Time To Relax at Lombok

Lombok is my third trip to Indonesia this month, since the visa waiver announcement for Australians. This little stint was the longest of the 3 trips, being a four day weekend due to Labour day public holiday plus an extra day off work. Our trip didn’t start off too well though, given that Ethan got sick and had 39 degrees temperature which was worrying. Our trip started on Friday with a flight to Kuala Lumpur and a stay overnight in the transit hotel Sama Sama Express KLIA2. We thought we can get the view of the runway for Ethan to watch planes take off and land. Instead all we got were the view of terminal gates!

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Ethan really didn’t get to see much of the gates either, given he was sick and didn’t sleep too well throughout the night. Eventually I had to check out of the hotel with him slumped over my shoulder like this..

Sama Sama Express KLIA2

Nevertheless, it was nice and convenient stay overnight, allowing us to jump straight on to the flight to Lombok the next morning. Our hotel this time was Sudamala Senggigi, which is a small boutique hotel, presumably owned and run by an Indonesian. It was located right next to the beach. Being a stone’s throw away from Bali, I was quite impressed by the relatively clean beach..

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Our unit was located next to the beach, and even allowed us direct sunset views!

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People come to Lombok for its natural beauty, or climb Mount Ranjani. With a baby, and a ‘not-so-keen’ climber wife, most of our time was spent by the pool..

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Ethan spent plenty of time with his new iPad by the pool.. in style…

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.. And during dinner..

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.. plenty of selfies..

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.. oh.. we didn’t miss the sunset view..

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… and of course.. Ate plenty of local dishes from the restaurant.. (surprisingly affordable by hotel standard).

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.. oh.. I loved the outdoor standing shower in our unit..

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We only made two ‘expeditions’ out of the hotel, first one being Epi Centrum shopping in town (Mataram) barely a few months old. Mummy enjoyed the shopping. Ethan enjoyed the train ride..

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.. and the one thing we love about Indonesia so far.. affordable arcade!!

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I had  ‘Ayam Taliwang’, a Lombok specialty..

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Unsatisfied with just spending time in the hotel, I did eventually convince Wai Kuan to venture out for a day trip to the popular Gilli Trawangan island requiring a short boat trip to get to it. We didn’t plan for it particularly well though. My initial plan was to just take the local public boat for 20,000 IDR (approx. SGD $2), which would have taken 45 minutes after waiting for each boat to be full. Somehow during our trip to the public harbour, our taxi driver convinced us that we should take a speed boat which cost a ton more at 700,000 IDR (approx. SGD$70) to save time. So, instead of the public harbour, we were dropped off somewhere called Kecinan,. It was along the beach but relatively isolated, no crowd. From there, it was not much of a negotiation with a company named Aisyah speed boat, and off we went..

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Baby couldn’t pass up the opportunity to touch the steering wheel just before the ride started..

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Sure enough.. short 10 minutes later, we were on the Gilli Trawangan island!

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We really didn’t have all that much time there, given we arrived fairly late (around 11am) and had to leave by 2:30pm when our speed boat suppose to pick us up. The main strip was about as touristy as it can get, and looked like all you can do here is either drink by the beaches, or go diving, neither which interested us. Eventually I found a rental bicycle with a baby seat (costing us 30,000 IDR for just a few hours riding!)…

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Ethan enjoyed the ride though. The island was small enough that we could cover almost the whole island in 30 minutes. Most interesting parts to Ethan were the farm animals we found closer to the center of the islands. Plenty of cows.. horses.. roosters…

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The best part for me was the short lunch stopover by the beach farther away from the main tourist strip. I had some of the best nasi and mee goreng for just 20,000 IDR (approx. SGD $2 each) at a bar towards the southern end of the island..

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Of course, no trip to Indonesia is complete without at least a bottle of Bintang!

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My idea of taking a dip din’t work out too well either.. It was littered with broken corals, making it hard to walk around the water with your bare feet!!

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Before you know it, it was already time to head back to the Lombok main land! Ethan fell asleep on the way though riding to the rental bicycle shop..

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Before we could make it back, there was a bit of drama, where our boat didn’t turn up at 2:30pm as agreed. I had to make a call to them directly, which they first claimed I only bought a one way transfer! Eventually they sent the boat to take us back at about 3:00pm. When we got back, we encountered MORE drama, where they were suppose to call us a taxi. Instead they tried to talk me into one of their private cars starting at triple the price of 200,000 IDR! I refused, and eventually they settled for 60,000 IDR (the same as a taxi). The experience was just plain annoying really! Thinking back, we probably should have just gone to the public harbour where public transport would have been more accessible, and used a more reputable private speed boat company. Not to mention, this company was in the middle of nowhere, and they could have ganged up on us, and demanded more money!

Having eventually made it back to the resort, it was time to relax for our last night in Lombok..

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Four days went by pretty quick! Some time in the future, surely I’ll have to make another trip back to Lombok, to at least climb Mount Ranjani. It was a nice preview of the island so far, and we certainly have lots more to see. Unlike Bandung, it was relatively traffic jam free. Definitely need to come back, before it turns into Bali which I can see it turning into soon!

 

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