By Ahmad Furqaan Hod on June 13, 2016
Though the majority of Lombok population (85%) are farmers, they are also proficient in making pottery manually using clay. What makes Lombok’s pottery special is because the product is rubbed using volcanic clay after being dried slowly to give it an impressive shine. Desa Banyumulek is popular in the making of traditional pottery. The village used to produce only three pottery designs but now through innovation and creativity, the locals are able to create ten different designs, giving more choices to buyers. The price is set according to the size and the uniqueness of the pottery, which is also exported to the rest of Asia, the United States and Europe.
Recommended for: Souvenir seekers, pottery collectors and cultural enthusiasts
Coordinates: 8.618717, 116.103432
Tradition and culture are still strong in Lombok, for example, girls need to know how to weave by eight years old; if a girl doesn’t know how to weave, she wouldn’t be able to get married. Hand weaving is one of the skills for the girl to financially help the family. To buy nice handwoven material such as tenun ikan (for males) and songket (for female) as souvenirs, apparels and even home accessories, travellers can head to the store owned by Patuh Cooperative located in Desa Surakara. The store also supplies material for traditional weddings, wall hangings, blankets, scarves and sarongs. Visitors can also loan the traditional hand-woven fabrics especially for weddings, photography or simply to experience donning a Sasak (Lombok native) traditional attire.
Recommended for: Souvenir hunters, fabric & textile collectors and cultural enthusiasts
Coordinates: 8.695252, 116.205518
One of the famous spots to take Lombok’s raw panoramic beauty is at Selong Belanak hill, located 300 metres above sea level. The Selong Belanak beach is located down below at a bay spot, popular as a place for beginners to learn surfboarding. Don’t miss visiting the nearby Mawun beach for sun-tanning and relaxing to the sound of the ocean.
Recommended for: Beach lovers
Coordinates: 8.865230, 116.121738
I became attracted to the architectural design of the houses here called bale tani (family house for farmers), whereby its floor is made from clay and an elongated pitched roof made from thatched elephant grass. The roof is somehow designed almost similarly to the gasho (traditional Japanese farmhouse with A-shaped roofs) when I visited Japan last time. What makes the Lombok house interesting is the fact that the floor needs instead. Most of the villagers here are related by blood since they tend to marry among relatives. While exploring the place, I realised that all of the houses are connected and close to each other. The villagers also sell local handmade souvenirs and sarong within these houses. The prices are kept reasonable since they compete with the other sellers next door.
Recommended for: Traditional, cultural and handicraft enthusiasts, including souvenir hunters
Coordinates: 8.839186, 116.292230
With its name derived from ‘Malibu’ in California, this hill is a must-visit for hardcore Instagramers to post breath-taking images. It is situated 80 metres above sea level with the view of the crystal blue waters of Senggigi beach overlooking Bali that is almost 70 kilometres away.
Recommended for: Capturing / photographing landscape
Coordinates: 8.646601, 116.115355
The one place that manages to put Lombok on the international tourist trail is the world famous Gili Trawangan (gili means ‘island’), which is strongly calling to me. Besides being known for their diving spots, the three gilis (Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air) possess their own incomparable charm. It only takes about 10 to 15 minutes’ speedboat ride from Bangsal Port (for charter trips) to reach Gili Trawangan. There are many diving centres and island excursion packages on offer that can be found on the island. I experienced snorkelling at two different spots using a glass-bottomed boat. That experience opened my eyes to the beautiful untouchable corals and thousands of fishes. Back on land, I hitched a ride on a cidomo (horse carriage) around the island to witness its remarkable beauty, as well as dropping by at the Instagram-famous swing that emerges above water – be sure to line up for the opportunity to be photographed at the swing, which would leave everybody else at home envious.
Recommended for: Snorkelling and diving enthusiasts, including travellers who seek tropical island tranquillity and wanting to escape from motorised vehicles that run on fossil fuels (there are no cars on Gili Trawangan)
Coordinates: 8.353175, 116.043871
Kuno means ancient, and this ancient mosque is roughly estimated to be over a thousand years old, located in a village called Bayan Beleq. However, this mosque is not used for prayers but only for gathering and ceremonial purposes. The design of the mosque is similar to the houses in Desa Sade, constructed using the enau (Arenga pinnata or feather palm) wood without the use of a single nail. The residents of the village use the mosque and its compound for traditional rituals such as gamelan performance and combat-fighting (as part of the ceremony to call the rain, especially during the dry season). The celebration of Maulid (the birthday of Prophet Muhammad) is carried out not just for one day but throughout the month, different from the rest of the Islamic world.
Recommended for: Local culture, ancient history and heritage buffs
Coordinates: 8.266614, 116.427656
Travellers to Lombok should uncover the island’s hidden gems: the great waterfalls of Sendang Gile and Tiu Kelep. Both waterfalls are located along the walking trail heading towards the second highest volcano in Indonesia, Mount Rinjani. It takes around 30 minutes of brisk-walking to get to the first waterfall, Sendang Gile, with a runoff from as high as 30 metres down a steep cliff. However, the water here is not deep enough for travellers to dip into. To do so, they would need to trek another 30 to 40 minutes to the next waterfall, Tiu Kelep, with the water falling down from as high as 60 metres. Be sure to wear a pair of proper hiking shoes and attire, including spare clothes, since travellers need to cross a few streams along the way.
Recommended for: Hikers and nature lovers
Coordinates: 8.304052, 116.407067
Gaya Travel expresses our heartfelt gratitude to the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia (Kuala Lumpur) and the Ministry of Tourism and Culture of the Republic of Indonesia for this wonderful trip.