I don’t mind having too much blue in my feed. After one full week enjoying the solitary work-leisure activities in West Sumbawa, I extended my trip to the infamous Lombok. Lombok which in local language means ‘chili‘ is located at West Nusa Tenggara province and often being called as the ‘unspoiled’ Bali. It has one of the most beautiful beach-list in Indonesia with its emerald blue sea, white sands, and crystal clear sea. You can do beach hopping all day and seeing some of the buffalo troops by the sea which is not a weird view in Lombok. This is one of the place I would love to always go back!
I took a morning flight from Benete Port, West Sumbawa to Lombok Praya International Airport. I met my fun and quirky friend, Clara, there. I couldn’t ask for a better travel-mate than her! We grabbed a cab and then went straight to Novotel Lombok Hotel which took us around 1 hour from the airport to this place.
Novotel Lombok Hotel
I’ve stayed at Novotel in so many cities, and Novotel Lombok is the best yet so far. It is located at the South Lombok and probably the only decent (well, decent is a humbling word – actually it’s supposed to be great!) hotel in that area. Not like Senggigi area which has so many great resorts, South Lombok is indeed more calm and traditional and Novotel is probably the best choice if you want to spend the night there.
The hotel has its own private beach and this is literally the best spot for chilling. It has various of fun events, such as ‘Movie @the Beach’ and ‘Daily Sunset Yoga.’ The swimming pool is also located at the best spot where you can dip in while watching people having fun playing beach volley and even the sunset. There is a small hill at the end of the beach where you can take a short trekking too if you want to sweat a bit. I don’t want to miss saying this, this hotel also has the best SPA service for you! (Of course, Clara and I wouldn’t take it as a self-pampering trip without a SPA). In the night, you can have dinner at the hotel restaurant which also hold different live performance show every day, like acoustic night or some traditional shows.
We spent the first day (actually half-day since we landed at Lombok already around mid-day) at the hotel and it was the best choice ever! Novotel Lombok is super comfy and you wouldn’t ever be bored to spend the day there. If you go with your family, maybe your kids, it’s also not a problem. Your kids will have so many fun activities options while you can sit back and relax by the pool or the beach.
The next day, we went beach hopping from early morning at around 9AM. One day is definitely enough to explore all the beaches in South Lombok. The beaches are located very close to each other (and very close to Novotel Lombok too) so that you won’t need to spend a lot of time on the road. There are several options of transportation. You can go renting a motorbike if you can ride one, or just go to Tiket.com and rent a car with local driver like us! The price of renting a car around Lombok area is around IDR 400-600k (USD 30-45) for one day. If you rent it for only half-day it will be cheaper. And of course, if you are travelling in a big group (5-7 people) the cost will be even lower since you can divide the cost among your group.
Here are the list of beautiful beaches in South Lombok where you may want to visit:
If you are into a secluded and not so crowded beach like me, Mawun Beach will be the perfect one. It is located only 10 minutes away from Novotel. This beach has an adorable view where you can see the perfect line between the blue sky and blue sea in the middle of two hills in your right and your left. The perfect white sands meeting the waves always tempted you to run into the water. Enough splashing our feet with the glorious waves, we threw some shades by laying at the lounge chairs by the beach under the trees. We need to pay IDR 60K (4 bucks) to use the lounge chair and got two fresh iced coconuts. What a bliss!
Selong Belanak Beach
Going further, we went to Selong Belanak Beach. It’s different from Mawun Beach which has less people visiting the beach, Selong Belanak is more crowded and lively. The waves are just perfect for those who would want to try surfing, but doesn’t have enough skills to do one. Therefore, there are so many surfing lessons offered in this place, starting from the beginner (just so that you can stand on the surf board) to the advanced one. There are more food stalls where you can sit while enjoying the ambiance with the perfect cold beers or iced coffee. The kind of life I wish I could live forever.
Tanjung Aan Beach
Now, we went back to the direction to the hotel. We stopped by to grab some lunch in the area (There are not many choices of decent restaurant here. However, since I’m actually a good eater and fine with anything – I’m okay), then we went to the next beach, which is Tanjung Aan. Tanjung Aan Beach is probably the most crowded one compared to the other two. There are so many merchant stalls, kids selling bracelets, or people offering boat trip to small islands near the beach. I don’t really enjoy a crowded place, so… yeah, we only here for like 5 or 10 minutes, taking photos and that’s all.
The next place I’m going to tell you is probably the highlight of the trip. The place is called as Merese Hills. We arrived to a huge parking lot where there are many cars or even buses there. Some of the food stalls are also available there for snacking. I grabbed a bottle of mineral water and you might also want to do so… because we would need to walk a bit to the top of the hills for around 10-15 minutes. It’s just a short track I know, but since the weather in Lombok is super hot (I’ve ever heard people joking like… Lombok has two suns, that’s why it’s super hot! Lol.), a bottle of cold water will be such a huge help. The hill is not steep, it’s just a walking distance with quite incline. You can see green meadows in your surroundings and (again) buffalo. Once you arrive at the top, you wouldn’t believe what’s in your eyes. I’ve known Lombok since a very long time, but I never knew that Lombok has this kind of place! You can see the sea unfolded before your eyes from the top of the hills. It was… breathtaking!
Spending almost one day in the South Lombok, we went back to the hotel and prepared to go to Gili Trawangan in the next day. I will cover the trip to the Lombok’s Gilis in the next post.