Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
Getting There & Away
Frequent buses and bemo travel between
Labuhan Lombok and Mandalika terminal
in Mataram (11,000Rp, two hours), and
also head north from Labuhan Lombok to
Anyar. Note that public transport to and from
Labuhan Lombok is often marked 'Labuhan
Kayangan' or 'Tanjung Kayangan'. Buses and
bemo that don't go directly to Labuhan Lom-
bok, but just travel the main road along the
east coast, will only drop you off at the port
entrance, from where you'll have to catch
another bemo to the ferry terminal. Don't
walk; it's too far.
The capital of the East Lombok administrative
district, Selong , has some Dutch colonial build-
ings. The transport junction for the region is
just to the west of Selong at Pancor , where you
can catch bemo to most points south.
Labuhan Haji is on the coast where the black
sand is a bit grubby, but the water is OK for
swimming. The basic, isolated bungalows at
Melewi's Beach Hotel ( % 621241; r 40,000Rp) are al-
most on the beach and have great views across
to Sumbawa.
Tanjung Luar is one of Lombok's main fishing
ports and has lots of quaint Bugis-style houses
on stilts. From there, the road swings west to
Keruak , where wooden boats are built, and con-
tinues past the turn to Sukaraja , a traditional
Sasak village where you can buy woodcarvings.
Just west of Keruak a road leads south to Je-
rowaru and the southeastern peninsula. You'll
need your own transport; be warned that it is
easy to lose your way around here and that the
roads go from bad to worse.
A sealed road branches west past Jerowaru -
it gets pretty rough but eventually reaches
Ekas , from where you can charter a boat to
Awang across the bay. Offering a superb,
if remote base in this part of Lombok, the
spectacularly-sited Heaven on the Planet ( % 0812
3705 393;; basic chalets
100,000-150,000Rp, villas 300,000-500,000Rp; s ) is an
ideal base for activity junkies with surfing,
diving and abseiling facilities. There are two
restaurants, and a well-stocked bar. Just a
kilometre away from here, right by the Ekas
surf break, a second resort to be called Ocean
Heaven (formerly the Laut Surga), owned
by the same Kiwi owners as Heaven on the
Planet should be up and running by the time
you read this.
The road to this region is really pretty ter-
rible, so it's best to try to contact the hotel in
advance and get them to come and pick you
up, or you could consider chartering a boat
from Awang (see p325 ).
As more and more Sasaks have adopted orthodox Islam, many ancient cultural rituals and celebrations
based on animist and Hindu traditions have dwindled in popularity. Nevertheless some festivals and
events endure, and are being actively promoted by local authorities. In addition to these festivals,
there are also important events celebrating the harvesting of a sea worm called nyale (p324) in Kuta,
and the riotous Hindu-Wektu Telu 'rice war' known as Perang Topat held at Pura Lingsar (p291).
Lebaran Topat , held in the seven days after the end of the fasting month (Idul Fitri; Ramadan)
in the Islamic calendar is a Sasak ceremony thought to be unique to West Lombok. Relatives gather
in cemeteries to pour water over family graves, and add offerings of flowers, betel leaves and lime
powder. A place to observe these ceremonies is Bintaro cemetery on the outskirts of Ampenan.
Malean Sampi (meaning 'cow chase' in Sasak) are highly competitive buffalo races held over
a 100m waterlogged fields in Narmada (see p291), just east of Mataram. Two buffalo are yoked
together and then driven along the course by a driver brandishing a whip. The event takes place
in early April, and commemorates the beginning of the planting season.
Gendang Beleq (big drum) performances were originally performed before battles. Today many
villages in central Lombok have a gendang battery, some with up to 40 drummers, who perform at
festivals and ceremonies. The drums themselves are colossal, up to a metre in length and not unlike
an oil drum in shape or size. The drummers support the drums using a sash around their necks.
Peresean (stick fighting) are martial art performances by two young men stripped to the waist,
armed with rattan sticks and square shields made of cowhide. The Sasak believe that the more blood
shed on the earth, the better the rainfall will be in the forthcoming wet season. In late July demon-
strations can be seen in Senggigi and in late December there's a championship in Mataram.
See p353 for details of ferry connections
between Lombok and Sumbawa and p290
for bus connections between Mataram and
This road has limited public transport and
becomes very steep and windy as you near
Anyar. There are isolated black-sand beaches
along the way, particularly at Obel Obel.
Leaving Labuhan Lombok, look out for
the giant mahogany trees about 4km north
of the harbour. From Labuhan Pandan, or
from further north at Sugian, you can charter
a boat to the uninhabited Gili Sulat and Gili
Pentangan . Both islands have lovely white
beaches and good coral for snorkelling, but
no facilities.
Just before the village of Labuhan Pandan,
15km from Labuhan Lombok, the Swiss-run
Matahari Inn ( % 0812 3749 915; www.pondok-matahari
.com; s/d 90,000/120,000Rp) is a peaceful place with
clean, comfortable bungalows right on the
beach and two rooms inland. There's good
food (dishes 7000Rp to 26,000Rp), and snor-
kelling offshore. Fun dives (per dive US$31)
and scuba-diving courses are offered by the
West of Kuta are a succession of outstanding
beaches that all have superb surf when con-
ditions are right. It's possible that the region
may eventually be developed when the new
airport (p322) is completed, but for now it
remains near-pristine and all but deserted.
The road, which is potholed and very steep
in places, doesn't follow the coast closely, so
you'll need to detour slightly to find these
beaches. Mawan (parking motorbike/car
2000/4000Rp) is the most impressive, a bite-
shaped bay backed by steep green hills with a
fine sandy beach below. Tampa is similar but
a little wilder - you'll need to drive through
rice fields on a grassy road, and past a tiny
village to get there. Mawi (parking motor-
bike/car 2000/4000Rp), 16km from Kuta,
is an absolutely stunning beach and surfing
stronghold with a legendary barrel wave, but
there can be a very strong riptide so be extra
careful. Sadly, thefts have been reported here.
Selong Blanak is another wonderfully expansive
stretch of sand.
From Pengantap , the road climbs across a
headland to descend to another superb bay;
% 0376
All that most travellers see of the east coast is
Labuhan Lombok, the port for ferries to Sum-
bawa, but the road around the northeast coast
is in fair shape, and a round-the-island trip is
quite feasible. Similarly, the once-remote south-
eastern peninsula is becoming more accessible,
particularly to those with their own transport.
Labuhan Lombok (Labuhan Kayangan), is the
port for ferries and boats to Sumbawa. The
town centre of Labuhan Lombok, 3km west of
the ferry terminal, is a scruffy place but it does
have great views of Gunung Rinjani.
Sleeping & Eating
Try to avoid staying overnight as there's only
one decent place - there are warung in town
and around the ferry terminal.
Losmen Lima Tiga ( % 23316; Jl Raya Kayangan; r
55,000Rp) About 2.5km inland from the port
on the main road, this is a very clean family-
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