How do you travel? Most of the time, I’ll arrange my trips with food as the main course and then I’ll add everything else as appetizers or snacks. In other words, I’ll visit Sensoji Temple just to burn the calories so that I can stuff myself up with a top-of-the-notch ramen afterwards.
With Lombok & Gili though, I surrender my itinerary to my travel planner, Watta to introduce me to the best of the islands. It is the exact opposite of how I used to travel. Landscapes & outdoorsy fun become the highlight instead of food. I hesitated at the first, but the more I sip the experience the more I was hooked. At the end of the four days journey, I ended loving these 7 things that I don’t usually appreciate.
Lombok & Gili, you certainly win my heart and I’ll definitely come back for these reasons.
1. Stunning Waterfalls
Lombok hides a few waterfalls in the island, but if there was only one that you could go to, I’d recommend Tiu Kelep. I’ve always been skeptical of waterfalls. After all they are just what they are: a huge amount of water falling. However, Tiu Kelep is different. You can actually get close to it, dip yourselves in and enjoy the breezing clean water. The half hour hike is totally worth it. Instead of looking at pictures, I’d recommend watching this 2-minute video to get a hang of how wonderfully serene Tiu Kelep is:
2. Fun Biking around Gili
They actually ban motorcycles and cars in the island, and I love this bold idea. It keeps the island clean from pollution, gives an additional income to the locals, and forces us, tourists, to do physical activities instead of lazing around in the car. When you exercise, you release a good amount of endorphins that make you happier. IDR 50-100K a day is cheap for a good time.
3. Bar Hopping
Doing nothing is actually fun here in Gili. Along the beach you’ll find tons of bars to hop on. Each comes with its own unique & vibrant mood. I love this one the most. From Vila Ombak, go right and bike your way until you pass the horse stable. The bar is the white hut on your left. A perfect spot to share pints of beer with your friends while watching the sun sets.
A little later in the night as music gets louder and louder, I’d suggest going to the opposite direction. Left side of Vila Ombak. There are DJs, but I would recommend the one playing live music. Great, great vibe dancing to Mr. Brightside with beers on your hand.
4. Serene Vila Ombak
Here’s another idea of doing nothing. Bring your books or movies and savor them at many of Vila Ombak’s sweet spots. Of course you can also deep dive into sleep throughout the day if you like to. This particular room right here is their Deluxe Ombak Room. Also my favorite is their Lumbung Hut that resembles a traditional house.
5. Great Tasting Food
You must not miss Ayam Taliwang & Plecing Kangkung, Lombok’s most famous local food. Their rendition of grilled chicken is rather on the spicy end with mouth watering sambal.
Other recommendations in Lombok are Warung Sate Babi Bu Suta and Warung Babi Guling Merta Yoga. The latter runs out of stock quite fast, so you better grab them fast, preferably before lunch time. The most popular dish here is their pork satay. Tender meat with rich seasoning. Best!
6. Beautiful Beaches
I’ll let the pictures speak on this one. My favorite beach: Selong Belanak.
7. Did I Say Beautiful Beaches?
My second favorite beach: Pantai Cemara.
Now, whichever way you travel, by the trail of food or not, I’m quite confident to say that Lombok & Gili will astound you in one way or another. I guess 7 reasons above should be aplenty to get you book that ticket you’ve been wanting to. Go do it or ask Watta to do the hassle for you. 😉
Here’s to all the travelers. Own less, buy experience instead.