Travelogue: Lombok Indonesia, Next Destination To Visit

Hi everyone, I jetted off to Lombok two weeks ago for a short getaway cos the friend wanted to go there even though there’s really nothing much to do. I know, cos everyone will ask me ‘huh? What’s there to do at Lombok?’ But well, one can always chill there and do nothing. Sometimes, chilling is a luxury for a busy hectic work schedule

Lombok is an island in Indonesia and very close to the popular Bali. But contrary to her hip neighbour, Lombok is much less developed and commercialized and pretty much rustic and undisturbed (right now)

Mandatory boarding-pass-in-passport kinda shot

We flew by Garuda cos tickets were reasonable. Transited through Jakarta before another 3 hours flight to Lombok

T3 were having SG50 exhibition and they were kinda cute

Breakfast from Singapore to Jakarta: Omelette with Sausage.

The other selection was nasi goreng with ayam and I’m like =O how do people eat rice so early in the morning?

The nicest thing was probably the sausage and the tomato pasta sauce. The egg doesn’t taste like egg, the potatoes were pretty bland and the muffin was dry and tough

There was inflight entertainment! But the selection was limited and the headset didn’t fit nicely or maybe it’s just too big for me

Taking the bus to our airplane at the domestic terminal

I think we sport the Indon-Chinese look for people to speak to us in Bahasa everywhere we go =/

Sweets from Garuda

Lunch from Jakarta to Lombok

It was supposed to be nasi goreng with ayam. Can I say it tasted bad? I was surprised the food on domestic flight was pretty bad, given it’s longer flight time and I thought the one on the international leg was cui already. How did they win best economy class? This is a mystery

I love taking photos of clouds on the airplane

And finally, Lombok airport!

We arranged for airport pickup from the hotel but in my opinion, you can just take a taxi from the airport which will probably cost about IDR200k-250k to Senggigi area

On the way to the hotel where there was a celebration of some sort going on, which explains the balloons

An hour later.. (yeah we spent half the day travelling)

The driver said to us, welcome home. We stayed at The Puncak which was located on a hill in Senggigi area which makes the location chilly and windy at all times, okay, most of the times. The Puncak has only 5 rooms, which makes it exclusive and you can be assured service will be attentive. ย We were also very fortunate that we were the only customers for the time we were there so it felt like booking the whole hotel and a personal butler to ourselves (yay, how awesome)

Pool with a view

Table outside the room where you have your meals

Welcome drinks

The coconut drink was delicious by the way. And you saved the effort of not having to scrap the coconut meat

I’m actually impressed they decorated the whole room with flowers, from the bed to the shower room. It makes the whole place sweet smelling and the bed, was super comfortable ๐Ÿ˜€

The hotel also has a list of tours being offered, which I think it is cheaper than what is being offered online. My suggestion is you don’t have to necessarily book your Lombok tours online prior since most hotels will also have tours offered on their end and who knows, their rate might be better. If not, just walk along Senggigi area, you will find some tour agencies along the stretch. In this case, the hotel owner was close to one of the tour agency so they probably partnered to get a better deal. We gave them so much business the agency owner invited us for dinner. lol, more on that later

Cos day 1 supposed to be a chill-and-do-nothing day, we spent most of the time in the pool and using the phone cos wifi is pretty intermittent in the room

And watching flowers go by #imjustkidding

Sunset Drinks

They provide sunset drinks everyday which I grew to love, to a point when the drinks were not here, I became restless. Haha the friend was saying I’m spoilt by the drinks

And of course, watching the sunset

View from the room or rather, room with a view

So I had actually emailed the hotel prior and asked if they could do something for the friend’s birthday. And it was a difficult act to make it a surprise for the friend cos there were hiccups here and there. I knew it was supposed to be a candlelight dinner but honestly, I was surprised by the setup

Seriously, candlelight dinner has never been so romantic. It felt as though I was proposing. Lol

Mojito IDR 95k

Baileys Icecream IDR 95k

Tomato w Mozzarella Salad IDR 85k

Tom Yum Goong IDR 85k

Grilled Mahi Mahi Steak IDR185k

With a side of salad

Carbonara w Bacon IDR 125k

Belgium Pancakes IDR 75k

And condiments for the pancakes

I would say food is generally decent and the carbonara earns the most praises out of the lot. The menu is limited to the point, at first glance and I know what to order for both of us. It is not the most impressive but the generous portion sure makes up for it and for a place that is up in the hills with no restaurants nearby, there’s nothing more you can ask for

Happy birthday! ๐Ÿ™‚

The hotel even specially ordered a cake for her, like wow

I think I’m such a nice friend #justsaying #myfriendsmusttreasureme hahahaa

And then, we knocked out as we prepare for Day 2

xx

The thing about holidays is sometimes you just want to maximise the most out of it and you spent little time sleeping

Sky at 630am, a shade of beautiful colours

Breakfast is served from 7-11am and they will give you a form to fill your choices between International or Indonesian breakfast the previous day

So we chose International with choice of drink (French pressed coffee), choice of egg (omelette) with pastry of the day, bread, bacon, sausage, a platter of fruits and a whole array of yoghurt, cereal, milk, freshly squeezed orange juice and yakult (no kidding, they even give yakult). Breakfast is inclusive of the room package which makes it pretty value for money

And the hotel dog popped by, which makes me run far away. Ha

Day 2 was Gili island day, which we booked it through the hotel. Yeah it’s probably the main attraction in Lombok so must visit!

Enroute to the the set off point

Just looking at the waters makes me excited already. How blue can!

Located at the northwest of Lombok, it’s a pretty long boat ride from Senggigi to Gilis which takes about an hour, depending on the waves

That’s a fishing boat by the way. It’s not a pirate ship, just in case if you are wondering

And we spot the 3 islands ahead! Can you see? From left, Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air. We chose to visit 2 out of 3 islands so that we can enjoy them at our own pace. So we chose the snorkeling island (Gili Meno) and honeymoon island (Gili Air) and left out the party island (Gili Tralala). Yeah we are just not party animals

At Gili Meno which we are ready to snorkel

Reviews on Gili island are true when they say the water is crystal clear, like sparkling clear you can see the (dead) corals even from the boat

That’s our guide!

I am super proud of the friend cos she doesn’t know how to swim and she actually snorkeled! And she even went before me just cos I don’t know how to snorkel. Ha

Reaching to the deep blue and swimming with the fishes

It’s really pretty underwater by the way. The clear water makes it even more enticing. Our guide loaned me his goggles which he claimed was top quality which I agreed cos snorkeling was a success for both of us, so yay #achievementunlock

Proceeded on to Gili Air for lunch which the guide brought us to this place. He said the food here is good, which I begged to differ

But, it is a good place to chill

Like overlooking the sea and enjoying the breeze. You will be surprised how windy it gets after awhile, to the point I had to suggest to sit on the beach under the sun to get some warmth. Yeah pretty unbelievable

And lunch is served

Hot Lemon Tea

Ice Lemon Squash

Pretty weird it says lemon on the menu and they gave lime, but oh wells

I can’t remember what I ordered but it tasted like fried onion soup with seafood, Indonesian style

Beef Rendang, with beef cubes so hard you have difficult chewing

Chicken Satay

The food here, really cannot make it. But for IDR 182k on a touristy place, you cannot complain. The guides don’t eat there cos for them it’s too expensive so they only eat when they go home. omg, how hungry they must be

And so we went to sit on the beach, bask in the sun, collect seashells and take more photos

Model worthy shot! I think I am a good photographer

Gilis is really pretty, probably cos it’s not so touristy and the environment is much more undisturbed

Enjoying the blue skies, blue waters and good weather ๐Ÿ™‚

And bringing a magazine/book to read so you can really chill there

It is really windy there

So we left the island at 2.30pm just cos the guide says the water might get too choppy on the way back

This is our guide, Dany and for those who are interested to engage his services, his contacts as above. He does not only do Gilis tour but also a range of others. We paid IDR500k each for the Gili island tour to the agency but according to him, if you engage him directly, he gets a bigger cut of income. I think our experience with him was pretty good, given we were the only customers in the whole boat and it was a 1-to-1 snorkelling experience

So after which we went back hotel to chill in the pool, bathe and nap before waking up to..

Our sunset drinks! yay

It’s just a mixture of strawberries and grapes but it’s good

We hired a driver for the evening which costs IDR 350k for 4 hours to take us anywhere we want to go so we headed off to Malimbu, a 15 minutes drive away from Senggigi, andย a famous destination to watch sunset

And just cos everyone has the same idea as us

The sun sets really fast, so preferably be there by 6pm if you want to catch it

So we asked the hotel what are some local cafes he would recommend for dinner for we would like to try some Indonesian food, and he recommended this place called Jessica Fey. So on the way to Malimbu, I googled the name of the cafe but it turns up nothing and I told the friend, eh don’t have leh. No cafes, only names of people on LinkedIn. So we decided to ask the driver if he has heard of Jessica Fey and he was like yes, it’s a cafe in Senggigi which serves really good Indonesia food and he drove us there. In the back of our mind, we were like ‘wah, really have, maybe google not updated’ So when we reached the place, and we looked up to the signboard, this was what we saw

YESSY CAFE

Yessy Cafe = Jessica Fey?! zomg, we burst out laughing, and couldn’t stop. The driver must have thought we were nuts. I’m surprised the driver can understand what we talking about. He, is a genius

Still early for dinner but as time passes, the place gets filled up by lots of tourists. I think they were probably judging us for taking photos of the food but whatever, I don’t care

Dinner!

Soda Gembira IDR 20k (left) Mixed Juice IDR 15k (right)

Soda Gembira is basically bandung with soda, which tasted pretty strange if you ask me. The mixed juice has a strong banana taste which I thought they use the whole bunch of bananas in it or something

Tahu Goreng IDR 15k

Very normal and decent fried tofu with chilli sauce that tasted like Mcdonald’s garlic chilli sauce. Even though it’s normal, it was delicious and had a slice of home

Ayam Bakar Taliwang IDR 55k

We went for the grilled whole chicken though I think the chickens here are all on diet. There was hardly any meat and we gave up eating after awhile

Grilled Snapper w Yessy Sauce IDR 60k

The fish was really good. You could taste the burnt and sweet taste of the fish and the house chilli sauce complements it well and the portion was big too

Fried Pineapple Served w Lombok Honey IDR 25k

It has a really nice batter, crispy without being too oily but the pineapple was tasteless. It was neither sweet nor sour so when you bite everything together, it just tasted confusing

We visited the first branch of Yessy cafe (yes, they have 2 which are pretty near each other) just cos we thought old is gold. Even though there were pretty bad reviews on this place, I thought it was generally okay. I mean 2/3 dishes, that’s pretty not bad already

So that calls the end to day 2

Night view of the hotel

They specially lit the lamps on the walkway for us every night and took it away once we reached home. So nice please

It was a good place to star gaze too, just if you had nothing else to do

xx

Rise & Shine Day 3

I would say our sleep pattern is really disciplined, down at 10pm and up at 6am everyday

Breakfast: Mee Goreng w Puncak Tea (Ginger Tea)

And the whole range of fruits, yoghurt, milk, cereal, orange juice, yakult

I decided to load myself up with carbs in the morning in view of the cycling tour we booked for the day (IDR 400k each). It’s gonna be a tiring one. ha, but I have to say this plate of mee goreng is pretty delicious. I love the nasi lemak taste-alike chilli sauce, the awesome prawn crackers and the satay which beats the one at Gili island. The only complain was the egg, which tasted fairly strange

Finding inner peace #imjustkidding #itsjustforphotos

So we were picked up in a local transport, aka the pink van, and brought to the bike shop to test the bikes. I think if we were to walk along the streets, we would have never imagine we could rent a bicycle at such hut

We were driven to a place south of Senggigi which apparently dons many rice paddies which we could start our adventure and sight-seeing

The classic moment when the friend told me, shit, I forgot how to cycle. So she spent 10 minutes warming up with the guide leading her while I took photos

Many villages along the way, really kampong style

Sun-ning their rice

We spotted many pok pok keh, like really many many

Horses and cows were not uncommon either

And of course, the start of many rice paddies

Resting at a typical kazebo cos we were quite tired and the guide told us these kazebos provide shade and a place for the villagers to eat their meals when they were out working in the sun, tending to their rice fields

Grabbed this off my snapchat just cos I forgot to take a photo of it. And yes, I cannot believe the fruit is called Singapore, because it is small and sweet. Well I know Singapore is small, not too sure about the sweet part

This is a typical Warung, a small family-run business/restaurant, Indonesian style

Nothing fanciful, just snacks and simple dishes

They even rear their own pok pok keh

So fat! I was telling the friend, wah, this will make a good ayam bakar taliwang and she scolded me – how can you say it infront of the chicks! LOL, but it’s true what.. as compared to the one we had the previous night ๐Ÿ˜‰

Sorry chick, it’s just a matter-of-fact. Grow up healthy ๐Ÿ˜€

The celebrity moment came when our guide decided to take some time to pray so we were just resting and the kids started crowding around us. The kids in the area were all very cute. When you cycle past them, they will wave and shout either 1) hello 2) good morning or 3) selamat pagi. If not, you will hear the adults calling to them ‘tourists’ and they will all run out to see. Yeah, we never felt so much attention on us before. lol

During one part where we have to cross the river in a sampan and the guide has to transport our bikes across

Rowed by a kid #impressed

The sampan is actually quite scary..

It’s not free btw, the boy asked for IDR 5k from the guide

After 4 hours of cycling which take us across rocky paths, smelling haze, burnt rubbish, different kinds of dung, up a very steep slope and back down, plentiful villages, we finished our tour! We were so tired we have to stop halfway to get magnum cos it only costs S$1.30. Go where find, seriously

Dragging our tired body back to hotel to a welcome sight of this. #damncuteplease

So we spend some more time in the pool, napped, watched the sunset, waited for our drinks before we popped back down to Senggigi area to claim our free dinner

Here is the tour agency we engaged for all our tours. It is located beside papaya cafe, an easy location to spot

And right outside the agency stands the famous ‘Martabak’ stall, which everyone knows. The stall starts from 6.30pm till about 11pm, so come by and visit

The savoury side which you get to choose chicken or beefย fillings

The sweet martabak, known as Terang Bulan, which you get to choose a series of filling

The moment when you see they emptied half the condensed milk on your pancake #horror #nightmare

Martabak Telur Bebek Biasa IDR 22k

Murtabak with beef (with 2 eggs). This is by far the best thing we ate in Lombok. It’s so good anyone who visits Lombok must try this. For IDR 22k, it is super value for money (and filling)

Eat this piping hot, with the chilli. So good, no regrets

Cheese + Peanut IDR 22k

This is like Jollibean pancake, elevated with ingredients, sinfulness x100

But I think it’s worth a try cos there are many locals buying them as snacks/desserts

The guide got this noodle soup with beef balls and vegetables from this small makeshift stall beside the martabak, so I took a photo of it just cos it looks good too. Not too sure how much it is but it probably won’t be more expensive than the martabak. You probably have to sit on the stools provided just cos there are no proper tables. But we got to have our meals at the luxury of the tour agency (with free drinks no less)

Went on to roam along the streets of Senggigi, which has nothing much

And visited the massage place that was frequented by our hotel owner

I would say the massage here is really cheap. IDR 85k for one traditional full massage, it’s probably the cheapest I had paid. But whether is it good, it can be rather subjective. I mean the masseur loosened my shoulder knot for me but she didn’t loosen it fully, such that it was aching so badly I had to go back Singapore to do an acupuncture shoulder massage the next day =/ but if we had another day, we would definitely come back here to do massage again

To find this place, walk 10-15 minutes from the maratabak stall (face the martabak stall and walk left). You will pass by this street side grilled place (which looks not bad) and the massage place is located beside Banana Tree cafe. The tour agency owner told us we will pass by a post office on the left, but we never found it so oh wells

xx

Last morning, always bitter sweet

We thought we had no time for breakfast given our flight was at 940am and we had to reach pretty early

But the owner assured us we would have, so eat first think later. And it’s back to International breakfast for me with freshly baked sultana croissant

We even got a parting gift from the hotel. It’s coffee btw

The moment when you realised everyone makes the same joke. The locals call this their Ferrari – one horse power, and it’s seen everywhere in Lombok

Departure area in Lombok airport. Boarding only begins 20 minutes prior to departure. We only reached the airport 40 minutes before and we still got time to check in our bags but it was a panic moment cos we thought we needed one hour

Goodbye Lombok

That’s the 3 Gili Island, from the air

Lunch from Lombok to Singapore: Mee Goreng w Beef

When they gave the option of mee goreng, it really literally meant mee goreng, maggi style. I felt cheated

Free starbucks from a kind soul in Jakarta airport ๐Ÿ™‚

Just cos the person had a free drink to give, so I was the lucky person. HEEHEE #cheapthrills

I never appreciate how food on International is so much better until I tried the domestic one

Post-lunch: Chicken w Potatoes

But that being said, it doesn’t mean that it was delicious

Ending a picture of us ๐Ÿ™‚

So here’s a compressed recap of our Lombok trip. Lombok is really a nice place to visit, probably cos there are so much less tourists around and you can just enjoy the holiday at your own pace. Don’t expect hip and cool places like those in Bali for there is nothing like that but I appreciate that we see Lombok from another perspective and how the locals live. Well that’s what holidays are for right? To widen your horizon for you never know what the world brings

I hope you enjoyed reading it and for those who are going, hope it will provide some insights for you as well

XO