Category: Top Destination

One of the top destinations in Lombok for travellers to visit is definitely Gili Islands, these remote islands offer tourists the opportunity to enjoy the quiet car free roads and discover an abundance of local marine life. These three islands have acquired their name from the mistranslation of western people Gili, in Sasaak literally means ‘small island’, because of this the majority of small islands around Lombok have Fili in the name, although to avoid confusion to tourists any other islands are now only called by their main name, removing the word Gili.

Gili Islands are located to the northwest of Lombok, in the Lombok Strait, extending outwards from a tiny peninsula called Sire. Sire is located near the village of Tanjung on Lombok. Ideally located for short visits, Gili Trawangon lays just 35kms west of Bali. During clear days sightseers can clearly see both Bali and Lombok from Gili Islands, it is also possible to see Indonesias second largest volcano Mount Rinjani to the east on Lombok.

Due to their sheltered location between Mount Rinjani on Lombok to the east and to the west Mount Agung on Bali, Gili Islands benefit from a slightly milder, direr micro climate than surrounding areas. Located close to the equator, these tropical islands are warm and experience a wet and dry season. Monsoon season is from October till April, while the dry weather lasts from May till September. The average temperature is around 28 degrees centigrade although it can vary between 22 and 34 degrees centigrade.

Visiting Gili Islands offers the unique experience of enjoying life without cars. Travel on the islands is limited to foot, bicycle or a ride in a Cidomo, a local horse drawn carriage. Boats are used to get between the islands.

Gilli Islands are a truly fascinating place to visit with plenty to explore, each island has its own unique, small resorts open to tourists. Typically they provide accommodation, generally in huts, a restaurant and a pool at each. Very popular with divers, Gilli Islands are home to amazing coral formations and there is plenty of marine life waiting to be discovered. The most populated and developed area is Gili Trawangon, the majority of locals live on this island in a township stretching across the east side. The only island of the three to have subterranean fresh water is Fili Air (AH-yer) named after the Indonesian word for water, although this supply is not limitless so resorts still have to rely on water shipped from the mainland.

The History of Gili Islands.

Due to its recent settlement these islands are relatively untouched by human activity and record keeping is sporadic however some history is know about the islands more recent past.

Until the 1970’s except from a brief period during world war two when the Japanese them for a lookout point and POW camp, Gili Islands were an unspoilt area teaming with wildlife. Used only by Bugis fishermen looking for a place to stop off.

In 1971 Wasita Kusama, the governor of Lombok decided to establish plantations to grow coconuts and give land rights to private companies with a view to making the islands become profitable. 350 Mataram prisoners were sent to Gili Islands over five years to help with the harvesting, many of whom decided to settle. Due to crop failures the private companies abandoned their efforts and left the land. Over time the population grew and began to build homes and businesses on the privately held land. This has sparked a legal dispute that still carries on today.

During the 1980s Bali experienced a tourism boom, resulting in many backpackers discovering the islands. As the economic benefits of tourism were recognised the islands began to cater to the needs of travellers, beginning with Gili Air due to its infrastructure, however Gili Trawangon quickly became the more developed and popular island due to the attraction of its abundance of diving locations.

Tourism went from strength to strength throughout the late 1980s and 1990s as the reputation of the islands grew the Government and private investors began to regain interest in the land they had abandoned. During this time many evictions were served and buildings demolished but the locals remained on the land and rebuilt each time as the land remained undeveloped.

As the islands had no police force due to the low population drugs were available freely during the late 1980s and 1990s, this led to Gili Trawangan developing a reputation as a party island, with travellers’ going to dance and take drugs.

Throughout the 1990s, as the diving industry grew the Fili Islands started to build a reputation as having world class diving opportunities and instruction. This helped tourism throughout the islands grow, and funded development of more accommodation and facilities that were able to cater to a wider range of clients.

Gili Ecotrust was founded in 2000 with the objective of preserving the Gili Islands Coral Reefs and in improves the education of environmental issues face by the islands. This not-for profit organization was set up as a joint initiative between the dive shops of Gili Trawangon and influential members of the local community (known as Satgas). Many conservation projects have been carried out by Gili Ecotrust including education, work to preserve and repair coral reef, waste management improvement and work due to erosion issues. A lot of work has also been done to help stop unsustainable fishing.

In 2012 the Gili Islands remained in land disputes with the locals and tourism continued to grow. As the islands thrived efforts were made to make sure they kept their unique identity and culture distinct from that of Bali.

Reaching Gili Islands From Bali.

The easiest and most popular method of reaching Gili Islands from Bali is the fast boat service, there are many different services operating directly between them, also stopping at Lombok and sometimes, Nusa Lembongan along the way. Regular daily services operate within easy reach of Kuta and the main south Bali tourist area, around 25 minutes drive away in southern Bali there are both Benoa and Serangan Harbours, to the East there is Padang Bai and Northeast Amed, sll offering fast boat services to Gili Islands. Prices vary widely, as do levels of service this depends on locality, length of journey and level of comfort among other things.

Public Ferries are available hourly to Lembar (Southwest Lombok) taking an average of four to five hours from Padang Bai. Following a two hour taxi ride it is possible to get a ride on a local boat in Bangsal Harbour to take you on the roughly half hour sail to the Gili Islands.

It is possible to take a forty minute flight from Ngurah Rai Airport in Bali to Lombok International Airport. From there it is a two hour taxi ride to reach Bangsal Harbour where a local boat awaits

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Mount Rinjani is a mountain located in Indonesia, exactly in Lombok island, West of Nusa Tenggara ( NTB). Mount Rinjani is an active volcano and is the second highest mountain in Indonesia after Mount Kerinci in Sumatra. There are lake Segara Anak, it has a natural hot spring, an eruption in the caldera has formed a new small cone known as the New Mount (Gunung Baru). Mount Rinjani is a very active volcano, There was a spate of activity from 1994 to 1995 which resulted in the further growth of the crater cone Gunung Baru, since renamed Gunung Barujari (Finger Mountain). On 27 April 2009 Gunung Barujari became active again with that activity continuing through to May 2009. The summit ascent routes were closed at that time as the eruptions intensified with plumes of smoke and ash as high as 8,000 m.

In the middle and at the bottom of the mountain is a fairly heavily forested with typical tropical species, Lombok is in the East of Wallace Line and some bird species with Australasian affinities are apparent. These include honeyeaters, cockatoos and green hanging parrots, in addition to species whose heartland is to the West including tits, weavers and tailor-birds. Above the tree line though the slopes are barren and rugged scree slopes and volcanic rock. The views of the crater lake are quite breath-taking from the caldera rim, as is the sunrise. From the absolute peak you can see Bali to the west and Sumbawa to the east.

Mount Rinjani is the best climbed during the dry season (April-November). The trekking trails are generally closed during the rainy season. In recent years the early months of the ‘dry season’ have become more prone to rain and you should be prepared to encounter heavy rain and low visibility with slippery tracks underfoot at any time, particularly in the afternoon. It gets very cold on the mountain above 2,000 m and nears freezing at the summit. Warm clothing is an absolute must. in Rinjani Mountain you can see these several places are as follows:

  • Segara Anak, the crater lake.
  • Aik Kalak hot springs, at the crater rim.
  • The Mulang Pakelem. This annual Hindu ceremony at the crater lake dates from the 18th century invasion of Lombok by Balinese from the kingdom of Karangasem and attracts hundreds of participants. The lake is sacred to Hindus and the sight of hundreds of white clad Hindu pilgrims sitting and praying here is a wonderfully uplifting experience.
  • Gua Susu (Susu Cave). One of the three famous caves (Gua Susu, Gua Payung, dan Gua Manik) at Rinjani.
  • Sendanggile Waterfall, which is located in the foot of Rinjani mountain, it’s has amazing view, so you have to visit this place.

Things to Do

If you want to climb Mount Rinjani you can use the several routes there are Senaru ascent route, Sembalun Lawang Route, and Benang Stokel route. In Sembalun Lawang, you will find some way to go to villages that are famous for their weaving activities. If you are in the Senaru area, take your time to explore the local villages as you will find unique characteristics of communities that are still very primitive, especially the different customs and cultures. in Senaru, you can also visit the waterfall that was very beautiful that include Sendang Gile waterfall and Tiu Kelep waterfall is located right at the foot of Mount Rinjani. There are also other activities centered around the park, including the eco-walk and tree planting.

How to get there

Most of the visitors come to Mount Rinjani through Senaru village located at an altitude of 600 m from the sea level, located on the north side of the mountain and close to the main beach resort areas in the West, it including in Senggigi. In addition to Senaru, you can also get there via Sembalun Lawang located at an altitude of 1.150 m from sea level, away closer to the mountain Rinjani, the village can be accessed from the north coast road.
Before doing the climb you have to manage your costs and permits, go to the park you will be charged Rp. 150,000 per person, the cost is divided as follows: 13% to the national park authority, 62% to climb Rinjani ecotourism program and 25% for the preservation route travel etc.

New Trek in Rinjani National park

The National park was Open two Gate to trek Rinjani that is start From Timbanuh Village – east Lombok and Aik Berik in Central Lombok. that two trek is verry good for Research trekker because the trekker can found many kind of Flora’s and Fauna’s. this trek just recomended until the Crater rim, we did not Recomended to going down to the Segara anak Lake because to stip and dangerous.

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