The charm of the natural beauty of the island of Lombok and the unique culture of the people of Sasak make this place one of the favorite tourist destinations for exotic travel lovers.
The name of the island of Lombok, located in the western province of Nusa Tenggara (NTB), has become increasingly popular between tourists. The enchanting natural beauty and unique culture of the Sasak people are the main attraction that captivates tourists both inside and outside the country.
The news of the natural beauty of Lombok is what finally made me choose to venture on the island known as the Mosque of the Thousand Islands.
The plane that took me along with a friend finally landed around 3pm Lombok time. After adjusting our clocks, considering that Lombok's schedule is one hour ahead of Jakarta, we depart by taxi to our hotel, in the Senggigi area.
Senggigi is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Lombok. Its strategic location, in the center of everything, makes a large number of tourists choose to stay nearby.
From Senggigi we can easily reach Gili Trawangan, Gili Air and Gili Meno, the nearest tourist destinations. Even so, if we want, it is possible to travel south of Lombok to enjoy exotic places such as Kuta Beach and Tanjung Aan Beach.
After traveling approximately 1 hour, we arrived at the Senggigi Beach Resort Hotel. There was an incident: a moment after checking in at the hotel, we realized that our baggage had been left in the trunk of the taxi, and the taxi was gone.
In panic, the hotel staff took the initiative to call the taxi company. Although my travel companion had been challenged, he finally agreed to give around 30,000 rupees, in compensation for gasoline, to the taxi driver who returned to the hotel to deliver our belongings.
After refreshing the body with a cold shower, my friend and I decided to take a walk to enjoy the beauty of the beach.
The Hotel Senggigi Beach Resort is located right on the edge of the Senggigi beach, and the cottage I stayed in was also right on the beach, so it only took a few meters to set foot on the sand.
The coast of Senggigi has a gently sloping beach with soft white sand. The waves that afternoon seemed a bit fierce, due to the strong gusts of wind, a situation used by several foreign tourists who surfed.
Meanwhile, other tourists choose to sit and relax on the white sand while waiting for the arrival of the sunset on the horizon. We did not miss the opportunity to participate and enjoy the beauty of Senggigi beach.
Senggigi Beach, Lombok
A few moments later a reddish tinge appeared just above the horizon. The reflection of a swollen umbrella that illuminates the surface of the sea water makes it look like a natural rug that stretches. What an amazing sight.
At night we embark on a culinary adventure enjoying a series of typical Lombok meals, such as Ayam Taliwang (Roasted chicken, usually spicy) and Kangkung Plecing. (A leaf similar to spinach, boiled and accompanied by souce and roasted soy beans). The taste made me wish to go back some day just to eat again.
It turns out that chicken and kangkung enthusiasts are not just Indonesians. Several foreign tourists also seemed eager to enjoy the typical dish of Lombok Island.
However, for those who want to enjoy other menu offerings, there are, along Senggigi Street, cafes, bars and restaurants with a variety of tempting treats, both menus from the Indonesian archipelago and European-style menus.
Most of the cafes and restaurants in Senggigi only work until 12 at night. However, for those who like to stay up late, some bars still work until down.
The Village of Sukarara
The next day we started to explore Lombok, famous for its beautiful beaches and cultural uniqueness. The first destination we chose was the beach area in the southern region of the island, Kuta beach.
To go to Kuta beach we decided to rent a car, which ranges between 400,000 and 600,000 rupees for a service of 8 to 10 hours. This price includes the driver, who also serves as a tourist guide.
The adventure began around 8 in the morning, Jakarta time or at 9 a.m., Lombok time. During the trip we were amazed by several villages with a unique home architecture. Seeing our enthusiasm, the driver offered to stop on the route to visit a tourist town famous for its traditional craftsmanship, the village of Sukarara.
Traditional Sasak Clothes, Lombok
The small town of Sukarara, located in the Jonggat district, in the central region of Lombok, is one of the most important traditional craft centers. Most women in the village of Sukarara work as weavers using traditional looms.
During the walk, we discovered that in almost all the terraces of the houses there were groups of Sasak people weaving. I was curious, I was tempted to learn how to knit as women from the Sasak tribe do.
Learning to knit with the Sasak tribe
The knitting process was so complicated that in just a few minutes, I gave up. Due to the complexity of the motifs and the detailed techniques used by the Sasak people, the fabric obtained is of very high quality. It is not surprising that finished parts are expensive, from hundreds of thousands to millions of rupees.
Kuta Lombok Beach
After enjoying the uniqueness of the village of Sukarara, we continue our journey to our main destinations, Kuta Lombok Beach and Tanjung Beach.
Kuta Lombok Beach is located in the village of Kuta, in the central section of Lombok. It is located about 56 km from the official capital, Mataram. The uniqueness of this beach is its white sand composed of grains as round as pepper seeds. Due to this the beach of Kuta Lombok is also called Merica beach (pepper).
In addition to the enchanting natural beauty, important traditional ceremonies are also held at Kuta beach, for example, the Bau Nyale ceremony, during which local residents will search for Nyale worms at sea.
According to legend, a long time ago there was a princess named Princess Mandalika. Given the particular beauty of her hair, many young men and princes wished to marry her, but she, unable to make a decision, decided to drown into the sea, but before plunging she promised to return, once a year. That's when the princess's long hair turns into the Nyale worms that locals collect.
Kuta Lombok Bbeach
Unfortunately, the comfort of tourists and visitors, including us (from our own experience), to enjoy the beauty of Kuta beach in Lombok, is disturbed by the insistence, almost harassment, of the merchants of memories that treat all means of selling their merchandise.
If the local government or those who handle the tourism issues in Kuta Lombok Beach would coordinate the sellers, the tourists would feel more comfortable and free to enjoy the natural charms of such an incredible beach.
The trip continued in the direction of Tanjung Aan beach, which is not far from Kuta Lombok.
As soon as I set foot on the sands of Tanjung Aan, I was mesmerized by the incredible panorama of the beach. At that moment there was only one word in my mind: Incredible!
The beach of Tanjung Aan has a spectacular panorama not only for the beauty of the beach, but also for the hills that adorn it and that serve as viewpoints.
The waves, the dazzling sand, the green hills and the blue sea are like crystals, like natural paintings with an extraordinary aesthetic value.
It is not surprising that Tanjung Aan beach is also known as the New Zealand of Indonesia. As for beauty, for those who love beaches, Tanjung Aan is at the top of their lists.
Tanjung Aan Beach, Lombok
Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air
Our goal to visit the next day is Gili Trawangan, the "island of the party". Gili Trawangan is one of the 3 islands in the groups of Gili Islands located north of the island of Lombok and directly adjacent to the island of Bali, due to its location in the Lombok Strait.
Because motorized vehicles are not allowed in Gili Trawangan, to get to the hotel, which is on the other side of the island, we have to use a traditional vehicle pulled by a horse called Cidomo, which at that time costs around Rp. 75,000. The Cidomos are similar to the traditional vehicles used in Yogyakarta, also horse-drawn and more recently equipped with a motorcycle engine.
The Cidomo in which we traveled galloped through the streets of Gili Trawangan dividing the heat of the sun that afternoon. A series of hotels, cafes and bars lined up along the road we passed.
The frenetic music of several bars, combined by the din of the visitors, most of them foreign tourists, seemed to indicate that, in truth, this beautiful island is always and always has been partying. Bali, Lombok, is one of the names with which Gili Trawangan is also called.
Gili Trawangan Beach Panorama
However, for those who prefer still want these islands, but with a more peaceful and relaxing environment, Gili Meno and Gili Air are the perfect choice.
Gili Meno and Gili Air offer equally surprising beach tourism destinations. The quiet environment and the beautiful beaches make this destination an ideal place for couples who want a honeymoon.
Besides the impressive panorama of its beaches, Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air also have a spectacular underwater panorama. For fans of nature, diving and snorkeling in the vicinity of a coral reef, it is an opportunity to see up close the fascinating variety of beautiful fish and giant turtles endemic to the Indonesian sea.
What are you waiting for? Visit the island of Lombok and explore the charms of its natural beauty!
If you like the beaches of Indonesia, read also this article: Sawarna, Hidden Heaven in the South of Java