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first time lombok - gili swing

First timers: Lombok or the Gili Islands?

It can be difficult to choose between traveling to the Gili Islands or Lombok, especially if you’ve never been to either. The Gili Islands are a part of Lombok and the distance between them is easily navigated by fast boat.

The differences between the two are quite distinct. The Gili Islands are relatively more popular and internationally recognized than the main island, Lombok. You can expect both The Gili Islands and Lombok to be of a slower pace, peaceful, and less crowded than Bali.

Here’s a brief overview of Lombok to help you on your way to these beautiful and unique islands..

first time lombok - gili islands swing

Lombok

To the east of Bali is Lombok, home to wonderful beaches, enchanting waterfalls, unspoiled forests, and Indonesia’s second highest volcano.

Lombok is not your normal tourist destination. Not much happens in Lombok and visitors who seek an escape find Lombok a delightful place to unwind. Though less developed than Bali, Lombok has begun to appeal to tourists opting for an alternative to the crowds and expectations of Bali. Even more so now that daily fast boats, direct from Bali to Lombok, are easily found.

Central and East Lombok boast rice paddies, tobacco growing areas, and some established tropical natural reserves. Southern Lombok attracts surfers and beach-bums alike, looking for the perfect break or deserted beach. To the north stands majestic Mount Rinjani with its crater-lake and exceptional views. On a clear day you can even see Gunung Agung on Bali.

Culture

Its indigenous Sasak people boast a rich and endearing culture, making it one of the many unique attractions of the island. They are related to the Balinese in language and ancestry, although the Sasak are predominantly Muslim, while the Balinese are Hindu.

The Gili Islands

gili meno, gili air, gili trawangan

Read about the Party Paradise Gili Trawangan to get an overview of how it differs to the more reserved Lombok.

Looking for an escape to a mini paradise with your loved one? Try out Gili Meno.

The sophisticated and minimalist Gili Air is as untouched as Lombok, but read more on how it is different to its mainland here.

Verdict: Weigh out your needs – do you want more variety or privacy? What activities are you looking to do? What is your budget? If you’re still indecisive, then try them all out! Patagonia Xpress offers fast boat services from Bali to the Gili Islands and Bangsal, Lombok. You’ll rest easy knowing you can travel back and forth whenever your heart pleases.

Semeti Beach - Lombok

Extraordinary things to do in Lombok that many never knew existed (Part 1)

Lombok is like a secret lover, you don’t want to just kiss and tell but perhaps you’d share the secret with those closest to you. Unlike its neighbor Bali, Lombok is relatively untouched and those who have tasted its wonders try to keep it on the down low.

Here are a number of things to do in Lombok that have not made it to the spotlight. If you’re already in Bali, make sure you spare some time for a fast boat trip from Bali to Lombok and experience these secret beauties.

On the cliff’s edge at Lingkoq Datu, Pantai Penyisok

Lingkoq Datu, Pantai Penyisok

Photo source: guidelombok.com

This picturesque seaside cliff will have you feeling like Jack and Rose. You may have to navigate your way through steep rocks but it’s guaranteed to be worth the trek. The view is almost too good to be true – bright teal waters, golden rocks, and no sign of living.

 

Revisit the Dutch colonial past: 84-year Old Suspension Bridge

84-year Old Suspension Bridge

Photo source: irsyadyh

Built in 1932 with Australian solid iron, this hanging bridge is 100 m high and has been broken twice after being hit by a stream. In its glory days, its pivotal role was connecting the remote areas together. Today however, its mostly explored by young people hanging around on lazy evenings.

Pyramids in the sea – Semeti Beach

Semeti Beach - Lombok

Photo source: sutarahady.com

Ever wondered what Superman’s Planet Krypton would be like in real life? Head over to Krypton, otherwise know as Semeti Beach, homing pyramid-shaped rocks that resemble the crystal box in Superman’s home planet.

Grand Canyon of the East – Pantai Tebing

Grand Canyon of the East – Pantai Tebing

Photo source: Gustusevan

Pantai Tebing has a collection of unique rock formations that stand tall due to the eruption of Gunung Rinjani Tua in 1257. Hot clouds of sediment, resulting from the tsunami and containing fragments of coral, were deposited here.

 

Torean’s Hidden Treasure: Penimbungan Waterfall Viewpoint

Air Terjun Penimbungan Lombok

Photo source: Indonesianomad

You’ll have to hike Rinjani to enjoy this waterfall. After a two-hour trek from the Torean entrance, you’ll reach the viewpoint of the 75-metre-high waterfall. You’ll feel like you’ve travelled back in time.

 

Stay in a picturesque, futuristic ‘Hobbiton’ at Mentigi Bay Dome Villas

Mentigi Bay Dome Villas

Photo source: jasmine.queen1814

Calling all Hobbit fans! Step into this resort to be transported into a mythical land, just like a Lord of the Rings movie set. Nestled comfortably on the Cliffside, overlooking the island’s blue bay, these dome-shaped villas offer a luxurious interior and a breathtaking panoramic view.

Patagonia Xpress offers fast boat services from Bali to the Gili Islands and Bangsal, Lombok. Learn more about our scheduling and prices.