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Sunday, September 03, 2017

Lombok 4 days 3 nights Itinerary

Lombok, an indonesian island that is located near the east of Bali. It is around 2 hours journey by fast boat from Bali to Lombok. You may also fly from Kuala Lumpur to Lombok directly with AirAsia. This round, I travelled to Lombok with 5 of my friends, a total of 7 of us...yes an odd number but I feel it is still ok to travel with 6-8 persons in a trip. It is easy to manage and we're able to travel around with a van at a reasonable price.

We took AirAsia as it is the only direct flight from Kuala Lumpur to Lombok. I would recommend to take the earliest flight and reach there around noon. As you will need to travel around 1 hour from airport to jetty if you are planning to stay in Gili island. If you are taking the afternoon flight, I would recommend to stay at Kuta or Sengigi for a night before travelling to gili island the next morning. Travelling from the jetty to gili island in the evening can be quite dangerous as it starts to get dark around 6.30pm.

Where to stay/visit in Lombok? 
I summarised into 3 places- The Gili Islands, Senggigi and Kuta, These are the favourite places to stay for tourists. During our 4 days 3 nights trip, we stay in Gili Trawangan and Kuta. We picked Gili Trawagan because it is the most happening island compared to Gili Meno & Gili Air. On the last night, we stayed in Kuta because it is near to airport, around 30 mins drive.

1. Access to Lombok
There a are few ways to travel to Lombok. You may take directly flight from Kuala Lumpur to Lombok by Airasia. If you have additional days to spend while travelling in Bali, you may take fast boat or flight to Lombok. Fast boat will take around 2 hours - 2 and half hours journey while flight will take around 30 mins.

2. Access in Lombok
You may charter a van to travel around or get a taxi. However, I found that taxis are quite rare in Kuta, you would mostly find rented vans only. Negotiation skills will be needed to avoid getting slashed.

3. Access in Gili Islands
To travel to Gili Islands, you can either use the public boat from Bangsal Harbour or private speed boat (depart from different harbours). Public boat will cost around IDR 15k, takes around 2 hours, but it will only depart when the boat is full. For private boats, it will cost around IDR 600- 800k depending on your negotiation skills. We manage to get around IDR 600k (total of 7 pax) from our accommodation.

In Gili islands, basically you only have three transportation modes, one is to rent a bicycle, second is getting a horse cart ride (more like a pony ride) and third is by your own two feet. No cars are allowed in the island to save the island from getting polluted.

There are many tours offered online. I actually booked an airport transfer and South Lombok tour with a tour guide name Eko. He was one of the recommended tour guides in tripadvisor. He does not have any website but you can contact him through watsapp or email. However having said that, I would recommend to get tour packages only after you reach Lombok. They are many tour agencies in Lombok that offer lower prices than what I saw online. As long as you have good negotiation skills, anything can be discounted in Lombok, including accommodation.

We got the below prices for tours (total of 7 pax):
Airport transfer to Gili T.- Rp. 1.5mil (booked with Eko)
Snorkelling tour- Rp. 2.5 mil (10 hours- booked in Gili T. with ANDY)
South Lombok Tour- Rp. 2 mil (8 hours- booked with Eko)
Boat transfer to Teluk Nara Harbour- Rp. 600k (book with guesthouse)

4 days 3 nights Lombok Itinerary:
Day 1: KUL- Lombok- Gili Trawangan
Day 2: Snorkelling trip- Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno- Gili Air
Day 3: South Lombok tour- Kuta
Day 4: Kuta- KUL

Places for food: Check out HERE !
1. RM. Nada Alam Nyaman
2. Casa Vintage Beach
3. Ceria Bar Restaurant & Warung
4. Le Petit Gili Restaurant
5. The Banyan Tree
6. Rumah Makan Bu Suta
7. Rumah Makan Cahaya
9. Warung Bobby Wood Fired Pizza

Day 1: Gili Trawangan

Gili Trawangan Harbour
We were shocked when we first step onto the island. We never expect the island to be packed with people and the road was muddy with horse poop everywhere. It wasn't as beautiful as we thought it would be.

Horse riding or more like pony riding is everywhere in the island. They are the "taxis" and I feel quite sorry for those ponies. They hardly have any rest and need to carry heavy loads on the islands. As such, we walked ourselves to explore the island.
Horse cart ride
Ilham The Rooftop Guesthouse
We paid around Rp. 350k (approximately RM 113) per night for the double room with a simple breakfast (omelette and bread/ pancake). It is cheap but the place was quite run down comparing to the photos we saw in We booked from but payment was collected in cash on the spot after check in. Comparing to Bangkok hotels around that price, Bangkok is far more better in terms of cleanliness and maintenance. I would recommend to spend a bit more on the accommodation. Anyway, the bed provided is spring bed, I can hear the spring sounds every time I turn my back and there is no hot water.

After checking in, we went out to the street to find a good deal for next day's snorkelling trip. The whole main street of Gili T. are mostly full of shops/stalls offering snorkelling tours, you can just book directly with any of the shop/stalls, the itinerary of the tour are similar.

For 2-4 hours snorkelling with sharing boat, it costs around Rp. 100k per person. If you come in a group, you can hire a private boat for snorkelling around 4 hours for Rp. 200k per person. We managed to negotiate a whole day snorkelling trip (10 hours) for Rp. 2.5 mil (7 pax). We booked from ANDY booth.

Staying in Gili T is very convenient as in every few steps you can find convenient shops, bikini shops and restaurants. Everything is just walking distance from one to another. One of the attractions in Gili T is the swings on the sea. Ombak swing is the most favourite spot, situated at Ombak Sunset Hotel, however you may find a few other swings on the way to Ombak Swing.
Gili Island map
We did not manage to walk to Ombak swing as it was way too far and we spent a lot of time taking pictures. But we managed to capture the beautiful sunset by the beach. The best time for photoshoot and poses!

Malibu Paradise Swing

Night at Lombok

We found an empty land when walking back to the harbour street and started to play with some lights. At night in Lombok, it can be really dark, be prepared with your phone light.

Main street near harbour
Lombok Night Market
Located along the main street. The night market are different from what we have in Malaysia. Mostly are stalls selling Mixed Rice (Nasi campur) and Grilled seafood. We did not try anything from the night market as we found the seafood wasn't stored under the correct temperature to retain the seafood's freshness. Just to avoid anyone getting food poisoning during the trip.

Nasi Campur (Mixed Rice)

Pick the fish and they will cook for you.
Day 2: Snorkelling day 
We started our day as early as 9am. The tour included snorkelling gear, however if you are concerned about hygiene, you may bring your own gear. Lombok is famous for the glass bottom boat where the bottom of the boats are built with glass where you are able to see underwater directly from the boat.

We are lucky that we spotted a turtle and managed to capture a photo of it before a swamp of people pushed us away while trying to touch it. Please don't harm any sea creatures if you see any! And who said turtles are slow? They swim quite fast and we couldn't catch up as we were not wearing flippers.

After our lunch, we spend some time exploring Gili Air and found some bean bags in front of a resort. So, we just chilled out and relaxed there by ordering drinks as we are using their bean bags. If you opt for 4 hours trip, the trip ends around noon after lunch. But we continued another 3 spots near Gili Meno.

Gili Meno Turtle Santuary
We were told to see some baby turtles on the beach. Here we are at Gili Meno Turtle Santuary. You may donate Rp 100k to help to feed those baby turtle. They have some care takers to look after these baby turtles. Baby turtles will be released to the sea when they are 8 months old. You may also find turtle santuary in Gili Trawangan as well.

We ended our snorkelling trip around 5.30pm since the weather wasn't promising, we were unable to see any sunset on the way.

If you like to have a drink and dance all night, Gili Trawagan has many pubs that you can hang out. It is the happening island! The later the night goes, the louder the music went. If you like to have a quiet night's sleep, choose the hotel/guesthouse that is far from the pubs.

You will also find small stalls selling snacks like fried tofu, satay and nasi campur along the street.

If you would like to learn some Lombok dishes, you can join the Sweet & Spicy Cooking class. It is a 4 hours masterclass starting from Rp. 330k per person.

Day 3- South Lombok Tour
After breakfast, we depart from Gili Trawangan to Lombok land for our South Lombok Trip. Eko-our tour guide picked us from the harbour.

Banyumulek-Pottery Village
Sukarara-weaving village
Sasak Ende Village
Pantai Tanjung Aan

In between our journey, we stopped by a few places for shopping, lunch and snacks.

Our transportation for the tour- 16 seater van
Our first stop- Pusat Oleh-oleh, the place to shop for souvenirs. You can buy cheap key chains and fridge magnets here compared to those stalls selling in Gili Trawagan.

We went to a local snack shop to buy some local snacks. I didn't manage to take any photos as all of us were busy tasting the snacks and shopping. Lombok is famous for the dodol but I do not really like it as it is hard and sweet. Here are what I bought! I really like the Keripik Rumput Laut and the peanuts.

Banyumulek-Pottery Village
Basically a shop that sells clay wares. They are a lot of variety from big vases to the smallest tea pots. However the price doesn't come in cheap as well. Behind the shop, there is a workshop area where you can make your own pottery. If you would like to bring home your master piece, just give them a small token of min Rp. 2000.

Getting myself ready for the making.

Making a turtle in progress

Our final products with the teachers
Sukarara-weaving village
We initially thought it is a village full of people weaving but it was actually a shop selling their traditional weaving textiles. There are 4 persons outside the shop demonstrating the process. You can buy weaving textiles as souvenir. I bought a table runner around RM 150.

Sasak Ende Village
The place of the indigenous people of Lombok, they are called the Sasak people. The place still remains in a traditional lifestyle. The Sasak people are still living there although it is open for tourists to visit during day time. Their own tour guide will guide you around the village and you will need to donate to them of any amount.

All the houses are made from clay and cow's poo. Every year, the woman will use the cow's poo to repair cracks in the house. Each house depending on sizes, can stay at least 5 people to 9 people. Men & women will sleep separately even after marriage, except when they would like to have babies. Until now, the Sasak people are still practising this tradition.

Young girls learning to weave.

Lumbung- Rice storage area also symbol of Lombok

Our guide in Sasak Village
Traditional dance by the villagers
Pantai Tanjung Aan
Tanjung Aan beach is a unique beach where the sand has two colours on the same beach. It is a soft beach with rounded sand. The shape of the sand is round, you wouldn't feel a sharp edge poking at your leg while walking on the beach, but somehow, you feet will sink more than usual as opposed to a normal beach.

Rounded sand

Overlook from the hill beside the beach
We stayed at Kuta on our third night. We booked Tri Putri Homestay however when we arrived, we were told the rooms have been overbooked. We were really disappointed toward the staffs' attitude as they lied to us that the room has electrical issues and they were unable to provide us the rooms. They claim to have prepared another homestay for us, but after a few rounds of questioning by us, they admitted that the rooms has been overbooked and they did not prepare any rooms elsewhere for us. We were really angry as most of the hotels/homestay has been fully booked or overpriced. They drove us to every homestay to find available rooms and it was already late in the evening. Finally, we found some available rooms at Surfer Inn.

Surfer Inn-a very run down Inn that has a decent swimming pool in the middle of the hotel. Our rooms were still under renovation where the toilet's door were yet to be painted. We were unable to complain anymore as it was one of the best rooms available. We negotiated from Rp. 350K to Rp.250K, A/C room with breakfast.

Adapted from Hotel Room Search website
The main entrance of Surfer Inn
I forgotten to take photos of the room as we were tired finding rooms and the hectic argument with the previous homestay's staff drained our energy. Please take note if you want to take the risk to book with Tri Putri Homestay, it might ruin your holiday mood.

The next day before we depart to the airport, we went for a walk at Kuta beach. It is not as beautiful as Tanjung Aan beach but the whole main road of Kuta beach is under major construction. It will be very beautiful next year for Kuta area after the construction is completed.

In total, we spent around RM 1000 each person including flight, accommodation, food and souvenir. The biggest chunk was spent on the flight that cost us around RM 450 per person. Overall we did not know what to expect when coming to Lombok but based on our experience here, Gili T is a nice place to stay but I would spend more on accomodation, and there were indeed many nice resorts on the West side of the island, where all the swings are located at. On a secondary note, Sengigi is a much quieter spot with some reasonable share of tourists around the area. I would definitely try out Sengigi if we were to come to Lombok again.

Su Fen

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