After our eventful journey to Kuta on the Indonesian island of Bali it may be surprising to hear that we decided to make our way to Bali’s neighbouring island Lombok the very next day. This was a bit of a last minute decision but we knew we would be coming back to Kuta in a few weeks and we wanted to head to Lombok as we wanted to climb Mt Rinjani. Checking out the guide book and map during breakfast we saw that Sengiggi was a cool beach town and would be a good place to book our Rinjani trek so it seemed like a logical place to venture.
With it being a last minute decision (and us wanting to do it on the cheap!) we had another fun journey involving:
- A 3 hour bus journey to do what would be a 1 hour 30 minute journey if the bus didn’t make a detour to Ubud and stop there for 30 minutes (shame they didn’t tell us about this)
- An hour wait at the pier having just missed the ferry
- A 5 hour incredibly slow ferry where we were surrounded by locals sleeping in all manner of uncomfortable looking positions on very uncomfortable seating – but which did have great views of the sunset
- Another taxi gang haggling scenario where we actually managed to get the price down considerably but somehow probably still got ripped off
All this meant that we arrived at Senggigi just before midnight – 4 hours later than we had expected. Thankfully we managed to find a decent hotel which had a lively street food kebab man opposite – every cloud… 🙂
The main draw of Senggigi is it’s beach but when we arose from our well needed lie-in we found the weather was miserable. Regardless we headed down the beach but found it pretty deserted probably do to the overcast weather and on-off rain showers. Well, there was only one thing for it – find a bar, sit undercover and sip away the afternoon. Every cloud…literally this time 🙂
What a difference a day makes though. The next day the sun was shining and we found the beach a very different place with a beautiful coastline. We headed to the north end of the beach where the bars were lively and enjoyed a few hours of sun worship, cocktails and coconuts. Result.
After a lazy lunch we decided to explore the beach a bit more and headed south. Once we got past the luxury 5 star resort we found a quiet bay and sat and watched the local fishermen trying to catch dinner. A nice end to the afternoon.
We heard that sunset at the beach was something not to miss and, wow, what a difference a night makes! It seems as though all the locals venture to the beach for sunset too and the vibe of the place completely changes. Groups of local youth sat around together enjoying a chat, a sing-song, a game of volleyball. The places comes alive. Whilst the sunset was good, just being on that beach with the locals enjoying themselves so much was better. A great experience.
Our stay at Senggigi was short and sweet. The beach was a lot of fun and there are some good beach bars and plenty of restaurants to enjoy. If we were staying longer we would have hired a scooter and explored the local area a little more – but we had bigger mountains to climb, literally….Mt Rinjani here we come…
Getting there: Our journey from Kuta, Bali to Senggigi, Lombok was a bitch because it took so long. However, we had time so it wasn’t much of an issue for us. We used Perama Tour for a shuttle bus from Kuta to Padang Bai (75,000IDR/£4/$5.50) where the slow ferry from Bali to Lombok departs. We got the shuttle bus from Kuta at 13.30 – if you are doing this journey I would not recommend this time as it meant we got the 17.30 ferry which didn’t get us to Lombok until about 22.30. You can buy tickets for the ferry on arrival (46,000IDR/£2.50/$3.40) and they run all day and night from Padang Bai to Lembar on Lombok. At Lembar we had to get a taxi to Seggigi which we managed to haggle down to 130,000IDR/£6.90/$9.60, I’m not sure whether that is good or not but it took some haggling and numerous walk-aways! The total journey took us about 10 hours. There is a fast boat service which most foreigners get which is more expensive so if you are short on time (or patience) would be a better option.
Stay: We stayed at Airy Batu hotel at the south end of the town at the start of the main strip which was comfy, quiet and clean. We negotiated a rate of 220,000IDR (£11.63/$16.23) a night for a double room, but we think you will probably be able to better that if you didn’t turn up at midnight.
Eat: We enjoyed our lunch on the beach at the Coco Loco Cafe which has great views and a good vibe. Despite good reviews we were disappointed with Warung Buana so would not recommend eating here. However, we did find a great place on the main strip called Bale Tajuk which had wonderful local food for a great price – get there early as it gets busy!
Do: The beach by day, the beach by night. It would also be worth walking up the road to the north where at the top of the hill you’ll get a great view of the coastline (we only realised this when we were in the car to our next destination!). If you have more time then hire a scooter and explore the local area or trek Mt. Rinjani (blog coming soon!).