I got the public boat from Gili Air over to Lombok not really knowing where I was going to stay. Some people like to stay in Sengigigi which basically consists of resort type hotels with not much atmosphere. (well not in October anyway) I couldn’t find any hostel that looked the slight bit appealing, so I decided not to stay in Sengiggi and headed straight down to Kuta, Lombok.
The taxi on my own from Bengsal Port was 130,000R which is about 9 Euro. I think you can get it cheaper if there is more of you travelling perhaps 100,000 each. It takes roughly 2 hours. I did initially want to get the bus to Kuta from the North but you have to get a bus to the capital and then to Kuta and when arriving at Bengal Port there were no buses to be seen, so it was much easier getting a private car.
Once arriving there I stayed at a place called IKE’s. It was great and I’m so happy I stayed there. They have both fan and aircon dorms, offer everything you could need from Laundry to Motorbikes to Boat Trips. Also they serve unlimited amount of Banana Pancakes for breakfast and tea and coffee all day. It costs between 120,000R – 140,000R per night for a dorm bed and they have lockers to add extra security. Definitely recommend this place.
There has been a few issues in Kuta against tourists being robbed and beaten so being out at night on your own isn’t exactly recommended even with motorbike. There is a mix of opinion between the locals on Lombok over tourism. Those that work in tourism love it others however hate it. Unfortunately those that hate it have begun to use violence to deter more visitors. I had no issue but while I was there, an Australian guy came back from a bar quite drunk got hit and his phone stolen. I think if you lay off the alcohol and respect local customs you’re less likely to get into trouble.
Now, what do you do in Lombok? Well to be honest if you’re not a surfer and don’t fancy climbing the Volcano Rinjani the only thing to do is get a motorbike and drive for as long you can. Kuta itself is situated perfectly so that you can explore the south of the Island. The beaches are to die for and there are certain places where you can learn to surf, it’s a must for when you’re in Lombok.
Anyone heading to Lombok, spend a good amount of time here, don’t rush it and just enjoy being able to relax on amazing beaches that are not unbearably crowded.