Kuta Beach, Senggigi Beach, Gili Trawangan Lombok 4D3N getaway (February 2018)

Day 1

Actually our flight to Lombok was supposed to be 3.45 pm. So we thought we could drive down to KL with Vvy early in the morning as he was going back to KL on the same day. However, Airasia cancelled the flight and put us in the morning 8.35 am flight. So we had no choice but to take the Yoyo bus to KLIA2. This was our first time taking this bus to KLIA. Surprisingly it was comfortable and spacious with big leg-room and a reclining seat. It took us 4 hours to reach KLIA from Tun Aminah Bus Terminal Johor Bahru.

Safe and comfortable bus

We arrived at KLIA2 around 4.00 am. Immediately we went to Plaza Premium Lounge for our breakfast and also took a rest there before boarding the aircraft.

It’s CNY. The airport was also decorated to celebrate the festival

We arrived at the Lombok International Airport at around 12.00 pm. There’s no time difference between Lombok and Kuala Lumpur. There were many touts offering taxi service to town the moment we stepped out of the arrival hall. They would keep following  you until you have settled with  one of them. The price ranges from Rp90,000 to Rp150,000. In the end we settled with one of the private car with Rp90,000 for distance of 20km.  In fact we also didn’t know he is a private car driver.

A small airport.

The journey to the hotel wasn’t exactly scenic, but more monotonous with endless plots of paddy field. The roads are  undulating and we passed through many ‘sasak’ which means villages along the way. From what I observed, Lombok is still very much undeveloped. The journey to the hotel at Kuta Beach took about 40 minutes. We had no itinerary for the afternoon as we planned to hang around Kuta beach on ourselves. But the driver suggested we either go to waterfall or Pink Beach for a fee of Rp350,000 after taking us for lunch.  Both journeys also take about 20 minutes. So we agreed to go to waterfall as you need to take a boat to Pink Beach.

We checked-in at the Novotel Hotel & Resort at Kuta. Immediately the driver Harry took us to Kampung Tenun Restaurant at Praya. We had the famous local ‘ayam taliwang’ and ‘ikan nila bakar pedas manis’ and bean sprouts. The chicken tasted good as Lombok is famous for this ‘ ayam taliwang’ . It is something quite similar to ‘ayam penyet’ except the sauce is a bit different. Ikan nila in Indonesia is actually tilapia fish in Malaysia. The grilled fish was also not bad. We savored clean all the dishes!

Lombok is famous for ayam taliwang. Must try if you are there.

Weaving of ‘kain songket’ is shown at this restaurant as this restaurant is known as Restoran Tenun which means weaving restaurant.

After lunch, we headed to the Stokel Benang waterfall. The waterfall is located at the base of Rinjani volcano. The road to the waterfall is narrow and winding, passing through some lush inland landscape of rolling hills and rice  terraces. After about 1 hour 20 minutes, we finally arrived at the entrance to the waterfall. The 20 minute drive as told by the driver turned out to be 80 minutes! Entry fee is Rp60,000 per pax with a guide to lead us to the Stokel Benang waterfall. If you opt for the third waterfall, which is more beautiful and further inside, you need to take a ride on a motorbike and of course you need to pay more. We didn’t opt for this as we didn’t want to take the motorbike for safety reason. The walk to the  Stokel Benang  waterfall took about 10 minutes through some lush forest reserve. On the way, you get to see some monkeys before reaching the waterfall. I wouldn’t say it is very spectacular but the air there is crisp and fresh and you feel so relax listening to the gushing of the water from a height of some 20 meter. We stayed for about 30 minutes before walking back again.

Entrance to the Stokel Benang waterfall

There are steps to help visitors to climb some steep slopes

In a relax mode!

With guide Mur

On the way  back, we stopped at Kuta Mandalika to take some photographs. Kuta Mandalika Lombok is not vibrant at all unlike the Kuta beach in Bali. Here it is still underdeveloped. There isn’t any big hotel here, mostly homestays. So there aren’t many tourists here.

This scenery looks a bit like Tanah Lot in Bali

At around 5.00 pm were already back to our hotel. We then explored the surrounding of the hotel and walked to the beach in front of the hotel to catch the sunset. The hotel compound is big and the buildings are well designed with some unique fine architecture. This luxury escape facing the Indian Ocean offers a splendid and romantic retreat. It was really relaxing staying in this hotel. Dinner was at the hotel restaurant.

At Novotel Kuta Lombok

A beautiful scene at Kuta Beach. The sand is brown not white 

Sunset viewed from the hotel beach front

Day 2

After a sumptuous breakfast, we explored around the compound of the hotel before checking out and our hired driver Harry was there at the lobby to fetch us to Senggigi.

Sunrise viewed from the hotel room

Good weather and beautiful seaside

Sun is so bright that eyes also cannot open!

Novotel Hotel

Actually Harry is quite a fast and reckless driver. He will keep honking all the way. He even went into the round-about in anti-clockwise direction just to take a short-cut! 

On the way, we stopped at Montong for some durians as it was durian season in Lombok. We bought 3 fruits for  Rp 90,000.

Finally we arrived at our hotel Puri Mas Boutique Resorts at Mangsit, Lombok. As the villa was not ready, we were whisked to the beach front where we savoured our welcome drink. We relaxed at the beach front sipping the cool and refreshing coconut juice before checking in our Jacuzzi Villa.  This resort is ensconced within a leafy enclave along the Senggigi beach.

White pristine sand with clear water at Senggigi beach

You can snorkel here also

Then we went for a 2 hour scrub and massage at the resorts spa which is situated about 2 km away from our resort to invigorate and rejuvenate ourselves. It costs us Rp 525,000 per pax. The therapy was average only, below our expectation! We also immersed ourselves in the Jacuzzi pool at the spa there.

Chilled out at the Jacuzzi pool before going for a scrub and massage at the Spa Resort

At Puri Mas Spa Resorts

In the evening, we went for a stroll at the Senggigi Beach to enjoy the sea breeze as well as catching the sunset glory. It was one of the most spectacular sights with the bright orange sun sinking into the sea with silhouette of the Gunung Agong at Bali Island. Actually Gunung Agong just erupted in December!

Sunset at Senggigi Beach

Dinner was at the Ballroom Restaurant. It was superb as it was Latin Dance night. There was a Latin dance competition amongst the resort staffs. The hotel guests were the judges. There was also a modern and Latin dance performance by the students from the Lombok International Dance Sports Studios. The proprietor of this resort, Mr Marcel de Rijk , a Dutch descendant is actually a renowned dancer and trainer himself. He was the former World Latin Dance Champion! We had a great evening at the restaurant enjoying some local cuisine as well as listening to the live band. Some of the hotel guests also joined in the ‘dangdut’ dance with the hotel staffs.

Latin dance

Dangdut dance

Photos of Mr Marcel de Rijk displayed on the walls of the restaurant

Puri Mas Boutique Resort

Day 3

After a simple set breakfast, we were ready for our next itinerary that is snorkeling around the three islands and to visit Gili Trawangan Island. At 9.00 am sharp, our engaged tour guide Bapak Adi was already at the lobby to fetch us.

Soon we were on our way to Teluk Nara where we would board our glass-bottom boat for our snorkeling excursion. On the way, we stopped at Villa Hantu, an abandoned villa  to get a panoramic view of the beautiful coastal line of Lombok Island. We also stopped at Malaka, another beautiful cliff to snap more pictures.

Villa Hantu

Scenic cliff

With Adi, our tour guide

Blue sky and turquoise water..

After about half an hour drive, we arrived at the Teluk Nara Beach ready to start our snorkeling trip.

 

The whole boat to ourselves

Adi and the two boatmen

Getting ready to snorkel

Altogether there were 5 of us including Bapak Adi and two boatmen. The first stop was at Gili Air where we snorkeled to see fishes. The corals here were mostly bleached or dead. Bapak Adi and one of the boatman snorkeled with us. Then we continued our trip to Gili Meno where a lot of scuba divers would dive to see the sea turtles. From the surface we could see the shadow of the divers and also the air bubbles coming out from their diving gas tanks. We didn’t go down as it was quite deep and the water was not clean.

Then we proceeded to the next spot where there is an abundance of beautiful corals and colourful fish. Here we spent about an hour to enjoy the colourful corals and of course the coral fish. Next we stopped at Bask Bay where we could see the man-made statues under the water. The concrete statues were laid by a private hotel. Soon it became a popular spot for snorkelers. Here there were quite a lot of jelly fish! So we didn’t stay long. Finally we arrived near  the coast of Gili Trawangan Island. Here we were able to spot some turtles swimming in the water.

Managed to spot a turtle

Gili Meno island viewed from our boat

Adi pulled soulmate to snorkel with a life jacket

We continued to snorkel and swim until we reached the shore of Gili Island! We got down to the island for a shower and had our lunch at Oda Cafe. After lunch, we began our cycling trip along the beach of Gili Trawangan Island.

Main jetty at Gili Trawangan

A turtle hatchery at Gili Trawangan island

Gili Trawangan Island is a beautiful island with many famous hotels here. The only mode of transport available here are bicycles and horse-carts. We cycled about half the island with our rented bicycle (Rp 50,000 per bike) and it took us about 1 ½ hour to complete the trip with a distance of about 5km.

On the way we stopped at  Ombak Sunset Resorts to take some photos.

Horse-carts are common transportation in Gili Trawangan if you don’t want to cycle

Beach lounging bags to catch the sunset

Open air restaurant at Ombak Sunset Resort

Iconic spot at Ombak Sunset Resort

Then the track meanders from the coastal road to some narrow paths through the ‘sasak’ or villages where the local people live in Gili Trawangan. The beach here is pristine white unlike the beach in Kuta which is brown or black.  According to Adi, the whole beach comes to live when the sun goes down. It’s party every night over here. But we had to give it a miss as we didn’t put a night in Gili Trawangan.

At around 4.00 pm, we were back at our boat to go back to the mainland. The journey took about 20 minutes.

The serendipitous weather allowed us to carry out all the activities according to schedule as we were quite worry about the weather since February is supposed to be a wet month!

Then we headed back to Mataram, the capital town of Lombok Island. We went to Arena Buah to taste some more durians and mangosteens as well as ‘buah salak’, one of our favourite fruits which you can find in abundance in Indonesia.

At Epicentrum Mall. CNY is also celebrated in Lombok

After the durian feast, we went to Epicentrum Mall to do some light shopping before going to our hotel, Dmax Hotel at Praya.

Over here in Malaysia, a picture of the dog will cause alot of hoo ha. But it is not an issue at all in Indonesia. Found this in the hotel lobby.

Bapak Adi is a very caring, patient, knowledgeable and helpful tour guide. He speaks good English as he was trained as an English teacher by profession.  We were very happy and satisfied with his service.

All in it was Rp 1,800,000 for this  9.00am  – 7.00 pm day trip inclusive of boat renting, snorkeling gear and land transport. Bicycle rental in Gili Trawangan Island was not included in the package.

After checking in, we walked around the surrounding of the hotel. Actually there is not much you can do at Praya. The hotel is located near the airport and surrounded by paddy fields. It is more for travellers on airport transfers.

D’max Hotel at Praya

Day 4

After breakfast, we were ready to check-out and go to the airport bidding goodbye to Lombok.

Lombok Interntional Airport

We enjoyed this trip as Lombok is still not very crowded with tourists. The only regret we had is not putting a night at Gili Trawangan Island. It will be more enjoyable to stay at Gili Trawangan Island! Maybe we will return one day to visit this beautiful island again!

[MYR 1 = Rp 3,400]
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About HP Lim

An experienced Form 5 chemistry teacher from Johor Bahru.