Here is Part 2 of my Indonesia column with tips about Lombok, Seminyak, Cangun and more.
We had enough from Bali and went to the neighbor Island Lombok. Even if the boat trip was around 45 minutes, the island is very different from Bali, since it is not as touristic. (Tip: If you want to buy souvenirs, do it on Lombok – it’s much cheaper than on Bali). It is less dirty, and I felt like the people were not so poor as in Bali, since in Lombok most of the people are farmers and not people who try to get money from the tourists. We spend our time in Kuta Lombok (different than Kuta Bali) and slept at the Kuty Circle Homestay, which I can not recommend. It was kinda dirty and you didn’t have any warm water. At first, you think it’s not that bad since it’s super hot in Indonesia but it’s horrible if you spend your day surfing and want to relax your sore muscles after 6 hours in the water.
Talking about Surfing: at the first day we drove to the Mawi Beach, the way was full of mud so we had to leave the scooter at a nice farmer and continue by foot. We meet some heavily armed policemen and even more heavily armed 12-year olds which just wanted us to pay an entree charge and take a photo with us (but man, we were so scared). Mawi is a wonderful Beach with a little surfer hud where you can buy fresh coconuts and corn cobs (see feature photo). And you can watch some really advanced surfers, but this beach is nothing for beginners since the water isn’t very deep and the ground is full of sharp stones and corals. We tried the next day the Mawun Beach and had more luck. We rent some boards together with sunbeds and got a surf lesson. (Tip: Take the lesson, surfing is really hard, but negotiate the price together with a surfboard). We spend the whole day in the water and took photos and videos with the Go Pro. (Tip: If you want to take photos, get one surfboard less than you are people, so one can always be in the water and film the others. Saves money). I have to admit: I couldn’t stand a single wave. Surfing is really hard. But we had still a lot of fun and it is an amazing feeling to lay on a surfboard and realize how cool your life is right now.
To go out in Kuta Lombok there is just one good place:Surfers Bar. We spend there every night and enjoyed live music, drank Cocktails and listened to Reggae, U2 Cover or Adele, played by the same dudes we watched surfing just a few hours earlier. If you ignore the small children who run around and want you to buy their magic mushrooms, it’s a really quaint place. (Tip: If you want to try magic mushrooms, buy them plain. Not in a smoothie or on top of a pizza. It doesn’t taste as good but you can be sure how much you consume, sometimes these smoothies are really strong and you see pink elephants for a longer time than you hoped you would). For Lunch or Dinner we went a few times to Warung Flora, and not just because of the super cute puppies but because of the “worlds best Banana Milkshake” (quote: Vivien).
Back in Bali, we stayed at the Desa Nyima Inn and in these days Seminyak made it to the top of my favorite places list. We watched the sunset every night at the beach of Seminyak and it was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. The best thing is to go to one of the many beach bars just like La Plancha. Simply sit in the bean bags, order a Bintang Radler and wait for the sun to vanish behind the ocean. (Pro Tip: Because of the clouds, most people are disappointed by the sunset, but the true spectacle begins 10 minutes after the sun disappeared. Then the sky turns violet, pink, blue and orange – in this moments I took the following photos)
At one day we went to Canguu (Tip: If you want to take a taxi, take only bluebird taxis and insist on turning on the taximeter. If the driver doesn’t want to, simply get out. The next bluebird appears within a minute), to surf but at this day the waves were so high that not even the pro surfer could stand a wave. But we were lucky, cause it was a Saturday. On Saturdays is a great flea market at the Old Man’s. There you can buy food, clothes, jewelry and anything handmade. We got henna tattoos and bought ice. You can do really good shopping in Canguu too, just like in Seminyak.
A small souvenir that I got for myself, together with the friend from Sydney. I knew from the start that I want to have a traditional Balinese Bamboo Tattoo which is hand poked. While chilling in Lombok on our Surfboards, my friend Michaela got the idea for a good subject. I drew it on paper and at the Lovina Tattoo Studio in Kuta we got our tattoos. It hurt, yes, but the studio was amazing. Clean and everything like it has to be. And the people there were so nice, that I could listen to Paramore while waiting!
We spend our last night in Bali, like many before, in the Seminyak. 50 meters from our hotel, we could smoke shisha and the food is delicious. To celebrate the last evening together, we ordered every single cocktail on the menu. The day after that we took the plane to Jakarta and from there the one back to Germany.
That was my little column about Indonesia, I hope I could give you some useful tips and maybe convince you to travel this amazing land.