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Sands of Lombok

Sands of Lombok

Lombok

When she travels, she travels with passion. And it is this passion that Chandrani Roy Choudhury expresses in this story of her voyage to Lombok.

Being an avid traveller, I have an inclination towards visiting some of the offbeat places and believe me, have never been disappointed till date. That is why we chose Lombok over Bali, an island which can be described as the quieter version of its more famous counterpart.

As tourism is less developed here compared to its neighboring island, the natural beauty of this lesser known island is still intact, unaffected by human intrusion. But that does not mean it is lacking in any facilities, only the hustle and bustle and humdrum of a famous tourist spot like Bali is absent.

We spent three days in Lombok, excluding the days of our arrival and departure. We always try to stay in different hotels whenever possible, in order to explore and experience the variety, as each hotel has its own charm. So we checked into three different hotels during our stay in this beautiful place.

We selected the area near Kuta beach for our accommodation. The hotel where we checked in on arrival was just a two minutes’ walk from the beach. Next morning we went for beach hopping and visited four beaches.

It took us half an hour by car to reach the Selong Belanak beach, which is one of the most beautiful beaches of Indonesia, with white powdery sand and clear turquoise water. We enjoyed there to our hearts’ content and went ahead to see the Seger beach, a small quite uneven beach famous for water-sports.

Sunset at Merese Hill

Our next stop was Mawun beach, a picturesque rocky beach and finally the Tanjung Aan beach which was the best spot for watching sunset. Since not much time was left for the sun to go down, we did not go to the white sandy beach but directly climbed the Merese Hill located nearby to watch the sunset. It was an amazing sight to see the red sun sinking down gradually in the blue sea.

Kedis Island
Kedis Island

The next day it was time to explore the ‘beautiful secret’ Gili Islands of Lombok. One must visit these hidden gems to experience the real beauty of Indonesia. We reached the port by a car and sat on a boat to reach the first of the trio, Gili Kedis. It is an extremely small island, almost circular in shape, with soft white sparkling sand in the midst of teal blue water. The place is too beautiful to be described in words… nothing less than a little paradise on earth.

Gili Nanggu
Gili Nanggu

Our next stop was Gili Nanggu, where we had the opportunity of swimming with a large variety of colorful fishes. Just put on your snorkeling mask and dive into the water to have a glimpse of the amazing underwater world.  Inhabited by thousands of species of fishes and coral reefs, the Island is a snorkeller’s paradise, where schools of multicoloured fishes can be seen just near the white stretch of sand.

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The last Island we visited was Gili Sudak, which was the largest of the three. There are a few bungalows and cottages for the tourists there to spend a peaceful holiday in nature’s lap. We had our lunch there, relaxing under the lush pine trees, where we could select the fresh fish which we wanted to have. The black snappers we selected were grilled to perfection and what a wonderful day we had!

A trip to Lombok was incomplete without a visit to the traditional Sasak and Sade villages, so that was our final destination in Lombok. Once we entered and had a glimpse into the lifestyle of those people, we realised that time had stopped for centuries there.

Sade Village
Sade Village

There are around 150 traditional houses accommodating about 750 people of the same lineage or family in the Sade village. Yes, they maintain one family wedding custom whereby they are not allowed to marry a person outside their Sade tribe. The houses are built with same materials: clay, rice bran, bamboo and reed grass and consist of one single room. They need to walk miles to collect water and there are only a few common washrooms just outside the village.

Agriculture and weaving are the main occupations of the Sade tribe and it is compulsory for a woman to learn the art of weaving from her childhood as otherwise she is not allowed to get married. Their traditional dresses can take months to finish and are very pretty and reasonably priced. We were simply awestruck by the simplicity of the villagers there and that experience of travelling back in time will always remain afresh in our memories.

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