places to visit: (click on the names to know)
About: Dream of Bali where the beaches are isolated or empty of people? Fewer hawkers pestering you to buy things? Opt for Lombok Island, Bali’s neighbor in the east.
To the northwest coast of Lombok, there are three small islands which are locally known as Gili Islands. — Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air.
Gili Meno Beach: Lots of snorkeling and diving opportunities with an amazing number of corals. You won’t find huge parties but a fantastically calming and relaxing holiday with great food. There’s no motorized traffic here as in all three Gili islands. But don’t worry you can walk around the island in an hour.
Gili_Trawangan: The largest of the three Gili islands. If you want to learn diving and scuba-diving lessons, there are plenty of institutes. Also the most popular stretches of beach are “Goodheart” (the main stretch) and “North Beach”, the best place for snorkeling.
Gili Air: This island is basically for the budget travelers with reasonable priced hotels and restaurants. Visit the Sendang Gile and Tiu Kelep Waterfall which travelers rave about but pick the morning excursion to avoid crowd. The entrance fee should be around IDR 75000 including guide.
Mataram: The largest city In Lombok. Enjoy a lovely night stroll at with your love at Jalan Udayana through a long strip of dimly lit warungs and food stalls, or sit in the lineal parks which run along the road. Do visit Taman Narmada. Located 10 km east of Mataram, this park was the relaxation place for the king. It’s beautifully kept garden which surround a temple and a fountain inside is what draws tourists here.
Senggigi: The main tourist destination in Lombok. It’s the best place to stay in Lombok in terms of accessibility. You can visit any other parts of Lombok from here easily. It is known for its beaches. As Lombok is yet to be fully commercialized like Bali, developed areas including nightlife and major restaurants are concentrated only in the town centre. Research well before booking a hotel; otherwise you may end up in a hotel from where you can reach the centre only by taxi or public transport. The best point to see a sunset is at Pura Batu Bolong where Hindu God, Brahma’s empty throne sit on the tip of the headland. There are some local villages and waterfalls, which can be seen as part of day tour from Senggigi.
Word Of Advice: Be cautious before taking up lessons or examine your surfboards before instruction begins. Recently some scams are going on where unsuspected people gets glued up boards which breaks during the session and are forced to pay money. The boards are then again repaired with the same glue and the cycle continues.
Selong Belanak Beach: If you want to learn surfing, this is a great place. You will find many locals offering you to teach. In the morning the beach is totally empty with just cows roaming. At night the water sparkles with hundreds of boats tied near the beach.
Tanjung Aan Beach: Watch sunset/sunrise from Bukit Merese next to the beach. Or just to catch the view. It’s an easy climb. This is the highlight of this beach. The beach is beautiful but other than that, this beach is littered with garbage during high tide. Also you may find some pestering hawkers here.
You can also experience the joys of a private beach (Tanjung Bloam) at Lombok, private property of Jeeva Beloam, a luxury resort if you stay there.