Next Stop Lombok…
After spending an amazing few days in Nusa Dua in Bali my next stop was the Indonesian island Lombok. This is east of Bali and west of Sunbawa. It’s known for beaches and surfing spots, particularly at Kuta and Banko Banko (in south Lombok).
From Bali, we caught a ferry to Lombok and this took approximately 2 and a half hours. The water was a bit choppy so I was worried about motion sickness but thankfully I didn’t feel too sick in the end. We booked return ferry tickets through our Trailfinders representative in the Conrad Bali Resort. This saved us having to queue and purchase tickets at the port the day we caught the ferry.
Our hotel was roughly a 20 minute drive from the harbour which was quite handy. In the surrounding area there was a number of other resorts and restaurants.
The room we stayed in was lovely, the staff were very helpful and friendly and the food was delicious (especially the omelettes…yum). It was a great spot and I would definitely stay there again. I especially liked the private beach as it was hidden away. The only issue was mosquitoes, they seemed to be everywhere (unavoidable I know), I got bitten a lot which was a pain. Overall and bugs aside I really enjoyed my stay in the Sheraton.
What did I get up to in Lombok?
Again, there was a lot of relaxing by the pool, walking along the beach, swimming, eating and exploring. Next to our hotel was a water sport rental shop which was ideal. We hired out paddle boards and took to the ocean one of the days which was a lot of fun. I had never been paddle boarding before but it was something I had wanted to try for years – I LOVED IT! If it was warmer in Ireland I would definitely take this up as a hobbie! 😛
The Gili Islands
The Gili Islands also known as the turtle capitol of the world are a group of 3 tiny islands – Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air – in Indonesia, near the coast of northwest Lombok. If you’re a fan of crystal blue ocean and white sand then you should definitely visit the islands. They’re known for their coral reefs just offshore. On the smallest island of Gili Meno, sea turtles swim at Turtle Point. At Gili Trawangan, the largest island, a sunken ship sits at Wreck Point near Mentigi Beach.
While staying in Lombok we decided to book a day trip over to the Gili Islands as they are only about 20 minutes by boat. We booked the trip through our hotel and this included transport to and from the harbour, a private speed boat and 2 tour guides for the day. It cost just under €50 for the day which was great value. Overall, it was such an unforgettable experience!
Gili Trawangan (Gili T)
On Gili T we went paddle boarding. Again, I really enjoyed this. The water was clear and calm so we could see fish swim beneath us (if only I brought my water proof camera). The atmosphere was great and it wasn’t over crowded which was a bonus. You can also go scuba diving, turtle spotting and surfing just off the island. Next time I would love to do a scuba diving course here.
Gili Meno is the second island we visited. One word to describe it…beautiful. There wasn’t as many people here compared to Gili T which was nice. We stopped off for a spot of lunch which ended up being incredibly cheap. The food was simple but delicious.
Island Transport – “Cidomo”
The form of transport on Gili Meno was one aspect of the island that really stood out to me. The only means of transport are horse-drawn carriages (in addition to bicycles). The little horses were too cute.
In order to protect turtles from other wild animals, turtle eggs are collected and incubated at a turtle sanctuary on Gili Meno. The baby turtles are then raised in the small pool and after about 8 months released into the wild on the beach. For a donation of 100,000 rupiah you can even choose a turtle and then release it yourself on the beach. A good thing that should be supported so that the turtles do not become extinct in the waters of the Gilis!! <3
We went snorkeling off two of the three islands. I really enjoyed this because I got to see so many tropical fish including a few Nemo and Dory fish (which made my day). Our tour guide went snorkeling with us so he showed us the way. This was great as we were able to find and see a lot more.
Sun Protection – Make sure you keep topping up your sun cream. I got really badly burnt during the day trip to the Gili islands because I didn’t top up enough. I usually cover myself in sun cream but snorkeling, paddle boarding and island hopping means you need to top up a lot more so make sure you do if you plan a trip over.
Bug Repellent – As I mentioned above, there are a lot of mosquitoes so I would highly recommend stocking up on sprays and creams etc. I tend to get bitten a lot when I go away and I found that I still got bitten a lot even though I covered myself in spray every day and night. Just keep topping up!
I mentioned in my Dubai travel post that I would recommend taking cash out in each currency before your trip begins. Alternatively, I would go to a currency exchange in the airport to ensure you have cash at all times. In Bali you can only take out a maximum of 1,000,000 Indonesian Rupiah daily which is approximately €60. This can be a pain if you want to book 2-3 tours in one day etc so make sure you take out enough to keep you going. Also, notify your bank that you will be away so they don’t prevent you from taking out cash when you are away.
There you have i – my latest travel diary. I will be writing a piece on the ‘Top things to do and see in Lombok/The Gili Islands’ so keep an eye out for that if you’re considering planning a trip over soon. Bottom line I absolutely loved my time here.
Next up I will be writing about my stay in Ubud, Bali so keep an eye out for more on my Balinese adventure…
Thanks for reading!
Until next time…