As we go to print, the Senggigi Festival has just opened, starting with a wonderful street parade through the centre of town.
Visitors were delighted by a parade of beautiful Sasak ladies dressed in delicate lace kebayak, dramatic theatrical performances, colourful and exotic costumes, exciting displays of skill and courage in Peresean stick fighting competitions; all overlaid with the sounds of gamelan orchestras and the throb of the big drums, the Gendang Beleq, for which Lombok is famous.
Every year, around this time, we receive emails from tourists who are wondering whether to visit Lombok during Ramadan, the Islamic fasting month.
Ramadan will begin on 8 - 9 July this year and will coincide with “high season” on Lombok. Muslims across Indonesia will be fasting for an entire month; so now is a good time to dispel some of the myths that get aired at this time of the year.
• Villas on “The Hill” in Batu Layar, just five minutes south of Senggigi, are some of the most stylish and breathtaking in Lombok and are becoming increasingly popular holiday options to staying in a hotel.
Villa Cantik is one such property. Set 150m above sea level on the lush green tropical hillside, this newly built villa has wonderful views that extend across the Lombok Strait all the way to the spectacular peak of Bali’s Mount Agung.
As we reported on the front cover of our last issue (Issue 144, published 24 June 2013), low cost airline Jetstar have announced the commencement of direct flights between Lombok and Perth (West Australia).
The airline will be the first to introduce non-stop direct flights between Lombok and Australia.
QUESTION: I have just arrived on the holiday island of Lombok on a backpacker tour of the many fascinating islands of Indonesia. I don’t have much money, so I try to stay in the cheapest accommodation I can find and eat the cheapest street food there is.
Last night, all the rooms were booked except for a double room with only one bed and I had to share it with another male who was a total stranger, which made me feel a bit uneasy. To make matters worse, he just snored and passed wind all night long. I didn’t get a wink of sleep. Can you suggest a way I can avoid this in the future?
Good day all and welcome to Lombok’s and (Gili Trawangan’s) high season! Things are really picking up over in the Gilis, with tourists flocking here by the boat loads!
With this added volume, I’ve managed to hire a really fantastic chef to help me out in the kitchen at Gili T Resort. I Made Merta comes to the resort after working for several years at some very high-end resorts and happily, he shares in my commitment to offer really fantastic food on the Gilis at an affordable price.
Such has been the success of Hotel Vila Ombak on Gili Trawangan that, no matter how much the resort expands and builds on existing facilities, the demand just keeps growing.
“We had to start looking for options,” said General Manager, Imam Wahyudi. “And decided to build a sister resort on the west coast of the island. This gives our guests the option of staying at Vila Ombak on the east coast – close to Sentral, the restaurants and the nightlife; or at Ombak Sunset on the west coast, which is away from the noise and crowds, and shows a more peaceful side of Gili T.”
Peresean Kapolda NTB Cup 2013, held last week, is an annual event with the strongest and the boldest from around the island competing in Lombok’s traditional form of “Sasak martial arts”.
Peresean, or stick fighting, is a popular traditional sport, unique to Lombok. Two muscled competitors pit their strength and wits against each other, using heavy sticks (penjalin) to strike at each other’s bodies and shields (ende) made from toughened cow hide to prevent the other from striking a blow.