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Jakarta Post

Visiting Bali’s forgotten neighbor

  • Inforial

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta, Indonesia   /   Wed, May 22, 2019   /   12:01 am
Visiting Bali’s forgotten neighbor Breathtaking view: A traveler takes in the view of farmland at Sembalun near Rinjani volcano in Lombok, Indonesia. (./.)

Where are you heading this holiday season? Places like Bali or Labuan Bajo might sit at the top of your list, but just right around these two islands lies Lombok Island. For international travelers, Lombok might only be a stopover before reaching Labuan Bajo from Bali. The island can easily be reached from Labuan Bajo and Bali on a boat trip. From other places in Indonesia, domestic flights to Lombok from Jakarta, Bandung and Bali are available daily.

Pick your dates

Prior to booking your ticket, make sure to pick your travel date wisely and set the Price Alert feature on the Traveloka website or mobile app. This feature allows passenger to be notified when flight deals that suit your itinerary comes up. Make sure to not miss any deals by having your desired flights delivered into your Inbox.

But, the question is, what does one do in Lombok? Besides the beaches, there are actually quite a lot of other things to see in Lombok. Here are a few places to check out on your next Lombok trip.

Senggigi

Beachfront blast:  A fishing boat sits on Sengigi Beach, Lombok. Beachfront blast: A fishing boat sits on Sengigi Beach, Lombok. (./.)

Senggigi may be one of the less hyped beaches in Lombok, and is now mostly popular among the older crowd and where zen-seekers go. Most of Lombok’s best resorts are located in Senggigi, and for anyone looking for a quiet, laidback, holiday on the beach, Senggigi’s light-sand coast and stunning sunset will conquer your heart.

Get to the Gilis

The three Gilis (Gili Trawangan, Gili Air, and Gili Meno) are certainly becoming Indonesia’s top destinations after Bali. Gili Meno is mostly there for the quiet, romantic escape while Gili Air is made for a more-relaxed traveler to chill and take a diving course. The largest and most popular, full of parties and cheap beer is Gili Trawangan. These three Gilis can be reached from Senggigi Harbor by a speedboat in around 30 minutes or so. Little cafes and beach bars line up on the coast. On the west side of the island where the blood-red sun sets, luxury resorts and restaurants offer cocktails and champagne by the beach for a special treat. The best thing about Gili is that motorized vehicles are not allowed to operate there, with the only transportation available being bicycles, horse-drawn carriages and battery-operated scooters. 

Whatever route you take and whichever Gili you visit, while in Lombok, do pay a visit to these little islands. Travel agents in Lombok offers day trips to the three Gilis, normally done in eight hours, where visitors can island hop and enjoy the crystal clear water and tasty local cuisine.

Refreshing Waterfalls

Many travelers only see Lombok as Bali’s beach neighbor but actually, the island hides some of country’s best waterfalls. The most popular and biggest waterfall in Lombok is the Tiu Kelep Waterfall. You will have to head north, just after Sendang Gile Waterfall at the foot of Mt. Rinjani. To get there, you have to trek through the lush forest over the hanging bridge. However, the majestic view of the falls, 45 meters down the cliff meeting the rocks, is worth the trip.

Other must-see waterfalls in Lombok include Benang Stokel and Benang Kelambu, located just 1 kilometer apart from each other. The falls, 90 minutes away from Senggigi Beach, flow down through the lush greenery like heaven’s door.

Sasak Culture

Airy view: A peresean (Sasak stick fight) takes place in Sade village, Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara. Airy view: A peresean (Sasak stick fight) takes place in Sade village, Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara. (./.)

The Sasak people are the island’s natives, which make up about 85 percent of the island’s total population. Their cuisine is known for its spiciness and the Sasak culture is reflected in their beautiful handicrafts and distinct music ensembles.

Kampung Sade is where the locals hold the tradition close and dearly. By visiting this village you will be able to see their traditional houses, as well as the process of making traditional crafts and colorful woven fabrics. One cloth costs around Rp 250,000 to Rp 300,000, which is definitely not the cheapest but considering the length of time and process it takes to make one cloth, it is quite a fair price point.

Those are among activities in Lombok. While it is understandable to get carried away while chillin’ on the beach over fizzy cold drinks, make sure to not miss your flight by using Traveloka’s Flight Status features, which keeps you up-to-date on your flight details.