When I was new here in Indonesia one of the places that people recommened me to visit is
in Lombok. I’ve been hearing a lot of good things about this place.. Well good and bad. Good in the sense that this place is actually really laid back and simple, bad because they said it’s “empty.”
We spent 5 days in Lombok mainly in Senggigi as our home base and this is actually what I can say about this magnificent island.
The main city is Mataram which is about and hour and a half drive from the airport. Don’t expect a big, state of the art airport tho. Just to give you a heads up. Although it was not bad at all. Small but a functioning airport.
If you want to see good beach then better stay out of Senggigi or Mataram..
You know, the crowded places. Don’t expect fine white sands and amazing shore line since those area are crowded. But if you drive up north, you will see beautiful shores that are bare touched. One of my favorite was Pantai Pandanan. It is about 40 minutes drive from Senggigi by motorbike. Going there, you will see brilliant coasts while driving. I was actually enchanted with everything I saw.
Driving around with motorbike is the best idea since you can actually enjoy the view while on the road. It does look empty because it’s not as established as Bali or the neighboring gili islands but going there is worth the try. The fact that it is not crowded and is being used mostly as “transit to gili islands” makes it less abused by tourist hence you get to enjoy the beauty of the nature at its finest!
People are very friendly and helpful. Even if they are expected to be friendly because it is after all a “tourist spot” I can feel that they are pretty sincere with they way they welcome people. Plus they get to endure my very trying bahasa skills just to be able to communicate with them.
Even the food was amazing. I am not much of a fan of Indonesian cooking, but whenever I am outside Jakarta, I actually get to enjoy their food. Quality and taste is better outside the city.
If you are into surfing, there are some spots here where you can actually surf or learn how to surf especially in Mangsit area. You will see some boards for rent. (sorry, I didn’t ask for the rental fee)
Over all, it was a well spent 5 days in Lombok. So, don’t worry about Lombok being an “empty island.” So much to explore and to experience!