Lombok offers many empty and often isolated dream beaches, friendly and interesting people and fantastic nature. While every year millions of tourists are attracted to Bali, many places on Lombok are still untouched as here mass tourism is still unknown.
One hour drive from Ubud we were dropped by Padang Bai, a small port where you can catch a ferry to Lombok. We found cheap accommodation at Bukit Senggigi – very basic rooms are for 15£ and you can access to pool area. In the end of the day you only need a descent place to sleep, right? The hotel also organises transfers to Gili Islands.
Lombok has probably one of the most beautiful waterfalls we have ever seen. This was one of the main reason to make our way to this unknown land. The cascades are located in the northen part of the island not far away from Mount Rinjani and around 2 hours along the coast makes the journey even more exciting. The trek to Sendang Gile will take more or less 15 minutes.
We were surprised how many locals this place gathers but apparently in Indonesia it’s very common to spend weekends with the whole family in the nature. Walking 45 minutes to reach Tiu Kelep was already epic because we were only surrounded by the jungle. The waterfall itself is truly majestic – no words to describe! You can take the refreshing bath after hiking through the rainforest. With more than 40 meters high Tiu Kelep is still not well known! There is no need to hire a guide because the path is clear, well marked and it is easy to pass two streams along the way.
If we could only arrive earlier to avoid all the crowds who appeared after half an hour. Do yourself a favour and avoid the weekends.
Admission fee: 10 000 IDR (less than 1£)
We stopped by Senaru village which is the main entrance to the Mount Rinjani National Park. Senaru is one of the last traditional villages of Sasak indigenous tribe in Lombok. It was very interesting to get to see the local culture in their everyday lives.
Senggigi has not much in offer apart of few resorts and western style restaurants. We mainly ate pizza and pastas as there were no vegan or vegetarian spots in the area.
We recommend to go south and spend the whole day on the beach Tanjung Aan. Not too crowded, still untouched blue waters and golden sand was just perfect together with fresh coconut from one of the local eateries. We even climbed the hill to see the whole view from the cliff.
Not far away from Tanjung Aan there are two vegetarian restaurants. Felice’s would be cheaper and more simple option. Ashtari Lounge & Kitchen is slightly more expensive but food is really delicious and your dinner is accompanied by amazing views!
We left Lombok with a huge enthusiasm. The idea of small and car-free island was making us really excited. Whoever traveled to Bali has definitely heard about Gili Islands – “the perfect sunset” spot!
The Gili Islands consists of three small islands just off the coast of Lombok in Indonesia and you can choose which one to visit depending on your taste and preferences. If your favourite time of the day is sunset and you think there is no better way to watch it on the beach then you definitely have to go to Gili Trawangan!
There are two main options to reach it – a boat from Sanur in south east Bali which will take around 3 hours or if you prefer more time on land and less time on water then you should book a boat from Padang Bay where boats only take 1.5 hrs to get to Gili. To fly there would be probably the easiest and fastest way however our driver recommended fast boat service.
This also included pick up from Sanur pier and drop to our hotel in Lombok.
Our contact for the Bali Fast Boat Service
Whatsapp: Ketut Diarta +6181 2383 40444
We were dropped by the office less than 1 km from the port and we have been told to wait there. That time we waited inside the office without realisation about common and cruel scam at Bangsal harbour. At some point they told us our boat is ready to leave and we have been forced to take camino horse carriage to get to actual pier. We believed that our boat is about to leave so we agreed but in the end we still waited another 30 minutes.
The conditions of these horses are horrible, they are exposed to the sun for the whole day and look like they will collapse from dehydration. After our horrible experience we would advise everyone to get to Bangsal by cab or organised shuttle and once you get the ticket from the main office just walk towards pier, please don’t support animal cruelty. Never buy the ticket from street seller. This also applies when you are on the Gili islands. We saw the heartbreaking scenes when one small horse was forced to carry family of four plus the driver in the front. We know exactly how heavy backpacks can be but why animal needs to suffer in order to comfort us – Trawangan is small enough to walk around by foot.
Trawangan is still a gorgeous paradise full of beachfront cafes and bars. We stayed at really cheap Lievera Bungalows which was almost a luxury experience comparing to our hotel in Lombok. Trawangan is the most popular from all the Gili Islands and well known on the hippy backpackers trial. Somehow we didn’t feel it was too many people around which made our stay even more relaxing. Pitu Cafe became our absolute favourite place to rejoice – outstanding vegan menu featuring jackfruit curry and snickers dessert! This is the type of food you dream about when you are hungry.
Casa Vintage, Serene Sunset and The Exile are only a few examples yet all the beach bars on the other side of the island are perfect for the sunset view. You will find plenty of hammocks and the swings anywhere you turn. It’s hard to imagine how people who live there could ever get used to this. Maybe Trawangan is slightly spoiled by tourists but it should be on everyone’s bucket list to witness those cotton candy skies.
With cheap and solid breakfast we had a feast at The Banyan Tree. Scrambled tofu and chocolate smoothie bowls were insanely good. We booked our return trip to Bali the day before departure from. The ticket can be purchased at one of the offices next to pier. For our second part in Bali we booked secluded villa booked in south part of the island. You can read about our experiences from outside of Ubud here (link)