We went from Gili Air to Kuta (Lombok). Therefore we took the public shuttle ferry that runs the whole day between 8.15 a.m. – 5 p.m., always when 40 people are on board. It’s (12.000 IDR/pax) and takes you to Bangsal in 15 to 20 minutes. You can simply go to the harbor and buy a ticket there, they will tell you when the boat is leaving. We only waited 10 minutes because all the locals went home for Idul Fitri, the big celebration where all the family comes together at home. From there we took a taxi to Kuta, which cost 200.000 – 250.000 IDR (17€) that took us two hours. To get a taxi you have to pass all the taxi taxi dudes and walk to the end of the street that leaves the beach. They will try to sell you a horse car for this 5 – 10 minutes walk, so just walk.
Lombok is a green island, full of hills and the famous volcano Rinjani. In the south of the island there are beautiful sandy beaches and good surf spots. We came here on our way east and made Kuta (Lombok) our home-base. From here we rented a motorbike and drove around.
This time we booked a accommodation before going to Kuta (Lombok) because Ramadan was just about to be finished and that means all the prices are going to be higher, because the locals are visiting their families. Or some Hotels or restaurant are closed. Try to not travel in the first days that Ramadan ends, because that’s when all the locals are traveling. We got around it by leaving two days before Ramadan ends.
When we got there we were really disappointed with what we got for the price and only stayed one night. We started shopping around again and found an OK and cheap option for the next nights anyway.
Berhapa? How much?
Large water: 5.000 – 10.000 IDR
Large beer: 35.000 IDR
Nasi campur/ vegi: 20.000 – 30.000 IDR
Fruit juices: 15.000 – 20.000 IDR
Scooter: 50.000 IDR/ day
Petrol: 5.000 – 10.000 IDR/l
- Neptune Bungalows and coffee shop: 250.000 IDR/ night with breakfast, simple bamboo huts with bath and small terrace (a bit overpriced)
- Dee Homestay: 120.000 IDR/night with breakfast. Very basic room with terrace and nice garden, also dorms are available. Very simple but worth the money and nice people. One of the rare accommodations in Kuta, which are a bit off the main road, which is good because much more quiet! Hust at night a bit dark to walk there, but easy neighborhood.
- Yulis homestay: 400.000 IDR/night with breakfast and pool, nice and decent place.
- Kuta beach bungalows: 175.000 IDR/ night with breakfast, same level as neptune that means OK huts
- The stay: 200.000 IDR/ night with breakfast. Meeting many travelers, middle of village
Kuta, means a lot of loud motorbikes
Kuta (Lombok) is a small tourist center along the street to the beach and alongside the beach, which is more a harbor than a beach (not nice). It’s not beautiful there but has a lot of accommodations and food options. What is beautiful is the coast and beaches east and west of Kuta. So renting a motorbike to get there is the best option.
Exploring Lomboks beaches
We rented a scooter at our homestay and drove around for three days. We paid 50.000 IDR/ day, plus fuel. Driving was possible, but not the easiest, depends where you go. We saw more than one tourist with bandages from scooter accidents.
Our first journey brought us to Praya, the town where the Lombok airport is also situated, because we wanted to buy a few things. Since it was the last day before Ramadan almost all the shops were closed and it was more of an fun drive than really getting what we came for. Praya is a normal Indonesian city. People are Muslim and dress their part. Obviously they haven’t met too many tourists before, because we were kind of an attraction there. Everyone was friendly and helpful, even though not many were able to speak English. But our Bahasa improves…
Our second excursion brought us to the west beaches of Kuta: … work in progress…
We were in Lombok during the last few days of Ramadan and during the two big celebrating days that follow. The day Ramadan ends, the mosque did not stop shouting and singing anymore, because they were praying the whole day. In the evening little private and pretty random fireworks started – they were mostly conducted by young kids fooling around, which made the European regulations on fireworks totally make sense. And at some point in the evening, a parade started. Therefore every Muslim community in southern Lombok brought a waggon with a small mosque on it and a singing/praying guy sitting in it, using speakers. In front of the waggon and behind it kids walked in two rows carrying lights. They all were wearing special cloths fitting each other, always with heads and traditional skirts. At both sides of the road people were standing and watching. Or if they are too lazy to walk they follow the little mosque on their scooter. And a lot of people are lazy to walk…. Crazy Chaos! That’s where we were also standing and watching the whole thing, which can be described as a colorful chaos with lights, loudly praying and fireworks.
Tips for Lombok
- Overall Kuta (Lombok) is not nice at all, its all about tourists. Not much original.But we think if you are a surfer and you have some surfbuddys, that must be THE spot. There are so many different spots around, all can be reached easily by scooter. Surfer Paradise!
- Rent a scooter and drive alongside the south coast, the beaches are really beautiful.
- Don´t eat at the “Warung” at the corner where the Mainroad hits the Beachroad, not good and too expensive.