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 First trip advice

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rhubarb
Lombok Virgin


Number of posts : 6
Location : South Korea
Registration date : 2011-08-03

PostSubject: First trip advice   Wed Aug 03, 2011 1:49 pm

Greetings beach lovers
My wife and 3 kids are planning a trip to Lombok next month. We were supposed to visit last year but our trip was scheduled at the same time as the local holiday here and religious holiday there so everything was booked solid. As it turns out we had the chance to come this Novemebr but I really want to miss the rains and catch the last swells, so I am looking to bump everything forward and come next month. I have been researching all day and from what I can see homestays are the way to go. I will be calling Mimpi after posting this so I can check on availabilitly. We normally travel out of season so we have the freedom to move without committing to reservations but September will probably be a little risky. We plan to travel for about 3 weeks and I would like to spend at least 2 weeks in Kuta. That leaves 1 weeks for other options with the few additional days we have to cover transport. I need some tips to make it smoove to move a family of 5 around-
I will book a taxi through Mimpis for sure but what is the current situation for getting to lombok from Bali? Is the ferry not recommended or are the internal flights competitive enough to go this route? I havent searched flights yet.
I am concerned about booking accomodation on Lombok and not having tickets prearranged to travel from Bali, is this an issue or can we arrange the boats/flight when we arrive?
I am planning to spend a couple of days either side in Bali to pick up the tickets(if we dont book in advance) and anything else we may need before heading to Kuta. Any other recommendations - surboards, food stuff etc.
We are vegetarian and have done alot of traveling with the result that when we go rustic it ends up being egg fried rice 3x/day. What is the scoop for vegetarians? I will be bringing my camp stove as usual.
For the additioanl week, 3 days or so either side of Lombok, are there any tips on things to see on Bali? My son is 6 and is a volcano junkie so he is covered. My 2 girls just love to be in the water but 1 is an animal fanatic so butterly gardens and animal parks are a no brainer. We dont like huge crowds and heavy touristed spots but prefer to put the effort into getting out and seeing local offerings.

I would appreciate any advice or tips to help get this trip planned on real short notice. I am hoping this will be the first of many trips since its be a dream of mine to surf and travel Indo - call it a scouting expedition.
John
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outahere
Lombok Looney


Number of posts : 415
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PostSubject: Re: First trip advice   Thu Aug 04, 2011 3:29 pm

You should be ok in September finding accommodation without booking, although being a family of 5 if you want to stay in very small places you should book - e.g. Mimpi Manis only has a few rooms so might book out for the dates you want.

In the Kuta area there is a great cafe open during the day called Ashtari, it is vegetarian. It also has amazing views. Mimpi Manis may also be able to accommodate you with vegetarian meals, otherwise also try local foods which are often non-meat (locals can't afford to eat meat every day). The staple diet of people on Lombok is tempe & kang kong (water spinach) & rice. You can buy this sort of thing 'bungkus' (take-away) for less than $1.

If you stay over the Senggigi side of Lombok, take a look at Santai Beach Inn in Mangsit. They also have a couple of family sized bungalows. Meals are non-meat (vegetarian + fish) and are served communal with all guests sitting together, quite nice and a great way to meet people.

Getting from Bali to Lombok - there is lots of information about this all over the web, you can get a fast boat, slow boat, or fly. If you are going straight to Kuta then you best option is to fly and get Mimpi Manis to pick you up from the airport. Flying is cheaper than the fast boat option (about half the price), and fast boats are better if you are 1. brave, 2. don't have a bad back and are not pregnant, and 3. going to the Gilis. There are various options for booking tickets prior to arrival direct with airlines, or through agents. But if you are planning a couple of days in Bali anyway then easiest is just to go to the domestic airport and book yourself. Be aware that Merpati often cancel their early morning 7am flight and 1pm flight. There are several airlines that do the route so you have plenty of choice. You are sure to be able to get on a flight if you book a couple of days out and are flexible with times.

I can't really help with what to see in Bali, I don't like Bali much and don't spend time there. On Lombok, do a fishing trip with your kids, take then to Narmada for the day (natural swimming pool), go up to Pusuk pass and eat fried bananas and feed the monkeys, go snorkelling off one of the Gilis (Gili Nanngu is my favorite), go to one of the natural waterfalls and swim under the waterfall... which one probably depends on which side of Lombok you are staying.

It's a last minute, spontaneous trip, so may as well keep it spontaneous and not plan too much - just go with the flow. Have a great time!

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rhubarb
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Number of posts : 6
Location : South Korea
Registration date : 2011-08-03

PostSubject: Re: First trip advice   Thu Aug 04, 2011 3:45 pm

Thanks FreoGirl. I have been communicating with Mimpi's to get accomodation arranged. We are working things out but availability on the house is not ideal. I havent even looked into Bali but for some reason think its worth a couple of days - I may not stop for more than a day if I cant find a reason to. My main goal is to get to Kuta and surf and explore the island with my family. I was thinking of a few days in Bali to do any planning or sort out anything for the trip. I am currently looking at Bali for 2-3 days then to be in Kuta for 30/31 August. We will defiantley look to rent a car to fully explore the island and have no limits to beach spots and waves, we love sun rise and sunset expeditions too. Now I am really interested in trying to get to Lakey Peak. I would love to be there for 1 week from 12-19 September. This will be the luxury week where the kids get accomodation with pool, believe me they will spend sun up to sun down in a pool. I am just trying to find the best transport from Kuta to Hu'u. I am not to keen on driving a Suzuki with wife and 3 kids for what seems to be a full day. The other option I can see is maybe a bus of we have to fly from Mataram? I am looking at this now. Yes spontaneous is good but I like to have the first week organised and its good to know we will probably find accomodation in September. That means we may just book Kuta and leave 10-14 days to make plans when we are there.

Great news about the vegetarian food, we love Tofu and Kang Kong.

Any recommendations on surf boards? Is it better to pick up in Bali?

Oh and from what I have heard about Bali it is not my ideal place to hang out but I also dont want to miss any positive sites. I guess its cause we are flying in and out of there if not we may have bothered to go.

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outahere
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PostSubject: Re: First trip advice   Thu Aug 04, 2011 5:01 pm

You can fly direct into Lombok ex Singapore with Silk Air (just something to consider).

Tofu is also available in Lombok but I much prefer Tempe, Lombok is quite famous for good tempe but just watch the spicy sambal they put on it, it really is pedas2.

From your reference to Lakey Peak I take it you also want to get across to Sumbawa. Trans Nusa fly out of Lombok to Sumbawa and perhaps taxi after that (I haven't been there so not sure how far it is from Bima).

I've been travelling to Lombok for many years and I never overnight in Bali. I've always managed to either book a domestic connection in advance, or arrive in Bali in the morning and get a flight that day to Lombok. Sometimes that means hanging around until 4pm for the flight, but I don't mind if I can wake up the next day in Lombok.

Surfboards, there are surf shops in Kuta - Gemma can tell you which one is the best for hiring boards. Obviously BYO is the best, but if you don't have or want to do that, hire in Kuta to save transporting from Bali (contact the surf shop first to make sure they will have what you want).

To get anywhere nice in Bali takes a fair bit of travel, so if I was you I'd focus on getting to Lombok & Sumbawa as soon as you can.

One last thing, the last day of Ramadan is 30th August, so your plan to travel to Lombok and transfer to Kuta around 30/31 is right on Eid. If at all possible, go a day or two prior so you are already in Kuta for Eid.

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Mimpi
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Registration date : 2011-05-07

PostSubject: Re: First trip advice   Thu Aug 04, 2011 5:23 pm

I think I have covered most of the questions with John via email. But there are a couple of extra ones here.

Re surfboards. Most people bring their own but there are now quite a few rental places in Kuta. Kimens is the longest established and the most complete. Rates very from Rp30,000 - 50,000.

In Bali for the kids I would recommend Bali Zoo. My son loves it there. It is quite small and you walk through a nicely shaded path which winds around the enclosures. At the entrance and at the cafe about half way through they have a selection of animals that you can get up close and personal with. It varies from day to day as to what they have out. About half way around There is a petting zoo and you can buy a basket of food (either at the entrance or the petting zoo) to feed goats, deer, rabbits ponies etc. We usually spend about as long in the petting zoo alone as we do in the whole rest of the zoo. Just past the petting zoo is the area where they have an animal education show a few times a day. The zoo is about an hours drive from Kuta/Legian area. Once you are out of the area. Its the getting out of Kuta that can take a while though. Laughing


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rhubarb
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Location : South Korea
Registration date : 2011-08-03

PostSubject: Re: First trip advice   Thu Aug 04, 2011 5:34 pm

Thanks for the replies and tips. I would like to have at least one of my own boards as it can get expensive and then there is the risk of not having one for the dawn patrol session. I am hoping my wife can manage to find space to fit one of boards in when she flies from South Africa with the kids. I was expecting to go back to SA before comming to Indo but its not going to happen. I will try to see if I can pick up 1 board ion Bali and if there is a bigger swell I can renter a bigger board.

The tip on the zoo is good. My daughter loves getting up close to animals. The way it stands now is we may have to spend Saturday and Sunday in Bali so I can arrange my temporary license in Bali on Monday. Again I was going to get an international license in SA but I am not going back. I will try find a way to get an international license in Korea and if its possible we will probably fly out of Bali Sunday.

Family is getting really excited now its comming together.
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tom
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Number of posts : 98
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Registration date : 2009-03-17

PostSubject: Re: First trip advice   Thu Aug 04, 2011 10:37 pm

Hello Rhubarb, I think you'll be happy with your own board. It can present some travel challenges though. Sometimes it's difficult to get on the plane from Bai. If there's other surfers it fills. I've had my board follow me on the next flight with my permission. A little scrarey. Ferry is noproblem fpr boards but it's a bit of a mission.
You probable know Lakey is crowded.Be prepared.If you're natural foot Periscopes is a good but fickle right. You may not be able to fly direct from lombok to Bima.
Also as reo said if you are traveling around the end of Ramadan that could be difficult.
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rhubarb
Lombok Virgin


Number of posts : 6
Location : South Korea
Registration date : 2011-08-03

PostSubject: Re: First trip advice   Fri Aug 05, 2011 8:09 am


Tom - thanks for the tips on boards. If I dont pick up a board in Bali can I buy one in Lombok or is it rental only? Thanks for the heads up on Lakey. My wife and I have decided to book the first 2 weeks in Kuta and leave the 2nd
2 weeks open so we can check things out and make decisions when we are there. I just want to get the most out of my first surf travel since I usualy have to leave the boards at home and allow the holidays to be about the family. Its great to get the thumbs up from my wife to have surf as a priority this time.

Talking about my wife, she is a big runner and generaly loves to run on her holidays as part of exploring. She will clock an average 12km a day with a couple of 18kms in the week. Whats the running potential in and around Kuta? Is it safe for her to go alone? I like to keep it in the water so I am out unless I have a bike.
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outahere
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PostSubject: Re: First trip advice   Fri Aug 05, 2011 10:21 am

Hi Rubarb, are you sure that the police are working Saturday / Sunday to issue a temporary license? That sort of administrative thing is likely to be during the day Mon - Thursday, not that I know for sure, but nothing happens quickly in Indonesia and anything that requires admin is generally not done on a weekend. Maybe you can send away for one from where you are at the moment?
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Mimpi
Lombok Soulmate


Number of posts : 101
Location : Kuta, Lombok
Registration date : 2011-05-07

PostSubject: Re: First trip advice   Fri Aug 05, 2011 10:26 am

Running will be safe for your wife. We see many guests running the loop from Kuta out to Mimpi Manis and back in on the new road that wouldnt be anything like 12kms though. A run to Serenting and back (my favourite beach) would probably be about that. Early morning there are also lots of locals out running too. I see them when I am dropping Made down for fishing at 5/6am

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rhubarb
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Number of posts : 6
Location : South Korea
Registration date : 2011-08-03

PostSubject: Re: First trip advice   Fri Aug 05, 2011 10:42 am

Freogirl - I may have explained it worng. Staying in Bali till Monday/Tuesday would be for arranging things like my drivers license. I am sure the offices will be closed for the weekend. I am trying to see if I can arrange my Int. License in South Korea but I am not sure it will be possible. My wife has already picked hers up in South Africa, so we have a back up plan. But I want to be cover in case I go surfing alone and need to drive.

Mimpi - great news about the running. I have sent your reply to my wife to make her day.
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outahere
Lombok Looney


Number of posts : 415
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PostSubject: Re: First trip advice   Sat Aug 06, 2011 4:34 pm

Hi Rubarb, yes I mis-understood. You can only get an IDP in the country where you hold your driver's license. I you have a Korean license then it would be possible otherwise it will need to be from SA. I do know that AA have arrangements to issue new IDPs by mail because that is what you have to do if it expires while you are abroad (plenty of your country folk in WA - I work with quite a few). If you take a look at the AA website it probably has the details of how to do this.
Otherwise you need to go into Denpasar and pay 20-30 USD for a 30 day tourist license. Do you have the address? I probably have it in my notes somewhere if you need it.
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rhubarb
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Number of posts : 6
Location : South Korea
Registration date : 2011-08-03

PostSubject: Re: First trip advice   Sat Aug 06, 2011 4:39 pm

Freogirl - I dont have the address but it would great if you have it. I am just trying to work through the Bali option for staying till Monday/Tuesday so I can get some stuff like this doen before heading out.
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