We were told by our friends that Kuta Beach in Bali was lovely but overrun by tourists, surfers and party people. There is nothing wrong with that but we were looking for a more peaceful easy going option with less noise for our family. We were told to head over to Lombok, the island next to Bali and only about a 40 minute flight away.
I would not recommend flying Air Wings or Lion Air. If you do, be sure to leave at least five hours in between the flight back to Bali from Lombok to get you to the international airport on time to not miss your flight. Both flights to and from Bali were extremely late and in the end caused us to miss our flights home to Bangkok (costing us another $600USD for new tickets). Lesson learned: Leave a lot of time in between these little fights or take the speed boat from island to island, which might take longer but I bet they will be on time…
Senggigi- Fun in the sun
We arrived to Lombok and drove about an hour and half to Senggigi to the Living Asia Resort, which I highly recommend. We spent two days relaxing by the pool and beach. The break was much needed after our rigorous volcano trek the night before. We were told our spot on the island was the best for sunsets and they weren’t kidding! The sun sets behind the volcanoes on the island of Bali providing a stunning view. Watching it would make you feel so small and insignificant but at the same time you couldn’t help but think God made that just for you to enjoy. The waves were big and the undertoe was very dangerous. There wasn’t a good day to go swimming in the ocean during our entire stay due to the danger but it was still nice to sit, listen to the waves and play in the pool.
Well as you might know, we couldn’t sit still for long but I also hadn’t booked or planned anything. I knew the Gili Islands were nearby and we could take a boat to see those and snorkel but I wasn’t entirely sure how to go about that. I started googling and found Lombok Adventures, a tour company offering a very different tour experience.
We decided to give this company a try since all of their reviews were stunning. They had a tour of the Gili Islands and Killi was thrilled since apparently we were taking a boat to the “Killi Islands” to go snorkeling. Lombok Adventures will pick you up, set you up on their private boat, provide snorkeling equipment (even a life vest for small children), provide water and take you to three different islands: Gili Air, Gili Meno, and Gili Trawangan.
Gili Air is the first stop and it’s the best for seeing fish. The water is so clear and the guides provide food for the fish so they swim all around you. This is where I saw my first sea turtle in the wild. They are huge and blend in so well with the ocean floor. For being so cumbersome and slow on land, they glide effortlessly and quickly in the water. Gili Meno is known for its blue coral and Gili Trawangan is known for being the most popular with tourists. Gili Trawangan is where the tour stops for lunch and were you can spend a few hours relaxing on the beach, snorkeling, swimming, walking around the town or visiting the sea turtle preserve. This was a great tour, a new experience for the toddler with his first snorkeling trip, and a fun day with the family.
We also signed up for the Lombok Discovery Tour. On this tour we toured East South Lombok; the only thing we weren’t ready for was the three hour drive to get to the other side of the island. Had we known that I am not sure we would have signed up for the tour due to having a toddler in tow but he did surprising well. This is a tour in a Land Rover so we got to enjoy the bumpy, off road, 4×4 experience. The best part of being in a 4×4 was that most cars can’t get to these beaches making them very private and remote. We saw several lovely beaches, climbed many cliffs for stunning views, and had a traditional Lombok meal for lunch.
The most exciting part of this trip wasn’t rolling up sides of mountains but on the way back, two hours away from our hotel, the Land Rover almost loses its wheel. Lug nuts go flying, the car’s bouncing around everywhere and then we were stuck. Luckily, we didn’t get stuck on the top of a mountain; instead we were in a very small village with a man who owned a car. It might have been the only car in the village. It took us an extra 3 hours to get back to the hotel and I told Chris this was a foreshadowing to the next day when we had to catch our flights. I had a feeling that it wasn’t going to go well and I was right… The tour guide and company was very helpful and accommodating. They did everything in their power to get us home as fast as they could, we just had to wait a while but that was all part of the adventure I guess.