Lombok & Gili Islands - The Maldives of Indonesia.
I have been to Bali 4 times in the past 4 years and to my surprise, Lombok and i never crossed paths. Bali was love at first sight and my love for Indonesia skyrocketed after discovering Lombok & Gili Islands! Indonesia made me feel guilty about not exploring Asia enough and Lombok was a wake-up call!
Let me attempt to familiarise you with the Geography of Lombok & Gili Islands first. Lombok is located East of Bali and the Gili Islands is located near the coast of Northwest of Lombok. The Gili Islands is made up of 3 tiny islands - Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air.
During my short 3 days stay here with my husband, we only managed to explore Central and South of Lombok + Gili Trawangan. Wish we had more time to explore Lombok and the rest of the Gili Islands. If you are heading here, do stay for 5 days at least. And if you are planning to trek Mount Rinjani (northeast of Lombok), stay here for a week at least!
Where to stay in Lombok
The North of Lombok has all the gorgeous waterfalls and the South has all the stunning beaches. If you want to be located optimally to explore the North, South and take a day trip to Gili Islands, i strongly recommend you to stay at Senggigi area which is centrally located. From Lombok International Airport to Senggigi, it's a 45 mins drive. See map of Lombok above.
We stayed at an Airbnb accommodation called "Mama Bella's Retreat" located at Senggigi area. Look at how blue their pool is! Click here to get the Airbnb details. This location is within easy walking distance to Senggigi beach, supermarkets, local restaurants, cafes, beauty/massage salons and nightlife around Senggigi.
Getting around in Lombok & Gili Trawangan + 3 Day relaxing itinerary in Lombok
For places located within 15-30 mins from our Airbnb in Lombok, we walked. To get from our Airbnb location in Senggigi area to the South where all the beautiful beaches are, we traveled via metered taxi. It takes about 1.5 hours to travel from Senggigi to the South.
Here's a glimpse of our spontaneous 3.5 days itinerary:
Day 1 (Half day): Exploring the Senggigi area on foot
- Senggigi beach
- Senggigi town
- Grocery/Local snack shopping at the supermarkets nearby
- Dinner at a local restaurant at Senggigi and watch sunset
Day 2: Day trip to Gili Trawangan
- 30 mins taxi ride to Pelabuhan Ferry Bangsal (Ferry Terminal)
- Took a Public ferry from Bangsal Ferry Terminal to Gili Trawangan (1 hour)
- Within Gili Trawangan, you can get around by walking. The only modes of transport here are horse carriages and bicycles!
Day 3: Explore the South of Lombok - Beach hopping!
- 1.5 hours taxi ride to Tanjung Aan beach (the most beautiful beach here!)
- On the way to the South: Banyumulek village for some pottery action
- On the way to the South: Sasak village to get immersed in Lombok's traditional culture
- Lunch at Warung Turtle located at Tanjung Aan beach
- Hike up Bukit Merese hill for jaw droppping natural landscapes
- Kuta beach
- Mawun beach
Day 4 (Half day): Pool time at the Airbnb & chill at Senggigi beach before our afternoon flight back to Singapore.
Favourite moments from this trip
Didn't expect such a warm welcome at our Airbnb!
Exploring Senggigi town on foot at sunset.
Gorgeous colours at sunset at Senggigi beach.
Just one of the many shops in the small village of Banyumulek selling pottery produced in Lombok. Wish i could take them all home!
Couldn't get enough of this view on the drive up to Bangsar Ferry Terminal! The taxi driver was kind enough to stop to let me take this picture!
Gili Trawangan, you have such beautiful waters!
The full body massage we had here at Azure Spa wasn't that fabulous but i could go on for another hour just for the view!
Roast House - Where you get the best chicken on the island! Our generous roasted chicken lunch plates at Gili Trawangan.
Made the husband try these on! These are called Songkoks. (I should probably blur out the last word on his t-shirt!)
Beach life at Tanjung Aan beach. This one's my favourite-st beach in Lombok. You HAVE to come here when you are in Lombok.
The obligatory coconut shot at the beach.
Glorious, glorious local food at Warung Turtle located at Tanjung Aan beach.
After lunch at Tanjung Aan beach, we hiked up Bukit Merese hill located right next to it. Look at the blue skies!
The views at the top were just EPIC! Highly recommend for you to visit Bukit Merese. (Write this down now!)
Panoramic views of Tanjung Aan beach from the top of Bukit Merese hill.
Kuta Beach. I remember this day to be the most perfect beach hopping day with the Lombok sun watching over us and us getting blown away by all the stunning natural landscapes around us!
All i could think was - "How does she do it?" Respect, lady!
Such a romantic setup at Asmara restaurant. We wanted to end our last night here with a great Indonesian meal and this restaurant did exactly that!
Lombok, it has been a pleasure!
Here's a little video of our trip created on Flipagram: https://flipagram.com/f/prVo929OfC