1. Kuta Lombok Beach
The whole of Kuta faces out towards the sea and the mile long stretch of Kuta Lombok Beach. Restaurants and bars with thatched roofs line the edge of the beach. I wouldn’t recommend swimming or sunbathing at Kuta Beach in Lombok as there are several nicer beaches within a short drive of the town. However Kuta Lombok Beach is a picturesque setting for a meal or a beer at sunset.
2. Catch “Nyale” during Bau Nyale Festival
In the tenth calendar month of the Sasak Calendar the Bau Nyale Festival is held. The festival is based around the local legend of Princess Mandalika. According to the legend the princess was supposed to marry a prince from one of the local kingdoms. However, realising that choosing a husband would cause a war she decided to kill herself. During the Nyale Festival locals collect sea worms, which are believed to be the incarnation of the hair of Princess Mandalika.
3. Surf at Selong Belanak Beach
Selong Belanak Beach is a picture postcard tropical getaway. Selong Belanak Beach is located in a half moon bay with a thick strip of golden sand that stretches as far as the horizon. Coconut trees and sun loungers line the edge of the beach. You can buy fresh coconuts and rent surfboards from the small stalls that line the edge of the beach. It is one of the most popular Lombok surf beaches.
4. Go Snorkeling at Tanjung Aan Beach
Tanjung Aan is the legendary resting place of Princess Mandalika. The beach faces the Indian Ocean and stretches along the coastline for a total of 2km. The sand is a mixture of black and white grains giving the beach a distinctive pepper appearance. There are also reefs just offshore where you can do some snorkelling. A few years ago the beach used to be deserted, but it has become increasingly popular with tourists.
5. Visit the Traditional Sasak Village
See how the Sasak people have been living for centuries in this traditional village. It is a little on the touristy side but still a really interesting visit.
- Dusun Rambitan
Dusun Rambitan is a traditional Sasak village. The traditional homes in Dusun Rambitan are made of thatch and bamboo. You can also see examples of the distinctive rice barns, known as Lumbung in the Sasak language. Dusun Rambitan is also famous for its woven fabric, which is still produced by hand. You can see some examples of different designs from Lombok in the photo below.
- Dusun Sade
Dusun Sade is the second traditional Sasak Village that is located close to Kuta. Like Dusun Rambitan the village is built in the traditional Sasak style. Out of the two villages Dusun Sade is the more interesting to visit as there is more to see in the village. The shops in Dusun Sade have a large range of woven fabrics as well as necklace, bracelet, jewelry box, and many accessories. If you pay attention you’ll notice many designs incorporate a lizard motif, this is because lizards symbolise fortune in Sasak culture.
- Sukarare Weaving Village
A one-hour drive from Kuta there is the village of Sukarare/Sukarara, which is famous for its weaving. The people in the village display the cloth that they produce in front of the houses. All of the cloth produced here is handwoven using local designs. The people in Sukarara are happy to explain more about the motifs and the function of the fabrics that they sell. A word of warning, the fabrics sold here are not cheap!
6. Explore the Countryside
If you can drive a motorbike, rent it! The rental price is R. 50,000,- per day. Driving around Kuta is easy and there is a lot to see and the landscape can be beautiful, though it is definitely dy. As you drive around you will see a lot of tobacco fields as well as the illegal gold mines, which are unfortunately all too common. Also keep an eye out for the bulls that will wander slowly across the road in front of you.
7. Visit the Pink Beach
Like the famous Pink Beach in the Komodo Islands, the Pink Beach in Lombok is famous for the sand, which comes from the pink coral. Besides the striking colour of the sand the Pink Beach is a great place to relax, snorkel and even do some kayaking. Make sure to check if its the jellyfish season before you jump in, because the jellyfish aren’t friendly and they do sting.