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!
The Big Drums of Lombok
Join in almost any major cultural event in Lombok and you will see a band of colourfully dressed performers carrying huge drums across their bodies, filling the air with the irresistible beat of Gendang Beleq.
Gendang Beleq (literally translated as “big drums”) is distinctive to Lombok and forms an important part of local cultural performances.
These big drums are actually a variant of the Kendang drum that traditionally accompanies gamelan orchestras throughout Indonesia. The drum is long and barrel shaped and has a skin stretched over each end.
The right hand skin has a deep bass tone, while the left hand skin produces a higher pitched slap, characteristic of these drums. The tones of each skin can be changed by banging the right hand skin with a small mallet, or by covering one skin while hitting the other. In this way a variety of tones can be produced by the drummers.
The Gendang Beleq used in Lombok is distinctive because of its huge size – usually around 1.5 metres in length and fifty centimetres in diameter. Gendang Beleq drummers train for years to be able to master the combination of drumming, dancing and manoeuvring the size and weight of the drums, in a skilful and graceful performance.
In feudal times, when Lombok was divided into different kingdoms, the beat of Gendang Beleq was used to rouse warriors as they went into battle, and to welcome the triumphant soldiers when they returned home again.
In modern times, the big drums are now found accompanying traditional gamelan troupes at most important Lombok events. The drums form part of the overall orchestra of gamelan, with gongs, smaller drums and cymbals; playing music that is distinctively Indonesian and – with the resonant tones of Gendang Beleq – distinctively Sasak.
However, like many traditional practices, Gendang Beleq was at one time in danger of disappearing in Lombok. In 1992, it was estimated that there were only around 30 known Gendeng Beleq troupes left on the island.
With modern music, radio, TV and MTV, the young people were not so interested in the old art and style of traditional music.
Then, in 2005 under an initiative led by Ibu Serinata, the wife of the then-Governor, the first Gendang Beleq Festival was organised, inspiring a surge of renewed interest in the art.
The revival of the art became a reality, with over 4000 drummers participating in the event. The success of the 2005 Festival resulted in an award from the National Museum, MURI, for breaking the Indonesian record for musical events.
A second festival was held in September 2006, this time with 5500 drummers participating, and the national record was once again broken. An award commemorating that feat was presented at the Festival – ensuring that Lombok holds a special place in the Indonesian record books.
Today there are more than 125 Gendang Beleq groups active in Lombok, with more people inspired to take pride in their unique local ceremonies and arts.
Gendang Beleq troupes often appear at festivals and events throughout the year, so check with your hotel or travel agent for local performances when you visit.
• Unique dinner events are a specialty at Qunci Villas in Mangsit and the current “Qunci Tour around Italy” dinners every Friday night are a fabulous way to take a culinary tour around Italy, sampling the best foods from different regions.
On Friday, 29 June enjoy a delicious 5-course degustation menu featuring dishes from Tuscany and Florence.
On the following Friday, 6 July, sample the best dishes from Umbria and Perugia.
The 5-course Tour around Italy dinner is exceptional value at just Rp 540,000++ each or choose to accompany the meal with specially selected wines for each course for Rp 990,000++ inclusive. See page 47 for details.
• Pasta Pojok in Senggigi serves up some of the best authentic Italian food you’ll taste outside of Italy!
Now you can feast on all your favourites at the Italian Buffet available every Saturday night at Pasta Pojok, starting from 7 July.
Enjoy the freshly made pastas that have made Pasta Pojok famous, as well as delicious salads, crispy based pizzas, and more. And don’t forget the decadent home-made gelato!
The full Italian Buffet is great value at just Rp 240,000 net per person. Add on the free-flow Sangria package for an extra Rp 200,000 and you’ve got a winning night out! See page 20 for details.
• School holidays are here and the Novotel Lombok Resort, in conjunction with Rinjani Indah School, is running a “Kids Summer Holiday Camp” at the beautiful beachfront resort in Mandalika.
Rinjani Indah School is a community based school providing the educational needs for the growing Kuta and South Lombok area. The school offers an international standard education in conjunction with programmes to support child development.
The Holiday Camp will run every day from Monday to Saturday between 18 June to 27 July with an action-packed and fun programme for children aged 4 - 12 years.
Activities include Dance, Treasure Hunts, Arts & Crafts, Kids Yoga, Water Play, Sand Castle Making, Cultural Activities, Beach Sports and much more.
This is a great way for children to meet other children in the area and to keep the kids entertained, while being fully supervised by the qualified teachers from Rinjani Indah School.
Rates range from half day to full day programmes (including a yummy lunch at the resort). Lombok residents receive a 20% discount!
Hurry – spaces will fill fast! See advert on page 65.
• Don’t miss the next Cellar Party at Square Restaurant in Senggigi on Friday, 6 July.
Held on the first Friday of every month the Cellar Party features three and a half hours of free-flow imported red and white wines, together with a delicious buffet including sushi, tapas, pasta, roast meats, salads and desserts.
The Cellar Party starts at 7pm and costs just Rp 450,000 per person (inclusive) for a night of wining and dining.
Or you can choose the ‘buffet only’ option for just Rp 200,000 net per person... excellent value for a delicious meal and a great night out at one of Senggigi’s best dining venues! See advert on page 3.
YOUR CHANCE TO CLIMB RINJANI (and Help Lombok’s Forgotten Children)!
Have you always wanted to climb Lombok’s famous volcano, Mt Rinjani? Now is your chance to do it with a great group of people AND help an important Lombok charity at the same time!
Fiona Forrest from the Fiona Unity Foundation has organised many events over the years to help Indonesian charities, most notably last year when she not only walked alone around the entire circumference of Lombok island but then finished her long walk with a climb up Rinjani!
Both events were held specifically to raise funds for the Endri Foundation in Lombok.
Facebook users will be familiar with the charity organisation “Lombok Forgotten Children – Endri Foundation”.
The foundation was set up in 2014 to help the sick, disabled and dying people – many of them children – who live in Lombok and who are largely ignored or “forgotten” by society.
Endri Susanto, who heads the Foundation, together with a small team of dedicated volunteers, works tirelessly to make Lombok a better place for his people.
Working with very limited funding, Endri and his team have managed to carry out a staggering amount of projects over the past few years, including life-saving surgeries for horrific tumours, corrective surgery for deformities, supplied artificial limbs and wheelchairs for children who had never walked or been mobile, given hope to a group of 30 blind children, and too many other benefits to list here (you can find out more at the Foundation’s website: www.endri.org).
Australian expat and mother of two, Fiona has lived in Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia, for the past 12 years. She is also the founder of Fiona Unity Foundation, a charity which has supported numerous charities over the years, particularly orphanages and those that care for children.
Fiona has seen the great progress that Endri and his foundation are making in Lombok and has thrown her considerable support behind the team to help them raise much needed funds to continue their work.
Fiona also believes that raising funds for charities should be fun! Hence she loves to organise events that involve people in fun activities – like the 2018 Mt Rinjani Charity Climb.
Sponsored by Rudy Trekker, the Charity Climb will take place from 5 - 9 September with a spectacular 4 day / 3 night climb up the 3,726 m volcano, camping on the mountain and at the magical crater lake along the way.
Price includes all essential camping gear, including your own tent, sleeping bag, mattress and pillow, porters to carry the gear, a toilet tent, and plenty of food and drinks for everyone.
So start training now and “climb to make a difference”!
LOMBOK TO HAVE NEW GOVERNOR THIS MONTH
(and current governor questioned by Corruption Eradication Committee)
As we go to print this issue, 171 regions across Indonesia are preparing to go to the polls, when Indonesia will simultaneously hold the Direct Election of Regional Heads and Deputy Regional Heads (known as Pilkada or Pemilihan Kepala Daerah).
The campaigning period for the elections officially ended on 24 June, with voting taking place on 27 June 2018.
The elections were held simultaneously in 17 provinces, 115 districts and 39 cities throughout Indonesia including West Java, Central Java, East Java, Bali and Lombok.
These elections were particularly important for the province of NTB (the islands of Lombok and Sumbawa), as voters will choose a new Governor and Vice Governor for the province.
Other local elections chose candidates for the position of Regent (Bupati) and Vice Regent (Wakil Bupati) of the regencies of West Lombok, East Lombok, and Bima in Sumbawa.
The current NTB Governor, Zainul Majdi, was first elected in July 2008 for a five-year term. He was re-elected in the gubernatorial elections in May 2013 for another five-year term.
Indonesian law imposes a limit of two five-year terms on the position, which means Governor Majdi was not eligible for the 2018 elections.
Governor Majdi hopes to run as a candidate in the Indonesian presidential elections next year.
Final candidates for the position of Governor and Vice Governor at the time of going to print were:
1. Suhaili and Amin
2. Ahyar and Mori
3. Zul and Rohmi
4. Ali BD and Sakti
In a surprising twist, Governor Majdi admitted to reporters on 28 May 2018 that he was being questioned by the Indonesian Corruption Eradication Committee (KPK RI).
While the Governor told reporters that he supported the investigation by the KPK, he was not willing to disclose what the subject of the questioning involved.
Speculation in the press since then has been rife.
A report published by local newspaper Radar Lombok said the KPK had not yet opened an official investigation but was at the collecting of material and evidence stage (Pulbaket) regarding alleged corruption in NTB Province.
Radar Lombok reported that the KPK has conducted evidence collection and information reports on several people in the province recently.
Among the alleged cases of corruption are the Regional Budget (APBD), the construction of the Islamic Center, and the divestment of shares by PT Newmont Nusa Tenggara (NNT).
The Chairman of the Society of Solidarity for Transparency (Somasi) NTB province, Ahyar Supriadi welcomed the KPK’s efforts, saying that it was very reasonable that KPK investigate the alleged corruption cases in NTB, given that such things continue to be repeated in the province.
One alleged corruption case sited by Ahyar related to the divestment of 24 percent of shares in PT Newmont Nusa Tenggara – the Newmont gold mining company conducting mining on the neighbouring island of Sumbawa.
The alleged case is on-going and more information is expected to be disclosed in the following months.
Hotel Vila Ombak has opened a new harbour for transfers between Gili Trawangan and mainland Lombok.
Located just 2km north of Teluk Nara, the new harbour is called Teluk Kombal. Teluk Kombal can be reached in around 40 minutes by car or taxi from Senggigi (and just under two hours from Lombok International Airport).
The new terminal building is large and comfortable with shaded seating and professional staff on hand to assist you with boarding and luggage.
A small wooden dock extends directly from the beachfront, making boarding and disembarking easy.
The best part is the speed and comfort of the Sonic Fleet – Vila Ombak’s iconic yellow speedboats. Designed to seat up to 20 passengers, the vessels are large and stable.
Powered by two 200hp Honda engines, they handle the waves easily and make the crossing from Lombok to Gili T in a comfortable ten minutes.
Boats depart Teluk Kombal at 9.30am and then every hour until 1.30pm. Return transfers from Gili T start from the Vila Ombak jetty at 10.00am and run every hour until 2.00pm.
Price for a one-way transfer is just Rp 150,000 per person (and you don’t have to be a guest at Vila Ombak to use the service!)
For bookings, visit the website at: www.vilaombak.com or download the “Hotel Vila Ombak” app at Google Play.
PURI MAS INDONESIA OPEN DANCE SPORT CHAMPIONSHIPS 2018
Get ready for a fabulous weekend of world-class dance in Lombok!
Puri Mas Boutique Resorts & Spa will host the annual Indonesia Open Dance Sport Championships on Saturday, 30 June and Sunday, 1 July.
Anyone who has attended these dance festivals in previous years knows that this event is a rare opportunity to witness a world of graceful movement, swirling costumes and breath-taking performances by world-class dancers.
Now in its 13th year as the top dance sport event in Indonesia, the status of the Lombok International Open Championships has been recognised and the event has now been upgraded to the Indonesia Open.
The dance championships are already firmly established on the international world dance calendar – and a truly unique event for Lombok, bringing together top dancers from around the world and a line-up of the world’s best judges and adjudicators.
The initiative is the work of the official organiser, Marcel De Rijk – a long-time Lombok resident who is himself a past professional Ballroom and Latin World Champion dancer, a renowned international dance teacher and adjudicator, and currently President of International Dance Asia (IDA).
Marcel, Lombok’s own “Father of Dance”, has been the driving force for establishing the dance festivals in Lombok and still works tirelessly to teach and encourage young dance champions in Lombok and throughout the world.
Marcel is also President Director of Puri Mas Boutique Resorts & Spa, who are the primary sponsors of the event and host hundreds of competitors and adjudicators from around the world each year.
The Dance Championships will be held in the Aruna Grand Ballroom at Aruna Senggigi Hotel, with the resort providing their beautiful ballroom for the event.
Lovers of dance and anyone wishing to take part in a unique opportunity to see fantastic displays of world class dancing and artistic performances can enjoy a full programme of different dance styles over the two days of the festival.
Saturday, 30 June: IDA International Dance Asia – Ballroom & Latin, plus Artistic & Freestyle Dance
These full day and evening events include different dance styles and exciting performances of modern and artistic dance – Street Dance, Hip-Hop, Electric Boogie, and more.
Last year’s performances wowed the crowds as some very talented dancers put on displays of unique and creative dance styles.
Saturday also features show-dance, as well as Solo Artistic Dance, Latin and Ballroom dance.
Daytime sessions run from 10am to 5pm, while the evening session is from 6pm to 11pm. Entry to these fantastic shows starts from just Rp 10,000 per person and Rp 50,000 for front row seating!
Sunday, 1 July: IDA International Open Championships – Ballroom & Latin Dance
On Sunday from 10am, guests can enjoy a full day of Latin and Ballroom dance performances, with top dancers from around the world competing for the finals in each category.
The Gala Event: Sunday evening
On Sunday evening, the Gala Event provides a spectacular night of entertainment with the best of the best competing for the championship titles.
A highlight of the evening will be fantastic show dance performances by world champions!
This year’s special guests are Nino Langella and Andra Vaidilaite, finalists in the World and UK Championships 2018, together with the top National Team from China.
Dance performances of this calibre are what you would normally expect to see in the top ballrooms of Europe.
The Gala Event includes tickets to the shown with reserve seating and a buffet dinner, starting at 5pm.
Spectators will enjoy a full evening of world-class entertainment, so get a group together now for this glamorous event! Prices are Rp 350,000 for front row and Rp 250,000 for reserve seats (inclusive of buffet dinner).
Gili Trawangan – or Gili T, as it’s affectionately known – is an island that is constantly evolving.
From its humble backpacker days to welcoming the sophisticated world travellers of today, Gili T has managed to keep its charm as the island keeps pace with its rapid development.
As we head toward the‘2018 high season’ (the busiest tourism months of July and August), Gili T is already buzzing – indeed the island rarely experiences the ‘low season’ found in other parts of Lombok.
It’s this buzz – this energy – that attracts travellers from around the world and draws comparisons to other destinations such as Koh Tao for the diving and Ibiza for the lifestyle.
The beachfront has recovered from the demolitions carried out in February last year, when government authorities demolished all beachfront buildings to return the beaches to public land.
There’s little evidence of the wreckage these days and the beaches are freely accessed by all, as are the beautiful beach views, which remind visitors that they are on a unique island paradise regardless of the trendy shops, bars and restaurants lining the beachfront.
Indeed parts of Gili T look like someone has picked up Seminyak and relocated it to a small white sand island!
Boutiques, surf shops, bakeries, gelato stalls, bikini bars, retail chains and modern resorts have changed the face of this island over the past few years.
The hustle and bustle of Sentral – the main hub of the island near the harbour – can sometimes feel claustrophobic with so many people, pushbikes and cidomo (local horse carts) occupying limited space.
But take a stroll in the early morning, when the sun is just rising over the Rinjani mountain range to the east, and you’ll find that the island hasn’t changed that much.
In the early hours, the streets are quiet and the beaches are clear of the crowds. Local ladies sweep the path in front of their shops, little kids go down to the beach to splash and play, street sellers wander along the road selling nasi bungkus (small parcels of rice with meat and vegetables) for breakfast.
While the east coast of the island was originally the focal point for development, with its white sand beaches and fantastic views of the mountainous Lombok mainland.
However, such is the popularity of Gili T these days that no part of the island remains untouched and each side shows a unique character. Best of all, none are too far away to be reached by either foot or bike when you want a change of pace.
While the beaches on the east coast aren’t the best for swimming, they offer a peaceful vibe and stunning views, particularly at sunset when the sun highlights the island of Bali floating just across the sea.
The south coast, with its stretches of undeveloped beaches and natural bush areas, retains its backpacker and surfing roots and proudly flies the hippy flag with eclectic locally owned beach bars like The Exile.
The north coast boasts a quieter charm, with lovely hideaway resorts and uncrowded beaches with good snorkelling.
It’s easy to see why people keep coming back and how this island paradise manages to please so many different types of people from so many different walks of life.
Constantly evolving, always a work in progress, Trawangan is truly an island that has something for everyone.
Diners were in good company at the second “Tour around Italy” dinner at Qunci Villas this month, with a lightening visit from ‘Pak Scott’!
Guests enjoyed a delicious 5-course degustation menu by Qunci Executive Chef, Gianluca, featuring the best dishes from the Piedmont region in Italy, with each course accompanied by selected Italian wines.
The “Tour around Italy” dinners are available at Quah Restaurant every Friday night, with a different region featured each week
(see opposite page).
COCANA RESORT… A Dream Destination on Gili Trawangan!
As Gili Trawangan continues to develop as one of Lombok’s most popular tourism destinations, the demand for upmarket accommodation is also growing.
The latest development to realise this dream is Cocana Villas & Resort – a luxurious beach club and villa and suite development now under construction on the east coast of the island.
Designed as a 5-star integrated lifestyle and wellness resort, Cocana Villas & Resort is comprised of 57 exclusive villas and 64 suites with full resort facilities.
The crowning glory is the expansive 10,000 sqm Beach Club set across from beach, with its huge swimming pool designed to take advantage of the stunning ocean and sunset views.
Billed to be the largest beach club on the island when completed, the club will feature a beach bar and restaurants, 300 sun loungers, water sports and dive centre, and a music and entertainment venue.
The 1, 2 and 3 bedroom villas each feature private swimming pools and offer a barefoot luxury vibe with sophisticated designs and high quality furnishings.
Investors in the resort have been quick to recognise the potential of the development – with a projected Return on Investment (ROI) of 11% and a guaranteed ROI of 6% for 5 years.
Investments start at Rp 1.4 billion and properties are available with Freehold Title or 100 year Leasehold Titles. Investors enjoy up to 28 days per year owner usage.
Mirah Property Group, the Bali-based developer, says investment has been strong with 70% of the properties in the development now sold and the resort due to open in 2019.
Cocana will be managed by Gerald Guillouet, Managing Director of Cocana Hospitality Management and former Vice President of Accor Hotels S E Asia.
“Cocana Sunset Lagoon is set to become the new upscale resort benchmark in Gili Trawangan,” Gerald told us. “Our resort concept offers international travellers all the elements of a lifestyle and wellness experience. The outstanding surroundings of Gili Trawangan is the perfect environment for practicing health activities, stress management programmes,and spa healing therapy, as well as for celebrating life and enjoying all the activities available at the Cocana Beach Club.”
“All accommodations at the resort have either access to a private plunge pool or to a lagoon pool. The facilities and friendly but professional service will set new standards of upscale hospitality in the Gilis and will attract leisure travellers seeking luxury, local culture, tradition and Asian culinary treats,” he continued. “Investors in search of attractive returns and benefits should not miss this opportunity!”