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 ]

Bali and Lombok… Minutes but Miles Apart!

Having lived in Lombok for the past ten years and having been a frequent visitor to Bali and Lombok for twenty years, it is interesting to see how both islands have developed over that time. Bali was already a thriving tourism destination when I first stepped off a flight from Australia and discovered the Aussie Mecca of Kuta. Tuban was just starting to develop, although no one called it Tuban then, Jalan Melasti was a dirt track and Seminyak was still rice fields glimpsed from the car window on the way to Tanah Lot. Likewise, Lombok consisted of scattered outposts ... [ Read More ]

Lombok… Getting Ready to Fly!

Development of the beautiful island of Lombok, located just minutes to the east of Bali, has for years been hampered by the lack of easy access for travel. Although Lombok is well served by domestic flights from all major Indonesian airports, such as Jakarta, Bali and Surabaya, international visitors usually have to fly into Bali or one of the other capitals before catching connecting flights to Lombok. International flights to the island are currently served by two airlines; with Singapore Airlines subsidiary, Silk Air, providing direct flights from Singapore and Merpati Airlines flying to and from Kuala Lumpur, via a ... [ Read More ]

Volcanic Rumbles… Lombok’s Rinjani Comes Alive!

The northern landscape of Lombok is dominated by its magnificent volcano, Mt Rinjani, which towers 3726m above sea level and is the second highest volcano in Indonesia. Local communities in the foothills surrounding the mountain range were startled on Monday, 27 April 2009, when Rinjani suddenly sprang into life, spewing out red hot lava and throwing ash down onto their homes. Since then the volcano has remained active, with eruptions escalating on 2 May with a series of large explosions within 15 minutes. While it would be worrying if Mt Rinjani itself suddenly came to life, the truth is that ... [ Read More ]

Gili Air… Gorgeous above and below the water!

In Lombok, we are privileged to live on a beautiful tropical island surrounded by gorgeous smaller islands, known locally as “Gili”. The Gilis off the northwest coast – Gili Air, Gili Meno and Gili Trawangan – need little introduction, having been a popular destination for travellers for well over 15 years now. It is Gili Trawangan, or Gili T as it is commonly called, that gets the most press and deservedly so, offering a hedonistic blend of diving and beach delights by day and a lively party and dining scene by night. However, Gili Air, the island closest to the ... [ Read More ]