General Information about Lombok Island

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Lombok Travel Tips

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Lombok Popular Destinations

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Village Tells Tale Of A Mighty Royal Past

The Old Kingdom of Pejanggik was one of the most powerful and influential empires in all of Lombok’s recorded history.

The roots and reign of the kingdom can be traced through a visit to the Central Lombok village of Pejanggik, not far from Lombok’s international airport.

The village consists of around 900 households. It is relatively arid and since most households subsist on farming, it is poor. But the village is intrinsically linked to Lombok’s colourful and sometimes violent past.

The powerful Pejanggik Kingdom once extended from the east coast to the west coast, across the centre of Lombok, and co-existed with the better known Kingdom of Selaparang in the island’s east.

“Discussing the history of Lombok without reference to Pejanggik village is a big mistake,” said village chief Mustamin.

Evidence of the regal heritage of the village is found at the Seriwa complex of graves which is believed to include the tomb of the last King of Pejanggik. “Seriwa” is a term derived from the Sasak (ethnic Lombok) word “serio’”, which means to observe or see.

The King’s tomb, occupying an elevated position in a gated complex of tombs beyond a public cemetery, has existed for hundreds of years and has been declared a cultural heritage site. The complex is surrounded by very old frangipani trees.

The graveyard is in the centre of Pejanggik village, on the road between Praya in Central Lombok and Keruak in East Lombok.

“There are many versions of Pejanggik history,” said Mustamin. “But we believe that this is where the King was last viewed.” The King’s tomb is the only one that is not walled and the only one dressed with white fabric.

The sacred tomb attracts pilgrims from throughout Lombok and beyond, especially on Muslim holy days such as Eid al-Fitri (Idul Fitri in Indonesia).

As well as the royal tomb, Pejanggik village has the Toro watercourse where the King is believed to have hidden royal heirlooms. Some villagers claim to have antiques such as fabrics and home furnishings from the days of the empire.

When the waterway dries up, it attracts believers who use it as a venue for rituals.

According to historical literature, the Pejanggik Kingdom stemmed from the arrival of Deneq Putra Mas Pengendengan Segara Katon and his son, Deneq Mas Komala Sempopo, in the Rambitan area of Central Lombok. From 1648, the kingdom began to expand.

Relations between Pejanggik and the East Lombok Kingdom of Selaparang were good until political estrangement developed under its ninth king when relations soured at the hands of Pejanggik powerbroker Arya Banjar Getas.

Arya Banjar Getas clashed with the King’s son, Meraja Kusuma, and sought support from the Balinese Kingdom of Karangasem in a war that resulted in the fall of Pejanggik.

The King of Pejanggik was captured and exiled to Karangasem where he later died. Many Pejanggik nobles fled to Sumbawa.

The alliance of King Anak Agung Karangasem and Arya Banjar Getas systematically battered the Lombok kingdoms, one by one, conquering Parwa, Sokong, Langko and Bayan.

Many of the Lombok kingdoms surrendered without resistance and the entire island was conquered in 1740.

Pejanggik village commemorates its heritage with the annual Perat Timbung tradition – a war ritual involving timbung, a Lombok snack made of glutinous long rice. The ritual symbolises society’s obedience to the old kings.

Common opinion is that the tradition stemmed from both internal turmoil within the Pejanggik Kingdom and tension with Selaparang.

At the time, the king’s counsellors advised him to gather his people in a mutual giving of timbung in order to promote unity and friendship.

Today, the annual Perang Timbung ritual is staged along with Sasak cultural exhibitions and parades including traditional percussion music. Unlike the similar Lombok tradition of Perang Topat (Rice Cake War), Perang Timbung is a “war” between men and women.

The village’s history and colourful re-enactments of historical events have attracted international interest. “Tourists are coming to our village to uncover the heritage of the Pejanggik Kingdom,” said village youth leader Ilham.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Lombok Hums With Gili Nanggu Pact For Growth

Lombok has been abuzz with talk and speculation about the proposed “sale” of the beautiful little island of Gili Nanggu off West Lombok’s Sekotong coast.

The hullabaloo has contrasted starkly with Gili Nanggu’s overriding sense of peace and serenity as people have wondered if investment will turn the little island into the flagship attraction to focus tourist attention on scenic Sekotong.

Local government has entered into a 30-year renewable agreement which gives an investment company, PT Istana Cempaka Raya, rights to manage and develop the 14 hectare island paradise.

Nanggu is one of 23 idyllic little islands in West Lombok’s Sekotong area. The largest island is Gede and the smallest and perhaps most stunning is Sepatang. The Sekotong islands are a magnet for tourists, especially foreigners, seeking solitude, serenity and exotic unspoiled nature.

The smiling operators of about 30 local outrigger-style boats wait at Tawun on the Sekotong coast to welcome visitors and whisk them away to paradise on better known islands such as Nanggu, which is closest to the coast, Tangkong and Sudak.

Tawun is about a 60-minute drive from Mataram and while boats can be taken from Lembar Harbour, which is closer to Mataram and the tourist hub of Senggigi than Tawun, time at sea is much longer.

The Tawun boatmen charge Rp200,000 to take six passengers on the 15-minute crossing to the islands. The fee includes life insurance, though sea conditions in the sheltered coastal waters are invariably calm.

A white sand beach extends either side of the timber pier on Gili Nanggu and the view across sparkling ocean to the mainland shows the rolling green hills of Sekotong.

Most visitors make the day trip from either Bali or Senggigi, further north on the West Lombok coast.

Tourist guide Yan, 45, who had escorted 10 Senggigi-based international visitors to Gili Nanggu, suggested Nanggu as an ideal alternative for those wanting to escape the much more crowded atmosphere of popular Gili Trawangan, one of the world-renown Three Gilis in north-west Lombok.

“If it’s crowded on Gili Trawangan then many guests feel far more comfortable here because Nanggu is quiet and beautiful,” he said.

Gili Nanggu has two equally exotic little neighbour islands. Gili Sudak covers about 30 hectares, is rimmed with heavenly beaches and has a restaurant. Uninhabited Gili Kedis is widely known as Honeymoon Island or the Romantic Island.

Nanggu and its neighbours are perfect for diving, snorkelling, exploring beaches and reefs and getting away from crowds and back to nature.


Sunday, May 27, 2012

Enjoying Seger Beach

When you are visiting Kuta Beach, make sure to allocate your time to go to Seger Beach. The beach is located only about 2km from the East of Kuta Beach. Since the location is near with Kuta, make sure to take a visit it also. This beach is in the same coastline with Kuta Beach. Not only serve us a great beach view, but also the stunning underwater life. Just like in other beaches, the common activities that you can do in Seger Beach are swimming, surfing, sunbathing and definitely watching the sunset.

lombok surfing seger beachIf you love snorkeling or swimming, then Seger Beach is an ideal place. Each part of the beach is perfect for the calm water sport, there is one favorite part of the beach for snorkeling. You can also find the best place for surfing with excellent and quite challenging wave intensity, just like the waves we can find in Kuta Beach. It is said that many tourists prefer to have snorkeling and Lombok surfing in Seger Beach than Kuta Beach due to the wave and view.

Finding Seger Beach is an easy thing, the route is simple and the location is not hidden. You just need to go about 200 meters to the East and follow the sign when you have reached the first intersection. When you hit the intersection, turn left and about 1km from there, you will find Seger Beach. The easiest way to reach Seger Beach is by using a motorcycle service from Kuta Beach to Seger Beach by paying about IDR 10.000 to IDR 20.000.

kuta and seger beachOn certain months, usually February to March, you can watch Bau Nyale ceremony or catching the sea worm in Kuta Beach and Seger Beach. This ceremony done annualy and it is signed with the appearance of sea worm or nyale, which is believed to be the incarnation of Princess Mandalika. Not only can you watch and catch Nyale, but also taste some foods from Nyale. Some local Lombok people said that Nyale is tasty. Therefore, don’t ever miss this chance because Nyale can only be found in Lombok island.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Visiting Malimbu Hill, Best Place to Watch Sunset

There are plenty of beautiful places you can visit if you want to watch the beauty of sunset in Lombok. However, Malimbu Hill should be your major consideration because the hill will give you a special view that you cannot find in other places. It can be said as the best place to watch sunset. Malimbu Hill is located about 24 km from Mataram downtown or about 10 km from the north-side of Senggigi beach. The road to reach the area is quite challenging. If you are using a private car, it takes about 45 minutes to reach the area from Mataram.

What makes Malimbu Hill the best place to watch sunset when you’re in Lombok holidays? When the sky is clear, you can enjoy the sunset and at the same time, you can see Gili Trawangan and Gili Meno, two of the three most popular Gili in Lombok Indonesia. It is also possible to see Mount Agung at Bali island from distance. It is like combining sunset in Lombok with some of the most beautiful places on earth.

lombok tourismMalimbu Hill is often made as a rendezvous place for some community like biking community because nothing worth than the view from Malimbu Hill after the challenging biking. For the motorcycle riders, the place can be the best resting spot before they continue their riding. You can choose two spots to watch sunset from Malimbu Hill: from the west or east side of the street. On the east side, you can find a rest area that stretches about 150meter with about 2 meters wide leveled sidewalk. There, you will see the sunset from the 25 meter cliff, but you don’t have to worry about your safety because you are protected by a strong guard rail. The cliff is filled with shrubs and you can see some monkeys that are looking for a small treat from the visitors. The south-side area is used for a parking lot, while the center to the North is used to watch the sunset.

lombok adventureYou can also watch the sunset from the east-side or Malimbu Hill. There is a wasteland about 6 meters higher from the road. There is also about 6 x 4 meter resting area. To reach the place, you have to climb a cemented stairs that is usually used as a parking lot. Many foods and souvenirs sellers are ready in those areas since 4pm, so you can enjoy some traditional snacks or coconut before the sunset comes. Some souvenirs made from pearls are also available. You can also take a picture with the background you want like Malimbu Beach or the hill, Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno or the sunset.

Malimbu Hill is a perfect place to end your Lombok adventure in a day. After you visit some places near Malimbu Hill like Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air, watching the sun going down on Malimbu Hill is the perfect climax. You will pass this hill if you want to visit those three places from Mataram anyway, so you just need to adjust the time, so you can get there by 4 or 5 PM. Not only can you watch the beautiful sunset from Malimbu Hills, but also Serumbu Hills about 8 km to Mataram.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Visiting Benang Kelambu Waterfall

If you want to feel amazed by the nature of Lombok island, then you should visit Benang Kelambu Waterfall. This waterfall might be the best waterfall in Indonesia and maybe in the whole world. There are so many waterfalls in Lombok, like one on the feet of Mount Rinjani. However, if you want to find a spectacular waterfall, then Benang Kelambu Waterfall is the best choice.

There are only two ways to play in the water and get wet: on the beach and waterfall. Lombok Indonesia serves them all in the most spectacular way. If you want enjoy soothing fresh water, then you are recommended to go to a waterfall. There are some waterfalls in Lombok and the most popular are Benang Kelambu Waterfall and one located on the feet of Gunung Agung. The Benang Kelambu Waterfall is located in Central island of Lombok.

benang kelambu lombok waterfallIt is situated about 32 km from Mataram or about 1 hour with vehicle. From Mataram, you should go to Narmada City, Sedau, then you should head to east until you find Pancor Dau intersection. Turn to northeast until you find Teratak market intersection and go to the north. Make sure to ask the local people if you feel clueless because there is only one sign to reach the waterfall, or for your safety, you can ask a travel guide to guide you there.

You only need to pay about IDR 5,000 to enter the Benang Kelambu Waterfall location. On the gate, you will be welcomed with plants and peaceful atmosphere. The road is paved, so it is very comfortable and you can find some stalls on the sides of the road. You can buy small towels, drinks, foods, snacks, or even kaputrice.

Make sure to bring water with you because you will walk about 500 meters on a mountainous land contour island of Lombok. You will hear waterfall sound on your way to Benang Kelambu Waterfall, but it is not Benang Kelambu Waterfall, but Benang Setokel waterfall. Make sure to visit the waterfall. The name Benang Setokel means a bundle of thread. This waterfall is divided into two parts and each of them is as high as 20 meters. The water is so clean and fresh, so you can jump on it. The water comes from a river upstream on Mount Rinjani. You can swim under the waterfall because there is a huge pond under the waterfall. The water flows to the river on lower level. The clean and clear water allows you to see the base of the pond. If you have your children with you, make sure to take them to a river that is located about 50 meters from the waterfall. This river part is shallow and has calm water, so it is perfect for children. They can play and swim on the river.

benang setokel waterfallAfter visiting Benang Setokel waterfall, you can continue your trip to Benang Kelambu Waterfall in Lombok by walking about 1 km. You will find so many plants that are managed by the local people. You can see various plants there like banana trees, coffee, jackfruit and many others. The path is located in the middle of forest, so the contour can be quite challenging. If you have not bought beverages and snacks, you can buy one on the entrance of Benang Kelambu Waterfall. About 100 meters before the waterfall, you have to climb quite a steep stairway. You can find water stream through one side of the stairway.

Once you reach Benang Kelambu Waterfall, you will get mesmerized by the waterfall, Instead of flowing through stones, the waterfall is flowing through plants. The word “Kelambu” means curtain and the plants are framing the waterfall just like a window and curtain. There are six waterfall spots and two or them are stretching like a curtain. Tony, a guide on Benang Kelambu Waterfall said that the water flows through Benang Kelambu Waterfall and Setokel waterfall does not pass any river. Since the water flows directly from the fountain, the water is very clean, fresh and can be drunk directly.

The cliffs of Benang Kelambu Waterfall are flown by fountain, so no wonder if plants are growing almost anywhere makes walls from plants. Benang Kelambu Waterfall can be divided into two parts. The first part is similar to Benang Setokel waterfall and the second part is a group of four waterfalls. The last part is the major attraction. The waterfall has 2-3 levels. The first waterfall level is as high as 30 meters which water comes right from the fountain. The second level of waterfall is as high as 10 meters which water flown from the first waterfall level. There are some third level waterfalls that are not as high as 5 meters.

Unlike Benang Setokel waterfall, Benang Kelambu Waterfall does not have a pond, so you cannot swim on any pond. However, the best thing about Benang Kelambu Waterfall in Lombok is the freshness of the water because it is fresh from the spring. On the front part of the Benang Kelambu Waterfall, there are some large and small stones where you can enjoy the view of the waterfall.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Beauty Of Selong Belanak Beach

When you are talking about beach, then Lombok is serving the same beauty as Bali. Many tourists find Lombok more interesting because each of the beaches that can be found in Lombok tourism is having its own character and uniqueness. One of them is Selong Belanak Beach, it is quite a beautiful long beach with white sand.

Selong Belanak Beach can be said as one of the most prestigious beaches on Lombok tourism, especially when we are talking about the beauty and cleanliness of the beach. One of the best things about this beach is the shape of the shore that looks like a crescent. The beach is having a curvy shape with hills on each point. This beach is the part of Selong Belanak Bay that faces Indian Ocean. The length of the coastline is not less than 1 km. About a quarter part of the south side of the beach is used by local people as village. There are about 40 families who work as fishermen there. Of course, the area is not recommended for swimming because there are so many fishing boats rest there. If you want to do water sport, it is recommended to do the activities from the central to the north side of the beach. The area is free from local people’s activities. Local and international tourists are able to use the area for beach and water activities. Selong Belanak Beach has the glittering soft white sand and sloping contour. The wave is not so high and the water is perfectly clean.

selong belanak beachWith such beach condition, you are able to do various activities. You can just relax on the white sand, exploring the beach, sunbathing, swimming and many others. You can also go fishing by renting a small fishing boat from the local fishermen or if you are interested in the local people’s life, you can simply observe they way they live like how the children taking up water for the every day need, fishermen fixing their boats, the fishermen’s wives making sate from their husbands’ catch and many others.

Even though this beach is so popular, but when we compare it to other beaches, the beach is relatively tranquil, you will only find some tourists spending their time on the beach. The beach will be so crowded during the holiday season. Therefore, if you are looking for a beach that allows you to relax and enjoy silence, this beach is highly recommended.

This beach is not crowded, but we don’t have to worry about the facilities because we can find so manywarung near the fishermen’s village. You can also find fish sate there. If you want to stay overnight, you can rent a villa in the area.
lombok indonesia tourismSelong Belanak Beach is located abut 49 km from Mataram City. With car or motorcycle, you can reach the beach in 1.5 hour. From Mataram, you just need to take the route to Lombok International Airport. If you have reached Jami’ Penunjak Mosque, you should turn to the north until you find the beach. When you are going to reach the area, you will find a magnificent view of the beach from the top. You will find a large bay with blue crystallized ocean framed by curved white sand.

The access to this beach is quite smooth even though you have to up and down in the last 15 km. Along the way to the beach, you will find so many tobacco farms or horticulture plants. Once you hit the parking lot, you will find some small cottages with traditional style left untreated. Walk about 50 m from the parking lot and you will be served with a beautiful clean beach.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Hindu Parade of Giants Unifies a City

   Lombok’s history of religious tolerance and cultural diversity was exemplified by the massive Ogoh-ogoh parade in Mataram on the eve of the Balinese Hindu new year celebration of Nyepi, known as Silent Day.
People from Lombok’s indigenous Sasak community, which is Muslim, joined representatives of the island’s Chinese and other ethnic populations to support and take part in the Hindu parade of giant hand-made effigies of ogres.
The huge, often gruesome effigies are sculpted to represent the Balinese Hindu concept of Bhuta Kala which addresses the immeasurable characteristics of universal strength and time.
On predominantly Hindu Bali, the effigies are paraded on the eve of Nyepi, which this year was on 23 March, and then destroyed before the island plunges itself into silence and darkness for 24 hours in an effort to convince any surviving evil spirits that no one is at home on Bali.
The 24 hours of Hindu fasting, reflection and meditation is held to purify the soul and body and persuade evil influences to leave Bali in peace for the coming year.
While Ogoh-ogoh in Bali remains an exclusively Hindu ritual, in which youth participation is encouraged by official competitions among villages to create the best effigy, in the Lombok capital of Mataram all Hindu communities and others participate in one Ogoh-ogoh parade.
Muslim Sasaks and Chinese of various religions contribute effigies to the procession and assist with organisation and management of the parade which has become an official annual event of West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) province.
“Ogoh-ogoh this year was very special and the involvement of so many elements of society epitomised our strong culture of religious tolerance,” said 2012 Ogoh-ogoh Mataram chairman Nyoman Artha Kusuma.
In Bali, individual Hindu communities use Ogoh-ogoh to enact stories from the Ramayana and Mahabharata whose legends feature creatures such as dragons, spiders and crabs.
In Mataram, people’s creative spirit has seen the creation of effigies of fantastic alien creatures and even such modern-day phenomena as the Harley-Davidson motorbike.
Mataram’s Hindus conduct Ogoh-ogoh as a means of warding off natural disaster such as cyclones, landslides and weather conditions that result in reduced crop yields. Through Ogoh-ogoh they seek God’s blessing to protect their environment from natural misfortune.
“We ask that winds which have the strength to sweep away the homes of fishermen are turned into breezes that carry them to good fishing grounds, and that winds with the power to uproot trees become pleasant breezes that cool the residents of the city,” said Artha Kusuma.
The 2012 Mataram Ogoh-ogoh parade theme of Uniting for Equality and Tolerance of Differences allowed those taking part to embrace and express the Indonesian national objective of Unity through Diversity.
Traditional Balinese music was followed by a typical Sasak beleq (drum)   presentation and other ethnic music styles such as cilokak, tawak-tawak and ale-ale.
Officially in its seventh year, Ogoh-ogoh in Mataram this year attracted thousands of spectators and a group of foreigners who joined the parade bearing an effigy of their own.
In predominantly Hindu Bali, activity is severely curtailed in the 24 hours of Nyepi following Ogoh-ogoh. Transport is halted and people stay within their homes to meditate without the use of electricity and machinery. The island is dark and quiet.
On Lombok, Hindu communities voluntarily observe the seclusion of Nyepi at their own discretion, but the island is otherwise open for business.
As a result more and more tourists from Bali as well as non-Hindu residents of the island travel to Lombok, especially to the north-western islands of Trawangan, Meno and Air and to the Senggigi tourist strip, for the Nyepi break.
The annual Nyepi influx from Bali has become an important tourism boon for Lombok. Some resorts offer special Nyepi packages and most report increased occupancy.


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