Wednesday, August 3, 2011

How to Indulge Yourself while Being in Lombok

Lombok island located in West Nusa Tenggara is almost head-to-head with its neighbour island, Bali, in competition of attracting foreign and domestic tourists. Lombok can be categorized as one of the compelete tourist destinations with its fantastic natural resources starting from Mount Rinjani to exotic and rarely visited beaches including Kuta beach, Aan Cape, as well as the attractive small islets (known as gili).

There are six ways that can be applied by backpackers or non-backpackers to maximize fun of having a vacation in the island.

1. Be well-prepared with itineraries. Spontanities in preparing them sometimes can be more exciting but they are supposed to be the subject to skip if you only have time contraints to have a vacation. Find as much as possible the information of destinations from internet such as accomodations, transportations, distances and durations of visiting one place to the others. Doing them will hinder you from conflict of ideas or spending time on discussing destinations especially if you take the vacation in groups.

One of the sites, www.visitlomboksumbawa.net helps you find the information on festivals usually held in Lombok. As an example, Malena Sapi (cow race) is held this month in West Lombok and Senggigi Festival is held in Batu Layar village, Lobar regency, West Lombok.

2. It takes more money if you have to rent a car compared with taking a public transportation in Lombok such as Bemo (shuttle bus) or Cidomo (horse cart). An 8-hour car rent of Avanza provided with its driver can be charged for local rate at Rp300,000. The service will enable you to reach areas not served by public transportations as bemo or cidomo are rarely found in Mataram and mostly found out of the city.

The car rent also offers a free of charge tour guide service besides a driver. The drivers know very well the tourist attractions mostly visited by tourists or places rarely visited but abundant with spectacular natural resources as they are natives of the local areas. Don't forget to get the fixed rate of the service to prevent you from having arguments when paying the bill after using the service.

3. Extra cash needed. No charges for entering handicraft centers in Banyumulek Village, Sasak tribe traditional village, Sade village, and Lingsar castle. However, there will be boxes of donation placed at several places that need your volunteer contributions of around Rp5,000-10,000 to help develop local villages.

The amount of money will be needed for volunteer payment of local tour guides that are able to tell you in details of stories and histories on local tourist attractions. That's why it's necessary to prepare small changes of Rp5,000-10,000.

4. Drop by the rarely visited places when taking a trip around Lombok Island as there are many unique places to explore besides common places visited by tourists. Thefore it is necessary to leave as early as 7 in the morning to make sure you have enough time to explore the places. During the time, you can take a view of Sasak farmers planting seeds of paddy in the morning mist. The rising sun shining the greeny paddy fields completes the lovely view.

The moment can be taken by photographers who want to get the scenes of farmers planting paddys, male farmers cultivating fields, as well irregular buyers purchasing dry unhusked rice from farmers. You can take time mingling with locals by greeting and introducing yourself to them. Gradually they will find the comfort to share with you about their daily life and activities as Sasak farmers. If lucky, you will be invited by them to have breakfast on the edge of paddy fields by them.

Stop by the open traditional markets located at road sides. There are days, Mondays and Thursdays, in which all traders from the whole regions of Lombok gather at spots such as Sengkol market, Central Lombok.

5. Be ready with sunblocks. Lombok island is well-known for its exotic beaches lying from West Lombok to South Lombok. Senggigi Beach and three gili lie; Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, and Gili Air, lie in West Lombok. While fascinating beaches; Kuta, Tanjung Aan and Mawun beach, lie in South Lombok.

There several kinds of activities that you can do on the beaches such as sunbathing, snorkeling, diving, as well as surfing. Sunblock is compulsory to carry along as scorching sunshine on the beaches can get you sunburn. At least by applying sunblock, you do not have to be bothered thinking about being sunburn and can have more fun doing kinds of activities on the beaches.

6. Be ready to have parties on Gili and Senggigi! Night festivities in the island are minimal, not like the ones in Bali popular with its 24-hour festive life. The center of city looks quiet from sort of activities starting at 10 pm.

However, if you still insist on spending the night life in Lombok, you can head to Senggigi where dozens of cafes, karaoke pubs, as well as seafood restaurants are open till late at night.

Enjoy the beauty of night life if you happen to stay in Gili Trawangan. Tourist will be lured by festivities and music entertainment and they can dance to their hearts' contentment until morning comes.
Source:kompas.com
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