Lombok is magical. Squeezed between the island of Bali and the remote, uncharted Sumbawa Island of West Nusa Tenggara, this is a slice of unspoiled tropical paradise. Laidback, and charming, it is most famous for an interesting Sasak indigenous culture and awesome Lombok beaches.
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How to Reach:
Most Lombok travellers come from Bali. Local Garuda airlines flights to Lombok International Airport are available from Denpasar Airport and these are quite cheap. There is also a public ferry from Bali’s Padangbai port for Lombok. Kuta beach is 30 minutes from Lombok from the airport and it takes one hour from there to reach Senggigi. The Lembar port in Lombok is approximately an hour away from both points.
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Getting Around in Lombok:
Public transportation is pretty much limited in bigger towns like Mataram. Beyond that, you need your own wheels (rental car or motorbike) for exploring. Most accommodations offer airport transfers, organized private or small group tours and may even help you rent a vehicle.
- Sengiggi – If you prefer a sedate, touristy base.
- Mataram – The capital city of Lombok.
- Kuta – A great surfer’s den. It has a cool global village kind of vibe and is a great base for exploring southern Lombok beaches like Tanjung Aan and Batu Payung beaches which are both less than 30 minutes away from Kuta.
- Pantai Mawun: A beautiful beach with beach chairs and umbrellas. You can enjoy fresh seafood and coconuts on the beach.
- Pantai Tampah: A beautiful clean beach.
- Pantai Lancing: It is another beautiful clean beach and is located right next to Tampah.
- Tangsi or the Pink Beach: It is a 2-hour drive from Mataram city (3 hours from Tanjung). The best way to get there is by private car hire with a driver-guide. Alternatively, you can get there by hiring a fishing boat from Tanjung Luar Port. The journey by sea takes around 3 hours.
How to reach the Pink Beach of Lombok
From Kuta in Lombok: WhatSupLombok offers snorkelling day trip in which you are picked up and dropped back at Kuta. This includes a stop at the Pink Beach. By car, it takes about 1.5 hours to reach Pink Beach.
From Tanjung Luar Port: This is the main port connecting Pink Beach with surrounding islands. The boat trip takes about 3 hours.
From other areas in Lombok by car:
Mataram: 2-2.5 hours
Praya: 1 – 1.5 hours
Senggigi: 2 – 2.5 hours
Suggested for you: Exploring Lombok beaches and some local life
Things to do apart from exploring Lombok beaches:
- Mount Rinjani Hike: Explore the beautiful waterfalls, experience Bodha Sasak hamlets, soak in the natural springs, and climb Mount Rinjani in a popular 3 days hike.
- Explore the gem-like Gili Islands: Comprises of Trawangan (the largest and a party island), Gili Meno (for families and honeymooners) and the turtle capital of the world, Gili Air. Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, and Gili Air are accessible via fast boat from Teluk Kodek or public traditional boat from Bangsal.
- Go diving, snorkeling, or try an extreme water sport at Gili Air.
- Go surfing at Kuta
- Eat the local cuisine especially the Ayam taliwang. It is a delicious spicy grilled chicken dish. After the chicken has been cooked for a few minutes, it is dipped in a paste of garlic, chili, and shrimp paste. Then it is grilled to perfection. This local classic can be best enjoyed at a warung.
- Experience the Sasak culture: Visit any of the Sasak villages to appreciate the local culture, learn about their bride kidnapping tradition, buy some locally made woven Ikkat textile, and you can even stay at a traditional Sasak home or undertake a weaving class.
- Experience the Lombok sea worm festival of Bau Nyale. Inspired by a tale of “sea worm princess”, Bau Nyale is held every year in either February or March.
- Last but not least, take it easy and enjoy the unhurried local pace of Lombok.
What to expect:
Expect tropical weather at most times. Pack light breathable clothes, sunscreen, sunglasses, and sun hat. Keep swimwear and flip-flops for the beach. Lombok is a conservative Muslim majority island, so dress appropriately. Buy a local sarong to use as a cover-up, wrap-around skirt, or take as a souvenir back home. Keep a stash of cash with you as credit cards will only go as far as the most modern establishments. Carry your own toiletries, medicines, and personal items like tampons. Pack accordingly and take some waterproof warm jacket if you intend to climb Mount Rinjani, Indonesia’s second-highest volcano.
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