Welcome to Lombok
You may not be as familiar with Lombok as you are with Bali. But let me reassure you Lombok has a lot of great things going for it.
Lombok is located east of Bali about a 2-hour boat trip or 1-hour flight from Bali.
Bali and Lombok may be similar in location, price and scenery however; there are some noticeable differences between the islands. The first thing you notices is Lombok has a different pace to Bali.
If you searching for a more laid back slower pace of life then Lombok is your location.
Lombok has fewer tourists than Bali and you can enjoy taking things slowly without the crowds.
How to get to Lombok?
There are a few options for travelling to Lombok Island. Lombok has an international airport located in the West Nusa Tenggara providence. However, if you are flying on a domestic flight be prepared for flight cancellation and check the luggage requirements, as the luggage is an extra cost to your ticket.
The other option is by fast boat. The fast boat is a more reliable mode of transportation. There are a lot of choices for fast boats across from Bali to Lombok. I used blue water express on the way over and Gili Gateway on the way back to Bail. The boat ran on time and best of all!! no extra cost for luggage. The boat company will include transportation to your hotel once you reach your destination. Depending on the sea you may be in for a bumpy ride across to your destination. I recommend some seasick tablets just to be safe.
Once you arrive at Lombok you a greeted by lush green mountains and spectacular views of the sea.
Where to stay in Lombok?
I chose to stay at two different locations so that I could explore different parts of the island. The first location I stayed was in Senggigi. Which is around the middle of the Island on the west coastline. Senggigi has a tropical green feel. The beaches are not suitable for swimming, but they do make a beautiful backdrop for some lovely scenery. I stayed at the Chandi Boutique Resort Located in Jalan Raya Senggigi.
Chandi Resort is a small resort located right on the beach. The resort offers a quiet and very peaceful location. It’s possible to walk to some of the local shops. I discovered a cute little French bakery right across the road Nico Boulangerie. The resort does have a restaurant and there are some great choices for food either eastern and western meals.
The other location I stayed was Kuta. Which is down the southern end of Lombok. Kuta is more of a tourist place and had a lot of great things going for it. Kuta is in the midst of more development and I predict will be a tourist hot spot in the next few years. You will be spoilt for a choice of amazing restaurants and café’s in the main street of Kuta
I stayed at Jati Villas.
Welcome to paradise!
These villas are relatively new and opened in early 2022. As soon as you walk into the villas you are greeted by the most perfect tropical garden. The villas are all individual. You have your own private garden and best of all pool. The villas have the option of one bed or two beds. They are traditional teak villas and are set up with everything you need to enjoy your stay. The villas are located just off the main street of Kuta. Which means it’s quit. The main street of Kuta is an easy 5-minute walk.
What to do Lombok?
You have an endless array of choices, particularly if you enjoy nature. Choice from beautiful rice fields, waterfalls, and spectacular beaches to lush mountain rangers. Lombok offers some great options if you enjoy the great outdoors.
Here are my recommendations.
Tetebatu Walking Tour – Rice Terraces, Waterfall & Monkey Forest
Tour by : Edi Tour Guide in Tetebatu
This tour makes you feel like you have entered another world. Leave your troubles behind and put on your best walking shoes and set off to enjoy some of the best views Lombok has to offer. Be prepared to get a little wet and muddy, but it is well worth it. Getting to Tetebtu waterfall is an adventure in itself. You will walk through the green rice field, a tunnel filled with water, cross a bamboo bridge and finally, you hear the rush of water as you enter the magical place of Tebebatu waterfall.
This waterfall directly flows from Mount Rinjani. Enjoy a swim in the cool water or, just sit back and relax on a rock and enjoy taking in the serenity of this place.
You will then make your way through to the rice fields that offer the most spectacular views of the Tetebatu rice farms. Take in the view it’s well worth the walk.
Then it’s time to visit Durian Indah waterfall. There an entry fee that was paid to the local community was included in our guided tour. The entry into the waterfall may set your heart racing.
To get to the waterfall you need to cross a bamboo bridge that is high up above a lovely stream running below. If you are scared of heights, be prepared for a little heart-racing moment. As you cross the bamboo bridge (I was very grateful once I made it to solid ground on the other side). You then make your way down the steps to the waterfall. Your guide is there to help you every step of the way.
Once you arrive at Durian Indah waterfall there is a peaceful stream and two waterfalls. You can enjoy sometime swimming under the waterfall as it cascades off the rocks, or perch yourself on a rock and enjoy the tranquil sound of the rushing water. Be sure to stay for a while and rest, as you then have a bit of a walk ahead of you.
Then it’s time to head off back through the rice fields into the national park and look for some wild monkeys in “Monkey Forest”. It can take some time to find where the monkeys are located. They were high in the trees and the guides pointed them out. There truly is nothing like seeing animals in their natural habit.
Our tour guide Edi was amazing, I highly recommend this tour as a must-do.
Sukara Weaving village
Sukarere is the centre of Sasak woven cloth production. This village is located in Jonggat District, Central Lombok. Sukarere is about a 30-minute drive from Mataram.
Sasak is the ethnic group that lives in this village. A Sasak woman must learn the skills of traditional woven cloth. According to Sasak tradition, a woman is not allowed to marry the men they love if they cannot weave. The art of waving is taught at a young age to girls many starting at the age of nine.
Take a free tour around the village. Try your hand at some waving. You will be in awe of the skills this takes and the length of time to proceed with woven cloth. It takes up to 6-8 weeks to produce one beautiful woven cloth.
Be sure to visit Panji Sari Women’s group weaving village shop. This is a co-op that helps support the women in the village. They sell their weaving in the co-op and the proceeds got to short the women in the village.
The traditional Sade Village is located in Pujut District, Central Lombok,
A quiet village unspoiled by modern life. You feel like you take a step back in time. Don’t be fooled this village is not maintained just as a tourist attraction. The village continues to keep up all in traditional ways of life for 15 generations.
Once you enter the Sade Village, you are greeted by a local guide, who will assist you in getting all the information you need about the history and way of life within the village.
There are about 150 traditional houses in Sade Village. These houses have unique roofs, which are shaped like mountains and are built with reed grass. The walls and floors are made of clay mixed with rice bran, then covered with woven bamboo on the outer sides. The buildings of these houses have the title Bale Tani Gunung Ratu, which means they are shaped like a mountain with a flat base.
It is important to note that all houses in the Sade Village area are residential houses, not exhibition buildings. Approximately 750 people live in the village. Tourists must remain respectful of the village, as the village is kind enough to open their homes to share with us their way of life.
Lombok offers a diverse range of templates with some significant history. I chose to visit a few different temples.
Meru Temple (Pura Meru)
Once you arrive at the front of the temple, it is best to use a local guide to show you through at explaining the history. A local guide is available at the front of the temple for the cost of $10 AUD, and will give you a guided tour.
Meru Temple is the biggest and is one of the oldest Balinese Hindu temples on Lombok Island. Built during the Dutch colonization by prince Bali Anak Agung Made Karang in 1744 this temple was a fortress during the second military aggression with the Dutch.
Situated in the heart of Mataram, the colossal Pura Meru Temple is the largest Hindu place of worship in Lombok. Consisting of thirty-three shrines within its grounds.
Just 6km east of Mataram, in the village of Lingsar. This temple is a must-see. It is a large temple and is considered the holiest in Lombok. It was built in 1714 by King Anak Agung Ngurah and is nestled amongst lush rice fields.
Pura Lingsar is multi-denominational, with a temple for Balinese Hindus (Pura Gaduh) and one for followers of Lombok’s mystical take on Islam, the Wektu Telu religion.
Pura Lingsar, is the largest temple in size and the most important temple in Lombok.
A local guide will give you a guided tour and explain the extensive history. Tours cost about ($10-$15 Aud). Allow an hour to an hour and a half, to visit this stunning temple.
A traditional Buddhist temple. The temple is free to enter. A tour of the temple was freely given, by the locals explaining the history of the 16th-century Buddhist Temple. A wonderful piece of history and a well-maintained Buddhist temple
I would suggest that Kuta is the most tourist place on the main island of Lombok. It gives you the luxury of choice. You can do as much or as little as you want. Kuta offers a cute little town. The main street is an abundance of great restaurants and café. If you are up for some shopping, there are plenty of small boutiques and surf shops. There are also some small local markets scatted around the town. You are sure to pick up a few bargains. You notice that Kute is relatively quiet during the day, and then at night, all the tourists seem to make their way to the main street. Honesty, it’s not overall busy. It’s still easy enough to get a seat for dinner, or to walk around and enjoy the ampere in the main streets.
If you want to venture a little further than the main town of Kuta you need transportation. The most common way to get around is by scooter. You can hire a scooter for as little as $15-20 Aud a day. It is relatively safe to ride and the roads have very little traffic on them. The other option is to rent a car or, a driver to take you around.
Lombok offers some of the most scenic and spectacular beaches. With cliffs and lush mountains reaching to the coastline. It creates an inspiring landscapes and amazing views. The beaches are some of the best in Indonesia. Kuta offers pristine white sand and transparent blue greens in the water. It should also be noted that Kuta has some of the best surfing in the world. Half the fun of being in Kuta is discovery. I rented a bike and head off towards the coast. I found some of the best beaches and best of all there was not another person in sight. My recommendation is to head off along the coast towards Selong Belanak Beach. Along the way be sure to take a few detours down the dirt roads. You are greeted by some of the most spectacular coastlines.
Selong Belanak Beach is well worth a visit. You find more tourists here however, is easy enough to find a quiet place to take in the beautiful scenery. There are also some small local cafes along the beach. It’s lovely to sit under an umbrella and enjoy a cool drink.
Please note that at some of the main tourist beaches you will need to pay parking and entry fees. 10,000 Indonesian rupiah ($1 Aud)
The beach that is located around the new motorbike track Mandalika is well worth a visit. Bukit Merese beach offers some of the most incredible views. You can enjoy a fall 360c view from the hilltop of the pristine beaches in one direction, Mandalika track and beautiful cliff tops.
Restore and Relaxation
On holidays who doesn’t need a little R and R. If wellness is your thing, then I highly recommend a class at Ashtari Yoga . I did a Ying class and I have to say it was perfect. The Yoga studio is built on a hillside that overlooks Kuta town. You can see the tree canopies below and the beaches of Kuta. Well worth a visit at sunset. If yoga is not your thing you can still enjoin this fabulous location of Ashtari restaurant is a must on the to-do list. The restaurant is open and airy. Take a seat by the open window and gaze out across the hillside at the spectacular view. The food is some of the best we had in Lombok and offers a variety of Indian and western options.
Let’s talk spa. If you need some pampering then I recommend heading to Matcha spa located on Kuta’s main street. You will need a booking an appointment, as the spa is popular with tourist. The spa offers a variety of Massage options. All at very reasonable prices.
There are so many reasons to visit Lombok. Lombok has so much to offer with its stunning scenery, secluded beaches coral reefs and mossy mountains. Oh, and did I mention its well-priced accommodation, its amazing choice of food, and its attractions.
What is not to love about a trip to Lombok?