views from its balcony. There are a couple of
smaller modern rooms with veranda and bath-
room. It's about 400m east of the junction.
Mimpi Manis ( % 0818 369 950; www.mimpimanis
.com; s 50,000-90,000Rp, d 65,000-105,000Rp; a ) An ex-
tremely welcoming English-Balinese-owned
guesthouse with two spotless, bright rooms
and a two-storey house, all with en-suite
shower room and TV/DVD player. There's
home-cooked food, a dartboard and plenty
of good books to browse and DVDs to bor-
row. It's 2km inland from the beach, but the
owners offer a free drop-off service and can
arrange bike and motorbike rental.
Rinjani Bungalows ( % 654849; s/d with fan 80,000/
95,000Rp, s/d with air-con 200,000/250,000Rp; a ) Look-
ing good, this well-run place is about 1km
east of the junction. Offers very clean, spruce
bamboo bungalows with ikat bedspreads and
bathrooms with Western toilets, and spank-
ing new spacious concrete bungalows, each
with two double beds, hot water, hardwood
furniture and cable TV.
Surfers Inn ( % 655582; www.lombok-surfersinn.com; r
with fan 100,000-160,000Rp, with air con 180,000-500,000Rp;
as ) A very smart, stylish and orderly place
with five classes of modern rooms, each with
huge windows and large beds, and some with
sofas. Book ahead as it's very popular.
Ketapang Bungalows ( % 655194; s/d
30,000/40,000Rp) Has simple thatched-roof bungalows
with verandas; it's 500m east of the junction.
Lamancha ( % 655186; s/d 40,000/50,000Rp) Four basic
but spotless semidetached huts with mandi and shower.
G'Day Inn ( % 655432; s/d 40,000/60,000Rp) This
friendly, family-run place offers clean, recently-renovated
rooms, some with hot water as well as a café. Located
about 300m east of the junction.
ernment-owned hotel with 20 distinctly av-
erage bungalows in expansive grounds 600m
east of the junction. Cleanliness could be
playing covers, and only on Friday and Satur-
day nights. Also serves Indonesian food.
Rinjani (dishes 13,000-39,000Rp; h 8am-11pm) This
beachside place has a nice decked restaurant
area, it serves both Western and Indonesian
cuisine and also features live music some
Empat Ikan (Novotel Lombok; mains 75,000-175,000Rp)
For something more fancy, this beachside hotel
restaurant is strong on fish and seafood.
Getting There & Away
Kuta is a hassle to reach by public transport,
from Mandalika terminal in Mataram you'll
have to go via Praya (6000Rp), then to Sengkol
(3500Rp) and finally to Kuta (2500Rp). You'll
usually have to change buses at all these places.
Many people opt for the Perama shuttle-
bus option from Senggigi or the Gili Islands
Ojek congregate around the main junction
as you enter Kuta. Bemo go east of Kuta to
Awang and Tanjung Aan (2500Rp), and west
to Selong Blanak (3000Rp), or can be charted
to nearby beaches. See p323 for more infor-
mation about bike-hire scams. The guesthouse
Mimpi Manis rents bicycles for 20,000Rp and
motorbikes for 35,000Rp a day.
On the 19th day of the 10th month in the
Sasak calendar - generally February or
March - hundreds of Sasaks gather on the
beach at Kutain Lombok. When night falls,
fires are built and young people sit around
competing with each other in rhyming cou-
plets called pantun . At dawn the next day,
the first of millions of nyale (wormlike fish)
are caught, after which it's time for the teen-
agers to have fun. In a colourful procession,
boys and girls sail out to sea - in different
boats - and chase one another with lots of
noise and laughter. The nyale are eaten raw
or grilled, and are believed to have aphro-
disiac properties. A good catch is a sign that
the rice harvest will also be good.
Novotel Lombok ( % 653333; www.novotel-lombok.com;
r without/with terrace US$120/140, villa US$235, plus 21%
tax; as ) This attractive resort 3km east of
the junction has appealing modern rooms,
with coconut-wood flooring and furniture,
that are set off less-than-attractive corridors.
The spacious thatched Sasak-style villas are
lovely however. Two pools face a superb beach
and there's a wonderful spa, good restaurants
and a plethora of activities on offer including
catamaran sailing, fishing, scuba diving and
even archery classes.
Eating & Drinking
All these places are on or just off the beach,
though few actually have tables with sea views.
For a really cheap bite, there are warung shacks
on the beach opposite Surfers Inn and along
Family Cafe ( % 653748; mains 6000-30,000Rp) Large
thatched restaurant with a tempting menu
including delicious sate pusut (satay served
with coconut and chilli) and urap urup (mixed
vegetables with sambal and coconut). Western
dishes including chicken cordon bleu are tasty
too. It also serves cocktails.
Astari (dishes 8000-22,000Rp; h 8.30am-6pm)
Perched on a mountaintop 2km west of town
on the road to Mawan, this remarkable, mainly
vegetarian lounge-restaurant has a to-die-for
healthy menu that takes in winsome breakfasts,
sandwiches, and creatively assembled mains.
The blackboard always has a daily dish and
drink of the day - perhaps focaccia bread with
eggplant and tamarind cooler. The view at least
matches the cuisine, and it's easy to lose hours
up here daydreaming, enjoying the music,
browsing magazines or playing backgammon,
and gazing out over Kuta's low hump-backed
hills to the distant ocean rollers.
Ilalang (dishes 11,000-35,000Rp) Right on the
beach, this ramshackle-looking place scores
for fresh seafood.
Cafe Lombok Lounge ( % 655542; 12,000-30,000Rp) In-
expensive Indonesian food including cumi cumi
further out, but nearly all need a boat; the cur-
rent charter rate is a negotiable 200,000Rp per
day. Mawi also offers consistent surf.
Drop by the friendly Kimen Surf ( % 655064;
email@example.com) just west of the junction for
swell forecasts, tips and information. Boards
can be rented here (30,000Rp per day), repairs
undertaken, lessons are offered (310,000Rp
for four hours) and day trips to Gerupak
(240,000Rp) and Bangko Bangko (950,000Rp)
Kuta Reef Surf Shop , a simple place on the
beachfront, is another recommended place,
offering surf and bodyboard rentals at simi-
Breakfast is included at all the places listed
here. All accommodation is virtually on or just
behind the beach, except Mimpi Manis. Many
places have plenty of character and are well
spread out with no sense of overcrowding.
EAST OF KUTA
Quite good roads traverse the coast to the east,
passing a series of beautiful bays punctuated
by headlands. There's public transport, but
it's much easier with a motorbike.
Pantai Segar (Segar Beach) is about 2km east
around the first headland, within walking dis-
tance of the town. The enormous rock of Batu
Kotak , 2km further on divides two glorious
white-sand beaches. Continuing east, Tanjung
Aan is a very fine beach with chalk-white, pow-
dery sand. Due to a spate of problems with
stealing, there's a security guard keeping an
eye on the place - even so, it's best not to bring
valuables to the beach. The road continues
another 2km to the fishing village and surfers'
fave Gerupak where there's a market on Tuesday
and a restaurant on the beach. Alternatively,
turn northeast just before Tanjung Aan and go
to Awang , a busy fishing village with a sideline
Matahari Inn ( % 655000; www.matahariinn.com; r
180,000Rp-550,000Rp; as ) This Balinese-themed
hotel has an array of baroque rooms, each suf-
fering somewhat from gaudy artefact overkill
with an excess of reclining Buddhas and the
like. Nevertheless, the garden, shaded by bam-
boo and palm trees is gorgeous.
Kutah Indah Hotel ( % 653781; kutaindah@indonet
.id; r US$17-30; as ) Set around well-tended
gardens with a clipped lawn, these cottages
Segare Anak Cottages ( % 654846; segareanakbungalow
firstname.lastname@example.org; r 35,000-65,000Rp) Around 800m east
of the junction. Overlooking a pretty garden
the basic huts here have seen better days, but
the newer concrete bungalows are a good deal
and worth the extra rupiah. Also home to a
moneychanger and the Perama office.