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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Southwest, Pristine Beaches, They Call The Secret Islands

Floating tn the sparkling turqoise waters just off the southwest coast are twelve small islands called the southwest gilis. Unlike the fomouse gili island in the northwest of Lombok, the southwest gilis are largely uninhabited and have yet to be discovered by most travellers, thus they are often called "The Secret Islands"

South of the bustling ferry port of Lembar on Lombok’s west coast is the island’s best-kept secret. A meandering road leads all the way to the far south, hugging a spectacular coastline of sugary white sand beaches, bays, hidden coves and a collection of glistening offshore tropical islands. Scenic coastal drives don’t get any better and if you are seeking that quintessential deserted beach idyll, the sheer choice of spots to escape to will likely leave you breathless.

The whole of the southwest is ripe for adventurous sun seekers and at Desert Point in the far southwest, you will find some serious waves, lauded as one of the world’s truly great surf spots. Along the twisting coastal road beyond the main tourist centre of Sekotong, you will encounter incredibly colourful images of rural life - water buffalo ploughing rice fields, lobster fishing, small pearl farms and rustic fishermen’s huts dotted alongside blinding white sands.

Sekotong
The Sekotong area is located just a few kilometres south of Lembar harbour and comprises two gorgeous sandy bays at Sekotong and the nearby village of Taun. There are a number of new hotel developments taking shape here yet it is still light years away from becoming overrun with visitors; you are still likely to have a wide stretch of brilliant white sand all to yourself. This is the jumping off point for the handful of ‘secret Gilis,’ tiny offshore islands which are dotted just offshore around the two bays. Beach life is an uncomplicated affair - getting horizontal under swaying palms and swinging in a hammock or a slightly more adventurous option is a day of deep sea fishing. In recent years the area has become something of a scuba divers’ haven with a series of newly discovered dive sites, and pristine coral reefs being found all the time.

The ‘Secret Gilis’
Between Sekotong and the Desert Point surf break in the west, there are a dozen dreamy, idyllic small islands just offshore teaming with spectacular reefs and abundant soft white sand.  Little more than tiny specks in the ocean, all exude a peaceful, back to basics ambience and even the more established Gili Nanggu, Gili Gede and Gili Asahan are delightfully low key. Other islands include Gili Sudat, Gili Tangkong, Gili Genting and Gili Lontar, all of which offer unforgettable snorkelling and scuba diving close by.  All the islands can be reached by private charter outrigger boats from Sekotong.

Gili Gede is one of the few islands in the area that has accommodation, at Secret Island Resort on the south, Via Vaccare on the northwest and Madak Belo on the east.

Gili Gede is large enough to provide a range of activities such as hiking to the hills in the centre for fantastic views across the other islands, exploring deserted beaches and hidden coves and meeting the people living on the island, who are very friendly and, as yet, unspoilt by tourism.

Secret Island has comfortable budget accommodation, including a unique bungalow perched on a pier over the reef – the only one in either Lombok or Bali. The Resort offers a host of activities that all the family will enjoy, while also being a place where you can get away from it all.

Secret Island can also organise fishing trips and island hopping excursions to the other beautiful islands in the area, most of which are deserted, about their comfortable 9m custom-built boat “Scorpio”.

To the south of Gili Gede, the islands of Gili Ringgit, Layar and Asahan are lined up like secret treasures in the calm sea.

Bounty Cruises, a Bali based company, own a large parcel of land on Gili Ringgit and have constructed a boat mooring and pier on the island. There is good snorkelling on the west side of Gili Ringgit, accessed by boat. Large gardens of hard and soft corals lay just beneath the surface and the reef extends along most of the island’s coast.

On the other side of the island is where the pier is located, with a fantastic white sand beach. It is a favourite for guests from Secret Island Resort, and Dive Zone often brings divers to the island to relax in between dives, as the scenery and beach here are so lovely.

It’s easy to snorkel offshore, just north of the pier and, although the reef isn’t as large as on the other side of the island, there is still plenty to see. Bright blue starfish drape themselves across patches of coral, and bright yellow and black Moorish Idols dart through the water. Schools of hundreds of small iridescent fish swim past and weirdly shaped squid drift by in the deeper areas.

We met a boat load of happy tourists on Gili Ringgit, out for the day with Dive Zone, who described the diving as some of the best they’ve ever experienced. Most couldn’t stop gushing about the huge school of turtles they had just seen near Gili Layar!

All around these Southwest Gilis, abundant coral reefs lay just below the surface waiting to be explored, filled with thousands of brightly coloured tropical fish, huge sprawling blue starfish and magical turtles gently gliding through the water.

Slightly south of Gili Gede, beautiful Gili Asahan attracts visitors with deserted white sand beaches, clear calm waters and swaying palm trees.

Pearl Beach Resort, the only accommodation on the island, is a lovely boutique hotel with charming and well-designed bungalows looking out over a breath-taking beach. Of a higher standard than most of the southwest accommodation, each bungalow has a private terrace and western style bathrooms with hot water.

There is also a beachfront restaurant serving western and Indonesian meals, and good snorkelling directly from the beach.

The resort is popular with divers and can arrange diving and snorkelling trips, as well as island-hopping tours. Pearl Beach is perfect for romantic escapes and for those seeking the tranquillity of a private island resort.

Leaving Gili Asahan and back on the mainland there are small home-stays and private accommodations spaced out along the road to Bangko-Bangko – known as Desert Point and the surfing Mecca for those in the know – located on the far southwest tip of Lombok.

The wide white sand bay is lined with fisherman’s huts and draws hundreds of surfers every year from as far away as Hawaii and Brazil to challenge the huge waves of Desert Point, just offshore.
Although the road deteriorates after Labuhan Poh, it is still passable for most vehicles in the dry season. During the surfing season, from mid-May to September and again in December, the beach is buzzing with surfers, but otherwise it is a remote and peaceful area. Bali is clearly visible, with the island of Nusa Penida only about an hour’s sail away.

The drive to the point is dotted with bucolic scenery and tiny villages, making it a worthwhile trip even for non-surfers. There is basic surfer accommodation in the area and plans for development in the near future.

Those who wish to explore the underwater world further can join dive adventures with either Dive Zone in Sekotong or Odyssea Divers at Cocotinos

The dive sites reflect a good cross-section of what Indonesian diving has to offer. Dive in and be fascinated by turtles, white tip reef sharks, cuttlefish, moray eels and many other varieties of marine life. The reefs are full of bright soft corals and colourful corals, which harbor an amazing variety of rare marine life, including ghost pipe fish, leaf fish, pygmy seahorses and much more.
The southwest is slated for tourism development and it’s easy to imagine hotels and resorts on all these beaches and islands in the future, as well as yachts, fishing boats, windsurfers, dive boats and the like. But for now, the Southwest is unspoilt and the Gilis remain the secret islands… stunningly beautiful, pristine and unique; and known only to the lucky few.
Readmore → The Southwest, Pristine Beaches, They Call The Secret Islands

Monday, June 24, 2013

What To Do And What To See In Lombok

Getting around Lombok is easy by car or motor bike and you can hire these in all the main tourism areas, with an international drivers license. for your convenience advance booking are recommended especially when high season ( June, July, August and mid of December to mid of January ). The roads are generally in good condition and traffic is light. alternatively, hire a car and driver for exploring or take part in the tours and day trips offered, or allow us to arrange your wish and need during your Holiday time.

Lombok is one of the popular tourist destination in Indonesia and attracts travellers from all across the globe. The island of Lombok is located East of Bali island and can be easly acces by air or sea. Lombok, an integral part of the Indonesia Lesser Sunda Islands is situated in the province of West Nusa Tenggara an a series of small islands in the Indonesian archipelago. It stretches for some 5000 km between Malaysia and Australia. Lombok spans 90km from north to south and 80km from east to west. It boasts untouched, pristine beaches, a bigger volcano, Mount Rinjani, and a huge variety of different landscapes and sceneries.

Are you content with just spending your holiday in your hotel and along the main tourists venues? Why not try something new and learn a little more about Lombok and Indonesia. Can you really say "been there, done that"? Just hang out and relax on your vacation or keep busy with one of the many activities on Lombok: Sightseeing, Golfing, Fishing, Bicycling, Trekking, Snorkeling, Diving or Surfing.

Beaches
Kuta lombok beach
The whole island is surrounded by fantastic beaches, most of which are covered in clean white sand and fringed by coconut palms. Drive just north of Senggigi to Malimbu or Nipah and enjoy deserted beaches with fine snorkelling and swimming. The southwest coast also has fine beaches, especially around Sekotong and Taun. Visit the small island of Gili Nanggu for rustic accommodation and great snorkelling just off shore or stay at Gili Gede to explorer the other twelve undeveloped islands in the south west. The beaches around Kuta are breathtakingly beautiful. Visit Mawun, Selong Belanak for fantastic scenery, Kuta for long stretches of white sand and turquoise waters, or swim in the peaceful lagoon Mawi.

Gili Island

Diving
With so many beaches and small islands. Lombok offers a myrad of Diving and snorkelling opportunities. The best known locations are around the Gili islands such as Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, Gili Air. Snorkelling is easy from the shore and all three islands are well served by professional dive operators who offer full PADI certification course, day and night dives to the many sites around the Gilis, as well as specialised courses and Liveaboard adventurous, there is superb diving around the islands off the south west coast and the small inhabited islands off the east coast.

Surfing
lombok surfing
Lombok is becoming a world renown surfing destination amongst surf enthusiasts world wide. huge waves challenging surf lure die hards to Bangko Bangko ( Desert Point ) on the south western tips of Lombok. Kuta on the south coast, surf central and has range of accommodations and services catering specially to surfers. Adventure Lombok offers complete surfing packages, such hire a surf boards long board and short board any types, Ding Repairs, Take Surf Lesson from professionals. Wave at Gerupuk, Kuta Lombok and south coast offers a great wave for beginner, advance and professional surfer.

Trekking

Mt Rinjani
Much of the island is still covered by natural rain forest and jungles, making Lombok ideal for ecotourism and adventure tours. There are a number of spectacular waterfalls on the island which provide lovely trekking opportunities, whether travelling independently or as part of a tour. Sindang Gile on the slope of Mt. Rinjani in the north is an easily accessible waterfall in a stunning jungle setting and popular with visitors. Air Jeruk Manis, near Tete Batu is reached by walking through pretty rice fields and forests. The awesome Benang Stokel and Benang Kelambu waterfalls, in central Lombok, are located with in a short trek of each other and make a perfect day trip for those who appreciate truly magical natural surroundings.
Readmore → What To Do And What To See In Lombok

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Senggigi Beach West Coast Lombok Indonesia

Senggigi Beach West Coast Lombok Indonesia - Senggigi is the most developed tourist area in Lombok. The sunsets over the Lombok strait are superb, and you can enjoy them from the beach or from one of the beachfront restaurants. Senggigi, north of Bangsal, belongs to the most scenic and most popular beaches on the island of Lombok with good accommodation facilities. Located on the western coast of Lombok in the small village and resort area of Senggigi.

The town of Senggigi spreads out along nearly 10 kilometers of coastal road. This road continues north to Bangsal, the port for the Gili Islands. Along the way be in store for winding turns, steep hills, and a fantastic scenery of the coast. The bays are ideal for swimming snorkeling and other popular water activities and its impressive hillsides provide a dramatic backdrop and breathtaking scenic road trips along the coast to the north.
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Gili Island Paradise in West Coast of Lombok Indonesia

Gili Island Paradise in West Coast of Lombok Indonesia - Located just off the northwest coast of Lombok, the three islands of Gili Air, Gili Meno and Gili Trawangan are rapidly becoming one of the most popular destinations for visitors to Bali and Lombok. They are now easily accessible direct from Bali with the new Fast Boat service, or by plane and local boat from Lombok. All three islands feature superb, white sandy beaches, crystal clear water, spectacular coral reefs, and the best snorkeling and diving to be found anywhere on Bali and Lombok. Visitors from all over the world are attracted to the simple pleasures of sun, snorkeling, diving, beautiful beaches, and socializing. The absence of cars, motorcycles, and hawkers adds greatly to the leisure of staying on the Gilis – although there is now a wide range of accommodation available, the islands have maintained the lazy rustic charms of a tropical paradise.
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Kuta and The Sublime South Coast

South Lombok has beaches that inspire photograph from around the world and draw crowds to bake on the blindingly white sands, swim in the crystal clear ocean and challenge some of the best surf breaks in Indonesia.

KUTA is the main town and tourism centre on the south coast of Lombok, and is the hub for exploring the fantastic southern beaches and the main point of interest in the region. Located around 60 km south of Mataram and about one and a half hour’s drive from Senggigi, Kuta ( sometimes spelt Kute ) makes for a wonderful day trip from others points in Lombok, or an alternative holiday destination for travelers exploring Lombok.
Readmore → Kuta and The Sublime South Coast