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ISSUE 111

 

SEE BALI IN LOMBOK!

It will be a busy month on Lombok as visitors from Bali and abroad flock to our island for the Nyepi weekend, starting on 22 March and then for the Easter holidays, starting on 6 April.

As Bali shuts down and turns off the lights for its “day of silence”, Lombok lights up with a big welcome for all.

If you are on Lombok for Nyepi, make sure you catch our fabulous Ogoh-ogoh Parade through the streets of the city on 22 March. Full details are on this issue special feature article.

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SEEING BALI IN LOMBOK!

Here in Lombok, the local people have a saying: “You can see Bali in Lombok, but you can’t see Lombok in Bali!”

This is because many people assume that Balinese Hindus only live in Bali but, with the two islands being located so close together, Balinese settlement in Lombok dates back for centuries and Balinese communities and temples are found all around the west coast and the cities; it’s not unusual to see colourful Hindu ceremonies taking place around the streets of Lombok, just as in Bali.

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• Good news for Gili Meno – the least publicised of Lombok’s famous Gili Islands. The smallest and most peaceful Gili has been rated 4th place in National Geographic Magazine’s “Smart Traveller Top 5 South-East Asian Beaches”.

“It takes under two hours to stroll around the smallest of Indonesia’s three Gili Islands.” the magazine stated. “It doesn’t matter which stretch of beach you settle on, as a ring of soft sand forms a halo around the islet. And just a few feet out lies the Gili Meno Wall, home to turtles and giant Gorgonian fans”.

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STILL TAKING LOMBOK TO THE WORLD!

Our thanks to Marcel Navest, from Puri Bunga Beach Cottages (pictured above with The Lombok Guide Annual Magazine at ITB last week). Also attending the international travel show was Stephane, the GM of Santosa Villas and Resort, and Anita from Sunda Trails.

ITB, billed as the world’s leading travel trade show, is held in Berlin every year and attracted 11,163 exhibiting companies and organisations from 188 countries in 2011, with a huge 110,791 visitors attending the event. At least the same numbers are expected this year.

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BRINGING AMPENAN PORT BACK TO LIFE

The city of Mataram is pushing ahead with plans to revitalise the old port city of Ampenan, with Mataram Mayor, H Ahyar Abduh, announcing that a “ground-breaking ceremony” would take place this month, on 19 March, 2012.

The Mataram government signed a “Memorandum of Understanding” (MoU) with Indonesian investment company, PT Gunung Lawoe Mercu Buana, on 27 January, 2012. Negotiations for the revitalization of the port have been taking place since 2008.

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WINNERS OF THE LOMBOK GUIDE 2012 PHOTOGRAPHY COMPETITION!

During the months of January and February, we ran our first “The Lombok Guide 2012 Photography Competition” and received an outstanding number of responses from photographers from around the island.

The competition was open to all residents of Lombok and was divided into three categories: Culture, Landscapes and People.

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LOMBOK BEACH CRICKET!

Lombok’s inaugural beach cricket match between the Nusa Alam Allstars and the Lombok Barbarians, played on the scenic foreshore of Senggigi Beach, was a great success!

The competition featured students from Nusa Alam School against Lombok residents and was organised by Terry and Leanne McGee. To get the teams off to a good start, Karen Hughes donated her husband Lyster’s cricket equipment to the school.

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LOCAL SCENE

SCOTT’S BIRTHDAY @ QUNCI VILLAS

Guests were treated to a fabulous evening of wining and dining at the newly-opened restaurant at Qunci Villas – and superb entertainment by guest stars Kevin, Rita, Giovanni and the Qunci Villas team – to celebrate Scott’s birthday on 2 March 2012.

See pictorial...

   

QUESTION: I am an 18 year old female Indonesian student who is currently attending college in Lombok and I have met a nice boy who I am attracted to. Last week we went camping as part of the college course on group interaction therapy and my new “boyfriend” and I were alone together. 

We slept in the same tent on the final night and my boyfriend became quite amorous and I fear I may have gone too far. I have just one question : In moments of temptation, is an hour of pleasure worth a lifetime of shame?"

MR FIXER: How do you make it last an hour?

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GET READY FOR INCREASED (FUEL) PRICES

As we reported in our last issue, the government is now a step closer to raising fuel prices across Indonesia on 1 April, 2012.

As we go to press, lawmakers are debating a 33% price hike, raising the cost of state-subsidised fuel from its current price of Rp 4,500 to Rp 6,000 per litre.

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GARUDA INDONESIA RECEIVES ACCOLADES

According to the Asia News Network, FORBES has ranked Brunei Darussalam as the fifth richest country out of 182 nations worldwide, due to its extensive petroleum and natural gas fields; giving the Sultanate just over US $48,000 per capita.

Brunei Darussalam's economy has been dominated by the oil and gas industry for the past 80 years, and hydrocarbon resources account for over 90 per cent of its exports and more than half its GDP.

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PLN FACES MORE DEMONSTRATIONS

Despite the PLN (State Electricity Company) stating that they now produce excess electricity to the needs of Lombok residents, the island continues to be plagued by frequent electricity outages.

The Regional Manager of Engineering for PLN NTB, Anang Widjajanta, confirmed that the amount of available power in NTB has exceeded the needs of residents, with the PLN now generating 146 Mega Watts (MW) capacity and the peak load for consumers being around 134 MW. Therefore, the company says it has excess electricity of around 12MW per day.

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Gili Air 

This is my tenth column for the Lombok Guide – how exciting is that?!

This being the tenth column lends itself perfectly to a “Top Ten List of Things to do on Gili Air”.

I asked on Facebook and Twitter to see what people thought and I received at least thirty different answers. I was really hoping that there would be a clear “Top Ten” but, as everyone has their own favourites, it became a list of ten great things to do on the island – in no particular order!

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