Lombok – an island with a difference
Early January, we took a short flight from Bali to Kuta, Lombok where we stayed for 7 nights. Kuta is a coastal town in the south of the island of Lombok.
It is said Lombok is like Bali 30 years ago and you can see why when you arrive you feel the slow paced island life that is a lot quieter, less developed and populated.
The scenery is spectacular, with cliffs and mountains reaching to the white sandy beaches and then there are rice fields in between.
People of Lombok are predominately Muslim and you see this by many woman and girls wearing head coverings and mosques are all around. It is amazing to see the dedication to the religion with 5 prayer times every day for around 15 mins each. The drivers we had explained that they just fit it into to their daily work schedule and for example would pray while waiting for their customer to finish dinner at a restaurant.
The sunsets were stunning from the beach and also from high above too. We did two amazing sunset walks. We walked about 20 minutes up these lush, green mountains that go on forever with ocean all around. You finally decide to stop and choose a place to watch the sunset and get the best photos of course!
The view from these mountains was simply breathtaking as you watch the waves crash onto to tiny isolated beaches below. We also saw water buffalos grazing high up on the mountain in the middle of nowhere!
We stayed at the Novotel which began 20 years ago and was the first hotel in the area. For many years it has been very quiet around Kuta and only recently are things being developed. We were told there was a stop on building and development by the government for a long time and only now are they promoting and pushing for new developments to be made. We saw huge baren areas that were zoned and getting ready for lots of building and were told chains like Club Med and the Marriott had bought up the land and were waiting for the green light. We feel we are fortunate to have experienced Lombok before it gets too crazy with hotels everywhere.
About a 10 minute walk from the hotel, I got to see wild monkeys that would hide in the mountains and then come running down out of nowhere to get eat some peanuts and bananas. There must have been about 20 Monkeys and you would watch as the King ate by himself and the little groups that would form and fights that would happen!
The beaches are some of the best in Indonesia with white sand and clear water and they don’t compare to any of the beaches we have been to in Bali.
On the last day we drove to a popular beach called Selong Belanok and along the way you see the tropical coconut trees set amongst rice fields and mountains. There was even an illegal gold mine that we passed too!
The kids tried boogie boarding for the first time at Selong Belanok beach and there were lots of beginner surfers taking lessons too. Amazing to witness a herd of Water buffalos walking along the sand as you are catching a wave! In fact, water buffalos are commonly found and we would see groups swimming in ponds and walking around clearings.
Another beautiful soft sand beach that your feet just loved to walk on was called Tanjung Aan. Here the kids swung on wooden beach swings and watched local fisherman throwing nets in the water. There are also some women who try and sell you the local hand woven sarongs and sheets. Balancing a heavy pile on their head they chat to tourists on the beach – and yes ok I bought one!
A huge highlight during our stay was the kids doing a horse ride to a secluded beach and washing their horses in the ocean. They then got to ride them into the deep water – we couldnt believe how deep they went! It was an unforgettable experience with these beautiful horses and one the kids will remember forever.
The kids also had a great time flying a kite on the beach, doing the Limbo at the night hotel show, making friends at the beach and of course lots of swimming.
Lombok you were great!!!