful bungalows, snorkelled with turtles, went diving and saw the most stunning sunsets! More about that in our next update!
See you then!
Love from us
My favorite thing to do is to go where i’ve never been