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Earlier this year I made a trip to Lombok, Indonesia with my partner. Although we only stayed on the main island for a few days, here are 5 things to do if you visit Lombok. Click here if you want to read more of our trip, or if you want to know more about the Gili Islands then click here!
Hire a scooter and explore the island
Lombok is an island to be explored! You can hire a scooter for as little as 60,000 RP (3) a day. You can find the most amazing views and remote little villages if you set yourself to explore and to get lost for a day! Petrol is not expensive either and is 20,000 RP per litre bottle which you can pick up at most stalls on the side of the road. Make sure you are 100% comfortable with the scooter and take it for a test drive beforehand. When choosing the helmet make sure it is not broken because your safety comes first! Check with your travel insurance that it includes driving motor vehicles because I have heard so many stories of foreigners having scooter accidents and having to spend a load of money in unknown hospitals, so make sure you double check that detail!
You also should compare prices with a few people, because when we were looking for our scooter, one of the guys renting them wanted to keep our passports while we had the scooter. I was not prepared to let a stranger off the street have my passport for the day so we went with our hotel when renting the scooter which didn’t need to keep our passports at all. I think we paid an extra 20,000 RP to go with our hotel but having to get a new passport in a foreign country would have cost a hell of a lot more.
Find a remote rural village and see how some of the locals still live
We were trying to find the Sendand Gile waterfalls one of the days we hired a scooter and got totally lost by taking the wrong turn. We ended up going through this remote rural village which just put everything into perspective for me. The kids were so happy and waved joyfully as we drove past. Take time out to visit some rural parts of the island and say a friendly hello to the locals, maybe even give them a gift.
Trek up Mt Rjani
Unfortunately we didn’t end up doing this as we only had a limited amount of time and they recommend a few days for this trek, but I have heard from a close friend that this is a must do. You have to hire a guide to take you up but you will have no trouble finding one, there are plenty to choose from. Your hotel or backpackers will be able to recommend some local guides. Make sure you barter prices to get a reasonable price for the both of you.
Try grilled jagung bakar (corn on the cob) at the street stalls
OMG my mouth is drooling over this. If you hire a scooter for the day then you will see loads of street stalls grilling corn, this is called jagung bakar. It is slathered in a BBQ sauce, not the Heinz kind either! It will leave your tummy satisfied and is a good snack to have in the middle of riding your scooter across the island. Don’t be scared to try the food from the street stalls, it is delicious!
Enjoy the quietness of the island
Lombok is a lot quieter than Bali. You will realise once you get off the beaten track that there is nowhere near as many tourists as there is in Bali. Enjoy it and be warned, if you have blonde hair and fair skin you will be stared at. I felt like a superstar when driving past locals. Lombok have some of the friendliest people I have come across and would always want to smile and wave to you. Respect their culture and please don’t let Lombok turn into a mini Kuta (Bali) by trashing the island. Steer away from the Sengiggi as that is a tourist trap, instead head up east or south of the island.
Hope you enjoyed this post and please leave a comment if you have anything else to add to this list. I highly recommend Agoda when booking accommodation. We got an amazing flash deal when booking our hotel in Lombok! Have a look at Booking.com as well, they can also have great deals. Don’t feel like paying for accommodation? Then read my article on ‘How you can get free accommodation’.