Lombok: Bali’s hermit is prepared for his close-up

Lombok is for people who like prolonged drives, still walks on a beach and mountaintop views.

LOMBOK, Indonesia — If you’ve ever been to Bali and thought, “Cool. Is there another island like it?”, we are in luck, given there is, and it is courteous and puzzling and severe around a edges. Known as a “brother of Bali,” Lombok, one of a vital islands of a Indonesian archipelago, has landed on a radar of some-more and some-more tourists for a off-the-beaten-path energy. The island is gearing adult to be a subsequent large thing in Indonesian tourism as a Halal-friendly end peaceful to embrance people from other cultures. It captures a marketplace not many countries can explain to support to, as good as courageous travelers who like to try over Bali, that is positively a many renouned end in Indonesia. It’s a tip shun among seasoned visitors, someone told me. And we don’t doubt that, generally given removing there is utterly a journey.


“Nest” by Jason deCaires Taylor is an underwater sculpture-slash-future home for soothing corals found nearby Gili Trawangan, Lombok’s unaccepted celebration island, usually a vessel float from Lombok or Bali. (Photo by Dickie Neri)

The Embassy of a Republic of Indonesia in Manila, a Tourism Association of Halal Travel Agency, and a Indonesian Islamic Tourism Association of West Nusa Tenggara gave me my initial knowledge of Lombok. we initial schooled of Lombok’s beauty around 4 years ago from a friend, who travels from Singapore to Indonesia frequently to travel and stay during Mt. Rinjani, an active volcano in North Lombok. Prior to that, we usually knew Bali — an island that, notwithstanding a vicinity to Lombok, has a really opposite vibe. Indonesia is a primarily Muslim country; Bali, mostly Hindu, is a exception. Lombok, famous as a “island of a thousand mosques,” observes Muslim traditions and practices, and this differentiates it from a celebration central, brother-island.

Air Asia flew us in from Manila to Jakarta, a three-hour moody best taken in a morning, given there is another one-and-a-half hour moody to locate from Jakarta to Praya, Lombok, that we did around internal conduit Batik Air. There are now no approach flights available, and for many, that’s copiousness reason to revisit a place — for a amicable media-driven “I saw it first” component that seems to be a constrained proclivity these days. From Lombok International Airport, a immature structure with a brew of normal and complicated architecture, we gathering for about 45 mins to Core Hotel in Senggigi, a categorical beach and traveller end in Lombok. Listen closely to your guide: is he observant “four to 5 minutes” or “45 minutes”? I’ve misheard these estimates so many times.

Travel Up’s Kara Santos, Air Asia’s John Martirez and a author Chonx Tibajia wearing normal Sasak garb

Lombok has a lot to offer to inlet and journey seekers. If we were to review it to a Philippines, it’s like carrying El Nido, Puerto Galera, Batanes and Batangas in one island. What a categorical island lacks in lovable coffee shops and hipster bars, it creates adult for with a different topography of beaches, hills, plateau and flatlands that are all roughly 45 mins (not 4 to five) from a capital, Mataram, and traveller areas like Senggigi.

Gili Islands (3 Gili or usually Gili) a renouned contingent of islands a brief speedboat float divided from Lombok, is also permitted around speedboat from Bali. Gili Trawangan, a Beyoncé of a three, is a designated celebration island, where you’ll find all a lovable coffee shops and hipster bars. Our debate beam says so. Mar is low season, so it was flattering still when we were there, yet even in a mornings, it has this “everyone’s hungover in their hotel rooms” vibe that fast dissipates come noon, when all a tourists start to come out to play. What to do for play, we ask? The island is surrounded by coral reefs and sea life that make it ideal for snorkeling. “We have a lot of Nemos,” a guide, Tarik, told us. If you’re lucky, we competence come opposite gangs of small turtles, too.

Lombok’s local Sasak clan greets us with a normal dance during a feet of Bukit Merese Hill.

Across Gili Meno, one of a 3 Gili islands, there is an underwater sculpture that looks true out mythology, called “Nest,” an design condense synthetic embankment combined by sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor, whose works are also found in a Carribean, Canary Islands and Thames. It’s done of pH neutral, environmental class petrify and combined to turn a home for corals over time. The sculpture was consecrated by Bask, an disdainful residential skill in Gili Meno where, reportedly, David Hasselhoff owns a $1-million three-bedroom beachfront villa. Baywatch for life, huh?

Bukit Merese Hills is another renouned destination, located in Kuta, Lombok’s roller central. Even from atop a hills we can see high surfer waves crashing opposite any other. Trek problem level, on a scale of 1 to 10, falls on 3, usually given a object will kick on we mercilessly and there’s no shade to run to anywhere. Other than that, climbing a Merese Hills is easy and will take anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes, depending on how distant we confirm to go. The viewpoint from a tip is good value a object repairs (just kidding, greatfully don’t forget your sunscreen). You’ll get an unrestricted viewpoint of Tanjung Aan Beach, yet it’s picture-perfect from any angle.

Ikat weaving is a renouned qualification in Lombok. Ikat fabrics can be found during Dharma Setya and Sasaku, both in Senggigi, Lombok.

Food, like in Bali, is generally spicy, so make certain to mention that we wish your plate “non-spicy” if we are intolerant. My favorite dish of a outing was during Kila Resort Lombok, a 4-star review (for as low as $82 a night) that catered for a Table Top eventuality on a final night. But also, scream out to Core Hotel Senggigi for opening their breakfast smorgasboard during 4 a.m. to feed us ever-hungry tourists before we left for Jakarta.

Shopping in Lombok is fun. It’s always fun to emporium when you’re a millionaire. One Indonesian rupiah amounts to P.0038, that means a customary $100 many tourists distribute for food and miscellany during trips (that’s 1,374,700 rupiah) will get we really far. For perspective, here’s a severe list of what we bought, detached from correct dishes and transportation:

Travel aroud Gili Trawangan on a chimodo, Lombok’s chronicle of a kalesa.

• Glass-bottom vessel float in Gili Trawangan – 145,000 (P529)

• Salted caramel ice cream Gili Trawangan – 45,000 (P164)

• Men’s shirt during Lombok Sasaku, a commemoration store and grill in Senggigi – 90,000 (P341)

• Dress during Sasaku – 120,000 (P455)

• Headband during Sasaku – 70,000 (P266)

• Straw shawl during Teluk Nara Port – 45,000 (P164)

• Halal hotdog during Lombok International Airport – 40,000 (P152)

• Chocolate avocado splash from a preference store – 9,000 (P32)

• Melon yogurt splash from a preference store – 7,000 (P25)

Note that many of these were bought during supposed traveller areas, so a prices, we imagine, are inflated. If you’re looking for pasalubong, their hallmark traveller object is a ikat fabric, that ranges from 100,000 to 300,000, depending on a distance and make.

Kuta Mandalika beach is a 10-minute expostulate from Bukit Merese Hill.

Another critical thing to note that we know would be a and to Filipinos: there is a bidet in each toilet in Lombok (save for a squatting ones). During a acquire cooking on a initial night, a hosts from TAHTA common how Lombok prides itself in Islamic values and relates these to a use industries: Halal hotels, request mats, Halal kitchens and utensils, tours with stopovers clinging for request time. The advantage of their Halal-centric tourism not usually advantages Muslim tourists, however. we asked my Indonesian crony Alverta about it and, apparently, bidets are Halal, given they purify a physique of impurities. All their bathrooms are clean, even a ones on a beach. Hooray for that. Knowing how Pinoys can be sticklers for freshness, this should be good news. It’s these small conveniences that concede travelers to suffer their trip, after all.

While we was in Lombok, a crony sent me an Instagram message, seeking me, “Is Lombok a place you’ll go behind to as a tourist?” To be honest, before this trip, I’ve never deliberate going. we always suspicion Bali was enough, even yet we don’t roller or party. Little did we know that Lombok, Bali’s chill, no-fuss, puzzling comparison brother, is a place for people like me, who like prolonged drives, still walks on a beach, mountaintop views and bidets on their toilets. It feels like I’ve detected a tip island. The subsequent time, Mt. Rinjani will be on a itinerary.  

Gili Trawangan is a colourful island with bars, coffee shops, and dive clubs prepared to offer tourists.

* * *

Special interjection to a Embassy of a Republic of Indonesia in Manila, a Tourism Association of Halal Travel Agency, a Indonesian Islamic Tourism Association of West Nusa Tenggara and Air Asia.

Follow a author @pineapplechonx on Instagram.

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