After four nights in Bali (and a 25 minute flight on the tiniest plane I’ve ever been on), my boyfriend and I landed in Lombok. Taking a taxi through the island to our hotel in Kuta was a great way to see how the locals live, as we passed their traditional villages and markets. I instantly saw the difference between Lombok and Bali, with Lombok being much quieter and less built up. Once we got to our hotel, we decided the best way to get around was to hire a moped again, so we dumped our bags and took off along the coast. The roads were a little curvy and steep at points, but they provided excellent views (and thankfully my boyfriend is a pretty good driver!). We stopped off at Mawun beach – a beautiful stretch of white sand and shimmering blue water. It looked exactly like all the photos I’ve seen on Instagram, if not better. In the evening, we ventured up one of the hills overlooking the coast, and although everyone else seemed to have the same idea (it was mega crowded!), we managed to find a quiet spot to watch the sun go down.
We did a lot of relaxing in Lombok. The night-time scene was nowhere near as busy as Bali, but it was by no means dull. I thought there was a great mix of locals and tourists and everyone was so friendly. For one of the mornings, we booked ourselves a fishing trip with two Indonesian guys who were great fun. We got picked up at around 6am and headed out in a tiny little fishing boat, which was way smaller than I expected (cue the sea-sickness). Once I got used to the motion of the waves, I had such a great time. We were up early enough to watch the sunrise and managed to catch our own dinner – yay!
After a few days south, we took a taxi up north to stay in a place called Tanjung. We found there wasn’t an awful lot going on there, but we did get taken to a couple of really cool waterfalls called Sendang Gile and Tiu Kelep, at the bottom of Mt Rinjani. They were beautiful; so beautiful that everyone wanted to see them and so it was a little crowded. Had we gone on a quieter day, I do think it would have been a different experience. But that didn’t dampen our spirits and we had fun wading through rivers and climbing over rocks (and people) to see these amazing falls. Another great spot we explored was Tiu Pituq, an incredible viewpoint above another waterfall called Gangga. Someone from our hotel took us and it was worth having local knowledge because this place was much less crammed with people.
And now for the important part. As Lombok is much smaller than Bali, the restaurant choice is naturally smaller, but that didn’t mean we were deprived of good food. Ashtari Café and Lounge is located right up in the hills in Kuta and has a view as sweet as the food. After our fishing trip, we went back to Mimpi Manis Homestay where our fish was BBQ’d for us to perfection. For anyone who loves fishing (or even for first-timers like me!), I’d really recommend this place. But, my absolute favourite food in Lombok was from a Moroccan restaurant called El Bazar. The owner and staff were so lovely and the food was so incredible that we went back for more the next day.
I can’t quite decide which island I liked best out of Bali and Lombok. I loved them equally for different reasons and would happily spend more time on each. They are both little paradises in their own unique ways.