You might have seen it already a few times on Instagram or Facebook or even youtube. Last year in September I’ve been to Indonesia with Petra (GF). I was in Bali once before and I swore I would never go back there ever again. This first time Bali was in 2011. Bali is an island in Indonesia, very popular for tourists and I must say the island is beautiful but it was in 2011 to touristic already for me. Enough about the negative let’s talk about the best trip I’ve made so far. The picture below you can find the raw routing we took.
We decided to go to Indonesia anyway because there is much more than Bali alone. We went from Amsterdam to Bali and booked a small hotel on the coastline east of Kuta for 1 night only. In the morning we would take a boat towards the Gili islands, positioned east of Bali en North of Lombok. It is a group of 3 islands and as we came for diving and rest we decided to go to Gili Air, the smallest of them all but no parties so nice and quite. I have a PADI open water but my girlfriend wanted to get her dive license as well so we stayed there for a week to get the license. It was perfect, we had a nice hotel and the guys in the dive school (Gili Air Divers) helped us with everything we needed. I could do dives with a small group or if I wanted I could join Petra in her dives when she needed to do her underwater training. They took us to new places every day and if you wanted something else or a different spot they made it happen as well. I’ve never seen so many sea turtles as I did around the Gili’s. With snorkeling, you could see them already but with diving, you could stay with them for a bit. On Gili Air, there are a lot of nice restaurants and I would advise you to go to Mowies and eat the “jackfruit taco’s” and “Tuna burger”. We stayed 8 days in the end and took a boat to the north side of Lombok from Gili air.
I’ve read that this island is like Bali 20 years ago and because I thought Bali was way too touristic for me I hoped that Lombok was still a bit undiscovered. I was not disappointed at all. We arrived with the boat and loads of taxi drivers are waiting to screw you over. We got lucky by finding a nice guy (here is his number is you go there: Johan +6285338679311) tell him you came from me. We wanted to see this waterfalls called “Sendang Gile and Tiu kelep waterfall” and wanted to book a tour. While talking with Johan the driver he told us you don’t need a guide. it’s easy to find just do it. Follow some locals there, they will be bathing there and there is just 1 trail so easy to find. We spoke about the rest of the trip as we didn’t want to climb up this mountain he told us 1 day would be enough there and decided to ask him if he could show us around the island through the “strawberry valley” the next day. Shit, I’m way to fast around the waterfall lets turn back to that. We walked towards the waterfalls and it was worth it. really really worth it. I think this is the most amazing spot I’ve ever been. This first waterfall was impressive but the second one is amazing. No words to express how it looks there and photo’s are not giving the correct rights to it. It’s about 4 hours that you need for all of it so enough for a day. later we turned back to ask for a scooter and wanted to drive around a bit. It came to our understanding that there is no such thing as scooter rental over there so we asked locals if we could borrow theirs. 1 guy thought we are nuts and gave his scooter to us without asking anything. I filled up the tank and put air in the tires and fixed his brakes. We drove until the sunset and people in the north of Lombok are not used to tourist on scooters so we got waved at constantly and people helping us around while we could see the perfect scenic parts of the north side of the island. We slept in a small hut on the mountain and woke up because in the mosk someone thought it was a good idea to wake you up at 5 in the damn morning. YES! 5 am in the god damn morning. Anyway, we woke up with the rest of the island and watched the sunrise over the rice fields and it was perfect. Thank you, mister, screaming through the speakers of the mosk to wake us up with the same word like 2000 times. A few hours later Johan picked us up and drove us towards Koeta Lombok with the routing through the Valley east of the Rinjani volcano. A 10-hour trip that was great. absolutely worth driving this routing. In the evening we arrived in Koeta and I felt that it was way too touristic again like it was in Bali, but I was wrong. It is more touristic than we saw in the days before but Koeta was a meeting point for the whole south coast. You rent a scooter and drive with this scooter around the south coast. Just see new places, take a cut somewhere and see where you end up. It might bring you to a beach where you are alone or maybe even to a beach where there is 1 local guy with a coolbox selling coconuts and Bintang beer for you. It was great. No, it was perfect. Petra wanted to go to Bali as well but I really didn’t feel like it after spending such a nice time in Lombok, meeting beautiful people and have great food. (lots of nice restaurants in Koeta) We did surfing but mostly just sightseeing with a scooter and drive around to different beaches. My advice is stay in Lombok for 9 days and take your scooter around the south side, enough to discover. LOMBOK I LOVE YOU!
After 7 days we decided to go to Lembongan, this is a small island in between Nusa Penida and Bali. Nusa Penida is in between Lombok and Bali. Slowly we made our tour back to Bali. As we arrived at Lembongan it came very clear to us that the more we got back towards Bali the busier it became. The Islands have no good working ATM’s so make sure you have cash with you. We went there to snorkel with Manta Ray’s it’s one of the fishes I wanted to dive with before I die. We got lucky. We booked it via “Lien, the owner of Ceningan Paradise Adventures”, they are very flexible and it’s not as touristic as all the others do with big boats. Here we went with smaller groups and was very comfortable. We had such a nice time that we went twice for snorkeling with manta rays. As we rented a scooter and drove around the island my girlfriend found the best spots to eat as I drove around to find them. After 3 days we had to get back to Bali with the boat from Lembongan. (click here to see a video about snorkeling with manta’s.)
We arrived in Bali and met up with a couple we’ve met in Gili Air to eat something and went to the hotel afterward. We had 6 days left and both of us were a bit depressed, Bali was busy. Very busy. I think if you only go to Bali you are fine. If you look for the most luxurious spots that you have the best time in Bali. But that’s not how I travel. We decided to make the last few day about relaxing and so we did. We did all the touristic stuff bought souvenirs for the people at home and booked us a nice hotel. We spend some nights in Ubud, Sanur, Seminyak, and Canggu.
The holiday was absolutely perfect. In the video’s below you can see the highlights of the vacation. If you are at it don’t forget to subscribe to my Youtube page. 😉