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First Timer's Guide To Lombok, Indonesia

22 Jun 2018

Hew Lee Yee

Klook Travel Curator

Find your bliss in Lombok

An island at the east of Bali, Lombok is the lesser-known neighbour to the world-famous island getaway hotspot. With many locations still untouched, it’s easy to find a secluded island where you can have the place all to yourself and truly unwind.

For the adventurous hikers, Mount Rinjani poses as much as a challenge as it is a gift when successfully conquered. Whether you’re up for some fire in your muscles or a calm relaxing time, Lombok has it all.

Cover image by Wawan Zahari

Things to do in Lombok

1. Mount Rinjani (Gunung Rinjani)

The emblematic active volcano in Lombok, Mount Rinjani attracts travellers from all over the world just for a chance to trek their way to the summit. Breathe in the fresh mountain air as you hike your way through the stunning surrounding landscapes. You also get to experience the unique campsite at the crater rim.

Photo Credit: Wawan Zahari

Towering over the the island of Lombok, Mount Rinjani is not one for novice hikers as it requires medium to high fitness levels. If you’re lucky, you might even be able to witness the enchanting sight of the Milky Way! That certainly makes the challenging hike well worth it.

Photo Credit: Wawan Zahari

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2. Gili Islands

When in Lombok, it’s a waste to not go on a tropical getaway at the Gili Islands. Whether it’s the famous Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air or hidden locations like Gili Kedis and Gili Nanggu, the clear waters and pristine white sand beaches are bound to steal your heart away.

There are is also Northeast Gilis where you can discover more hidden beaches, spot rare coral reefs and walk along the stretch of half-submerged sand dunes. The Southeast Gilis, on the other hand, is home to three Pink Beaches and stunning, undiscovered mini islands where you can frolic around in private. Whatever it is, you’re guaranteed a tropical paradise you deserve.

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3. Mangku Sakti Waterfall

At the slopes of Mount Rinjani sits one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Lombok, Mangku Sakti Waterfall. With streams flowing down from the active volcano of Mount Rinjani, the healing waters of Mangku Sakti Waterfall are rich in sulphur. The surrounding landscape is also stunning, with lush greens and rock formations in the gorge.

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4. Gili Trawangan Night Market

In Gili Trawangan, one of the more popular Gili island, has a night market that is a favourite amongst locals and visitors. You can find a variety of local Indonesian cuisine from fried rice, bakso, soto ayam, mixed dishes with rice, skewered BBQ meats, spring rolls, banana fritters and more.

Since it’s surrounded by the sea, you can also count on the market to have an abundant of fresh seafood. The night market is not a place for food, it’s also a hangout spot for many budget travellers as well as locals.

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5. Senggigi

As Lombok’s oldest and most popular resort area, you can find luxury resorts along the beachfront of Senggigi. The waves are loved by surfers in central of Senggigi while the white sand beaches along the shores is a delight to many visitors.

This charming tourist town has a host of souvenir shops, bars, and restaurants around the area. Besides that, Senggigi also serves as a transport hub since many travellers stop by this area en route to other destinations around Lombok.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

6. Sendang Gile & Tiu Kelep Waterfalls

At the foot of Mount Rinjani in the tiny village of Senaru, you will find the impressive nature gems of Sendang Gile and Tiu Kelep Waterfalls. Just a mere 1.5km distance from one another, these 2 waterfalls are Lombok hidden gems that are absolutely worth a visit.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The heat from trekking through the jungle to get to these waterfalls will disappear as soon as the blowing mist hits your skin! Surrounded by towering rocks and flowing waters, they’re an absolute natural wonder that is bucket list worthy.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

7. Banyumulek Village

Lombok is mainly inhabited by the Sasak people, whose culture are distinct from the nearby Hindu Bali and those from other parts of Indonesia. In the Banyumulek Village, you can watch skilled Sasak potters at work as make a variety of craft items like clay pots, bottles and more,

As one of pottery centres in Lombok, making pottery is a trade that has been passed down for generations in Banyumulek Village. Aside from admiring the handicraft of the handmade pottery collection, you also can get a look into the daily lives of the locals.

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8. Kuta

Not to be confused with Kuta Beach in Bali, this Kuta is a famous coastal town in South Lombok. Not as known as the famous Gili Islands, visitors are starting to explore this part of South Lombok for its pristine private white beaches.

There are several points of interest in Kuta and several to take note of include Seger Beach, Tanjung Aan, Mawun, and Bukit Merese.

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9. Pantai Tanjung Aan

Deemed by many as the most beautiful beach in Kuta, visitors are greeted with sights of white sand, palm trees, and turquoise water at Tanjung Aan Beach or Pantai Tanjung Aan. Whether you’re interesting in swimming, surfing, snorkeling or simply lounging by the beach, Tanjung Aan is the place to be.

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10. Sukarara Village

Famous for traditional textile weavings like ikat-ikat and songket, the Sukarara Village is the largest handmade songket production centers in Lombok. The woven fabric are made with raw materials like cotton yarn, gold and silver silk threads. The threads are also dyed naturally using mangosteen peel for purple colour, teak trunk for brown colour and more.

Typically a skilled work by the women of the village, daughters are already taught at an early age in order to inherit and carry on the work of their ancestors. More than just beautiful works of woven fabric, songket is piece of culture and history that’s been passed down for generations!

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Must-eat in Lombok

Ayam Taliwang

A type of spicy grilled chicken from Lombok, Ayam Taliwang has to be on every visitor’s foodie list when they visit the island. Served with a side of sambal (spicy chili paste), the best ones are made using free-range chicken!

Some of the recommended places for Ayam Taliwang in the island include Ayam Taliwang Irama, Ayam Taliwang Kania, Ayam Taliwang Pak Udin and Desa Taliwang.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Sate Rembiga

A tender sweet, savoury, spicy beef satay that originated from the region, Sate Rembiga is unlike any other satays you’ve had before. Delicious and addictive, it’ll likely be a staple for you during your stay in Lombok.

For some authentic and yummy Sate Rembiga, check out places like Warung Sate Rembiga Ibu Sinnaseh and Warung Sate Rembiga Utama.

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Plecing Kangkung

It’s important to eat your greens even if you’re on holiday and the one veggie dish you have to try in Lombok is Plecing Kangkung. Made with blanched water spinach, this dish is served cold and topped with its signature chili sauce.

Typically eaten as a side dish with rice and other meat dishes, it’s also sometimes accompanied with other vegetables like bean sprouts and green beans. You can find this staple dish in many local eateries across Lombok as well as in Bali.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons