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Gili Air and Kuta, Lombok Photo blog

A few words about my recent Indonesian adventure which included Bali (my next blog),  the island of Gili Air and the surfers paradise, Kuta, Lombok.  

I really cherished my time in Ubud, Bali but let’s face it, it is crowded and there is a  ton of traffic.  Gili Air was the perfect  onward destination , a breath of fresh air (literally). You see, there are no cars or motorbikes on the island, transport is by bicycles or horse carts.  The peace and quiet is such a treat.  This also keeps development at slow and sensible pace.  

Welcoming waters at the Gili’s,  

My sweet bungalow and bicycle

Horse taxi if you want a lift

Sunset was the day’s main event

From the wee island of Gili Air I caught the ferry over to the massive island of Lombok.  Lombok is most notable for  Mount Rinjani, the volcano which is one of the highest peaks in SE Asia.  I only had a couple of days remaining before my flight out of Indonesia, so I opted for the amazing seascape at Kuta (not to be confused with Kuta, Bali which is completely overrun with tourists),

I was terribly spoiled with the magnificent beaches during my time  in the Bahamas and have been disappointed time and again when visiting beach destinations in Asia…….until now.  My goodness, the beaches were huge, beautiful  and barely a tourist in sight.  I’ll let the pictures do the talking.

The beach right at Kuta town. Notice my footsteps, sinking to the ankle every step

Well-pleased to find this beach paradise

Gorgeous white sand beach, Tanjung Aan


For more photos, click on Gili Air or Kuta to see my albums.

Gili Air Info

Stayed in middle bungalow at Utopia Homestay.    The bungalow is big and beautifully constructed, mostly bamboo. Cold shower,  fan., mosquito net , decent wifi. Breakfast included. Bikes available for rent. Bookable on AirBnB. If you haven’t already, for goodness sake, sign up on AirBnB for great finds like this.You can use my link and we will both get some savings.

Ruby’s Grill –  Not fast food, but high quality ingredients prepared with great care. To top it off, the portions are very generous, I was always stuffed by the time I finished. The yellow curry is the best curry I have had in Indonesia, had it twice! Bursting with flavour and freshness.  In order of preference, I also had the green curry, Lemon chicken wrap ( great Moroccan flavour,), Indian butter chicken and the beef rendang. Gets very busy in the evening, wise to make a reservation.  
Easy Gili-  had a couple of Indonesian dishes and pizza, were okay, not great.  The service quite friendly and affordable prices.
Great sate chicken at small cart in front of Easy Gili warung in the evening. Only  2k per stick

Family Utopia Spa- next to Utopia Homestay.  Nice room and good service. They wash your feet first and give you a tea after! The massage is 110k per hour

H2O yoga has big shala and full schedule.  I went for an evening Hatha class with Alice, it was good.  All classes cost 100k, lucky me the person in front of me at registration had an extra pass that was going to go to waste and she gave it to me 😀

There are quite a few different ATMs on the island.  I used Mandiri and was able to withdraw 2,000,000 (maximum)

Getting there/away
I left Ubud for Gili Air, booking with Permata travel for 275k one way.  The trip was good and went like this: left on minibus Ubud 11AM, arrive at harbour 12:10,  depart on Wahana fast boat 13:45, arrive at Gili Air 15:45 with one stop at Gili T.

Left by slow boat to Bangsal, Lombok. It doesn’t leave until it is full. The ride itself took only about 20 minutes but had to wait about 1 hour before enough people.  Next time will wait at Coffee and Thyme next door with a drink.   ferry cost only 12k.   
I prearranged a ride from Bangsal to Kuta with private car.  I thought maybe I would find people to share the car with me but no such luck.  I felt like a bit of an ass in this big luxurious car just for myself.  It took 1 hour 45 minutes from Bangsal harbour to Kuta, passing by Mataram and the airport. Definitely would recommend the driver Arya of Aryaskana Transport, Ruby’s Grill helped me to arrange it. Cost was 400k.  

Kuta, Lombok

Must See

The Tanjung Aan beach is spectacular, very long and wide with powdery white sand.The large bay it is in is calm and shallow but there are huge waves breaking at the mouth of the bay, way off in the distance.  There are plenty of warungs to get a drink or bite to eat.

Honeybee Homestay-   This place kind feels like you are on a farm with loads of fruit trees, cows and chickens wandering around.  Staff and owners quite nice.  The room is basic with two beds, cold shower, fan and ok wifi for only 120k.  Same room with air-con is 150k.  Rented a great bicycle from them for 50k, it was good to go to Tanjung Aan.  There is a breakfast included and every morning they provide a thermos of hot water along with tea and Lombok coffee, genius. You can book it on AirBnB.  

Favourite was Waring Flora just around the corner from Honeybee.  Had grilled fish with garlic butter  and seafood (fish) wrapped in banana leaf, both good.  50k.
El Bazaar had about the liveliest atmosphere.  I had the chicken tagine, flavour was okay but would probably get something different next time. 

Getting There/Away
I arrived from Bangsal to Kuta with private car.  I thought maybe I would find people to share the car with me but no such luck.  I felt like a bit of an ass in this big luxurious car just for myself.  It took 1 hour 45 minutes from Bangsal harbour to Kuta, passing by Mataram and the airport. Definitely would recommend the driver Arya of Aryaskana Transport. Cost was 400k.  
Leaving, Honey Bee arranged a driver for me  in private car to the airport,cost 100k. The driver Petro was good and nice car.. He is also a tour guide around Lombok   

When to Go
I went in early June and it was mostly sunny, windy and dry. Not much surfing because the strong wind was making big, rough waves.  There were few tourists. apparently after Ramadan , July and August are peak season.

2 Responses

  1. Hey Marius, sadly my swimming skills are not up to muster for surfing but apparently at this time of the year even the surfers aren't surfing much because the high wind makes for lethal surf. Yeah there seems to be an almost endless supply of excellent destinations in Indonesia, just have to be a bit more adventurous than some other countries.

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