Gili Islands Indonesia Lombok


Getting to Lombok from Sorong (Our overnight stop after leaving Raja Ampat) was a whole days journey, which included a flight to Makassar, then to Denpasar, then to Lombok, ending off with a 1hr taxi ride to Sengigi, where we stayed for 5 nights.

We stayed at Hotel Bumi Aditya which was a short walk to the beachfront. The accommodation cost us less than R200 a day, and included breakfast, and a room with a private bathroom and hot water shower, wifi and not to mention the awesome swimming pool. The only negative thing was the beautiful mosque next door that woke us up at 4am every morning, and the confused roosters that crowed non-stop all day.

Senggigi beach had black beach sand as a result of volcanic rock from Mt Rinjani many thousands of years ago. This was cool to see as we are used to powdery white sand beaches and a beach with black sand was a novelty.

Walking down to the beach we passed some awesome murals painted by local artists. There were people taking photos so we did too!

On one of the days we went to see the Sendang Gile waterfall which was rather beautiful. It was a long drive, but it was scenic as we drove along the coast looking at the various beaches and the rice field terraces.

We hired a boat and went to the 3 Gili Islands of Trawagan, Meno and Air, for the day to snorkel. Unfortunately the weather was not the best, as it was windy and the waves were bigger than expected. Regardless of this, we still managed to see fish and the highlights were seeing a huge puffer fish and getting close to a turtle.

We then changed location and moved to Kuta Lombok, where we stayed for 6 nights. Kuta was really laid back and way less cars and people compared to Kuta Bali. Unfortunately while we were there there was a huge amount of construction going on at the beachfront and around town. We imagined that once complete the place could look completely different. Other than the construction the town had lots of great restaurants and small bars lining the streets, as well as stalls selling clothing similar to in Bali. The town is a lot more rural, and there was farm animals walking around everywhere and many many stray dogs walking the streets in packs.

Even the place that we stayed (Honey Bee Homestay) was a small holding, and had chickens, cows and goats wondering about. We discovered it was a great idea to always have a torch as there was often a sneaky cow pat in the middle of the dirt road on the way home after dinner each night!

The beaches around Kuta were different to Senggigi, either they were beautiful powdery white sand beaches, or they had huge round grains of sand, which was hard to walk on as you would sink ankle deep with every step.

All the beaches were quite pretty, and they all had wooden swings erected which was cool. We walked to one of the beaches (Tanjung Aan) through the farmlands and over the rocks at the beach which took us 2.5 hours to get there! It was after this that we decided to hire a scooter to get around and see the other beaches. Our scooter was very useful and fun to ride on the roads which were nowhere near as busy as those in Bali. Riding on the bike to the beaches was very picturesque through all the farm roads and so much fun!

Our favourite beach we visited was Mawun beach, which was about a 30min ride on the scooter over the mountain. The beach was beautiful and the was was too. The only downside to the beaches in Kuta is that you are harassed constantly by people trying to sell you either pineapples, coconuts, sarongs, or children trying to sell you bracelets. It is very annoying when they refuse to take no for an answer, and you are not interested in anything they are selling.

On the way back from Mawun beach we stopped at the Bat Cave, where we saw lots of bats roosting in the high caves. The floor of the cave was a thick spongy carpet of powdery bat shit, with millions of beetles feasting on the shit. When we left our sandals and feet were black with dirt and our sandals were full of the powdered bat shit.

We made our way home from Mawun beach and stopped off at Ashtari Yoga Lounge & Kitchen, which had an amazing view of Kuta from on top of the mountain.

On one of the days we did a snorkel tour to the 3 smaller and less known Gili islands of Nannggu, Sudak and Kedis. We saw some amazing coral and lots of fish and thought that it was much better than the other Gili tour we took from Senggigi. Gili Kedis was the smallest island we had ever visited, you can literally walk around the whole island in 2 minutes!

As much as we enjoyed Lombok, we craved the peace and quiet of Raja Ampat as most nights in Lombok we were disturbed in the early hours by noisy neighbours and their bikes, roosters, and mosques.

Lombok was our last stop in Indonesia, next stop Thailand…..