Reasons why Lombok should be in your bucket list begins here: Finally, I have found a gateway to retreat from my day to day life. Last August 2016 I got the chance to visit Lombok. Even after more than 2 months, I still can’t get over it. I miss the sea, the view, the mountain and the people. If you are a city dweller like me, you will appreciate Lombok. Since Lombok is reachable by flight (3 hours) from Kuala Lumpur I would not mind putting Lombok as a place to visit annually. Here is why:

  1. The beautiful beaches

Tropical region like South East Asia offers thousands of beautiful beaches but Lombok is quite different in the sense that it has beaches that is quite pristine. Besides Gili’s beaches, there are also many beaches at the southern tip of Lombok worth visiting. However, safety  may be a concern especially for solo travelers. Try to avoid leaving the beach after dark. Stay near to Kuta Town for safety precautions. On the other hand, I wish the eastern side of Lombok is open to everyone. I wonder what more can be seen there. Currently, the area is still not really accessible for tourists. Maybe one day, who knows.

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The wave at Mawun Beach was high and strong
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Tg Aan Beach overlooking Meresek Hill
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Senggigi Beach view from the cliff

2. Awesome islands

Needless to say, the Gilis are hands down one of the beautiful islands in the world. There are still many other Gilis that could be visited if you have more time and money. I did not get to visit other than Gili Trawangan but my buddy visited the other islands. Check out her reasons to convince you to visit Lombok here.

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The famous swing at Ombak Sunset Hotel. Sunset is better.
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During low tide, the tidal flat is exposed
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The sign of Trawangan near the port
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Cycling around Trawangan can be completed in less than 2 hours

3. Snorkelling and diving heaven

If you happen to visit Lombok, try out snorkelling which is offered by many vendors at Gili Trawangan. Since Lombok’s water is not as busy and hectic as other islands in Indonesia like Bali, diving could be an experience not to be missed. Just make sure you have the license and enough experience so that you are able to dive deeper. However, for newbies, there are many vendors that offer diving lesson at Trawangan.

Check out the post by Farhana Zaid on her visit to Lombok.

4. Not crowded

Other than Gili Trawagan, Lombok as a whole is not crowded if we compare it with other locations in Indonesia. You may hardly stuck in traffic jem or known as ‘macet’ in Indonesia. Some would be riding freely with motorcycle because there are not many cars around. The road had been widen recently which makes the island more inviting to everyone. The airport is also located in between North and South of Island and slightly further south from Mataram, so it opens up more access to the island’s attractions.

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The early morning of Trawangan. No motorcycle or car is allowed.
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Only cycling is permitted so the island is quite environmental friendly

5. Delicious food

Yummy! Lombok is probably the best island to try out many food that is uniquely endemic to the locals. You would not find it anywhere outside Lombok. One of them is Ayam Taliwang (chicken taliwang). The chicken was grilled and the savory taste of the chicken was un-tasted-off anywhere. The rice also tasted different. For people who eat rice as staple food, you may notice the difference if you try the rice here. I got the chance to try out Sate Rembiga in Mataram and it was so good. I could still taste the sweetness of sate on my tongue now. However, you may need to be prepared with the food’s hotness. Cili Lombok or Lombok’s chilly is one of a kind. You need to be strong and able to endure the spiciness. In general, the people really know how to cook because the food here is simply delicious.

In Trawangan, most tourists would flock the night market to find food. However, I find that the price is quite expensive and the food is not that awesome neither. I believe, since it was a tourist attraction, the vendors increase the price of the food. If you are willing to take the risk (I would) go to the stalls or shops around the night market instead of the stalls at the market. You will experience even much better food.

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Ayam Taliwang with very spicy vegetable mix, Plecing Kangkung
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The famous Teh Botol (tea in bottle). I love it.
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Even the grill corn tasted good.
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This is where we’ve had Sate Rembiga. Very yummy. I can feel it in my taste bud while writing this

6. Mount Rinjani

For adventurers and mountaineers, Rinjani should be in your bucket list. The view from the top is breath taking. Even though it is only the second highest in Indonesia, it has one of the best views. Be prepared with enough  training and stamina so that you are able to scale to the summit. The level of hiking is hard to difficult depending on your determinations.

Click Trekking Rinjani 3726m for My Rinjani experience and Rinjani Trekking Tips for more.

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Summit of Rinjani overlooking Segara Anak Lake Crater
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The view during sunset at Plawangan
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The night at the campfire

7. The cultures and traditions

The culture is something not to be missed by every visitors. If you take tour package which is offered by many trusted locals, you may be able to get up close with the traditions. Lombok is also known to produce songket (weaving clothed) and they still produce it with hands, manually. How amazing. In Kampong Sukarara, according to the old tradition, a lady is required to produce one songket before she can marry a man. Interesting isn’t it? If you are into exotic cultures, Sasak Village may be the attraction you need to include in the itinerary. However, it is quite touristy but still not something to be missed.

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Kg Sukarara. We wore the traditional Lombok Songket
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Hands on experience. To complete a line may require up to a 8 hours and the whole songket may take up to 2 weeks depending on the pattern

Check out this awesome post on South Lombok by Dennis Kopp. South Lombok – Kuta and Sasak Village

8. Nice people

The people here is courteous and very nice. They are soft spoken and friendly too. Probably due to the nature of the environment, they are not tight with severe emotions like us, the city dwellers. Sometimes they might do things that we don’t like but they are good at changing the mood. It could also be a bad thing. However, just like other tourists destinations scammers are inevitable. Beware and make sure you have at least a guide with you. For a trusted guide at reasonable price you may contact Adhe Flekerz info:  +6281916315551 (whatsapp) ; +6285238065551 (phone); made.dwi1319@gmail.com (email).

Adhe is a great example of a good toursit guide. He is very flexible with the timing and would follow your demand. However, he would tell it straight (courteously of course) if the plan is not possible. He knows about the island very well because he was born and raised in Lombok.

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We had a great time with our guides in Lombok
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The locals are friendly but as tourists we need to always beware of scammers

9. Cleaner

I dare say that the island is way cleaner than Bali. The food is safe to eat and as someone with sensitive tummy like me, I did not get any diarrhea even though I ate at stalls in Trawangan (the unforgettable stall is the one at the jetty owned by a very friendly lady). It was quite safe to eat. Another good thing is that some restaurants are free of flies which is amazing for me. You will know when you get there.

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Sand

10. Cheap

Putting the cheap cost of travelling as the last point is such an understatement. Everything here is cheap. Trust me. If there is a cheaper alternative like Lombok why don’t we go to Lombok. From the hotel to the food (excluding Rinjani) I hardly spent more than rm400 (and this includes my shopping tendency) for 5 days.

Since I would be visiting again next year, I would like to try out the boat ride from Lombok to Sumbawa and Komodo. Sounds interesting right? Let me know if you have any suggestions or experience on that.

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To Lombok I shall return
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