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Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Island without Vehicles - Lombok Trip Info

The Island without vehicles
I had planned this great journey since last year, and I really wanted to visit this island, LOMBOK Island, Nusa Tenggara Barat, Indonesia
I often heard about the beauty of this island not only from the internet, but from some of my friends who ever visited this island. It was infamous island at that time, people prefer to visit Bali, so did I. Bali is the first vacation spot in my list, but now I don’t think so :D
Well, talking about my country, Indonesia, is not only about Bali, Lombok island and Jogjakarta city. We have so many islands and many cities to visit, and I believe you will be so surprised about the number of the islands we have here, just ask uncle google ok! And I am going to make lists of what the next trip I will visit, Sumatra Island, Kalimantan Island, Sulawesi Island, Maluku Island, 1000 Island, Karimun Island, or Papua Island and many more... and the point is they are all belong to my country.. INDONESIA! The blue of Indonesia

Ok, let’s talk about Lombok Island now, it lay beside Bali island, the smaller one. Some people call this island as “ a thousand mosques Island because you can find so many mosques in every step you make, they build in big and beautiful masjid (mosque), even you can find two masjid only for 500 meters way. They build the mosque by themselves, all people nearby do “gotong royong” – working together as volunteer, when I passed one of village, I see men and women work together to build masjid. What a lovely view. But unfortunately they are not really good in build the activities inside, only few masjid have crowded activities, the others are empty.. sad to hear this.
Anyway, this Island is gorgeous island, even I have not visited all spot there, you know need more than one week to surround the Island. So for this moment I choose to visit the “GILI ISLANDS”, the smaller island with beautiful and excellent beach in the north west of the Lombok Island. You can visit this island in many ways.
I choose the flight from Surabaya city to Lombok Island, Mataram city, Selaparang Airport, if you do early booked; you will save more money on your pocket. Then I stay one night in Mataram, or you can directly go to Gili Island, depend on your flight schedule. I took the last flight from Surabaya by Lion Air, at 6.50 pm and arrive around 8.50 pm, Mataram and Bali island are one hour faster than Java Island, and I thought it will be no transportation to Gili when I came at that time, oups! I was wrong, everyone directly go to Senggigi then cross to Gili by speed boat but me.. stay in Mataram! (it will make me bankrupt to go by speedboat) Well it’s ok.. hehe because I can save money for taxi by staying in Mataram, my friend pick up me at the airport and take me to the hotel, you know if u go by taxi to Senggigi, they will cost you USD 35 – 40, as same as my flight cost hihi... hmmm I choose stay in my hotel to sleep and prepare for tomorrow. I stay in Griya Asri, 10 minute from the airport. It’s comfort and cheap hotel to stay for backpackers.. :p ladies backpackers.
On the way to hotel, I ask my friend about motorbike rent, and he said, he will get information for me, he suggested me to ask the hotel, whether they can provide or not, but unfortunately they can’t. My lucky day, my friend got the motor rent for me, he said it cost USD 4 – 5/day, but the owner give us higher price ho ho ho... USD 7/day, and the motor is very very bad to ride ohhhhh horrible! And it was 8.30 am already..
Finally I took that motorbike and start to have great journey. I was worry about the map, but don’t worry Mataram is small city, let get lost!! I ride my motorbike with my friend, it’s ladies party yeahh..! We passed Senggigi, then go to Bangsal for public boat to Gili. It take 3 hours from Mataram to Bangsal. Yea it was long time, but believe me... you will be paid with soooooo beautiful and gorgeous view along your way. It’s PAID in CASHH!!
We save much money by riding the motorbike, but I suggest you to rent the motorbike near Senggigi area, so many choices and better motorbike I think. You can go by public car from Mataram to Senggigi, or you can go with CIDOMO, the horse cart :D traditional transportation. I have no idea about the price, my friend said you may bargain.
From Bangsal, you can across to the Gili Island, by public boat, here they have three islands, called Gili Air, Gili Meno, Gili Trawangan, Gili mean Island in Lomboknesse. Gili Trawangan is biggest island of the three musketeer :P, it’s known as party island, Gili Meno is smaller one, it’s so silence and quite place to stay (unfortunately I didn’t visit this island, only pass), and Gili Air is the smallest and the nearest island from Lombok Island.
Before you across the island, park your motorbike in parking area, USD 0.5 or Rp. 5.000 / day. Then get the boat, For Gili Trawangan, you pay around USD 1.2 or Rp. 10.000 for one way, buy the ticket on the locket, and start to sail. If you lucky u get nice boat, but we was unlucky hahaha.. our boat full of local people that came from market, so the boat full of tomatoes, vegetables, groceries just like floating market boat in Kalimantan. But it’s nice experience, it take about 15 – 20 minutes to Gili Trawangan.
Wewww goshhh!!! I never saw beautiful sea like in this place before. They have three colours in their beach, green turquoise, blue turquoise and deep blue,, O God soooo wonderful colours. On these islands you can’t find vehicles, only cycling and cidomo that allowed. NO POLLUTION! I entertained my lung, my heart by took deep breath of fresh air.
You can swim, snorkelling, diving, sun bathing, or you may cycling around the island, to lose your weight :p. After cycling or doing something all day long, you can enjoy the menu, they have so many bar, cafe and restaurants, taste the gelatos. It’s International Island, no worry of getting terrible with spicy and hot meals of Indonesian, you can buy American, Italy, Greek, Polish, Chinese, and many more that will satisfied you. Most of this restaurant provide seafood, Tuna is the main menu here, I enjoyed my lunch in Juku Marlin Cafe, hope not mistake of the name :D. It’s delicious and cheap, and the important one, HALAL menu, because I m muslim :D. You need to pay USD 10 only for couples menu, and get full.
Well, actually I want to stay in this island for sunset, but I already booked hotel in Mataram  so I need to go back Mataram. The last public boat will be at 4pm, if you missed this boat, you have to pay USD 15 for one boat to take u to the Bangsal Lombok Island. And if you want to visit Gili Meno from Trawangan, you have to pay USD 2.5 or Rp. 23.000 for one way, yea bit expensive, because rare local people to visit this island, only tourist to stay there.
I met handsome tourist from Switzerland, he wanted to go to Gili Meno, he informed me that this place is more beautiful and peaceful such have Private Island. And he informed me, that nowadays Gili getting expensive. Two years ago, a cup of coffee only Rp. 5.000 but now Rp. 25.000 hahahahaha...Indonesian people will say.. “Ya iyaaa lahhh Misterrr.. dua tahun gitu boo!” . But he said it’s still beautiful here... hmm unfortunately I didn’t ask his name or FB account LOL.
And then, we enjoyed Ayam Taliwang (Taliwang Chicken) in Mataram, near the mall – cakra area , special food from Mataram, Roasted chicken with red hot chilli spicy and Plecing Kangkung. Hmm I don’t know which one is the most delicious, at least I know the taste, but my roasted chicken is better I think hahaha.
We go back to hotel, and prepare to check out for tomorrow, we want to go to Bali for the next trip, by crossing the Bali Strait, from Lembar Port in Lombok to Padang Bai Bali. We go with taxi to Lembar port, it long and winding road, cost me USD 10, We had no idea about this, as my friend said, it cost USD 4/person, but for car you have to pay USD 60 even your car is only one person. And for truck USD 100 Hoooohhh expensive!
That’s why so many “Calo” – person who will get extra money buy sell higher price for ticket, and find the empty car which can take you to Bali. When I had just arrived and already bought the ticket, the “Calo” came to me, to offer go with private empty car, which want to cross to Bali, they quote us USD 15/person, but we bargain to be USD 6. To cross the strait, it take 4 hours, not good idea to take, we thought that it will be short like Ketapang – Gilimanuk, and we can see the dolphin as said. Moreover bit difficult to find public transportation from Padang Bai to Denpasar. And you know, to go by ship is not my suggestion, it waste the time, and not save. Better take flight or fast boat from Gili to Tanjung Benoa Bali, it take 1 hour and cost as USD 30 – 40, same as flight to Denpasar Bali. Unfortunately I got this info after I came back home. Well let’s try another day!
Have a Nice Trip!

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