Step 1: Arrange an Exit
Tickets on Garuda Indonesia. Cheapest, classiest bet. Head for Lombok. Hiking up a volcano should be an experience, a personal expedition and not an extended vacation. So, we won’t fly in from all over the place. The fly direct option, on a well-positioned day, is about 34 sweet-easies. That’s 34,000 Rupees. 2 Way. For 1 person. Not bad,eh?
Night flight. So dress accordingly. Get comfortable. For at that price, you’ve just earned yourself a 17hr 20m journey via 2 stops. Cost of doing business with budget air. You can also do it with one stop, for 53,000. That’s a 19k difference. So the well-endowed, as always, can avail shorter journeys and lighter meals.
Step 2: Consider an entry.
- Take the more economic route we charted out for you as part of Step 1. If partying is not your scene, skip straight to step 3.
- Or, and that’s a big OR, you could ignore us and instead travel in style, head straight to Gili Air.
- White sand isles make what is known as The Gilis Islands. Party man’s paradise. Locally referred to as Gili Trawanagan, Gili Meno and Gili Air. Fast boats run direct from Bali too.
Here‘s a comprehensive map of the many locations on the island.
However, avoid The Gilis in August. Crowds can be killers. But if and when you land up in the Gilis, Freedive Gili is the place to be. Run by Michael Board, a ‘13 time National Record holder for team Great Britain, an SSI Freediving Instructor Trainer, and a former Royal Marine Commando.’
Step 3: Make it an experience.
Let’s imagine you’ve got only 5 days (or less); you realise detours are distractions, and that a direct flight headed straight for Lombok is in your best interest. Between April and November, when the surf’s up at Kuta and when the sacred waves at Desert Point come alive, is your best bet. You have now decided to spend time in what most in South East Asia call, a province.
The locals here are not heavy on the hard-sell and almost everything is on low gear. Do explore the paths up and down this coast on a scooter. You can rent one there, easily. Find Setangi Beach. So many little gems hidden away. Go catch the views at Malimbu Hill.
The entire village of Malimbu, the 3 Gilli Islands and a beach or two, comprise the view. This entire terrain is dotted with yet-to-be discovered views and beaches. Grab your Instagram handle and head there. Stay away from Senggigi. Unless, you came all the way to Indonesia to visit a slightly more upscale Baga (Goa).
Go instead to Selong Belanak or Mawun beach, off the west coast of Kuta. It is an almost enclosed bay with amazing blue waters. A great place to settle because it isn’t populated. Sometimes that’s a good thing. You be the one to decide.
Go, Climb a Volcano
Gunung Rinjani, is a 3,760-metre volcanic peak that towers over the entire landscape. Across the foothills below, Hindus and Muslim locals have lived in cultural harmony adopting common practices of worship. These hills cowering beneath the sleeping giant, decked with gorgeous waterfalls, plays home to such a unique community of people.
The volcano takes up all reverence. So does, the crater lake with it’s aquamarine volcanic waters. Fire and water fuse, much like the people there, to create harmony. The Earth resonates within its people, who stay with their heads close to the ground.
Read about our Creative Producer Sukesh Vishwanath’s experience.
That night, go settle down at the Rinjani Lodge,for a short while.
It’s a lot easier on the pocket than you’d imagine, considering you’re just doing one thing well. It’s a quaint place stacked with foothill views, infinity pools and open sky hot-tubs. This will prepare you for the grand finale.
Step 5: Do every day, differently.
Keep in mind, on the Gilis Islands, there are no motor-vehicles. Public transport on Lombok,however, is two-fold. Horse-carts or cidomos and hop on-off minivans. Boats are available at all speeds. Major destinations are covered by shuttles. If you smile and be polite, anyone will help you out. Try Scallywags and beachside fresh-fish barbecue at Gilis if you get the chance.
There’s nothing wrong with sticking to the things you like. But here, you have been presented with the options. Don’t be afraid to go off script a little. Adventures of lifetime are rarely found on the pages of an air-tight itinerary. Travel between the lines.
Here are are a few places TheVibe has marked out for you to do at Bali and Lombok.
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