So recently in May my boyfriend and I went to Lombok. Its the second time I’ve been there, so why did I go back??
Well, the truth is that the initial plan was to go to Bali, but a friend told me about this thing called the “BALI CURSE” and i am forever scarred. Search it up! Its actually a legit thing, and it may entirely be bullshit but I am NOT taking any chances! The fact that I somewhat believe it – may be the entire reason why the Bali Curse might actually come true.
But anway, Lombok consists of three beautiful tiny islands known as the Gili Islands which many travellers from Bali visit anyway.
Gili Air – Great for snorkelling and boring couples
Gili Meno – I dont know something good with sea turtles?
Gili Trawangan – Great for contracting STDs and fleas from a backpacker (aka Party Island)
Gone were the days of our excitement and youth, we wanted a relaxing trip so we chose to spend time on the peaceful Gili Air instead (and we both have been to Gili T before). My trip planning began for a 5D4N trip! so here’s a helpful guide for what you could do if you go to Lombok or Gili Air!
We decided to spend the first 2 nights on Gili Air, and the rest of the 2 night on mainland Lombok!
We booked our flights via AirAsia:
KUL-LOM round trip prices were roughly RM800 per person. I don’t think this was a pretty good deal as I remember travelling there for much less before, but due to the peak summer season, it is understandable.
Once we landed, it was more than easy to find a taxi as several drivers will be coming up to you to offer the ride at a reasonable (250,000 rupiah/ RM70) to Bangsal Harbour. Thats the place where most of the boats are to get to the Gili Islands and its almost a 2 hour ride from the airport! You can always opt to take a private boat at a different harbour, but take note you’ll be over charged as you’re basically renting out the boat for yourself. I suggest getting to Bangsal and getting a ticket either on the private/public boats at a better rate around (8,000 – 80,000 Rupiah / RM 3-23).
So here’s the confusing part though, once you get to Bangsal harbour multiple salesmen will come to you to go on their boat! *Take note the most common boats go to Gili T. So your choices to go to Gili Air may have limited boat accessibility. Do NOT let any of these salesmen grab your luggage as they will ask you for money after (as I observed that happened to another tourist there).
Walk straight to the official building that sells the tickets, there they will sell the public and private chartered boats and will sell it to you at the official price. We decided to take the private chartered boat at (80,000 Rupiah /RM 23) per person as the boat was already there and leaving in 5 minutes. Another option to go to Gili Air for only (8000 Rupiah . RM3) was via public boat but it does not go at an official time and only moves when the entire boat is full. Since we were tired from our flight and 2 hour taxi ride we decided to go for convenience.
This is only a one way ticket, as you will have to buy your return ticket on the day of departure on the island itself. When we were coming back to the mainland, we jumped into the public boat and it was such an interesting experience!
The best part of vacationing in Indonesia is definitely the great rates of Hotel!
We stayed at two beautiful resorts which I highly recommend for you to stay at too if you ever visit Gili Air and Sengigi, Lombok.
2 Nights (RM500): Hotel Ombak Paradise (Gili Air)
Our bathroom was bigger than our bedroom, I loved it. The location of this hotel is quite near from the port so its not a tedious walk with your luggage to get there. They have their own private beach in front which shows movies and bean bags on most nights with a barbeque buffet dinner! Its definitely a bit on the peaceful side (as everything else is on Gili Air) and the staff was super friendly and helpful when the safebox in the room decided to die on us and we freaked out about not able to get our passports back.
2 Nights (RM1200): Living Asia Luxury Resort (Sengigi, Lombok)
We decided to get our own private pool villa, but honestly, we barely used it. The room and resort was beautiful but also very peaceful and quiet. The beaches in Sengigi aren’t exactly made to go for a joy swim but for relaxation and views. However, I dont think the spa was amazing – definitely go and get pampered somewhere in town with a better rate as the massage we received was not what we expected for a luxury resort. My boyfriend told me after the massage he was thinking to himself “Azlin could have done this for me”, throughout the session. Hence, wasn’t great 😛
FOOD & ACTIVITIES
Honestly, looking for good food on Gili Air was hard. We had a seafood dinner every night but it seemed like every restaurant had the same menu. Be prepared to over pay for all of your meals on Gili Air. The only good meal I had was my chocolate lava cake dessert from my hotel. We also went to some yoga retreat to eat healthy vegan food, but nothing was above ordinary. However, the dinners we had on the island had a beautiful candle light set up by the beach.
Besides that, on Gili Air we rented out bikes and constantly rode it around the island! This was so much fun, considering im a beginner at learning how to ride a bike (my boyfriend taught me last year) – i was constantly bumping into people and things. I was out terrorizing the tourists on Gili Air with my bike and it was so much fun! The island is not too big i think you would be able to go around the island in an hour or two, but the bikes made the accessibility faster, there are no cars on the island only donkey carts 😦
Unfortunately for us, when we got to Gili Air we fell sick on the first few days and spent most of the time resting for recovery. Do bring your own emergency medication if you can prepare well! Medicine on the island comes with a marked up price tag.
Snorkelling on Gili Air is so much fun! You dont have to go on any snorkelling boat trips, we didn’t either. Just go to South-Eastern side of the island near Sunrise Resort for the best spot!
I HAD THE BEST MEAL IN SENGIGI!!! All that time eating generic seafood on Gili Air was worth it when we came to Sengigi! Sengigi town is a little cute happening touristy stretch. Filled with restaurants, small shops and tour guides. It’s also nearby the major resorts in Sengigi. Fine dining in lombok was very affordable and very delicious, we ate at the Square and had their 5 course set menu and I am still craving for it until today.
Look at this food porn delicious beef carpaccio, butter prawn risotto and some ravioli and steak.. my mouth is watering while typing this. YUM. ❤ ❤ ❤
We rented out a motorbike as we wanted to journey to the waterfalls the next day! It is super cheap to rent one out (50,000 Rupiah / RM 15 for a day), but be careful as only a licensed bike rider should rent one out. Dont be naughty!
On our final day, we both made a really bad choice to follow trip advisor and ride out 2 hours away to the Sendang Gile and Tiu Kelep Waterfalls by bike. The reason why it was bad was maybe because we took more time getting there than actually staying there, we also had a minor setback cause of a flat tire. The view going towards the falls was great cause you get the see the real authentic side of Lombok and its locals and their padi fields, but once you get to the falls. 15 minutes of looking at it is more than sufficient and we were back on our 2 hour journey towards Sengigi. I didnt understand the hype of these waterfalls, and should have found a better alternative destination.
In conclusion! If you are thinking of visiting the gili islands! do your research! if you’re going with a bunch of friends head on to Gili T, if you want something more relaxing then consider Gili T or Gili M! Theres not much going on in Sengigi, Lombok but its worth to stay a night or two in their lovely resorts and their amazingggggggggg fooood!!