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Lombok-West Nusa Tenggara, The Pearl of Paradise

Morison Hutabarat
Morison Hutabarat, pada 28 Jan. 2015, 8.21
di Blog

Calling Lombok paradise does not mean it is all things for all people. With a few exceptions, the natural landscape and the traditional way of life have remained unchanged for hundreds of years. Virtually all small to medium size businesses are run by local families. Many of these businesses sell a wide variety of merchandise, where villagers can find food, hardware, and toys all in a single small store. While it is possible to find five-star hotels run by global corporations this is the exception not the rule. The ubiquitous global fast food franchises are restricted to two outlets in the precincts of Mataram Mall in the main City of Lombok and are well sign-posted.

Located just east of Bali, Lombok in many ways lives up to or exceeds the promotional term, "an unspoiled Bali". With beautiful beaches, enchanting waterfalls, the large, looming volcano of Mount Rinjani combined with relatively few tourists, Lombok is indeed the paradisaical tropical island that many people still mistakenly imagine Bali to be now. Lombok and Bali are separated by the Lombok Strait. It is also part of the bio-geographical boundary between the fauna of Indo-Malaysia and the distinctly different fauna of Australasia. The boundary is known as the Wallacean Line, after Alfred Russell Wallace who first remarked upon the striking difference between animals of Indo-Malaysia and those of Australasia and how abrupt the boundary was between the two biomes. In the Indigenous language of the Sasak people of Lombok the word lombok ""(luum-book) which literally translates into Bahasa Indonesian as as lurus (Enstraight ahead). A common misunderstanding is that the name of the island Lombok is derived from the Bahasa Indonesian meaning of lombok which is chilli or (cabe in Bahasa Indonesian) as is thought by many visitors and some Indonesians from other parts of the archipelago.

PLACES TO GO

Traditional Weaving in Suka Rare Village
Located about 20 km from the Mataram city, this village strongly attractive to visited. Most of activities of many villagers in Suka Rare are weaving. Woven resulting in form of songket or cloth typical Sasak. This village had known as one tourism frequently visited by foreign tourists and domestic. The Suka Rare Village is where you'll find the local's oldest past time, weaving. This handicraft can be found all over Lombok but Sukarare is the best place to seem them at work using their traditional process. Weaved goods are an affordable and excellent souvenir of your time in Lombok and there are many kinds of colourful and functional crafts available.

The Sade Village - The Village of Traditional Ethnic of Lombok
The dominant Sasak culture in Lombok and the very restrained and quiet nature of its people may help explain why Lombok is less popular in terms of shopping, cuisine, and nightlife than Bali. Lombok is however becoming increasingly popular with tourists and honeymooners who want to relax in an inexpensive, tropical, un-crowded atmosphere, with many natural treasures and majestic scenery. Nothing happens quickly in Lombok and visitors who are stressed from their daily lives find Lombok a delightful place to unwind.

The Sasak are the indigenous people of the island of Lombok. Like many ethnic groups in Indonesia, they belong to the Austronesians who migrated from mainland Asia some 5,000 years BC to populate South East Asia all the way to the South Pacific Islands. Today 85% of the Lombok population is Sasak. Although Bali has greatly influenced Lombok, yet unlike in Hindu Bali, most Sasak embrace Islam.

The most ancient Sasak village is the village of Bayan, near the foot of Mt. Rinjani, which is the stronghold of the Wektu Telu, but most frequented by visitors are the villages of Sade and Rembitan, close to Mataram. Here villagers disregard their modernising surroundings and continue to live in the old tradition. Houses in Sade are built in rows. But most prominent and typical to Lombok is the rice barn or “lumbung”, which stands raised on four wooden piles with a bonnet-shaped roof made of alang-alang or elephant grass. Rice is stored through a raised window. The beruga or the ceremonial hall stands on six pillars, its roof is also covered with elephant grass, providing coolness in hot weather and warmth during cooler nights. Houses or bale are divided into 3 sections, the kitchen, sleeping quarters and the living room.

Senggigi Beach
Senggigi is about 15-20 min north of the outskirts of the island's capital Mataram. Airport Taxis and metered taxis are available for connections from the airport. Airport taksi are only for the use of passengers arriving at the airport and requiring transport to destinations across the island. They are not permitted to carry passengers to the airport when departing the island. Lombok's new international airport Bandara Internasional Lombok (BIL), (IATA: LOP, ICAO: WADL) opened on 1 October 2011. The new airport in Praya has replaced operations at Selaparang International Airport in Mataram. Selaparang Airport was closed for airline operations on the evening of 30 September 2011.
The new airport is located near the city of Praya on Jalan Raya, Tanak Awu Lombok Tengah in central south Lombok and is approximately 40 km south of Mataram, and 55 km southeast of the established Senggigi tourism precinct of West Lombok.

The Senggigi region is formed by several adjacent yet subtly different areas all lying along the same 2 lane coastal road. The exact boundaries of each area can seem rather ill-defined. While pockets of development can be found in some areas, long stretches of open undeveloped land lie in between. Nightlife and major restaurants are concentrated in the central township of Senggigi. The first time visitor should be aware of these distinct regional differences. Simply booking a hotel in Senggigi could mean a relatively remote location where the town centre can only be reached by taxi or public transport.

Tanjung Aaan Bay
Tanjung Aaan Bay
Located to the south coast of Lombok Kuta Beach. Tanjung Aan, a paradise for beach lovers is a very nice area near Kuta Beach. Tanjung Aan beach has sand that resembles pepper. This beach provides an ample opportunity to get together and have fun with your friends or beloved family. Tanjung Aan bay stretches along a mile and a giant wave breaking on the beach. Turquoise sea water, stir a desire to unlock the hidden secrets of this beach. Through the land of Bali, you can route to Tanjung Aan with Kuta – Terminal Tegal. After that go to the Terminal Ubung, Bali. From Terminal Ubung, proceed towards the Padang Bai Harbour, across to Sheet Harbour, Lombok and takes about 5 hours. If you are lucky, within 12 hours you’ve arrived in Mataram from Kuta. From Mataram, you can rent a motorcycle with a travel time of about two hours to Tanjung Aan.
If you have decided to take a trip to Tanjung Aan Lombok, once can also visit the village of Awang. This village show you an ancient tradition that has been preserved by the inhabitants of the village of Awang. After a visit to this village and Tanjung Aan, if you want you can head towards Kuta beach set against a background of steep hills. Kuta Beach backward and less populated but still has its own charm and beauty. After Tanjung Aan, besides the village of Awang, there are also villages Grupuk, where you can see the cultivation of seaweed for agar-agar.

Tangsi Beach - Lombok's Enchanting Pink Beach
Pink Beach or Tangsi Beach got the name from the color of the beach sand. The sand has pink color, making it distinguish than any other beaches. Most beaches usually have white or black color sand. Tangsi is one of the most interesting tourist destinations in Lombok. Apart from its pink color sand, the beach has attractive panorama that make everyone want to stay longer in the beach when they visit it. The beach is actually beautiful, however, the location is too remote and the infrastructure is inadequate. The government should pay attention for the development of the beach. Developing infrastructure will attract more tourists to visit the beach. Then, the regional revenue will increase.

Tangsi Beach is situated in Jerowaru District, East Lombok Regency, Mataram, West Nusa Tenggara. You will need about two and a half an hour driving from Mataram. As previously mentioned, the infrastructure around the beach is inadequate. It is quite difficult for a car to reach the beach. Many part of the roads are damaged. However, once you have arrived at the beach, you’ll be amazed by the beauty of the beach. Especially, the pink color makes the beach look stunning. The pink color of the beach was said to derive from the fractions of coral reefs, named Homtrema rubrum, which mixed with white sand of the beach.

Located only 1.5 hours away from Lombok International Airport, the beach comprising of pink sand is actually named Tangsi Beach, meaning boarding house. This unique pink color is derived from a mixture of white sand and pieces and fragments of pink coral reefs along the coast of the beach. In order to enter Pink Beach, visitors only need to pay Rp10,000 per vehicle. Unfortunately, the awful condition of the roads leading to the beach and inadequate infrastracture and facilities has made Pink Beach a less desirable place for tourists. The government needs to pay more attention to this region and spruce up its shores in order to preserve its beauty.

Gili Islands - The Islands of Paradise
The islands are a popular destination for tourists looking for a remote island experience. Each island has several small resorts, usually consisting of a collection of huts for tourists, a small pool and restaurant. Most local inhabitants live on Trawangan in a township stretching along its east side just inland (which is also where most recent development is taking place). Automobiles and motorized traffic is prohibited on the islands by local ordinance, so the preferred method of transportation is by foot and bicycle or the horse-drawn carriage called a Cidomo. Diving in and around the Gilis is also popular due to the abundance of marine life and attractive coral formations.

Arcing away from the northwest corner of Lombok, are three idyllic atolls, where the sand is still powdery white, the water a clear sparkling turquoise, and the sunsets over Bali’s volcano Mt. Agung in the west simply spectacular. Home to the largest Irish bar on the smallest island in the world, an authentic Japanese sushi restaurant, a turtle hatchery, ominous sounding dive sites like ‘Shark Point’, 62 Bio Rock reef regeneration projects, and miles and miles of white sandy beaches, Lombok’s Gili islands, or The Gilis for short, makes a surprisingly ideal getaway destination for everyone of all ages and abilities.

Gili Trawangan is the largest of Lombok's Gili Islands and the only one to rise significantly (60 m) above sea level. Measuring 3 km long and 2 km wide, it has a population of around 1500 (see demography). The name Trawangan originates from the Indonesian word Terowongan (Tunnel) due to the presence of a cave tunnel built there during Japanese occupation in World War 2. Of the Gilis, Trawangan is the most developed and geared towards tourism. The main concentration of settlement, recreation, accommodation and diving business is situated on the eastern side of the island. A local pub, Tîr na Nôg claims that Trawangan is the smallest island in the world with an Irish pub. It was previously administered under Lombok Barat Regency along with Senggigi until 2010 when the Gili islands came under the jurisdiction of the new North Lombok Regency (Kabupaten Lombok Utara). On Gili Trawangan (as well as the other two Gilis), there are no motorised vehicles. The main means of transportation are bicycles (rented by locals to tourists) and cidomo (a small horse-drawn carriage). For travelling to and from each of the Gilis, locals usually use motorised boats and speedboats. Some of the first inhabitants of Gili Trawangan were fishermen and farmers from Sulawesi. Previous to human settlement Gili Trawangan was covered in forest and deer lived on the island.

Gili Meno is the middle of Lombok's three northwest coast Gilis. Gili Meno has a population of about 500, mainly concentrated on the centre of the island (see section on demography). The main income comes from tourism, coconut plantation and fishing. On the west side of the island there is a small shallow lake that produces salt in the dry season. Until a few years ago there was also a small production of seaweed on the reef at the north end of the island. Gili Meno has swimming beaches all around the island, and a bird sanctuary. The island attracts fewer tourists than Gili Trawangan and is the quietest and smallest of the islands. However, honeymooners are often drawn to the crystal clear water and idyllic, secluded white beaches. There is no fresh water on the island and it has to be brought by boat from Lombok. Electricity is supplied from generators on the island. There are no cars or motorbikes.

Gili Air is the second smallest of the islands and the closest to mainland Lombok, making it popular with honeymoon couples and travellers seeking a quiet retreat. It has a population of about 1,800. The island offers excellent snorkelling and scuba diving off its east coast, and turtles can be seen along the coral reef. Proximity to Gili Meno, the smallest and most secluded of the islands and to Gili Trawangan the largest island, known for its many restaurants and parties, makes Gili Air a happy Medium of seclusion with adequate services. Both other Islands are a quick boat ride away.

TRANSPORTATION

There are a view international airlines to Lombok International Airport. Silk Air provides direct flight from Singapore to Lombok, Tiger Air from Singapore, Kuala Lumpur to Lombok and also Jetstar from Perth to Lombok. From Jakarta-Indonesia there are Garuda Indonesia, Lion Air, Mandala, Citilink provide flight to Lombok International Airport (LOP) at Praya, Central Lombok. At the airport you can go by taxi to Sade Village, Suka Rare, Senggigi, Tanjung Aan Bay, Kuta Beach, Tangsi/Pink Beach. Blue Birds and Express Taxi are recommend to take you to those places. You can also rent a car from travel agent in Lombok that provides car including the driver and gas.

To go the Gili Islands, you can take a taxi to Bangsal, it cost from 300 thousands IDR. From Bangsal to the "Three Gilis" you can take public boat or speed boat (private boat) to the Three Gilis. You pay around 15 thousands IDR to Gili Trawangan, 12 thousands IDR to Gili Meno and 10 thousands IDR to Gili Air by public boat, and pay started 250 thousands IDR by speed boat (public boat).

There is no motorized transport on the Islands. The short distances on land are traversed on foot, by bicycle or Cidomo. The Islands can only be reached by sea, and are frequented by a variety of fast boats operating various routes from Bali. All fast boat services to the 3 islands stop at Gili Trawangan, with a select few sailing to Gili Air. The only fast boat company to operate a direct route from Bali to Gili Meno is Kuda Hitam, who also stop off at the other Islands. Some routes go via Nusa Lembongan, another popular island destination in the region. In 2011, the Gilibookings website made provision for online e-ticketing. Public ferries and private charters also sail to the Islands from Bangsal harbour on the Lombok mainland, speedboat charters operate from Teluk Nare, south of Bangsal. Lombok International Airport (IATA: LOP) in the south of Lombok is the closest airport to the Gilis. Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport (IATA: DPS), is larger and serves more international routes. Connecting Fast boat services on towards the islands from Bali are frequent and take approximately 90 minutes or more, the aircraft services connecting to Bali have a flight duration of around 30 minutes.

Fore more pictures please visit http://morison-hutabarat.blogspot.com/2013/11/lombok-west-nusa-tenggara-pearl-of.html


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looniNull
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looniNull
looniNull
looniNull Newbie
pd. 3 Feb. 2015, 4.29

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