Lombok island is just ~5 hours (by public ferry) distant from famous Bali island. It’s colorful, not crowded place with beautiful beaches, surrounded by other small unsettled islands and can offer many different activities all around the island. Like many villagers told us, unfortunately but Bali bombing in 2002 affected tourism in this island. Many people no more travel so much inside the Lombok. Only most famous Lombok places still popular, but many other spots disappearing from travelers wish lists.
We traveled 3 weeks in Lombok and wanted to see different parts of this island but pity, in my opinion, already some places not so attractive anymore (even if in internet I found impressive descriptions).
My list of Lombok places that I recommend to think before going there.
FOR BEACH LOVERS
#1 Bangko-Bangko beach
Located on the South West Coast of Lombok (~3 hours drive from Kuta Lombok). Bangko-Bangko well known among experienced surfers and call this place “Desert point”. Surfers say that this beach has “one of the best waves on the planet”.
But before “desert point” there is other part of the beach which has no waves, no proper place to lie down or have a nice swim. Most of the beach is occupied by fisherman boats, instead of sand you will find rubbish and thousands of shells that smells badly. Even if the water is crystal clear to enjoy proper rest is not the right place.
#2 Labuhan Haji beach
Located on the Eastern part of Lombok (~2-3 hours drive from Mataram city). This beach is in Labuhan city (or Tanjung Kayangan) which is a port to go to Sumbawa island.
It’s lovely to see the outlines of Sumbawa from this beach but probably it’s all that this place can offer (even if I felt quite peaceful there). Like Bangko-Bangko this beach is full of rubbish, fisherman boats. But still local people come here to meet sunsets. If you are waiting ferry to Sumbawa and need to “kill” the time it can be the option, but to stop specially I think not worth.
FOR TEMPLES LOVERS
#3 Pura Mayura in Mayura garden-water palace
Mayura park is located in business and store centre in Cakranegara , Mataram city.
According to a park keeper, the main spirit of this park is a temple which located in the beginning of the pool. But this temple is often missed because the park’s attractive side and the visitor’s attention are widely covered by the park’s vast area. In the temple area and the worship place, there are 4 main temples. Even if this place was a location of some of the fierce battles that took place between Dutch and Balinese forces in 1894 but unfortunately it has become a neglected public park with a polluted artificial lake.
Only if you are visiting temple “Pura Meru” (which is very close to this water palace) and have some extra time, you can come here but honestly it’s nothing that worth to see. Entrances to temples area is closed (you can walk only in the park). By accident we enter one of the area but lately were asked to leave.
#4 Pura Segara
Pura Segara is not big Balinese temple, close to a Ampenan north beach. To the northeast of the temple you can see an old Chinese cemetery. Inside the temple is very clean and somebody take care of it well, but just outside the wall you will see full beach of small boats and remains of offerings. Maybe to visit this temple during celebrations could be nice but in simple day – you won’t find anything special, exclusive. We even were more interested what fisherman’s were doing just beside temple area wall.
FOR HANDICRAFTS LOVERS
#5 Pringgasela village
It’s located around 54 km from Mataram city (~ 1-2 hours drive from Mataram). Even if somewhere you will find that you can see here many different waving tools, various string weaving and “songket” (fabric embroidered with silver/gold thread) weaving etc. I want to disappoint you. This village was prosperous before Bali bombing. Unfortunately now only couple families still waving and we found only 1 place open. Like the owner told, we can see many signs of shops but none of them is working. So from all waving village left operating properly 1 family. And prices really not the cheapest, in Yogyakarta (Java island) you can find much cheaper the same textiles.
#6 Beleka village
Located about 57 km from Mataram city (~ 1-2 hours drive from Mataram). This village was presented like the oldest and the biggest wicker handicraft and souvenir center in Lombok island. But when we arrived we didn’t see almost anyone, only couple kids and that’s all. Yes we saw some poetry factories but they were closed. We were driving around hoping to meet anyone, but unfortunately. Maybe they open everything when its weekend or they know that will come bigger group of tourists? Nobody knows.
Maybe some of the people won’t agree with me, but as well I don’t think it’s worth to visit Senggigi, Sasak village and Gili Trawangan.
Senggigi is very touristic place without any special beach (to which, in some parts, you need to pay entry fee) and the prices are really higher than in other places. Sasak village even if unique but so small. Village guides tries to show you everything during 15 min., people selling mostly textile from factory (not made by hand). And Gili Trawangan – probably became just “must to go” place and “must to take sunset picture on the swing”. Reading how many different type crimes happen there I still wondering why people want to go there. I could say that it’s a place similar to Kuta Bali – if you like such places, and then you should be there as well.
Here are mentioned places on the map:
If you have been in Lombok, which places you liked and would recommend to visit? Do you have any Lombok places where you would really like to go?