We decided to go on a girls holiday to Lombok, Indonesia…. In the rainy season, but don’t let the words rainy season put you off of going, we still got burnt, quite badly. Some of us so that a whole aloe vera branch taken off the plant had to be rubbed onto the legs. Getting to Lombok is not as easy yet as it is getting to Bali. You can get there by boat from the Gili Islands or fly in via Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur or Singapore.
We started our holiday off in Kuta, Lombok (not to be mistaken with Kuta, Bali). The first two nights we stayed at the Origin Lombok (www.originlombok.com) Hotel. It is an eco-friendly hotel, surrounded by lush green. The rooms are basic but nice. The hotel has an outdoor pool, a good breakfast choice and is reasonably priced. It is about a 10min drive from Kuta beach. We do recommend though to have your own transportation organized, as organizing it through the hotel is very pricey and they do not call outside taxi companies.
One person we definitely recommend getting in touch with if you are planning on going on tours or in need of transportation to the airport is Lalu (http://lombok-fantasy.blogspot.co.uk/). The contact details are on the website. He was always fair with his prices, he played good music and was lovely to have along. We were 4 girls and he turned into part of our trip.
After a good nights’ sleep we headed off for a day of beach fun. Having read and heard a lot about Mawun beach, this is where we decided to go. It is about a 40min drive from Kuta, a little off the beaten track.
Mawun beach has lovely light sand. The start of the beach has a couple of beach huts and some sun loungers to rent, but we decided to walk all the way to one corner of the beach with no one else around. We had the beach to ourselves. Is there any better way to spend the day at a beach then in total peace and quiet? We think not J
On our way back to Kuta we passed the Ashtari Lombok Restaurant (they also offer yoga classes) (http://www.ashtarilombok.com/). They have some western style food options as well as Indonesian. It is definitely worth going for the view. An absolutely beautiful and jaw dropping view!
We could have stayed there forever just looking out over the ocean.
After a couple of days we headed further up north to Senggigi. To our surprise, beaches around Senggigi were dark sand beaches. In Senggigi we stayed just outside of the town in the amazing Qunci Villas (http://www.quncivillas.com/). Travelling during low season meant that we stayed at Qunci Villas for a reasonable price. The hotel is made up of little Villas, all with an outside seating area. Bathrooms are open air as well (which we thought was great). They have three restaurants on site. Cocktails are good and food portions massive. The hotel has two swimming pools looking out onto the ocean.
The breakfast included in the hotel price has been one of the best hotel breakfasts we have had. There is always fresh juice and breakfast is automatically served with fruits. The menu is extensive and includes French toast, Japanese breakfast, Middle Eastern, Indonesian, Vegetarian etc.
From Senggigi we decided to go and visit Ampenan, one of Lombok’s local markets. It is a huge market full of fruits and vegetables, meat and fish vendors. It is full of locals and definitely a colourful sight.
After Ampenan local market we asked our driver Jun (Junaidi, if around the Mataram/Sengiggi area and in need of a lovely driver with a great sense of humour, send us a message and we will let you know his details) if he could take us to HIS favourite place to go for food around Mataram. It was a very local street food stall and delicious! It was one of our memorable meals we had.
This is a picture of the street name and it is the stall right next to it, the one with the visible water bottles in the picture:
As a day trip we embarked on a journey to see some waterfalls. Lalu of course was our driver. For the whole day he charged us 550000 Indonesian rupee. We went to Sendang Gile and Tiu Kelep waterfalls. The journey there took about 2 hours. Once we got to the village from where we started our hike we decided to be safe and go with a local guide. We read a few other blogs that mentioned guides were not needed, this might be the case during the dry season, but for the rainy season we would definitely recommend going with the guides, as currents are strong when walking through the streams and the water is quite deep as well as stones being very slippery. Walking to the waterfall is the best part of it all though (we are all in agreement of this). The guide was about 80000 each.
The first waterfall we passed on our little adventure
Passing through the strong currents of the stream to get to the second waterfall. (This picture was taken by instagram: @pinkmagicstuff)
We finally arrived! And it was worth it!! (As you can see some of us were not wearing the hike attire, we thought it would be a nice little stroll to the waterfalls)
If you are looking for a place to eat in Senggigi we recommend going to Papa’s Besar. The owner of the place also teaches cooking classes.
As we were going to explore a few of the Secret Gili’s (south-west Lombok), we headed that way and checked into Cocotinos Sekotong (http://www.cocotinos-sekotong.com/). There is nothing around this hotel, it is a base for divers or people wanting to explore the small Gili Islands. The rooms are spacious and basic, but clean. Each room has a little patio with a table and chairs. It is not too expensive, has a restaurant on site and is right by the beach. One of the waiters at the hotel had a friend with a fisherman’s boat, so this is what we took to go and explore the secret Gili Islands. The whole day trip cost us 650000 plus flippers, snorkeling gear and life vests for 50000 per person. We started off on Gili Nanggu. The islands are beautiful, our only thing, when it rains, all the rubbish gets swept to the shores. In Indonesia recycling as well as proper disposal of rubbish is unfortunately not very common. Coming back home now this has made us even more aware of the amount of rubbish that is created and we have started to try and live more ecologically friendly (i.e. carry a glass water bottle, cut out the use of plastic bags etc). After Gili Nanggu we headed on to Gili Sudat where we sat down for a little lunch. Lunching on the beach of the little island with a view of the ocean is awesome! After lunch we snorkeled out to the tiniest of islands, Gili Bedis. You can walk around it in 5mins. On our snorkel there we came across a lovely blue starfish. Our first ever starfish out in the open waters. Though the water around Lombok seems to be full of starfish. The sun is very strong so don’t forget to put on some sunscreen before going snorkeling-we had one casualty from the sun, the result was a sunburnt back, bum and legs.
The tiny island of Gili Bedis:
After some days of staying at Cocotinos we headed back to Kuta. This time we decided on staying in the Novotel Lombok (http://www.accorhotels.com/gb/hotel-0571-novotel-lombok-resort-and-villas/index.shtml). The beach in front of the hotel is beautiful. The hotel itself is a big resort. If you are looking for something more intimate search around, or try Origin Lombok where we went for our first two nights.
As you do when in Indonesia we decided it was time for a massage, but rather than staying at the hotel, were recommended to head to Vera’s Spa (https://veraspa.wordpress.com/). This was a good choice. We went twice and each time we came out happy after our massage. It is nothing luxurious, but they do good massages (even a sunburn massage). This is a list of the treatments they offer:
For our (unfortunately) final day in Lombok it was time to explore the beaches around the hotel, and we stumbled upon the most beautiful one ever! Very secluded and except for a few other people, no one around. If you are walking to get there along the beach, when at Putri Nyale beach (where they also hold surf competitions), keep on walking, heading away from the Novotel. Getting there takes braving climbing loads of stones, but it is well worth it.
Our beautiful walk to the beautiful and secluded beach:
(this picture was taken by: Instagram @pinkmagicstuff)
And this is THE beach:
Just a little side note. This walk took us about 1 hr and what we had not thought of was that if we walk there, we need to walk it back as well… The beach has a little hut where you can buy some drinks and snacks, but there are no taxis around. We managed to talk some guys on scooters into driving us back and tried to tell them we would be stranded at the beach otherwise (we did not think our little walk through all to the end, but we did make it back).
Lombok also offers some spectacular sunsets.
For our last night in Lombok we decided we need to give Kuta nightlife a try. It was good fun and we are glad we did J It was a mix of foreigners and locals all in a bar enjoying a dance and a drink.
We have loved our trip to Lombok and its diversity and would recommend this island to anyone thinking about visiting Indonesia. We have all fallen in love with Lombok!
Before leaving on our holiday we, like most everyone does nowadays went online to get some inspiration on things to do. Two of the blogs we had a read through were: theeighthours and homeiswhereyourbagis.