6 Reasons to have a Muslim-Friendly Family Beach Holiday at Lombok

By Lili Lengkana | 01, Feb, 2018
6 Reasons to have a Muslim-Friendly Family Beach Holiday at Lombok

Picture Credit - Lili Lengkana

 

Indonesia is globally famous for Bali Island, but did you know that there are other beautiful islands just like Bali? Lombok is just next to Bali; it has equally beautiful, sandy beaches all over the island and picturesque lakes, waterfalls, cliffs and mountains, yet it's less congested with tourists. 

With several direct flights from Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Bali, Jakarta and other cities in Java Island, this island has attracted both local and international tourists, though it's still not as famous as its neighbour, Bali. This article will highlight why Lombok is worth visiting, especially by Muslim travellers. Despite its close proximity to Bali, it is interesting to know that the vast majority of the population in Lombok is Muslim. In fact, in Indonesia it's known as The Island with a Thousand Mosques (or "Pulau dengan seribu Masjid" in Bahasa Indonesia). This is because you will find Mosques, big and small, every 100 meters or so in Lombok, so you will hear the Adhan (Islamic call to prayer) synchronously when it is prayer time, just like in the old city parts of Istanbul, Turkey

Lombok's Traditional Culture

Furthermore, the following six reasons can be proposed as to why Lombok is the perfect place for a Muslim-friendly beach holiday.

Picture Credit - Lili Lengkana

 

1. Less  Crowds

Lombok is still not as congested with tourists as Bali, meaning that the beaches are relatively less crowded. This is better for us if we want to have a peaceful beach holiday. We can comfortably wear a burkini (swimsuit for Muslimah) or be donning a full hijaab and abaya and go swimming freely. We will surely have a wonderful time with our family there.

Picture Credit - Lili Lengkana

 

2. The Beaches

The sand in Lombok beaches come in many magnificent shapes and colours. In the beaches in the northern and western parts of Lombok, such as Senggigi Beach, you will find darker sand colour, ranging from greyish to black with smooth textures and gravel. In the southern and eastern parts, you will find beaches with white or lighter-coloured sands, and....... pink sand! Yes, pink sand! Can you imagine that? You will be amazed if you come to this majestic pink beach in Eastern Lombok called Tangsi Beach. Slightly before noon is the best time to see the pink sand colour, clearly accentuated by the sun. The crystal clear blue water of the beach completes the experience.

We also recommend that you visit Southern Lombok, where equally beautiful beaches can be reached by only a 30-45 minute taxi ride from the Lombok International Airport. Here you will find light and gravel-textured sand in Mandalika/ Kuta Beach in the Pujut area. Don't confuse this with Kuta Beach in Bali though, for the difference is like the sun and moon! On the other hand, a powdery white sandy beach awaits you at Seger beach, which is very close to Mandalika/ Kuta Beach. These beaches in Southern Lombok are known for their big waves, so it is ideal for those who love to go surfing.

Not far from many beaches in Lombok, you will find many little islands called Gili in the local language. There are many activities that you can do in these Gilis, such as snorkelling from one Gili to another, diving, boating and other water activities. Gilis in Lombok are very famous since they all boast a variety of fish and coral, so it is surely a heaven for divers. If you have not done snorkelling, but are tempted to try, you can surely do it here. You can rent a private motorised boat for the whole family or group, with the driver and guide. They will provide you with all the snorkelling equipment, and the step-by-step guidance you need. The best part is that it comes at a reasonable price, and will be a great and wonderful experience to try there. The famous Gili to explore is the Gili Trawangan at the northern part of Lombok. However, due to its fame, there are often many tourists visiting there as well; the less crowded yet very beatiful Gili is the Gili Petelu at the eastern part of Lombok. You can reach Gili Trawangan from Senggigi Beach and Gili Petelu from Tangsi Beach (the one with the pink sand).

Picture Credit - Lili Lengkana

 

3. The Luxurious, Affordable Hotels

You will be pleased to find that there are many luxurious hotels in Lombok with very reasonable rates compared to other resort Islands, with many of them located at the beach or very near to the beach. The rates you pay are usually nett rates, which includes tax, service charges and halal buffet breakfast, although for the latter it is better for you to always double check with the hotel when making reservation. Most of the 3-star hotels and above provide a mixture of Indonesian, Continental and American buffet breakfasts. If you come as a family or want privacy, some 4 and 5-star hotels also provide an option to rent a bungalow or chalet, which for many of them include private swimming pools for your privacy. Fear not if you are on a tight budget, because Lombok also has many hostels, B&Bs, holiday houses or villas to rent too, where breakfast may or may not be provided.

When you make a reservation, don't forget to check for Wi-Fi access. Most, if not all 3-star and above hotels provide free Wi-Fi access to their guests but there are some who require guests to pay small daily fees for Wi-Fi access.

As previously mentioned, in terms of location, hotels in southern part of Lombok near Pujut or Mandalika area are the closest to Lombok International Airport,(about 30-45 minutes drive) . On the other hand, hotels around Senggigi Beach are about 1 - 1.5 hours drive from the airport. However, you do not have to worry about this if you stay in 4 stars and above hotels, because they usually offer airport pick-up and drop-off services. Even if you are planning to stay in smaller hotels, you can rely on the taxi service in the airport from Blue Bird group.

Picture Credit - Lili Lengkana

 

4. The Halal Food Abound

For Muslim travellers, visiting Lombok is very convenient as we never have to worry about finding halal food. You can safely eat in all kinds of eateries, from small food stalls (or "warung" in Indonesian) to restaurants. However, in same rare cases there are also non-halal restaurants too, so if in doubt it is always better and safer to double check on this. This can be done by either checking the restaurant signboard or menu for any non-halal items, or you can ask the staff directly. A word of caution though: don't be surprised that many halal restaurants in Lombok serve alcoholic beverages. This is because they want to cater to tourists who come from all over the world so they are not really strict about alcoholic beverages option, even though their foods are halal. Alhamdulillaah that there are warungs and restaurants that comply to the halal rulings now.

The authentic / traditional dishes from Lombok that you should try are Plecing Kangkung (Morning Glory Plant in English), Ayam Taliwang, Giant Crab with sambal plecing (fried/fresh chili crushed) and many more. They use a lot of chili in their ingredients, so be very cautious if you are not used to hot and spicy food. Their signature dishes are very hot and their chili is very famous as the hottest chili in Indonesia. It is even reflected in the name of this island; the name "Lombok" means "cabai" in Indonesian or "chili" in English, so yup Lombok Island literally means "the island of Chili".

Picture Credit - Lili Lengkana

 

5. The Chauffeur Services

You can easily rent a car, plus the driver as your guide, if you want to explore Lombok. Let's say for example, if you want to visit Lombok beaches from western to eastern parts of Lombok, the daily rental rate for a seven seater car is about IDR 700, 000.00 (approximately USD 53.00) for car only or about IDR 1,200,000 (approximately USD 90.00) for car with a driver/guide. These rates exclude petrol, meals and tips for the driver, so you have to fill up the petrol for your trip and buy meals for the driver. It is customary to tip the driver at the end of your trip and the amount is at your own discretion.

Picture Credit - CLAUDIUS, autonetmagz.net

6. The Hiking and Trekking Trails

More than just a beach paradise, Lombok is also known for its hiking and trekking scene. In this regard, Mount Rinjani is the favourite spot for trekkers due to its magnificent scenery. Mount Rinjani is the second highest volacano in Indonesia, standing tall at 3,726 meters high. Mountain climbing and trekking activities are usually undertaken at Rinjani National Park, where you can hike to reach the crater rim overlooking a beautiful crater-lake called Segara Anak in the caldera of Mount Rinjani. The pristine blue water in this lake resembles the sea. You can camp for a few days in the crater rim overlooking this lake and experience the magical sunrise and sunset over the mountain and the lake. The more adventurous trekkers can even make the more challenging climb to the highest point. You can try all these activities by using one of many registered hiking operators who can can provide you with an experienced guide and all the equipment you need for trekking and camping. The package is usually full board.

Note: To avoid any problems, do not try to hire the unregistered operators just because of low prices.

 

Always plan ahead by researching the best place to visit in Lombok. Thererafter you can ask your hotel concierge about the places that you want to visit, or about trustworthy local tourist operators that can help you in your trip. Alternatively, the easiest and most convenient way for you is by booking your trip with a Halal Trip Travel Agent, who will manage all bookings, activities and oversee the trip so that you don't have to be worry about all these. All you have to do is relax and enjoy the wonderful experience in Lombok with your family or friends. Just take your luggage and go...

 

Read our Lombok city guide

A Muslim's Guide to Lombok Island

A mother of two, travel aficionado and a bookworm