There is a saying, 'You can find Bali in Lombok, but you cannot find Lombok in Bali'. Just a 30 minute flight from the famous Indonesian island lies an unspoilt gem, full of hidden treasures. Discover a unique culture unlike no other in the world, drive along breathtaking coastal roads where the only traffic you'll come across is buffalo, enjoy deserted beaches and crystal clear waters filled with incredible sea life. Dance under the stars to local bands, ice cold bintang in hand. There truly is nowhere on earth quite like Lombok. Here you will find some useful Lombok information to help plan your travels.
What does Sasak Soul Mean?
In Lombok, 85% of the population are Sasak, who are predominantly muslim, mixed with some animist, hindu and buddhist beliefs. They speak their own language, and many believe in spirits and practising magic. The wedding ceremonies last for days, culminating in a huge street procession. Their rich history, cultural practises and peaceful spirit is primarily what makes Lombok so unique.
The people of Lombok are incredibly friendly and inquisitive. It's not uncommon to be invited for dinner, or to share some rice wine, so that they can talk with you. Despite having so little, everybody shares with everybody, creating a loving community that is incredibly hard to leave!
Sasak Soul is more than just surf lessons. As a brand, and as a team, we aim to represent the spirit of the local Sasak people. Their love, respect and beautiful soul are what makes Lombok such a wonderful place to stay. We work together with locals to share our home with you, to create moments and memories that have you smiling from ear to ear. We respect each other, our guests and our island, leaving only footprints behind.
We live Lombok. We love Lombok. We are Sasak Soul.
What does a typical day consist of?
Each day with us can be completely different. The beauty of surfing is that no two days are ever the same. A lot depends on the wind and swell and we generally won't know what the plan is for sure until the day itself! But usually, we will try and get a nice early start after your breakfast, around 8.30am, and head to a suitable spot for your level, most breaks are no more than 30 mins drive from central Kuta. If this is your first day, we will head to a beach break where you will learn the theory on the beach before hitting the waves, or if later into your week, you will probably have progressed to a more intermediate spot.
After a couple of hours surfing we will take a break and have lunch in a nearby warung, if you are feeling up for it, and the tides permit, we could even go for another session, or chill on a beach or go back to the hotel, depending on what everyone wants to do. We try and take everyone to our favourite sunset spot at least once, where we can relax with a beer, or even cook a bbq for you! We also try and involve you in local events, so if there's a wedding, party or general get-together happening - we'll invite you along!
Do I need a Visa?
Citizens of 68 countries can visit Indonesia visa free for up to 30 days, but must have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months, and be ready to show flight tickets in and out of the country.
For longer stays, you can pay for a visa on arrival for USD 35 (Many immigration points also accept rupiah, aud, gbp and other currencies). With this visa you can extend once for a further 30 days for 355k (without agent). To extend, you must visit the nearest immigration office twice. On your first visit, ask for extension forms, and bring with you a copy of your passport photo page, visa stamp on arrival, and your flight tickets in and out. Hand them all in, and you will be asked to return 3 days later. On your second visit, your photo and fingerprints will be taken, you'll need to pay 355k fee, and wait for your passport to be returned. An agent can be used to do the first visit for you, but be prepared to pay up to 1 million or so for the privilege.
For eeeeven longer stays, you can apply in your home country for a 60 day visit visa or 'social' visa. This can then be extended a further 4 times in the country, allowing you a total of 6 months in Indonesia before needing to fly out. Consult the Indonesian Embassy in your home country for more information on the process.
The currency of Indonesia is rupiah, with denominations starting from the tiny 100 coin (0.005 euros!) up to the 100,000 note (6 euro), you'll find yourself an instant millionaire when you exchange all your currency!
You'll find the best money changer in Lombok just outside of the airport perimeter, but you'll also find a couple in Kuta itself. We also recommend the Caxton currency card, which doesn't charge any fees for atm withdrawal, and exchange rates are very fair. It is linked with your current account which means you can easily deposit small amounts and don't risk your entire account balance disappearing if you happen to be the victim of fraud or card skimming.
More and more businesses in Kuta are now taking cards, such as the chain markets, and larger homestays, bars and shops. However be prepared to pay for most services like surf lessons, drivers and tours, in cash.
How Do I Get There?
Kuta is a mere 20 minute drive from Lombok International Airport, which welcomes flights from a number of cities including Bali, Jakarta, Surabaya, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Garuda Indonesiais a safe and reliable option for flights. There will soon be a direct Air Asia flight from Perth starting March 2019. There are a number of taxi companies waiting on arrival that will charge between 100 - 150k to get to Kuta. If you book with our camp we provide airport transfers.
Alternatively, you can grab a fast boat from Padangbai in Bali, this hour and a half trip stops off at the Gili Islands on the way, with a final stop in Bangsal, North West Lombok. Here you can get a taxi down to Kuta, which takes a couple of hours.
How Do I Get Around?
Kuta itself is a fairly small town of only a few square kilometres, with all the shops, restaurants and a vast majority of accommodation nestled on 3 or 4 roads within 1 kilometre of each other, so it is very easy to walk around, if you can stand the heat. However, the real gems of the island lie outside of the main town itself, so it is highly recommended to have some kind of transport so that you don't miss out!
One option is to hire a scooter. It is cheap and easy to hop around from beach to beach, and even explore further North and East. Scooter hire starts from 50k (€3) per day and petrol is 10k (60c) per litre which fills up the tank of most smaller models. A word of warning though - only do this if you have an actual license to drive this class of vehicle in your own country. Not just if you get stopped by the police, but if something happens to you, your insurance will not cover it, and you could be in very serious trouble if you are badly injured. Driving in Indonesia is risky, many locals don't have licenses or follow the rules that you may be used to (indicating, giving way, using a roundabout!). It is also recommended that you hire bikes from your accommodation, be sure to check it over and take pictures before taking it away.
A second option is to hire a driver and car from your hotel or homestay. For a few hundred thousand a day, you have an air-conditioned vehicle and can visit places at your leisure. This can be a cost effective option, especially for larger groups as most cars are people carriers that can fit up to 5 or 6 people.