SOUTHERN LOMBOK

THE BEACH HEAVEN

Increasingly popular, South Lombok attracts more and more, particularly surfers, scuba divers and beach bums. Some like to book a short tour from Bali while many others fail to resist the heavenly beaches and stay for weeks. In any case,  South Lombok has surely become a ‘must-visit’ of Indonesia.

SADE

On the journey to Kuta, to the bottom of Lombok, you will pass numerous traditional Sasak villages with their characteristic grass-roofed-houses. Life here is quite naive and simple. Surrounded by fields of tobacco, sweet potato and cassava, there are working people and cattle everywhere. Mostly threading and weaving, creating pottery or spending long days on the rice fields, just like their ancestors used to do centuries ago. Only little has changed since then and Sade is a perfect example of such “living museum” of a traditional village.

Sade village

Sade village

KUTA AND SURROUNDS

Arriving in Kuta, a very different scenery will come to sight. Paradisiacal beaches covered with silken white sand and the turquoise sea filled with coral gardens and radiant marine life. The southern coast of Lombok is something to look at with much delight. Calm lagoons of a pleasant temperature are appreciated by scuba divers and snorkelers, and at the same time, the long crescent-shaped bays are ruled by wild waves of the open Indian Ocean – and that makes South Lombok be much loved by surfers.

Holidaymakers can happily enjoy the placid way of life here and the nearby, whereas the hardly accessible hinterland and its isolated hill-tribe villages charm those looking for adventure. there is a lot of places to discover and a lot of things to do; the destination Kuta Lombok simply cannot fail to please.

Tanjung Aan Lagoon

Tanjung Aan Lagoon

The only way to move around Kuta is to rent a scooter. The tourist development is rapidly growing and Kuta became the premier holiday hot-spot of Lombok. You will find here surprisingly clean and pretty accommodation and nice waterfront warungs serving grilled fish and seafood. The town center is easy to walk but If you want to explore the striking neighborhood you will have to ride a scooter.

The glorious beaches of Seger and Tanjung Aan to the east of Kuta and the thriving fishing village of Awak will blow your mind away. West of Kuta, there is another bunch of phenomenal beaches to pay a visit to; Are Goleng & Selonk Blanak, Mawun Tampa, Mawi and Rowok are the best-kept secrets of South Lombok. One will easily get lost here in the network of narrow, unpaved and unmarked lanes, leading to these paradisiacal bays. The only way is to play around!

Awang Bay, a reputable surfing location

Awang Bay, a reputable surfing location

BELONGAS BAY & AWANG BAY

Surfers would typically head straight away towards the south-east coast, to the well-known Awang Bay. The experienced scuba divers will surely want to set out on a trip to the Belongas Bay in the west of Kuta so they can explore “The Magnet” of the open ocean to see if they are lucky enough to spot a school of the Hammerhead Sharks or the gigantic Manta Rays.

ESSENTIAL EXPERIENCES

  • Cultural encounter in traditional villages of Sade (pottery, threading, weaving)
  • Learn to surf on the main Kuta beach, ideal for the beginners
  • Book a day trip to Gili Nanngu, Tangkong and Sudak and discover one of the best snorkeling locations in Lombok.
  • Dive into the famous under ocean “Magnet”– the favorite diving spot in Belongas Bay (advanced open water divers only)
  • Rent a scooter and drive around the isolated Sasak villages in the south-west of Kuta
  • Dine in one of the local beach taverns of Kuta and taste the yummy Sasak food while watching the sunset

Belongas BayBelongas Bay

NOTE

Lombok is a Muslim enclave and travelers should remain dressed appropriately. Especially, the female solo travelers need to be careful what they are wearing to avoid uncomfortable situations. The island is still quite undeveloped country and local people are not that open-minded about the dress code, not to mention that the Islamic beliefs are very conservative.


WHEN TO TRAVEL

Surprisingly, the most beautiful season on the island is the wet season (November-April). It is when the landscape turns lush and bright-green and humidity decreases. Besides, the surfing conditions are reasonably better, especially for the advanced surfers.

However, if you are after sunshine and heat, the best time is the dry season (June-September), which is extremely hot and dusty, and prices go up in South Lombok.

Underwater lovers will definitely want to arrive in the months of March-June or October-November, for the best underwater visibility and calm waters.


HOW TO GET THERE

Fly to Bali/Denpasar and take a Perama shuttle bus to Padang Bai, from where a speedboat will bring you to Lombok/Senggigi. Alternatively, you can have a stopover in the Gili Islands on your way if time allows before you arrive in Senggigi.

If you do not wish to stop in Gilis, there are also frequent Pelni ships operating between Bali/Padang Bai and Lombok/Lembar, which is probably the cheapest way to get to Lombok (4-5 hours trip)

There is an international airport in Lombok/Mataram as well, but the flights tend to be quite expensive.

For all international flights check out www.skyscanner.com or www.momondo.com

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Eva Bodova

By Eva Bodova

Wednesday 15 June 2016

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