Our passports were being escorted somewhere for a single stamp which was seemingly a harder process than it should be but this allowed us to scoot off away from the misery of soulless Mataram and head to the ‘better’ Kuta Lombok.
Whenever you talk to someone about Lombok the first thing most people utter is ‘Kuta’ and ‘amazing beaches’ so we needed to check it out! Accompanied by our German friends we all jumped in a car and headed South in search of the white sands and amazing surf we had heard so much about.
If Senggigi was a disappointment then Kuta was on the complete other end of the spectrum. Unbroken white and golden sand beaches with incredible surf and turquoise water! Where to begin?
Here’s our guide to two days of beach hopping!
West of Kuta
Park up your bike and walk over the small ridge and be greeted with a half moon stretch of white sand, amazing crashing beach break waves and deep blue sea! The pictures can do the talking but it was basically deserted when we arrived apart from the small kids asking you if you need a coconut, pineapple or Bintang…dreamy! The waves were incredibly powerful when we arrived and we all spent a good 2 hours playing around being swept off our feet and dragged out to sea, which was awesome, just tie up your shorts….!
Ooohh Mawi, beautiful Mawi. If this wasn’t the most difficult ‘road’ to get to a beach we have ever encountered we may have been able to spend more time admiring the majesty of Mawi’s surf and cliff back drop. Its a stunning little beach and once you get over the ‘shakes’ from bouncing up and down on your bike for 30 minutes its a great place to laze away the day and watch the insane left hand break waves and the amazing surfers trying to conquer them! Please don’t be put off by the road, just be ready for it, embrace it and remember that what you find at the other end if most definitely worth it!
Selong Belenak Beach
The longest beach of all that we visited to the West of Kuta and definitely the busiest as well! This is the beginner surfers paradise with small waves and many surf shops/warungs offering lessons and board hire. The beach itself is a long stretch of white sand with insane views of the Lombok coastline and little Islands in the middle of the sea. Park your bike, pay the man, get to the beach, turn right and walk into secluded beach heaven! Everybody as usual congregates by the warungs and surf shops but the best part of the beach is further to the North so wander through the breaking waves and find a little spot in the distance to see out the day!
Unfortunately, you will get hassled by little kids on this beach but only to buy bracelets and more often than not they just want to take a break and have a chat! They speak surprisingly good English and will leave you too it after a couple of minutes, unless you make them laugh then they could stay for hours! A huge beach with golden (slightly stony) sand stretches off into the distance and has quite a lot of seaweed on it. Maybe not the beach to spend the whole day on but walk away from the main car park and it can seem surprisingly quiet!
East of Kuta
Another crescent moon shaped beach with unfortunate amounts of rubbish and seaweed on the beach. Still boasting great views out to sea and the hills that separate it from Tanjung Aan. More of a quick stop off this one, or a destination to park up relax until the sunset starts and race up the hill to the viewpoint to watch the sun setting over Kuta…
A tourist destination. Lots of buses and tours were stopped here when we arrived and the beach was overrun with people taking selfies and generally disturbing the peace we had come to expect throughout the day. This makes us sound like boring old farts but when the previous beaches set such a serene precedent this was a bit of a surprise…Anyway, who are we to judge, each to their own. The beach is still great and you have to go and see it for the sunset or just to walk up and down to take in the coastal views.
The second day scootering around was revisiting our favourite beaches to spend more time playing in the sea and generally relaxing on the sand but not before we looked round a ‘traditional’ Sasak village. We aren’t sure how traditional this was unfortunately as it seemed very commercial and too many people spoke English while walking around for us to believe it wasn’t just a tourist trap. However, we had a good guide and you can choose how much you pay them once you have finished depending on how informative they are. (we were recommended to pay no more than 5k each but pay what you want!)
We spent a total of 3 days in Kuta and loved it. Its chilled, relaxed surfer vibe is still ever present and the locals are incredibly helpful and friendly. Just be careful about transport back to Mataram. Its expensive in high season, we paid 250k for 4 people which we thought was steep but after negotiating with what seemed like every tour shop its the best we could find! Enjoy!
Until next time
C & J