To find out more, pick up a copy of The Lombok Guide from the locations listed on our Distribution List or visit www.thelombokguide.com and discover the magic of Lombok for yourself… like thousands of others, you’ll be enchanted!
LOMBOK… Changes 2017
The government demolished buildings on the beachfront at Gili Trawangan, opening the views up to everyone.
Kuta became a town on the move with dozens of new hotels and restaurants opening during 2017, and new roads and a huge beachfront renovation still underway.
The Lombok Elephant Park opened in North Lombok with Sumatran Elephants, an orangutan, honey bears, a proboscis monkey, pygmy hippos, exotic birds and more.
Transmart Carrefour opened in June 2017 featuring CGV Cinemas and a children’s’ entertainment complex with an exciting rollercoaster ride!
Korean Air operated seven successful charter flights between Incheon Airport in Seoul and Lombok International Airport and plan to do so again in 2018.
Gojek, Uber and Grab all began services in Lombok in 2017.
Lombok hosted its second successful Gran Fondo New York (GFNY) Indonesia cycling competition in September with around 800 participants from 33 countries taking part in the event.
Lombok Learning Village – a new school aiming at international accreditation – opened its doors to students at the beginning of August 2017.
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo officially inaugurated Mandalika in South Lombok as a Special Economic Zone (SEZ), paving the way for significant benefits for investors.
Construction was started on the new Gili Mas Port near Lembar Harbour in West Lombok, designed to accommodate large ships, especially cruise ships, and due to open in 2019.
• It’s on again - a great offer from the Novotel Lombok Resort in Kuta, South Lombok!
The Novotel Day Pass gives outside guests access to the fabulous beach and resort facilities for a full day for just Rp 100,000 net pp.
Day Pass privileges include a private beach cabana, use of beach towels, free access to the beach and swimming pool, unlimited WiFi access, beach refreshments and 10% discount on food and beverages in the resort.
Now, no matter where you are staying in Kuta, you can enjoy spending the day in style at the south coast’s premier resort!
It’s also a great day trip from anywhere else on the island to spend a day at one of the most beautiful beaches around Kuta. See page 59.
•Surfs Up! And everyone knows the best surfing can be found on the south coast of Lombok!
Are Goling Beach Bungalows is a popular spot for surfers and beach lovers, and is located at Are Guling, just a short drive west of Kuta.
Accommodation is available in comfortable air conditioned rooms from just Rp 400,000 per night or stay in simple bamboo bungalows from just Rp 250,000 per night!
There’s a popular restaurant on-site serving delicious meals and snacks all day, as well as cold beers and friendly service (and expert surf advice!)
Best of all, Are Goling Beach Bungalows gives you easy access to two of the south coast’s most magnificent beaches – Are Guling Beach and Mawun! Look no further for a great surfing deal in Lombok! See page 62 for more.
•Qunci Villas is running its successful “Month of Love” programme again this year with a series of special events in January and February celebrating romance and love of food and the arts!
From 20 January, the stylish resort in Mangsit will host two artists-in-residence: Diyah Yulianti and jewellery designer Ario Rushartono. Anyone who would like to meet these respected Indonesian artists and view them at work is invited to visit Qunci from 20 January to 4 February.
The Mount Rinjani National Park Authority has officially closed Rinjani volcano to trekking, effective from 1 January to 31 March 2018.
All tourist gateways to Mount Rinjani – including Sembalun, Senaru, Torean and Timbanuh – are now closed.
The Authority normally closes Lombok’s famous tourist attraction to trekking at the beginning of January every year to protect tourists from the dangers caused by bad weather during the monsoon season.
Flash floods are common in the area and landslides make the climb to and from the crater rim dangerous, with the narrow, steep tracks becoming too slippery for climbing.
In addition, strong winds make trekking perilous. Falling trees can block paths and high winds can literally blow a person off the ridge, particularly on the path to the summit of the volcano.
With the past month of heavy rains in Lombok, trying to climb the volcano in this weather is extremely dangerous.
Finally, trekking Rinjani during the monsoon is a miserable experience. It’s cold on the mountain at the best of times and with constant rain, the trip becomes a nightmare. The magnificent views are obscured by rain, mist and low clouds and attempting the steep climb to the summit is suicidal.
Some guides will tell trekkers that it is okay to climb during this time. That’s understandable, as they make their living from trekking and the three month annual closure is tough for them.
However, they are risking your life and entering the park illegally, with no access to help if things go wrong.
Closing Rinjani each year is also important to allow the national park environment to regenerate from the thousands of people who trek through it every year.
It also allows the Park Authority to assess conditions on the trek and carry out repairs to public facilities along the trekking routes.
The Mt Rinjani trekking season will open again from 1 April 2018.
Finding family accommodation, or places that can accommodate large groups, is not easy – especially on the south coast. Most hotels and even private villas seem to be configured for smaller families of up to four.
So it was a challenge when we set out to find somewhere to stay in South Lombok for a group of 15!
The lovely Sempiak Villas on Selong Belanak Beach need no introduction as one of the premier places to stay on the south coast but few people know about the Sempiak Holiday Houses – which are a separate entity to Sempiak Villas but on the same property.
Sempiak Holiday Houses occupy their own compound toward the road entrance at Sempiak Villas. Set in a lovely garden compound, the small cluster of houses surrounds a separate swimming pool just for the Holiday Houses guests.
Here you will find one three-storey house with four bedrooms (Villa Kemos), a separate house with two bedrooms (Villa Kidung), and two one-bedroom suites (Koru and Kelana).
The four-bedroom, the two-bedroom and one of the suites fitted our needs perfectly – allowing the whole group to stay together while giving everyone plenty of space for sleep and play.
Managed by Sempiak Villas, the Holiday Houses have been built especially for groups and families and are spacious, comfortable and nicely appointed with perfect holiday amenities such as stereos, books and magazines, tea and coffee making facilities, fridges, safes and complimentary drinking water dispensers.
Unlike the stylish private villas, which for safety reasons do not accept children under the age of 12 years, there is no age restriction for guests staying at the Holiday Houses… making them ideal for families.
The secluded location of the houses ensures that noise from families and children has no impact on the exclusivity of the villas on the hill.
The swimming pool area has sun lounges, an outdoor sofa, and bean bags to relax on. There is also an outdoor shower and an elevated lounging platform for views and privacy.
I could easily imagine renting out the whole complex with the four villas for a private party or group event – or even an intimate wedding on a budget. The lovely staff at Sempiak is happy to help arrange any of these.
There is also another separate house (Villa Kemiri) which is located closer to the beach, near the reception and Spa area. This two-bedroom cottage is fully furnished and air conditioned and has a queen sized bed on the mezzanine level and a king sized bedroom on the ground floor… making it perfect for a family of four or two couples sharing.
There is a well equipped kitchen and dining area, a spacious bathroom, and a wide verandah with a comfortable seating area shaded by the surrounding trees. The beach and restaurant is only a minute’s walk away.
All guests at the Holiday Houses enjoy the resort facilities at Sempiak, such as access to the Spa and Camplung Beach Club, and can attend the daily yoga classes and use the laundry services, etc.
As the Holiday Houses are around 5 minutes from the beach, the complimentary buggy is available to transport guests to and from their houses to anywhere in the resort.
Rates for the Holiday Houses are surprisingly reasonable, with the suites starting from just Rp 800,000++ per night. Breakfast is included in the rates and is served in the lovely Laut Biru Bar and Restaurant overlooking the beach.
Guests at the Holiday Houses can spend their time relaxing by the pool, swimming and sun-bathing and then switch it up with time spent on gorgeous Selong Belanak Beach.
The Camplung Beach Club – an area on the beachfront exclusively set up for Sempiak Villas guests – provides shady lounging pavilions (berugaq) and sun lounges for spending a day on the beach, as well as toilet and shower facilities. Order up a drink or snack from Laut Biru Restaurant, just a few steps away, or move over to the beachside tables for lunch or dinner.
Selong Belanak Beach is one of the most scenic beaches on the south coast, with white sands stretching on either side of Sempiak. The small waves are fun for body surfing and younger kids love playing in the shallows and on the sandy shore.
The south part of the beach near the village is lined with beachside shacks selling drinks and local food at cheap prices. Learning to surf is very popular here, as the waves are small and the bottom is sandy, so you will find many places renting out surfboards and offering surfing lessons.
The north end of the beach is long and deserted with beautiful views, making it perfect for leisurely strolls in the early morning or in the evening after dinner.
Sempiak encompasses the ideal beach holiday and, with the stylish hillside Sempiak Villas combined with the casual elegance of the Holiday Houses, offers solutions to any accommodation needs… whether you are a romantic couple seeking luxury and privacy or a group of fifteen adults and children spending fun times together!
The Indonesian government has announced the official public holidays for 2018. Indonesian public holidays are set each year by Joint Ministerial Decree.
In total, there will be 21 national holidays including five cuti bersama (shared public holidays) – one more than the previous year.
The concept of ‘cuti bersama’ was introduced by the Indonesian Government with the aim of promoting domestic tourism and are usually added to holidays that fall on a weekend to create a long weekend holiday.
The longest break this year will be for Hari Raya Idul Fitri which will see Indonesians enjoying a seven day break at the end of the fasting month, from Wednesday, 13 June until Tuesday, 19 June.
Last year, President Joko Widodo decreed that Pancasila Day (celebrating the principles of the Indonesian Constitution), will be a national holiday each year on 1 June.
An Irish daughter had not been home for over 5 years. Upon her return, her father cursed her heavily.
“Where have ye been all this time, child? Why did ye not write to us, not even a line? Why didn’t ye call? Can ye not understand what ye put yer old mother through?”
The girl, crying, replied, “Dad... I became a prostitute.”
“Ye what!? Get out a here, ye shameless harlot! Sinner! You’re a disgrace to this Catholic family.”
“Okay, dad... as ye wish. I only came back to give mum this luxurious fur coat, the title deed to a ten bedroom mansion, plus a $5 million savings certificate.”
“For me little brother, this gold Rolex. And for ye Daddy, the sparkling new Mercedes Limited Edition convertible that’s parked outside, plus a membership to the country club ... (takes a breath) ... and an invitation for ye all to spend New Year’s Eve on board my new yacht in the Riviera.”
“What was it ye said ye had become?” asks dad.
The girl, crying again, sobs, “A prostitute, daddy!”
“Oh, my goodness! Ye scared me half to death, girl! I thought ye said you’d become a Protestant! Come here and give yer old dad a hug!”