Senggigi in Lombok with kids

After trekking through Indonesia for the past few weeks it was time for some beach & chill time!  We are off to enjoy Lombok & Gili Air with kids! Our first stop was for 4 nights in Senggigi, Lombok & then we’re off to Gili Air for 5 nights (I’ll fill you in on that in a minute!)

Lombok is largely untouched and still a developing area for tourism. It has a laid back and relaxed feel, and compared to overcrowded Bali is complete bliss.

But the impacts of last year’s earthquake are still being felt on the industry.

 

Earthquakes

Lombok was affected badly by an earthquake last year and is still rebuilding it’s tourism industry (2019). The island was only a stepping stone for us, but in hindsight I wish we’d spent longer there! It’s such a lovely place and although you can see some of the earthquake damage, everything is either rebuilt or in progress. The only impact is that the tourist areas are very quiet! Hopefully people will return!

How worried should you be? Well actually, not as much as you think. But I’m a bit of a worry wart and so like to be organised in case of… well anything! 

And whereas I’m fretting planning our impending doom – everyone around me was calm as cucumbers. 

Did you know that there is an earthquake pretty much every day in this area! I didn’t!! Most of which you don’t feel, but they really are a common occurrence.  So there are risks, but life goes on here and lots and lots of tourists travel to these islands.

 

Sengiggi beach

We decided as we were travelling to the Gili Islands that we would stay in the well known resort of Sengiggi. Having not visited Lombok before we were unsure of the areas. Also, due to the earthquake last year we were not sure whether areas were still impacted.

Getting to and around Senggigi

The transport system isn’t very good in lombok and getting around can leave you relying on expensive taxis.  So bear this in mind if travelling around.

Uber and Gojek are not well received here and often bookings will be cancelled. They do exist but taxi drivers are not welcoming of this service. There is also no bus service to speak of. Therefore the taxis have a monopoly and take full advantage.

There is a damri bus daily from the airport 07:00 am to 22:00 pm, leaving every hour to Senggigi.

We did manage to get an uber taxi from the airport to Sengiggi though and was about the same price as a bus.

If you find yourself having to get a taxi always get blue bird as they are the most reliable and not likely to rip you off.

We also caught a Gojek from Sengiggi to bangsal harbor to catch our ferry to Gili Air. When we got in he asked us to cancel the booking as other taxi drivers would not be happy.  But he did honour the agreed price. We didn’t have any issues with this. However, it took a long time for us to get a taxi as there weren’t many around.

 

Where to stay in Senggigi

After finding that our original accommodation was having plumbing issues! We quickly found an alternative only a short walk away –  Puri Bunga beach bungalows. We negotiated a deal for a family room with breakfast and to top it off they had a large pool area too! Same price, but way better than our last accommodation! 

Sometimes things just work out.

The rooms are on a hillside and we were at the top, so it was a bit of a trek but the views were beautiful. Our little bungalow came with a semi outdoor bathroom, 2 large double beds, air conditioning and a huge balcony!! Perfect place to relax.

Where to eat in Sengiggi

Warung Buana

A compact, but nice warung serving pizzas. Usually you expect earrings to serve local Indonesian foods but this was a mini Italian and the pizzas were very delicious for a good price! 

It was so good we wolfed down the pizza before I could get a photo!

Warkop Senggigi (Street Food) 

This time it was a local Indonesian serving a basic but tasty menu. There are a handful of plastic tables and chairs.  We ate here a couple of times as it was so cheap! Don’t expect luxury, it’s plastic chairs, limited menu but you get a nice smile and quick service! 

 

Coco loco cafe

As a last night treat, we decided to eat out on the beach and enjoy a few sundowners. A very lively & busy bar with a huge menu catering for all. We thought the food was average though and a little more expensive than we are used to.  There are a couple of places nearby that you might want to check also. But the setting was just what we wanted.

Things to do in Senggigi

We mainly started at the beach or pool for the days we were in Senggigi. I was enjoying not having to think too much! 

There are lots of eateries so just spending your day mooching, drinking coffee & eating (mainly Western) food! 

The beach was the main focal point. It’s a black, coarse sandy beach. It has a nice reef to explore, although it did have a strong current. If you’re feeling energetic they do surf lessons or there were some small kayaks.

There was also a nice walk along the beach to the headland and looped round into the main street.  It was a nice view at sunset.

We saw a number of places that hired scooters so that you can further explore the coastline. However, the road is quite busy with lots of hair pins and quite windy.

Popular day tours to local villages were also advertised. We didn’t go on one ourselves as they sounded a bit touristy. 

We didn’t spend long in Senggigi so we really just enjoyed having a wander around the town, sunsets, playing by the pool and snorkelling.

Conclusion

Lombok had a much quieter feel, but this could have been the impact from the earthquake last year. It’s definitely a place to come to if you want to relax. The beaches are ok, nothing to write home about but the area is very easy going.

Having travelled along the coast, we saw a number of beaches which would have been good to explore. If you get the chance, try and hire a scooter to escape the area of Sengiggi.

There are other areas to visit in Lombok, such as Kuta or Tajung beaches and also Buwun Mas. Largely untouched, Lombok is a nicer alternative to Bali which has now become quite saturated and over developed. 

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