Located just 8 degrees South of the Equator Lombok has a warm tropical climate and it is home to the Sasak people, mainly Muslims; local adherents of Balinese, Buddhists, Catholics and other religions all live hand in hand on the island. The Sasak practice Islamic religion in a moderate way; they are very friendly, welcome and accommodating to tourists.
The dress code in the tourist areas is reasonably relaxed and bikinis, sarongs and shorts are acceptable indeed.
Lombok hosts a very rich indigenous culture, based on Sasak dances and musical traditions; the “Gendang Beleq” (the famous big drum) accompanies most of local music for instance, which can be discovered during the many festivals and celebrations held throughout the whole year on the island.
The main region, with the widest variety of things to do and see is the Senggigi Region; it is formed by several adjacent yet quite different areas all lying along the same two lanes coastal road. Nightlife and major restaurants are concentrated in the central township of Senggigi, whereas beauty and nature are on the other hand pretty much everywhere.
Places of interest are:
Senggigi Centre: Lovely and lively town with numerous ATMs banks, supermarkets, bars, pubs with pool tables or TV screens broadcasting sport channels, relaxing lounge areas and beach side restaurants to keep people entertained. Many visitors use Senggigi as a home base; from there it is indeed possible to take day trips to the local waterfalls, the Gili Islands, or just explore authentic rural villages, temples, and forests within a couple of hours drive.
Kerangdangan: A large quiet bay to the immediate north of Senggigi with Villas to rent in the stunning valley behind the beach.
Mangsit: Located a little north of Senggigi Mangsit has a well established strip of hotels built along an extensive and tranquil beach side with traditional outrigger boats resting on the sand. Mangsit is considered the northern gateway and has a vibrant shopping center and nightlife. Mangsit can be quickly and conveniently reached from the center of Senggigi by taxi or public bemo (local bus).
Batu Bolong: The area directly south of Senggigi has a sparsely spread out collection of hotels, cafes, restaurants, karaoke establishments and a big nightclub all situated along the coast road; Both Mangsit and Batu Bolong offers a very vibrant nightlife along their respective beach fronts, whereas Senggigi has a more lively town and street feel to it, with live music playing and people moving from one venue to another; Senggigi is now becoming increasingly popular with visitors admiring the stunning scenery and the unique culture and flavours of Lombok.
Pura Batu Bolong: located 2 km south of Senggigi Pura Batu Bolong is a small Hindu temple located in a scenic spot overlooking Senggigi beach which wash named after a rock (batu) with a hole (bolong). At its tip there is an empty chair representing Brahma, the God of creation. The entry is free, however you’ll have to get a sash (Rp 10,000 a throw from one of the urchins if you don’t have one already). Sunsets there can be very impressive.
Senggigi Beach: This is Senggigi’s most popular spot and major tourist attraction; some local surfers brave the smallish waves, some others enjoy the pathway that has recently been built around the peninsular, a pleasant promenade. The sunsets can be very beautiful.
Kerangdangan Beach: On Sunday afternoons Kerangdangan beach is a popular destination for locals, more than Senggigi beach. They often go there to wander about and socialize or simply to sit on the sandy beach or grassy area behind the warungs (little tents used to sell local products) and chill. There are two small and more expensive venues for tourists, with informal outdoor dining areas, big cushions and relaxed service. They are set a little back from the beach and are open most days and nights. Full menus are available and an interesting alternative to the Senggigi scene is to be found.
DAY TRIPS AND ACTIVITIES
Senggigi is a strategic spot for those willing to have a base and yet travel the island; from there it is in fact possible to take day trips comfortably or reach other locations and get back. Our on site manager can arrange such trips for you for a very basic price, including a private car and driver: excursions to more distant locations are a bit more pricey and would most likely include a guide for the day. Overnight trips can also be easily arranged and the necessary accommodation charges for a guide and driver should be quite modest.
Popular excursions that can be done in a day trip include:
- Rural Villages: day trips to local rural villages famous for weaving, cooking and other crafting tradition.
- Waterfalls: some very interesting new waterfalls and wild areas have recently been opened up for tourism in the northern part of the island.
- Scenic drives: The coastal roads that lead to the north of Senggigi have recently been extensively upgraded to be turned into popular scenic route with stunning views, traditional rural activities, deserted beaches and bright green rice fields with mountain backdrops. This drive northwards up the coast from Senggigi is a popular destination for young local couples and families on Sunday outings; it’s a stunning scenic and normally reasonably quiet drive. Sundays can get a bit hectic on the roads, especially toward sunset.
- Cooking Class by Anggrek Putih: Meninting, Senggigi (Dusun Presak), +6282147820060 or email email@example.com
Experience the different flavour of “Indonesian cuisine” and learn about local products: Anggrek Putih offers half day cooking classes. Classes consist of a minimum of 2 people to a maximum of 6 people; they commence daily at 9:00 am and are a fun, educational and enjoyable way to learn about Indonesian culture. Bookings are essential. Hotel pick-up can be included in the area of Senggigi, Mataram and Mangsit.
- Surfing: Hallo Lombok, Senggigi (Jalan Gladial no. 23), +62 81 339 722 122 / +62 81 736 2924 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Surfing specialist with lessons and surfing trips to Desert Point, Kuta and Sumbawa. Also offers other activities around Lombok.
- Snorkelling, Kayaking and Diving: Several of the major local operators have offices in Senggigi, below a few; for extra interest and safety it is best to go with a diving buddy that has local experience with the currents and underwater geography of the coral reefs of Senggigi, Mangsit and Gili Islands.
- DiveZone-Lombok, Jl. Raya Senggigi kav. 15, +62 813 395 4499 or email Dive@DiveZone-Lombok.com.
- Eko (Mangsit),+62 818 0571 1190 or email email@example.com. Open at all hours, 7 days a week Eko offers an interesting personalized service providing with local knowledge and reasonable prices for all divers, and accompanied or unaccompanied tours.
- Kayaking Tours, JL. Raya Senggigi Km.08 (CV.Rinjani Club T&T), 0370 693202. Guided kayaking tours throughout the southwestern islands including Gili Nanggu and Gili Lampu from 1 to 6 days with island camping, available.
- Forest Trekking; Pahrasat-Trekking Hutan, Senggigi, +62 813 3970 7130 (+62 819 3674 5275) . A local tri-lingual Sasak guide grown up in the hills and forests of West Lombok is provided; he accompanies groups or couples and provides interesting local knowledge on the area. Hotel pick-ups and lunch can be provided.