Rinjani trekking 4 days/3 night
Day 1, got picked up from the hotel at 5 o'clock in the morning, still very sleepy. it takes about 2 hours to get to Senaru, after having a light breakfast, we ride for another hour to Sembalun. For me personally i think, to start the trek from Sembalun rather than senaru, it's better. It;s your choice really? do you want shady tropical forest first or do you want barren grass land. i started from Sembalun. It;s hot, not so many trees for shade. Walk and Walk up the hill.
Day2. got woken up at 2.30 AM for climbing the peak and watched the sunrise, it 's too early, dark and cold. Midday the journey was easier, it was going down the hill, to get to the lake.
For me it;s the best part of the trip. Nice view of the lake, plus hot spring ( it;s nice sulphuric hot bath)
Day3. It;s going back trip, you can choose to get really early, and dont have to stay overnight near. But on the third day, it;s climbing up again, and i choosed to have another hot bath :). So left the lake during midday.
Day4. It;s the easiest part of the journey, basically walking up a little bit, through forest.
- Hiking and Walking
- National/State Park
Senggigi - good idea badly executed
Let's face it, it's a bit of a dump Senggigi. People talk about 'charming' and 'scenic' and other nicey nicey words that they've been brainwashed into believing from their guidebook, but I can only assume that they got on the wrong bus and ended up somewhere else.
Senggigi main street at least is about as scenic as a rubbish dump - broken glass ground into the rubbish strewn ..........pavements? Can I even call them that? Dusty areas in front of run down shops would probably be a better description.
It's not a nice place. The beach is OK, the resorts that look after their own area outside are OK, but the main areas of town are best driven through on a fast bike.
I know people are having a hard time financially at the moment but it doesn't cost anything to tidy up the front of your shop and pick up the junk and it doesn't cost anything to sit by your stall or shop and smile at tourists while letting them browse at their own pace.
I'm sure that if the vendors in Senggigi put more energy into cleaning the place up and less into frightening off any potential customers, they'd have a higher success rate. The only shop I ever saw any tourists visiting was a wood carving shop where the owner sat outside (on a chair in his well-swept shopfront!) reading the newspaper and minding his own business.
we saw some excellent wildlife around Lombok. The first was when snorkelling and we saw turtles swimming along happily. Sitting on the upstairs balcony of our apartment one night while it was quiet I also saw a Binturong (bearcat) walking across the grass and then it disappeared up a tree when someone walked up the path towards it. Lastly we were out around the south (Tanjung Ann beach) and came across a sea snake curled up in a small rock pool waiting for the tide to come in (they're very venomous so I'm glad we saw it before we got any closer).
Snorkelling trip to the Gilis
There are more than one group of Gilis (Gili, I believe, means 'island'), but the Gilis that most people go to are the ones in the north west of Lombok - Gili Air, Gili Trawangan and Gili Meno.
We went on a snorkelling trip with Blue Marlin who mainly do SCUBA diving but they take some snorkellers along too. We got taken from our resort in a car to Bangsai and got one of their boats from there. Most of the people on the boat were learning to dive but a few of us snorkelled and one of the guys from the boat came in with us and pointed out things like turtles and clown fish (all the 'must sees' of a snorkel trip!). None of us had ever seen turtles in the wild before so that was a real bonus.
We stopped on Gili Trawangan and had an hour or so to look around and have lunch somewhere. The Dive company were quite relaxed about what you did and a couple of people didn't enjoy the snorkelling (it was their first time) so they asked if they could stay on the island and have a look around instead of coming on the afternoon trip, which they did and we picked them up on the way back to Lombok.
The whole thing was only US$20 each so it was a real budget trip compared to some of these all day boat trips, but lunch and drinks weren't included so you'd need to take some water and some cash for lunch, but that worked well for us as there was lots of choice on the island and we weren't restricted to going to the same place as everyone else.
Unfortunately I haven't got any photos of the day as, like a plonker, I forgot to charge my camera battery!
Tanjung Aan Bay near Kuta
At the south coast of Lombok, near Kuta village, you can still find the ideal beach: white sand, safe swimming in a bay, deserted except for a few villagers who for a small amount will serve you with a fresh coconut. The best beach in our opinion is near the Aan Peninsula (Tanjung Aan).
To get there, stay in one of several hotels at Kuta village, and hire a motorbike.
- Budget Travel
Museum Negeri NTB
We had a rainy day in Mataram, so we sought out the Museum Negeri Nusa Tenggara Barat (NTB province State Museum). Although we came after closing hours, a warden let us in and showed us around.
The museum has a geology part, with displays on the geology of Indonesia generally and NTB province more in particular.
And a culture and history part on Lombok and Sumbawa.
The warden told us they have plans to build a new wing across the road, but so far the money has not been forthcoming!
Opening hours: 8 am to 2 pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays; 8 am to 11 am on Saturdays and Sundays. Mondays and Fridays closed.
- Arts and Culture
- Museum Visits
This small touristic town is the most developed area for tourists, it´s a pleasant village with a wide option of accomodation, from five star hotels like the Oberoi to small hostels. The town is located along the coastal road that continues to Bangsal, the main port if you want to visit the Gili islands.
The Sasak represents the main part of the island population. They came to Lombok from Northwest India and Burma (Myanmar) in the 14th century. They live mainly from agriculture, and unlike other muslims they have a Caste system; there are four castes; the highest Datu, the second Radem, the third Buling and the four Jajar Karam. They keep specific rituals for marriage and circumcison. I visited a small village on my way from Kuta to Senggigi with some interesting huts and a small mosque.
Meet the monkeys at Pusuk Pass
In the early seventies you could still meet them along main roads on Java, e.g. in the teak forests near Weleri and near Ngawi: monkeys begging for food. However, with dense traffic on Java these days are long gone.
So meet them at Lombok's Hutan Monyet or Monkey Forest. Unlike Monkey Forest at Sangeh, Bali, these monkeys still live in undisturbed forest. You find them near Pusuk Pass, the highest point in the road straight north from Mataram. At the pass is a parking, where you see the first monkeys. But all along the road through the forest another km or so you may find them.
It is said these macaques can be aggressive, especially the males. We did not find them so. Stick to these rules and they will eat from your hand:
- never touch them, try to caress them or hold their hand.
- do not try to cheat them by withdrawing food you are offering them.
And while you are here, take the short walk to Pura Manik Sari. See our OTBP tips.
- Road Trip
- Jungle and Rain Forest
Stop at Batubolong Temple
While driving to the ferry for the Gilis, make a stop at Pura Batubolong. Or walk there from your stay at Senggigi beach.
This temple is reminiscent of Bali's Tanah Lot, and named after a hole in the rock on which it is built. We found the local priest eager to reminisce on the equivalence of all religions ("one God under different names worshipped with different customs").
On clear days from the temple one can see as far as Mount Agung on Bali, unfortunately it was raining when we were here.
- Road Trip
- Arts and Culture
Gili Trawangan is one of 3 famous gilies/ small islands nearby Lombok Island.
to reach it, you must go to Bangsal Port, the take the public boat for about 20 minutes sailing.
cost per pax is around IDR 20 vice versa. The schedule is every hour or you better check first at the port.
but if you decided to stay over at gili trawangan, you may choose various bed & breakfast there.
I recomended Dream Village, it owned by Mr Augusto, a friendly italian.
another inn that may attract you are many surrounding Gilli T, just go see all first before you choose.
Gili T has fabolous beaches and great spots for snorkeling, the local opens many rental shop for snorkeling and diving.
- Budget Travel
The famous beach of Lombok, but I wasn't too impress since it was dirty and too many hawker offering me stuffs that i don't need.
but worth to try is the restaurant called Cafe Alberto.
It was nice italian resto with a great view
- Budget Travel
Gili Air - the nearest gili
The nearest Gili to the main island of Lombok is Gili Air (Water Island). When i went for snorkeling between the three gilis, i guess this is the best spot. Most of the coral still intact and colorful. I have a chance to meet a baby clam here!
Not far from here, there are few people went for scuba.
we stopped for our lunch here and the food was good even tough the it is bit pricey. Anyway, it is understandable that anything is more expensive than the main land.
There are also few places for staying overnight.
- Diving and Snorkeling
- Water Sports
This is the middle 'gili' of the famous three gilis. I have not specifically get off into this island but it is equally beautiful as the other two. I have the nearest chance to see this island when the boat that i took from Sengigi made a stop to drop off some passenger.
No jetty being used, u have to go down to the water from the boat to make your way to the shore. No worry because the water is clear and clean. There are few places to stay here in this island.
- Diving and Snorkeling
Gili means 'island' from local language. So you can find lots of Gilis around Lombok (as the mother of gilis). Gili Trawangan is one of the most beautiful island off Lombok. It is part of the famous 3 gilis, the other 2 gilis is Meno and Air.
To go here, you can take boats from Bangsal jetty or straight from Sengigi beach. To alight the direct boat from Sengigi, you can approach one travel company that have an office in front of Lina Hotel. It may give you less hassle than you have to go to Bangsal.
The best thing about Trawangan is that you can have a lots choice of places to stay and no motorised transportation are allowed here. There are only bicycles and 'cidomo' horse-cart. Less pollution and fresher air.
Very peaceful and this place alive with party at nite!
- Diving and Snorkeling
- Plenty of choices
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