Visiting Lombok and the Gilis has been on my list, yet I crossed it just a couple week ago. I went there for a short gateaway on 14-18 Sep 2016, with 3 and half days actual spending time.
Deciding to sleep in Mataram at the first night was actually a wise option since we reached Praya-the Lombok International Airport at night. Mataram is approximately an hour driving from Praya. In the morning, we did an early check-out and went to a local restaurant to taste a remarkable local food Ayam Taliwang and Plecing Kangkung. The restaurant was nice with reasonable price.
Then, with the same taxi (bluebi*d), we headed to Bangsal. The port to Gili Trawangan. On the way, we passed a breathtaking view of Pantai Senggigi. It takes approximately 90 mins with IDR 150+K. Still reasonable for taxi fares. Need to admit the driver was very good in explaining the touristic places. We were glad.
Arrived near Bangsal, we stop at a point where taxi could not go further, so we took Sidomo (local transport with a horse driving). It’s IDR 20k for 500m+ distance. You pay for the experience here.
The boat ticket to Gili Trawangan is IDR 15K. You can buy at the office. Waited for 10 mins than we headed to Gili Trawangan–passing Gili Air and Gili Meno. It’s around 40mins till you step in Gili Trawangan, the largerst Gilis amongst three famous mention above.
If you’ve been to Bali, the atmosphere is quite the same. But we were lucky to stay in a hotel where the area is (considered) private, clean and less crowded. Strolling around the island at night or during sunset time was my favorite time here. The food is vary yet we can choose our preference. Gellato is also available with many flavours, have 1-2 scopes and chill with the best beach view. The conversation becomes warm and joyful. Gilis are also well known for snorkelling. You’ve it as the option for sure. We didnt visit Meno and Air due to time constraints, but both have a great review.
But, Lombok is not Gilis. It’s complement each other though. Another side of Lombok and Gili Trawangan can be seen through the existing etnic living in Southern part of Lombok. It’s Suku Sasak. So, we decided to visit Sade Village, learn on how locals live their life, learn how to Menenun (making a fabric), bought souvenirs and wore the traditional costume.
Another thing to do for culinary in Lombok: taste Nasi Puyung (local rice with chicken and extra hot chili sauce). And for sure, one more beach please, before flying back home. We chose Pantai Mawun in Southern part of Lombok. An anti-mainstream one. It’s surreal, a fascinating one.
I marked this place as 18th out of 34 provinces in Indonesia that I have always wanted to visit. Cant wait to complete it soon.