Lombok and Sumbawa, are the two main island of West Nusa Tenggara (east side of Bali) that offer a charming variety of landscapes, place of interest and activities for the tourist. Lombok has five tropical islands with beautiful sandy beach, which you can enjoy all over the year. It was called the Gillis, consists of Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, Air, Gilli Nanggu, and Moyo Island. All of this places blessed with nice and pristine beaches, provide you very a great time for swimming, sun baking, sailing, surfing, fishing and underwater activities, like diving or snorkeling. Besides that, Lombok also have Rinjani Mountain. The third highest mountain in Indonesia has a scenic nature panorama that can’t be found in other places in this world.
How to go to Lombok: The Access to Lombok
1. By Air
The easiest way to go to Lombok is by air. The newly Lombok International Airport (LOP) is located in Pujut District in the Central Lombok, around 40 kilometers to Mataram, the capital and the biggest city in West Nusa Tenggara. The flights will cost around IDR 500.000 or around 40 dollars.
There are regular daily flights from Bali, Jakarta, Surabaya, Makassar, Sumbawa, Bima (East Nusa Tenggara), also direct flight from Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) and Singapore.
Garuda Indonesia, Garuda Citilink, Merpati Nusantara Airlines, Batavia Air, Trigana Air, Air Asia, Indonesia Air Transport, Lion Air, Wings Air serves daily flights from Jakarta, Surabaya, Bali, Makassar to Lombok (roundtrip, several trips a day).
From Lombok International Airport, you can take a taxi or rental car to the beach and then take traditional or speed boat to Gili Islands.
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2. By public ferry
Public ferry is the cheapest way to reach Lombok. If you are in Bali, you can take a public ferry and reach Lombok from Bali is by sea. This ferry was departed from Padang Bai Harbour, east Bali to Lembar Harbour, west Lombok. It will take 4-5 hours. The ferry was available every 2 hours for 24 hours.
Travelling by the sea with public ferry may look cheap. But, for your notice, to go to Padang Bai in Bali and also from Lembar Harbour to the nearest city, it will cost you more than taking flights and it also save a lot of time and energy.
3. By Fast Boat directly to Lombok & Gili Islands
Nowadays, as the tourism activities grow in Lombok, there are new private fast boats operates serving Bali – Lombok – Gili Islands route. This fast boat service only carries passengers with limited seats available (10-20 people). For your notice, pregnant women, people with heart disease, and child under 2 years old are not suggested to go with these fast boats.
The fare is quite higher than taking a flight. But if you plan to go to Gili Islands only in Lombok, without visiting the cities like Mataram, it was good choice to save your time.
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Picture: Lombok Airport