Lombok and The Gilis

Missnaughty

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My Favorite place to stay : Tugu Hotel and my own home by the rice field .. :D
Fav place to eat whilst in Senggigi : Asmara Restaurant for food, Alberto for the ambience, and La Chill so I can pretend I am in Bali.. most of the time I go to local cuisine that I am sure not suitable for western taste.. too spicy.. hahhaha..
Not so keen on Gili Trawangan anymore, but there are many other small island to visit like Gili Sudak, Gili Nangu etc..
Oh.. hiking to rinjani could be challenging.. be prepare..

It is kind of you hate it or you love it type of place .. nothing in the middle.
 

londo_edan

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S. Lombok - my favourite place to visit / stay in Indonesia at the mo.

Sleep in Kuta, hire a scooter and the world is your oyster - provided you like beaches.

Sengigi is OK but a bit busy these days and getting more like S. Bali as each year passes.

I guess the tourism options shrink but more rewarding the further E you go. Certainly seem to be a lot of visitors flying to L. Bajo and Sumabawa from Bali on my recent trips. I'd like to visit Pulau Sumba in the next year or 2.
 

Scooterindo

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Can you fly directly to Sumbawa direct from Bali ??
 

londo_edan

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Not sure, but the last time I flew DPS to Praya with Wings Air, the plane was going onto Sumbawa and there were more people staying on the plane than getting off - which surprised me.
 

ratu_tuaq

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There's a film coming out set in Lombok - looks good:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/trave...lombok-pesantren-to-premiere-in-malaysia.html

Though I note the JP have incorrectly labelled the photo, the lovely shot in their story is from the beach at Selong Belanak and not Sengigi

LOL @ photo of "Senggigi" ... I WISH Senggigi looked like that! I'm in Ampenan about 10 minutes' drive from Senggigi and am not a fan of its beach and rarely go there. The beach is filthy and full of hawkers. And the sand and water pale in comparison to Selong Belanak ;)

Film DOES look interesting though. Wonder where we can see it?
 

jstar

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For the proverbial fluttering of the dovecotes: I have seen an overall community in Lombok which is very traditional, similar to central Java. (It's not for nothing the movie should be appealing to Malaysian tourists.) And I'm sorry, I don't want to go from one place with an everlasting amount of amplified mosque adhans, to another. That is one reason why Bali is still more likable in my case..

And I know it's very trendy to mention an upscale hotel as the Tugu, but that of course is in the middle of (beautiful) nowhere. The worst is the mediocre food and service, all under the umbrella 'but we are a boutique hotel, you should not expect resort service here'. I have heard that many times at places that are not performing up to par. Then I would even prefer the Sheraton which was even cheaper. I did like the Qunci Villas though. About the Gilis; these reminded me more of Aruba, Belize, perhaps even Jamaica. And some places are like Amsterdam, if you know what I mean. So great if you want to have a good time yes.
 
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ratu_tuaq

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For the proverbial fluttering of the dovecotes: I have seen an overall community in Lombok which is very traditional, similar to central Java. (It's not for nothing the movie should be appealing to Malaysian tourists.) And I'm sorry, I don't want to go from one place with an everlasting amount of amplified mosque adhans, to another. That is one reason why Bali is still more likable in my case..

Lombok is a rather odd case IMO. When I first came here 27 years ago, women wearing hijab were few and far between. Nowadays, most women here wear them, and in fact there's a group of women in my kampung who wear the niqab. I know Lombok has always been quite a religious island in general (island of a thousand mosques etc.), but it seems to me this religiosity is much more overt these days.

I actually don't mind the sound of the adzan - for me it's quite soothing. However, there are so many mosques now around my kampung, and I can hear at least 15 different adzans going at once during each call to prayer.

I have a lot of respect for the local religion, especially since my husband and his large extended family are all Muslim, but don't get me started about community spending on lavish mosques, at the expense of environmental protection and solid infrastructure. I do harp on about this a lot in my kampung (god-awful pot-holed roads, no rubbish bins or regular collection so the streets are filthy) but no one listens and the local government aren't interested. If I had enough money I'd try to fix it myself!
 

londo_edan

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And I know it's very trendy to mention an upscale hotel as the Tugu, but that of course is in the middle of (beautiful) nowhere. The worst is the mediocre food and service, all under the umbrella 'but we are a boutique hotel, you should not expect resort service here'. I have heard that many times at places that are not performing up to par. Then I would even prefer the Sheraton which was even cheaper. I did like the Qunci Villas though. About the Gilis; these reminded me more of Aruba, Belize, perhaps even Jamaica. And some places are like Amsterdam, if you know what I mean. So great if you want to have a good time yes.


There is plenty of choice these days - even in Sengigi and up the coast road to the N. One can pay 250K and have a nice clean Air-con room with TV and a breakfast thrown. Same in Kuta on the S Coast and a bit more in Mataram. The nicer places, up say 1.5 / 2 Jt must be great, but I usu. stay for a couple of weeks or more and hence those prices are unrealistic for me.

Masjid speaker sounds don't bother me too much in Lombok, but in Kuta the length and intensity of the calls to prayer get on my nerves a bit during the Fasting month.

As for that movie, perhaps it will be shown at the 21 in the plaza in town - Epicentrum - great addition to Mataram IMO. Lombok has a Starbucks!
 

ratu_tuaq

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Masjid speaker sounds don't bother me too much in Lombok, but in Kuta the length and intensity of the calls to prayer get on my nerves a bit during the Fasting month.

As for that movie, perhaps it will be shown at the 21 in the plaza in town - Epicentrum - great addition to Mataram IMO. Lombok has a Starbucks!

During Ramadan the mosque behind my house (wasn't there when my husband bought the place!) allows kids to do Quranic recitals over the loudspeaker until 12.00/1.00 at night. Hard to cope with when the same kids wake everyone up at 3am with their drums and shouting. I don't mind the waking up at 3am to eat, it's the not being able to sleep until 1am most nights. :dizzy:

Epicentrum is a nice break from kampung chaos sometimes. I usually only go there to do a "cheese run". I love my Sasak food, but the occasional Wendy's burger is such a nice change at times. As is the occasional Starbucks frappuccino. Also happy to have a Bread Talk here finally so I can get my fire flosss fix ;) The cinema up there is amazing. My son visited from Australia last Christmas, and we took him to see Star Wars at the VIP cinema complete with recliners, pillows, blankets and waiters. What an experience! Haven't been to Lombok City Center yet though I heard it's twice as big as Epicentrum.
 

fastpitch17

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Isn't Lombok a Islamic tourist attraction now? It was named so after they wanted Bali but were told where they could go with that idea.
 

londo_edan

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It's being marketed as a part of the Halal tourism push - I guess that's what the above mentioned movie is partly about.

I hope it goes well, you already see quite a few Malaysian tourists in Lombok due to the direct AA flights from KL and Emirates are considering adding a number of direct flights (which will help a lot - the dodgy fast-boats that ply the Padang Bai to Lombok Barat route won't).

I hope that Lombok finds a middle ground, whereby they can increase the std of living of the local population without going completely bonkers a la Bali.
 

Davita

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How easy for some to forget...
Lombok was going to be a resort equal to Bali...according to Dubai EMaar company who pledged millions to develop the south beaches...then convinced the RI gov't to build that white elephant airport in the middle of nowhere which lay idle for a few years and had to be repaired before opening.
EMaar went bankrupt.....

"Lombok Megaproject On the Line in Dubai Trip

A representative of PT Bali Tourism Development was sent to Dubai on Sunday to meet representatives of the troubled Dubai-based Emaar Properties regarding a long-delayed $600 million tourism megaproject planned for south Lombok, a senior West Nusa Tenggara government official said.

“A representative of PT Bali Tourism Development will go to Dubai and talk to Emaar to push them to finalize the project,†said Badrul Munir, West Nusa Tenggara’s deputy governor. “Vice President Jusuf Kalla wants the matter resolved before October.â€

The project has been plagued by land-acquisition problems and disputes over a proposed joint venture.

In mid-June, Emaar gave the government a third and final extension — until the end of the year — to resolve the issues. No progress has been made in the three months since the “final†extension was signed.

“Emaar hasn’t responded at all to BTDC letters in recent months,†said Hari Susetyo, the tourism deputy at the State Enterprises Ministry." 
 

londo_edan

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I doubt if many people in S Lombok have forgotten the cancellation of these projects.

My understanding is that these events were as a direct result of the 2007/8 financial crisis (developments in the S were not the only projects that were affected).

Work on the Mandalaika resort was re-started in June / July I believe.

I also wouldn't call Praya a white elephant, its handy for S.Lombok and Kuta, and not too far from Mataram / Sengigi and gets busier every time I fly there. But DPS it is not (and that's fine with me :panda:).
 

Davita

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The bankrupt Emaar bankrupt project was open for investment. A Chinese Company was very eager to take over and fund everything but the Lombok Sasak would not hear of that...its either Arab (Sharia compliant) or nothing...good luck with that.

You cannot put the 'Gilis' in the same tourist marketing strategy as the rest of Lombok...it doesn't fit. The airport to the Gilis is way too far and the speed-boats are clearly unsafe but my friend runs a helicopter service Serangan-Gili, including a tour around Mount Agung, a truly 'Brownie' selfie opportunity....put it on your bucket list.
 

londo_edan

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The bankrupt Emaar bankrupt project was open for investment. A Chinese Company was very eager to take over and fund everything but the Lombok Sasak would not hear of that...its either Arab (Sharia compliant) or nothing...good luck with that.

That sound like bar-room gossip to me, e.g. the latest news is:

Meliá Hotels International to increase presence in Indonesia with its first hotel in Lombok, Meliá Lombok Tangkong.

I doubt that Novotel, Sheraton, HI, Swiss-Inn and other Western-based hotel chains are particularly Sharia compliant.

If I were you, I wouldn't focus too much on the Halal tourism tag, I never had any problems buying a beer during Ramadan at the beautiful, almost deserted beaches of S. Lombok :becky: - bliss indeed.
 

Davita

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That sound like bar-room gossip to me, e.g. the latest news is:

It was an article in Jakarta Post some time ago...here is another regarding the failed Emaar project.

"...According to Jakarta Post, the Indonesian government will reissue a tender for the mega resort project to foreign investors two of whom are from Abu Dhabi and Ras Al Khaimah."
 

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