Last February, I got a second chance to visit Lombok. Just like my first, this time it was mainly for work…with a little bit of traveling in the end 🙂
But, unlike my first time in Lombok where I mainly visited cultural site (read about it here) this time around my friends and I stayed in a hotel closed to the airport. The hotel is called D’Praya Hotel.
We arrived on a Friday, so when my colleague when for their Friday prayer, I got to visit a souvenir place. Its a bit early to buy souvenir since we just arrived. We just ended up walking around.
It was not until the following day that we got a chance to explore Lombok. First, we went to Grand Mosque at Islamic Center in Mataram. It is a large mosque with artistic design.
Lombok is known as The Island of a Thousand Mosque. Here is one of the grand mosque at Islamic Center
Our next destination is Tanjung Aan Beach. It is a nice white sand beach. We dont have much time to play around the beach. So I just walked around. There were a lot of children selling souvenir. They also offer to help take various kind of instagrammable pictures. Two of them offered me. But, I was a bit hesitant. Instead I asked them to be my model.
These two boys, Nunjal (front) and Soyong (back) at Tanjung Aan Beach, Lombok offered to take a picture of me pushing the hill…for 5 thousand rupiah pay. But I ended up convince them to pose for me.
From Tanjung Aan, the tour guide took us to Kuta Mandalika Beach. It’s the latest tourist area hailed to be the next Kuta. The beach is quieter and cleaner. The white sand is also similar to Kuta Beach. But the infrastructure is not entirely ready.
Here again, I found myself approached by many kids selling souvenir.
I chatted with two of them that also offered picture services. I knew that I would have to give them something so I might as well gave them a chance to show what they are capable of.
I was quite amazed with the end results. They certainly know how to work out a camera phone.
The next day, its a free day, so I called one of my students who happened to live in Lombok. She took us around Praya.
We visited another mosque, Praya Mosque.
Finally we visited a water reservoir before heading back to our hotel.
Lombok feels like Bali decades a go when there were less buildings and more natural sites.
Perhaps that is why the cloud seem a lot closer as if they were hanging from the sky.