Do you like exploring new places, places where you don’t have all the information about?Have you ever read an aritcle on ’10 things to do’ and wanted to do it?
I had read an article “10 most beautiful and colored beaches” and one of them was Pink Beach in Indonesia, near Lombok. We planned a visit from Singapore during Chinese new year long weekend. There are one stop flights to Lombok, stopping at Jakarta with a 6-7 hour flight time.
There were two main highlights for the trip, one to visit the Pink Beach, and second was we had not ridden a motorbike in a long time and Vish loves to ride one. So the plan was to take bikes for 2 days and explore around.Also wanted to try a hand on surfing, I had never tried before and wanted to experience it.
Lombok is an untouched beauty. There are not many tourists who visit the place yet and hence it is not that commercialized. Because of this though there are less english speaking people, and some aeas might be unsafe. Our trip was amazing and we received the perfect guidance form our resorts.
We were staying at a resort called Puri Rinjani Bungalows, it was very close to the beach in Kuta,Lombok.It offered breakfast and also there was an on site restaurant. The restaurant had amazing options and the meals were quite fulfilling. Thee Bunglows had hammocks and chairs,which were a perfect setting for some drinks and a nice conversation. We had a lovely time relieving some of the old childhood memories, our dreams and some funny incidents. We took turns on the Hammock. If you have a garden in your house or space for a hammock, it is definitely worth it. It was a very good feeling and relaxing to lie down on one.
Day 1 in Lombok: Surfing lesson and secluded beaches.
We had a simple breakfast at the resort, freshly cut fruits, Tea/Coffee and toasted bread with different styles of eggs options. We took a motorbike from the resort itself, the rental was around 5 SGD or 50,000 IDR for a day. They provided helmets, full tank petrol, maps and some suggestion on where to visit. However please be very careful when parking your bikes in public areas, and also of bike thefts. There are lot of those happening in Lombok and it is a big scam. Safer to take it from the resort and not from the rental agency etc. We did not face any issues and also we stuck to the advice given to us by local people.
MAWUN Beach AT Lombok:
We took our bikes to the first beach, called Mawun beach.It was a 30-40 mins ride, I was holding on to a speaker and playing music from it to get the feel and actually because the place was quiet ,we could hear it well. The sun in Lombok is sharp and burns your skin so carry loads of sun block. The beach was very good, but there was high tide and the water had a current which pulled us into the sea, so after 20 mins in the beach, we were exhausted and took one of the beach chairs to relax and have some food and drinks. We were happy that the beach was hardly crowded, there were only a few people and hence the food and drink prices were reasonable. You could sunbathe and relax in comfort of your own space.
After spending two hours, we planned to go to try our hand at surfing.
Surfing at Selong Belanak:
This beach is perfect for learning surfing if you want to try. The waves are big enough to try and surf, but the water not that deep that you would drown. The sea shore and bed filled with soft sand and no rocks so you won’t get hurt. It took u just 15-20 mins from the Mawun beach to reach here, but we took 30 mins to prep oursleves to try surfing. There are some surf schools present and people to guide you. I decide to go for an hour class. Oh My God! It was very difficult to get a hang of it. Ok to add a little persepective, I am quite heavy and not super fit, so to get up from a lying down positing to a half standing balancing position(requisite of surfing) is a very difficult task on land itself. So to do this on water was super super challenging. I gave it a try and though i was not close to learning how to surf, but was enjoying the falling in water and giving it a try. Vish also took 15 mins from my class and gave it a try, but both of us sucked. But why not take a picture like a surfer.
Cafe on the way;
While we were riding back the 60 mins to our hotel, it started pouring and we went to a cafe which was on the way.Overlooking the mountains a beautifully designed cafe, with interesting food options. There were many people and it was quite crowded. They had big drums painted in black with some designs as tables and with the rain literally pouring inside the cafe , it was an amazing break and a memorable one. Sorry I an not able to find the cafe name, but it was really really nice and worth a visit.
When the rain stopped we went back to the hotel, on our way we looked up a lot of massage places and found one small one which we felt like going to. So went for a foot and shoulder massage and after the papmer back to our hotel to freshen ourselves. We spent some time together, had mexican dinner nearby and came back to the hotel. There were a lot of cafes and bars on the way but nothing which caught our eye. The funniest one was one name ‘Rasta Bar’ and actually as the name suggest, two loud speaker on the side of the road , with bright lights and some chair tables thrown around.
The mexican place name was “The Mexican in Town” was one amazing place, with nice music,super good ambience and lovely mexican food, we literally went three days to dinner there for the love of spicy mexican food.
Day 2 in Lombok: Pink Beaches 😉
The second day after a lot of discussion we planned to go visit the Pink Beach. The locals suggested us not to drive to the Pink beach. There is road connectivity from our bunglows to the Pink beach but then the drive was almost 3.30 hours in a motorbike and also the roads were not good after a certain point. The last hour would be a very bumpy and not safe. There are lot of broken roads filled with water and it is not advisable to drive.
The second option was to drive to Tanjong Luar which was also almost 2 hour away but then they had boats which could take you to the Pink beach and show you around. We were in two minds but we had never seen a pink beach and really thought it should be worth a visit, also since the drive was long Vish could enjoy riding the bike.
After breakfast we started the journey and the roads were amazing. There were hardly any people on the roads and the place is lush green , very very untouched. The skies are clear as there is not much pollution. If you have been to Goa and rode on a bike you will actually feel like Dejavu with a more colored filter applied. The journey was long and we refilled petrol once from the side hut-like shops on the sides.
We reached the pier, after a little bit of search and there is this seafood market which we had to cross. It was smelly, very smelly and actually dirty.There were a lot of boats. The charges was high and people did not understand English. We were lost for a few minutes and then decided to use Google translator to ask about the details. We finally found a person who spoke English adn was quite a salesman, he owned a lot of boats.
The boat rides have a lot of options like for a full day for 4-5 hours where you see the four pink beaches which surround the area and snorkel as well. We took for around 50SGD for not so long just for 3 hours around as we wanted to go to the main pink beach, snorkel a little and come back,as we had a long journey back to our hotel.
The boat ride to the Pink beach was quite long, took us 40-60 mins to reach. On the way the boat person showed us the small beaches where we could stop for pictures and swimming , but we were not that keen. We reached the pink beach but to be honest it was not that pink as I had seen in the pictures. It had a hue of pink if you may.
The locales there told us that it is very pink in the morning when they have sun rays hitting the beach at a particular angle.But the place was beautiful, we swimmed in the beach for some time, and then climbed the small adjacent cliff which had a breathtaking view.
We saw a lot more people in the pink beach rather than in Lombok. all of them may have been influenced by the Top 10 different beaches in the world as well. We did not get any veg options in the small food joints and so just had a packet of biscuit and made our way back to the pier. While riding back , we stopped in a very secluded place for snorkeling. The guide with us on the boat was amazing and with the help of the tube , he actually made me see a lot of sea life.
We swimmed quite a distance from the boat and saw beautiful fishes. I also got a lot of star fishes and actually held a few. we brought some starfish to the boat and clicked some pictures and threw it back to the sea. Once back , we rode our bike with one stop on the road for some food. It was a small cafe,where I learnt susu means milk ;). We ate mexican on our way to the hotel and rested after the long day at Pink Beach.
Next day was our return, and we were happy we explores Lombok islands and quite enjoyed it. It is very very different than Bali and yes Pink beach does exist but is a lot of effort to visit.