While vacations in Indonesia, why not discover Lombok and the Gili Islands easily accessible from Bali.
It is possible to get there by plane 30 mn flight or by speed boat.
Lombok offers many untouched and often secluded dream beaches, friendly and charming people, delicious food and fantastic nature. Lombok and the Gili Islands have become our favorites – at least so far, after Bali.
The trip begins in Kuta Lombok, which you can easily reach by flight from Denpasar, Bali.
The south coast of Lombok is lined with beaches, all of white sand and unique in their kind. You can stay in the town of Kuta (not to be confused with Kuta, Bali), and the beach is located east and west of the south coast of Lombok.
The best beaches to visit in South Lombok are Mawun Beach, Tampah Beach and Selong Belanak Beach on East Kuta and Seger Beach and Tanjung Aan Beach on West Kuta.
If you want to learn how to surf in Lombok, Selong Belanak beach is an ideal place. Selong Belanak beach is located about 30 minutes drive west of Kuta. The beach itself is composed of sandy white powder sand and although the water is not the clearest, it does not matter to the people who visit it. Indeed, the majority of visitors to Selong Belanak Beach go west to take surfing lessons for beginners.
There are many deckchairs and bamboo chairs spread out along the beach so that visitors can relax and have lunch in a small warung before returning to the waves.
North of Lombok, you will discover many waterfalls and hills, as well as the famous ascent of Mount Rinjani.
One of the most famous viewpoints is the rice fields of Bukit Selong. The view of Bukit Selong rice fields is a mosaic of rice fields seen from different mountain peaks. If you arrive before sunrise, you can find a specially designated viewpoint without a big climb. There are other spectacular places, but this is the most accessible and simplest way to get a breathtaking view of the rice fields.
A variety of cultures of different colors creates a multicolored mosaic, covering the entire valley. There is a flat viewpoint, which gives you a magnificent view of the whole valley, but there is also a higher viewpoint.
After having admired this superb view, you can visit the most famous waterfalls of Lombok; the Sendang Gile and Tiu Kelep waterfalls (in the north) and Benang Stokel and Benang Kelambu (in the center).
Tiu Kelep is a waterfall that has always been put online in social networks. The water flows down, as if it were flowing through a wall, but is then overshadowed by a powerful current of water flowing diagonally across the falls. The vines took over the rocky walls and we felt like explorers of the deep jungle, although it was only a 30 minute walk to get to the Tiu Kelep waterfall. You can swim in the pool under the waterfall and it’s a great place to use the GoPro. L’eau du bassin est claire comme du cristal et a une teinte bleue. Be extremely careful when swimming as many tourists have had problems being sucked in and held under the powerful force of the waterfall current. The mists are even crazier in Tiu Kelep.
Benang Stokel & Benang Kelambu are about an hour and a half drive north of Kuta. Benang Stokel et Benang Kelambu sont situés dans le même parc, donc si vous suivez la carte de Benang Stokel, vous arriverez au bon Geo Park.
The furthest from the entrance, but certainly the most magical, the waterfall of Benang Kelambu looks like something that belongs to the South American rainforest. With the water coming out of the bushes and waterfall levels in four different places, it was beautiful.
Some paths are paved on the way down, but others are not, so when there are steep slopes, it can be very slippery and dangerous, especially during the rainy season, (October to April).
There are two medium-sized pools at the bottom of the waterfalls, which have been set up for swimming and relaxing in the well of the natural spring.
If you like trekking, you can’t miss the ascent of Mount Rinjani. The great mountain of Rinjaniis a huge volcano that culminates on the island of Lombok. Climbing the summit is one of the most extraordinary experiences one can experience in Indonesia. At 3,726 meters high, Mount Rinjani is the second highest mountain in Indonesia. The climb to the summit may not be easy, but it is well worth it and is widely regarded as one of the best views in the country.
You can leave from the entrance of Sembalun or the entrance of Senaru. It takes 3 days 2 nights or 4 days 3 nights for beginners. From the top, you will see the whole island of Lombok, Bali, Sumbawa and Segara Anak Lake.
After coming back down to Senaru to finish the trekking, you can relax for one or two days in the Senggigi area, then head to the island ofGilis (either Gili Trawangan, Gili Air or Gili Meno) in order to finish your vacation in Indonesia at the seaside.
There are still a lot of hidden places in Lombok, we will absolutely inform you in our next blog. We hope this article will give you inspiration for some of the interesting things to do in Lombok You can also read our program for Lombok by clicking on this link.
We wish during your trip to Bali, in the near future to attend the Galungan festival. It is one of the great sacred days of Bali which is celebrated by all Balinese on the island of Bali. Rituals are centralized in all temples: family temples, territorial temples, functional temples and public temples. It usually takes a day to complete the religious process in these temples.
Galungan occurs twice a year in the 210-day cycle of the Balinese calendar and marks the time of year when the spirits of the ancestors are believed to visit the earth. The Balinese perform rituals designed to welcome and entertain these returning spirits.
The houses that represent the center of Balinese society come alive thanks to the devotions offered by the families who live there. Families offer generous sacrifices of food and flowers to ancestral spirits, expressing their gratitude and hope for protection. These sacrifices are also offered in the local temples, which are filled with the faithful.
All over the island stand high bamboo poles, or Penjor, which are usually decorated with coconut leaves and flowers and installed to the right of each residence entrance. At each entrance you will also find small bamboo altars, set up especially for the festival, each bearing palm leaf offerings for the spirits.
This year, the fate of Galungan takes place on Wednesday, September 16, 2020. The Balinese visit the temples from morning until late at night, while bringing offerings to serve their God “Ida Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa”.
The objective of the Galungan celebration is in fact to REMOVE the bad characteristics of the human being such as anger, greed, rudeness, drunkenness, disrespect, meanness, arrogance, to replace them with positive characteristics such as peace, politeness, respect, kindness, patience and so on, which lead to a serene life that Bali calls “Shanti”.
On the day of Galungan, the Balinese dressed in traditional costumes visit the temples and pray to their gods to show their respect and say thank you for the life given to them and the prosperity they have gained so far. Of course, they bring offerings that they symbolically present to the God during their ceremony and then take home to share them with their families to celebrate the Galungan – Victory Day.
Family temples and territorial temples (Pura Desa, Pura Puseh and Pura Dalem) will be the most frequented places where Balinese will pray on Galungan Day; although some Hindus will also visit some public temples such as Besakih Temple, Goa Lawah Temple, Jagat Natha Temple, Tirtha Empul Temple, and so on.
After prayers, Balinese people visit their relatives and neighbors to say “Galungan Jewels” and some will also use this great day to ask for “forgiveness” for the mistakes of the previous days. Some families also have the tradition of inviting their friends and/or colleagues to celebrate Galungan Day by preparing for the guests very special Galungan meals such as Babi Guling, Lawar; a kind of spicy salad and traditional skewers and cakes.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Bali government is limiting major events this year. Prayers in the village temples (Pura Desa, Pura Puseh, and Pura Dalem) are limited only to the chief of ceremony and the temple committee. People can only pray in the family temple and are forbidden to go to each other
The government insists that people always follow health protocol; wear masks, wash their hands, maintain physical distance and avoid crowds.
Selamat Rahina Galungan on behalf of Balipassion to you, your family and all your friends.