Category Archives: Letter From Lombok

A World Record… on Gili Trawangan!

After two previous attempts to break the World Record for the longest time spent submerged in open water, a Gili Trawangan resident, William Goodman, has broken the World Record for staying underwater. William, aged 33 and originally from the UK, is a TDI Advanced Tri-mix instructor and Buddy Re-breather Instructor with Blue Marlin Dive on the island of Gili Trawangan in Lombok. The daredevil diver went into the waters off Gili T at 08.11:33 hrs on 7 January 2010, emerging at 08:20:16 hrs on 9 January 2010 and setting a new record of 48 hours, 9 minutes and 17 seconds ... [ Read More ]

Nyepi Escape… to Lombok!

The start of the Hindu New Year – Nyepi – will be celebrated in Bali on 16 March this year. Nyepi is the traditional “day of silence” when, from sunset on 15 March until sunset on 16 March, people on the island are required to stay inside, make as little noise as possible and avoid all light. To show respect for local customs, visitors are also required to stay within their hotel and avoid light and noise. For many this is a unique opportunity to witness authentic Balinese-Hindu traditions, but for others it is time to find somewhere else to ... [ Read More ]

Bali and Lombok… Traditional Sisters!

In Lombok we have a saying: “You can see Bali in Lombok, but you can’t see Lombok in Bali”. This is true physically, where Bali is clearly visible just across the Lombok Strait that separates the two islands… a pyramid of an island floating on the horizon, giving those of us who live in Lombok spectacular silhouettes of the Bali’s volcano, Gunung Agung, at sunset. It is also true of the culture of Lombok, where Balinese Hindu traditions play an important role and are particularly evident on the west coast, which faces the east coast of Bali. At full moon, ... [ Read More ]

Too much work… that’s Rubbish

A couple of issues ago, I wrote about the problems of tackling rubbish on developing islands in Indonesia. Although to some it may be an insurmountable problem or even “someone else’s problem”, to Delphine Robbe and the Gili Eco Trust it is their problem and they are doing something about it! The Gili Eco Trust was set up in 2002 to work in coordination with SATGAS (the Gili Islands local administration) for the conservation and protection of the Gili Islands. Since its inception, the Trust has implemented many programmes including rehabilitation of the reefs around the Gili Islands, education and ... [ Read More ]

Spectacular Lombok… from the Sky!

The sun was just rising over the mountains as we arrived at Selaparang Airport on Lombok. Although it was the middle of the rainy season, the day was dawning bright and clear, with a blue sky shining overhead and very little cloud — just perfect for our flight over Mt Rinjani with Sky Aviation. Sky Aviation is a company based in Lombok that has recently commenced operating charter flights and “sky tours” using light aircraft. Sky has two Liberty XL2 aircraft, which seat four (3 passengers and the pilot), and are ideal for flying at low altitudes for sightseeing trips. ... [ Read More ]

Rubbish… What a Waste!

What happens when the western world starts flocking to a third world island? One of the problems in developing areas that suddenly face an influx of tourists is that the infrastructure that we take for granted in the west usually doesn’t exist. And while growth is good for the economy and for the local people living on the island, it brings a new set of problems… not the least of which is rubbish and waste management. Most western countries have already been through the cycle of growth starting with the advent of plastics in the 50’s, through mass consumerism and ... [ Read More ]

Visit Lombok for Lebaran… You’d be Surprised!

As this issue of The Bali Advertiser hits the streets, the Indonesian nation is half way through the holy fasting month known as Ramadan. Since 21 August, most of the country’s Muslim population have been abstaining from food and drink between the hours of sunrise and sunset, as part of their commitment to their religious beliefs. While daytime fasting in the hot and sunny Lombok weather can be a major test of discipline, the breaking of the fast at sunset and social activities during the cool nights is a time of much happiness for local Muslims. Because Ramadan is seen ... [ Read More ]

Festive Season… Escape to Lombok!

The Christmas and New Year holidays are fast approaching and, with Bali sure to be crowded with revellers, now is the perfect time to plan a Festive Season break in Lombok. With so many flight and fast boat travel options now available from Bali, Jakarta and other capital cities, a peaceful and relaxing holiday is as little as 25 minutes away by plane. Merpati Airlines, Trigana Air and Indonesia Air all operate regular flights between Bali and Lombok every day and Garuda has an early evening flight between the two islands on board a comfortable 737 jet, making it easy ... [ Read More ]

Lombok Gets a Boost… With a Presidential Visit!

The island of Lombok got a substantial boost last week with a visit by incumbent President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his wife, Ibu Ani. The President arrived in Lombok just two days before the nation went to the polls for the Indonesian Presidential elections on 8 July, taking time out of his busy campaign schedule to open a series of important events taking place on the island. At a meeting of hundreds on Monday, 6 July the President announced that it was also his wife’s birthday… emphasising to the crowd that developing Lombok is a top priority for the President ... [ Read More ]

Bau Nyale… Lombok’s Unique Festival

One of Lombok’s most important and popular festivals is Bau Nyale, meaning “to catch the sea worms” in local Sasak language. It is a cultural tradition, deeply rooted in local legend and drama, and unique to the island of Lombok. The sea worms are a rare variety of Palolo worm (Eunice viridis) found in tropical waters in certain parts of the world and in Lombok, Sumba and Savu in Indonesia. Once a year, when seasonal, marine and lunar conditions combine, the Nyale come to certain beaches around Lombok to spawn and, for a few days, the seas are filled with ... [ Read More ]