Major Attractions of Lombok-West Nusatenggara, Make Time Flies .
Lombok has so many places of interests that a-three-day visit to the island won't be enough to explore all of them. So, if you have just limited time, based my own experience here are some major places you can visit in 3 days.
Where is Lombok Located ?
Lombok , which the name means chili, is another paradise island which is located in Central Indonesia around 770 km away from Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia.
Lombok can be reached by direct flights Garuda Indonsian Airways (GA) from Soekarno-Hatta Int. Airport in Jakarta which takes around 1 hour. If you choose another carrier like Lion Air, you'll need to transit in Surabaya and surely takes longer time. There is also a direct flight from Singapore to Lombok
Lombok can also be reached from Bali, the neighboring island, for about 30 minutes by plane. If you want to experience a more adventurous journey by sea, you can also rent a boat or a traditional boat called Jukung which takes 4 hours to reach the island. Many tourists use this mode of transport for a different trip sensation to Lombok and for another benefit in lower cost.
The plane I was flying with from Jakarta landed in Lombok International Airport at 8 p.m. so we directly went to the hotel which took 30 minutes from airport by a rented car. We, osix people including me, stayed at Jayakarta hotel at Senggigi.
On the way to the hotel we stop by at a popular local restaurant, Pak Udin restaurant, at Cakranegara to try Lombok traditional dish called Taliwang Chicken, a chicken of 3 month old which was served freshly grilled or fried in spicy recipe. Together with Taliwang chicken was also served Kangkung(water lily) Plecing. Pak Udin restaurant looked so humble but I saw it that night it had never been idle servicing its customers who always made the restaurant busy.
It is a must to visit Three Gilis when we go to Lombok for vacation. Actually Lombok has nine gilis (islands) but I only had time to visit three of them which are also the most popular ones. Those islands are respectively called, Gili Air, Gili Meno, and Gili Trawangan.
Gili Air is the closest island to the main island Lombok . People come here with their snorkeling gears so that they can enjoy sea lives which have colorful tame fish and corals and to make it more tempting to be visited, fish at Gili air have different behavior in greeting swimmers, that they aren't scared of visitors and they'll come in school to greet them, especially those who bring some food like bread or cookies for them to eat . With some bread in your hands while you're diving in the shallow beach, colorful fish will come to you. Their gentle bites tickling your hands when they try to get food in your fist. After diving and snorkeling and you get tired, you can go to one of the cozy restaurants along the beach for meals or taking some rest.
Gili Meno, located in the middle among those three gilis, is also the second larger in size. Gili Meno is the least populated island with only around 300 people inhabit it. Its quietness and natural beauty surrounding it that other gilis don't have, become magnets which draw people to come to Gili Meno. Salt lake, Meno sea wall, and Meno eastern beach are among others. Meno beach is an ideal place for snorkeling and diving enthusiasts. On Meno beach you can also spot turtles roaming freely together with other colorful fish.
Gili Trawangan. I think Gili trawangan is the most popular among tourists. Most of the people come to Gili Trawangan for its spectacular beauty and dynamic lives on the island. When my boat was approaching Gili Trawangan, I saw several boats, mostly traditional ones were roaming around the island. It seemed that they were standby by the shorelines either waiting for their renters or looking for renters.
Not far from where my boat anchored, some foreigners freely enjoyed the sea water and white, pristine beach sands. Yes, the sands were so clean and I didn't see any pollutants like paper and plastics we normally spot on public beaches. I was sure those people wouldn't be willing to touch it if it were so. What I saw there, besides the sparkling crystals of the sand, were sea shells in bright colors scattered near my feet.
If snorkeling or diving is not one's cup of tea, enjoying Trawangan colorful corals and fish still can be done in simple way by combing the shallow waters, some kinds of fish tame enough to come closer so that they can be seen with naked eyes. Another way to enjoy those pretty sea creatures is by renting a glass bottom boat which enables us to go farther to the sea and have more possibilities in what can be enjoyed and done.
It wasn't less attractive enjoying Gili Trawangan on land. No motorized vehicle is allowed to operate on the island, so we have to go anywhere we want to reach either on foot, by bicycles which are many available for rent there, or by traditional transport called Cidomo. Cidomo stands for Cikar-dokar-mobil which is actually a horse-drawn carriage wiith 4 seaters including the coachman. Going around Trawangan by Cidomo was very fun and we could enjoy the scenery from all directions. It took around 2 hours to circle the island completely by cidomo.
Lombok island is encircled by some beaches and one of them is Senggigi beach. As a tourism area Senggigi has become a very developed compared to other beaches, I noticed many hotels, resorts, Inns, and guest houses along the street which is in parallel position with the beach.
I have to admit that Senggigi areas are stunning, particularly the beach. I've been to many places and have seen so many beaches in my entire life but when I was in Senggigi I found the beach as superb. The indulging beach is purely natural with white clean unspoilt sand along the shorelines. Most of them have gently sloping surfaces so that they allow visitors to do beach activities comfortably.
Besides its awesome beach, Senggigi can also be enjoyed from other sides. There are many activities people do at and around Senggigi not only fun-marine activities like surfing, swimming, skiing, or beach combing which have become common views of a beach but also local people's activities in in their efforts to make a living.
I was introduced with new experience in my life when I spotted something unusual when I found around 30 fishermen, male and female, sat relaxedly on the beach sand. I thought they were just regular souvenir sellers waiting for customers, but then I eventually found out that they were waiting for a coming boat pulling fishing net with the day's catch in it. The net was too heavy to be carried on their shoulders that's why those fishermen had to work hand-in-hand pulling the net to the beach. They did the pulling step by step due to its heaviness and took around 1 hour to drag and completely reached the seashore.
After the net had been unraveled, they selected some items that seemed to be not salable like some puffer fish and returned them to the sea.
Sendang Gile-Tiu Kelep-Batara Lejang.
Sendang Gile, Tiu Kelep and Batara Lejang are waterfalls situated at Senaru village. To reach those water falls we went to Senaru by a rental car for about 30 minutes to west direction. To enter the waterfall area, visitors must buy tickets which the price is pretty affordable and hire a guide if necessary.
First we headed to Sendang Gile. We had to pass a lot of convenient down stairs and we'd never thought that later on our way back they became incline steps which gave us physical test and pushed us to be out of breaths.
Sendang Gile waterfall is around 35 meters high and gets its water from a source in Rinjani mountain above it.
Tiu Kelep was the second waterfall we visited after Sindang Gile. Tiu Kelep is located around 5 km away from Sindang Gile and has to be reached through some obstacles including steep routes, green, shady forest, and slippery river stones (I once fell and "kissed" one of those mossy rocks and lost my balance and got another TKO-lol when I tried to pass a fallen log).
The effort was paid off anyway when we managed to reach it and enjoyed the breathtaking view of Tiu Kelep. I saw some people couldn't stand the droplets of water and the freshness it created and decided to swim the cold water and tested the messaging effects of the showering water. Some also believed in a local myth that bathing themselves in the water would make them stay young.
I was sorry that I couldn't continue to visit the third waterfall (Batara Lejang ) because some team members were worn out and we thought going back to Senaru was the best decision.
Location of Lombok.
There are some native souvenirs people can bring home from Lombok.
They can be bought at some shops at Cilinaya and Cakranegara, a commercial center in Mataram.
- Seaweed jelly. It's tasty, healthful and originally made in Lombok.
- Sumbawan honey, well known-original honey produced in Lombok. Found in two colors: brownish-yellowish honey, the nectar is taken from forest, and white honey resulted from bees living around sea rocks.
- Sumbawan ointment for curing fatigue and sprained ankles.
- Pearl rings and necklaces, the pearls are harvested from cultivation in Lombok sea.
- Sumbawan woven textiles. It is the most sought after for its beauty, intricacy in the making and and attractive as clothes as well as decorations.