When we think of traveling to Indonesia, the first (and maybe only) image that pop into our head probably be the sandy beaches and wooden chalets in Bali. Indeed, Bali is a very nice place to go for vacation, but do you know Indonesia is actually made up of thousands of islands? Simply type ‘Indonesia famous island’ in your search engine and it will pop up with a list of islands with their beautiful photos.
All these islands have their own uniqueness and beauty, you can spend years to discover all of them. The problem is not all of them have an airport, if you were not a hardcore traveler, you might not want to spend long hours to reach your destinations. Is there a place where you can get there by direct flight, as beauty as Bali but a lot quieter than Bali?
In fact, there is an island east of Bali, which is Lombok. Lombok offers empty dream beaches, tasty foods, fantastic nature and interesting people, with fewer crowds compared to its famous neighbor − Bali. Lombok is also known for its Gili islands, which are 3 islets – Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air – near its northwest’s coast.
How to Get There
AirAsia offers direct flights from Kuala Lumpur to Lombok thrice every day. The flight takes approximately 3 hours.
Getting Around Lombok
Lombok Transport options are surprisingly easy and varied. From donkey-drawn carts to taxis, Lombok has something to meet all your needs. There are buses which can take you from the International Airport to Mataram or Senggigi.
Most locals will use ‘Bemo’, a small van with an open back and a bench seat along either side, to travel for medium distances in Senggigi and Mataram. You can also hire a driver, take a taxi or ojek (motorbike taxi) for longer distances.
On Gili Islands, there is no motorized transport. Instead, you can find Cidomo, a donkey-drawn cart, to get from one end of the island to the other quickly. It will be a special memory as well.
If you have an international driving license and have good navigating skills, you can hire a car or a motorbike. Riding a motorbike is always a fun way to explore an island.
Attractions in Lombok
The Gili Islands
The Gili Islands are a MUST. Just 20 minutes away from the main island, these islands are like paradise, you can forget about all your worries and dive yourself into the fantastic coral reefs.
Keep your smartphone away, just enjoy the clean sandy beaches, the turquoise-aqua sea water, and the salty breezes.
Back to the mainland of Lombok, there is the second highest volcano in Indonesia, Mount Rinjani. Rinjani is still an active volcano, there are wonderful waterfalls inside the Rinjani National Park to visit, such as Air Terjun Sindang Gila (Slightly Crazy Waterfalls) and Air Terjun Tiu Kelep (Tiu Kelep Waterfalls).
If you have good stamina and love jungle trekking, you can consider booking a trek guide to climb up to the peak.
For ‘pink-lovers’ like me, we don’t have to travel all the way long to the Bahamas to see the pink sandy beach, because there are pink beaches in Indonesia, we can find them in Komodo and Lombok!
The locals named the Pink Beach in Lombok as Tangsi Beach. It is located in Jerowaru District, approximately 2.5 hours’ drive from Mataram.
Tangsi Beach is not crowded, there are not many shops or facilities on the beach, this, however, makes it a peaceful, quiet beach for travelers to enjoy the pure scenery.
There are a lot of nice spots waiting for you to discover in Lombok. Just like the high-quality pearls produced here, Lombok is a hidden gem in South Sea.