Travel, Food & Books

The Island of 1K Mosques

Early morning on boxing day, we took a bus to a terminal in Padang Bai Harbour also known as Padang Bay. It’s in the east of Bali about 56km away from Seminyak.

We reached the pier around 9 am and waited for an hour before it was time to board the speedboat to Lombok.

Wahana Gili Ocean operated the Speedboat that we took; it only took 1 and a half hours to reach Teluk Nara. Another option to reach Lombok was by a public ferry. However, it would take more than 4 hours to reach Lembar terminal (another terminal about an hour’s drive to Senggigi).

Disembarked from the Speedboat

Kebun Villas & Resort Senggigi

We took a taxi from the pier and it took 30 minutes to reach Kebun Villas & Resort Senggigi. The ride was fast and easy, but unfortunately, we had to wait almost two hours before we could finally get the room.

In the evening, we walked about 500 metres to the beach and had our dinner at The Office Bar & Restaurant. Just in time for us to catch the beautiful sunset view!

The next day, once we had our breakfast in the hotel, we went to the roadside to get a taxi to Bangsal terminal. As advised by Sean, we took a Bluebird taxi, the most reliable taxi in Indonesia.

The journey only took about 40 minutes, and along the way, I was able to see Mount Rinjani on my right side and the three Gili Islands on the left.

Our taxi driver was kind enough to stop by the roadside and let us admire the view of the three famous islands.

Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno & Gili Air

The Boat Scam

When we arrived at Bangsal terminal, we went straight to the ticket counter to get our tickets to Gili Meno. However, the ticketing clerk told us that they didn’t have any availability. We were disappointed and desperate to get into any boat.

On our way out, a man approached us and told us that his ‘family’s boat’ still had some seats left. We were just so happy to pay him even though the cost was much higher than the standard public boat fare. 

The “Family Boat”

But what we didn’t know was that the guy was a conned man until a passenger sitting next to us asked us about the boat fees. According to him, the boat that we were on was a public boat and not a ‘family boat’.

Having to take the same transportation every day to work at Karma Beach Gili Meno, he’s so used to seeing many foreigners get tricked by the same tactic.

We thanked the man for his information and promised him to stop by his workplace for lunch before we headed back to Lombok. It was a coincidence because actually, we planned to have our meal over there and use the discount card given by Sean to us earlier.

Walking Around Gili Meno

We walked along the peaceful and solitary island and stopped at some warung for drinks. Although the Gili Trawangan seems very close (1km away), but swimming across it would be a terrible idea. The strong currents were deadly and did claim several lives.

We walked to the salt lake but there was nothing much to see except for a few monitor lizards and birds. In less than 2 hours of walking, we finished our tour of the island.

Salt Lake Gili Meno

Karma Beach Gili Meno

We had our lunch at Karma Beach Gili Meno and the friendly man we met earlier even helped us to get a boat back to Lombok at a reasonable price.

The next morning, we went to Mataram and walked around the city. Bored with the place, we headed back to the hotel and chilled out by the pool.

Mataram Mall

Later that night, we went to Furama Senggigi Kampung Seafood for our last Christmas holiday meal in Lombok. The seating was on the beachside, and it would have been great if only we had been there early to catch the sun before it went down.

Travel Date: 26th ~ 29th December 2013

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