The problem with Kuta Lombok

27th April 2021

I arrived in Kuta Lombok Indonesia full of expectations, after hearing so many tales of unspoiled Southeast Asia paradise from friends and trusted acquaintances. When I go somewhere I’m this hyped up about, reality doesn’t always match the expectations: it happened in the Perhentian Islands, it happened in Hawaii and it nearly happened on first time in Koh Phangan and in the Gili Islands, specifically Gili Air. Unfortunately, it also happened in the coastal town of Kuta Lombok, another popular spot.

dog in kuta lombok news

After arriving from Lombok international airport, I stuck around for a few days to explore the surrounding areas with a scooter (definitely the best way to get around, unless you prefer a private driver, which is a lot more expensive), in search of the magic I’d heard so much about.

Please note, this was my own personal anecdotal experience of Lombok Kuta, dating from several years ago. I don’t usually write negative articles and you’re probably here today reading this because for some reason Google decided this was excellent content to put on its first page about Kuta Lombok news. Please, do take with a grain of salt. I would 100% go back to Kuta, Lombok and give it another try, and I’m sure staying in a different guesthouse would make a world of a difference. /end PSA.

kuta beach lombok

The Problem with Kuta Lombok

But the magic was nowhere for me to be found. Kuta town is a dusty affair with not much else than a few local warungs (to be fair, there was some great local food around) and goats and children roaming the busted main street incessantly trying to sell you bracelets (the children, that is). It reminded me of the main road in Otres Beach, a place where you only wander in case of strict necessity, either to get a ride into town or buy some sunscreen. Except that’s mostly what Kuta is made of. It’s where the hotels, restaurants, shops, and spas are, so if you’re not a surfer, you end up spending an awful lot of time in this rather soulless dusty place. The dirt road west and east of Kuta affords great views of the sea, but the land on the steep hill itself is arid and barren, presenting little of interest than more dust for the motorbiker to eat, and the occasional sparse patch of palm trees in the hollows of the valleys. In comparison, I found the hills on either side of Senggigi so much more beautiful and a real treat to ride a scooter around. The long scooter rides from Senggigi to Kuta Beach Lombok were also nice. I guess it says something about me, like some of the comments suggest. Are you more Senggigi or Kuta Lombok? Or what are the best things about Kuta that I missed?

Of course, there is the Lombok Kuta beach. Kuta Lombok has beautiful beaches. Mawun beach is a great place, despite the crazy rip current at high tide and the fact that you have to come to terms with being the sole livelihood of the local people selling fruits to the tourists. I was happy to oblige and the spicy corn on the cob was excellent, but after two days of sampling the various offerings of Kuta Beach Lombok and riding a scooter around, waiting for low tide, dodging the buffaloes and potholes, I felt ready to move on to a place that suited me better. I hear Selong Belanak Beach is also one of the best beaches. Seger Beach, Pantai Seger, and Tanjung Aan Beach are also popular beaches.

beautiful girl in kuta beach lombok

One thing that really didn’t help my enjoyment of South Lombok Kuta, however, was not picking the best place to stay, which I selected based on rave Tripadvisor reviews. Imagine this: straight out of your blue bird taxi and into a set of cute little clean rooms, recently built, with large comfortable beds and little porches. Imagine your private room set around a beautiful little garden, with a gorgeous mango tree at its center. Imagine being away from the call to prayer and street noise of Kuta town, with just the gentle croaking of the geckos for company. On top of that the room rates were more than fair. Imagine that? The best spot so it seems…


Now imagine that great spot, except the owner is strutting around wearing just a towel, a towel so short that I caught a glimpse of his balls on more than one occasion. He is constantly and noisily clearing his nose, sucking on his teeth, spitting, burping, and farting. The TV is blaring some terrible Indonesian jingle from the house. The women of the family are busy conversing among themselves, or with their neighbors across the way. Oh, wait… Did I say conversing? I meant screaming. If they’re not screaming at each other, they’re screaming at the many children, who run around in various states of undress while shouting, screaming, crying or playing with noisy toys. Like, incredibly noisy. The roaring of a plastic motorbike outside your window at 6am is a far worse wakeup than the usual Indonesian rooster crows. Not forgetting the one little delight that simply unzips and pees wherever he feels like it: one day, he steps out of his front door, flops it out, and pees directly onto our porch, not 4 feet from where we are sitting.

I really wanted to love it there and on paper, it was the perfect place, as much as I wanted to love Kuta Lombok Indonesia while I was backpacking Indonesia, and it had all the ingredients to be amazing. But it just felt too much that I was living with the worst, noisiest, most dysfunctional neighbours in the world, in a town that hasn’t got much to offer to the non-surfing crowd. Because I do hear that some of the best surfing is in Kuta.

corn in kuta lombok

After not enjoying the Perhentian Islands in Malaysia and now Kuta Beach Lombok, I am wondering if there is something wrong with me? People are all different, and sometimes the slightest of detail can make or break an awesome place, and I am not calling having a prime view on an old man’s testies a slight detail. To each their own, I guess, but I thought Kuta Lombok (not to be confused with Kuta Bali, another disaster in my opinion) had no character. You just have to check places out for yourself and make your own opinion sometimes. Also acknowledge that lone, terrible Tripadvisor review in a sea of excellents, because, hey, you never know, that one weirdo who didn’t like it might just be you.

beach kuta lombok

view kuta lombok

Has any travel destination ever let you down? And what’s been your favorite place?

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56 thoughts on “The problem with Kuta Lombok

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  3. Paul

    We nearly got talked in to going here ourselves but resisted based on the fact that we were quite happy in our little corner of Bali (Jemeluk) and despite all the tips often ‘the grass isn’t greener’ so we stay put…

    From your (funny) post it sounds like we made the right choice, and by the way I am like that weirdo on TA…

    1. Amélie Post author

      I’m also the weirdo! Seriously, everyone LOVES Kuta Lombok. I don’t know what happened in our case.

      1. Dan

        I also do not like Kuta lombok ! I love Bali but Lombok no way. Its just not nice. This place is a ghetto for backpackers. I mean if they like to imagine that they found the true paradise. well its ok. 😀 Its remind me this beach movie with Dicaprio. The difference is that they was no motorbike on the beach passing every 3 min with a loud speaker crying : Ice Cream / ice cream the all day !!! What a joke 🤪🤪.

  4. puti

    I love mawun beach, i just got from there. maybe next time you cud try Drop in bungalow..check them out in airbnb 🙂

  5. Daniela

    I’m here and I’m hating it!!! I though There was something wrong with us (my boyfriend and me), but that place really sucks and it’s people as well! Not friendly at all, very rude. I feel like I was kidnapped by the mafia.

      1. anna van neerven

        Hi Amélie!

        Finally I found a vegan blogger who visit Lombok and other places in Asia 😉 Sad to hear about Lombok Kuta. Me and my boyfriend are going 10th of April to Lombok – Sengiggi – then climbing the Rinjani…- then to Kuta (lombok) – Komodo – Flores – Bali and then Gili Meno.

        I’ve been to Bali before and I thought let’s not stay for a long time in Bali (a lot of tourists), but now I read your blogs about Bali (especially Ubud), i’m thinking maybe we should stay there longer dan 2 days!

        Do you have any tips, suggestions about Sengiggi (like food or things to do)? I hope you can help me out (a) Have a nice evening.

        Lots of love, Anna

    1. Monique

      We here at the moment. Agree people very very pushy and rude. I’m not feeling that same energy as I do in Bali.
      The sea is beautiful. But the village is dusty, so polluted and as you say soulless. Our accommodation is nice and luckily pee free and no balls in sight.

  6. Chesca @

    Just came across this post now as I thought I was going mad by hating it here! Then realised I also came across your Ubud post when we were travelling there. Most certainly following now 🙂

    Me and my partner arrived in Kuta last night, and have already had more bad experiences here than our almost-finished 2 month trek over from Java. I don’t get the hype; it is indeed a soulless, dusty place.

    I had also heard amazing things, which is why we came here, but have found the experience to be fairly disappointing. For the first time since travelling in Indonesia, I was heckled and harassed incessantly by young men on their scooter as we walked one evening to the beach. They kept going up and down up and down, shouting at us everytime they passed, and that was with my boyfriend! We also had to escape the gangs of semi-feral dogs that roam the beach at night too, which wasn’t nice at all. And I bloody love dogs.

    We also thought – are we not doing this properly?? Is there something not right with us? But I don’t think we’re the only ones who feel it. You’re completely right, there’s no character here, and if you’re not out surfing all day, there isn’t much else to do but eat. Onwards and upwards 🙂

  7. Chantae

    I HATED my first trip to Kuta, Lombok and had the same perception as you. I wondered why everyone loved it. Second time, went back and loved it. I’ve been back 3x since and have stayed there for ~3 months the past year… it’s gotten MUCH more crowded and developed (more bracelet kids, more construction/touting) over the past few years. I can definitely see how it doesn’t appeal at all to non-surfers. I like some of the main beaches (near turtle warung) but it does seem that everyone is making it a bit overhyped. I recently sent a friend there thinking he’d love it (he’s a surfer). He got bad vibes and left right away, so you’re definitely not alone.

  8. Tasha

    I’m in Kuta right now and I second allllll of this and then some. Expectations definitely did not match reality on this one…

  9. P

    Hi Amelie, I agree with you. Kuta used to be a wonderfull, isolated village with beautifull beaches, quiet and clean. Nowadays, there is concrete everywhere, it’s getting super dirty (plastic bags everywhere and and it’s noisy as hell (motorbikes without propper knalpot, people shouting, karaokes outdoors.

  10. Tonkin Voyage Travel

    OMG, I still think like your expectation! My friends (his hometown is in Lombok) tells me to come to Lombok, experience something different from the bustling neighbor Bali. He said that Lombok is untouched and has so many wild beaches for surfing, but everything seems to be not like his speech. Nonetheless, I still put it in my bucket list cuz I want to explore Gilis. Thanks so much for sharing !

  11. Amélie Post author

    That’s amazing, I’m so glad you had a lovely time! There’s nothing I love more than being proven wrong about a destination 🙂 And you are right, going without expectations or preconceived ideas is the best way to go!

    All best,

  12. De boer Eric

    October 2017 i was supposed to go to Lombok but after reading your your article and the comments of the followers i have canceled my trip and stayed in Bali. But this year after the earthquake i have came back to indonesia and decided not to be influenced by other poeple experience and comments and decided to experience it my self and my pregnant girl friend.

    We had the best time ever because we went there with a complete open heart without judging anything and embracing the difference.

    we knew there were kids selling bracelets, so we took with us colouring pencils. right after the first day they became our friends and we used to spend hours with them in a cafe called Kenza with good vegan options. amazing place to hangout.

    the dogs are so sweet and no harmful at all.
    The food in Kuta Lombok is amazing and we were eating in these 3 places:
    @Elbazarlombok | @Krnk_lombok | @kenzaLombok

    We say, open your heart and embrace the difference. sometimes it is good to see where we all coming from

    1. Peter

      I guess you must love dogs a really really big lot if you find packs of them roaming the streets not intimidating, and enjoy them shagging right in front of your food table.
      Personally I found the street dogs disgusting and intimidating, and then there were the kids and the old women who are selling trinkets to you when the kids should be at school. You have missed the truth if you think these kids were your friend, they simply see you as an easy mark to be exploited.

      1. Roos

        Dear Peter,

        Dogs are dogs with typical ‘dog behaviour’ and they were there even before you decided to come to the island. Of course the kids will see you as a potential buyer, but hey, can you blame them for growing up relatively poor and needing to do this job because of their parents?! But kids are also just kids who like to play and get presents, so I am sure they genuinely had a good time with each other.

        Ofcourse, it is possible you did not enjoy a certain place, but the reasons you provide a very short-sighted and closed-minded. Try to open up more to the locals, their stories and daily lives, instead of merely looking at the things that are ”wrong” and ”dirty” in your eyes.

    2. Ginger

      Open your heart all you want, I’ll leave that up to you. I almost got attacked by a gang of feral dogs. And I didn’t feel like hanging out with the kids because some people just don’t like kids and don’t want to deal with them when we’re on vacation.

      1. Charlie

        omg better lock yourself at home an enjoy your vacations there without kids and dogs and other humans. You sound like a very closed up person.

        For me Bali is a place where the tourists took it all over (maybe bc of expectations like this one, that everything has to be like at home.. then pls STAY at home). Its just sad.

        @ Roos: Totally agree with you. Lombok in general is a nice place to stay bc its still authentical. No vegan restaurants and fancy yoga places at every corner for big money just to satisfy the western expectations.

  13. jana

    thank you so much for your honest opinion. I’m just about to head to kuta, like you said everyone has to see for themselves and now I’m even more certain I should definitely spend my time surfing. I had the same feeling you have with a lot of places and so often I held back cause I thought I am ungrateful or just miserable but everything accept nusa penida really just annoyed me and its good to hear an honest opinion for once and not just the picture perfect Instagram world where everyone just shuts out the reality of a place. jana

  14. Abbey

    Most of what you mention for negatives is just Indonesian culture. That’s what ‘unspoiled’ means – dealing with the culture of the place that you’re in. If you’re looking for something that’s more tailored to your sensibilities – then somewhere more touristy seems like its more your vibe.

  15. Ruta


    I have just bought tickets to go solo to Indonesia for 7 weeks July and August, initially planning to stay in Bali just for a week and then go to Lombok for 4 weeks,,,+2 weeks Gili and flores… I feel really excited about the idea of spending a month in Lombok – heard it´s a great place to surf and less commercial/crowded than Bali- but getting really worried about Malaria after visiting yesterday international vaccine centre and browsing the Internet … The doctor highly recommended me taking prevention pills…However, she also told me that if I started taking them, I´d better not interrupt the treatment even if i felt bad… but that would mean that I would have to take them for nearly 60 days in total and, as far as I have been told, the secondary effects might be really bad on the stomach and other organs, and they are not uncommon…Thus, I was given a prescription for emergency medication in case I got malaria…

    ..but I am having second thoughts now and really don´t know what to do…. go back to the vaccine centre for a prescription and take malaria prevention pills for 2 months or try to protect myself with repellents and hope it will turn out well?

    Anybody who has been in Lombok or travelling around for a long period, could you give me some advice? How bad is the problem with mosquitoes?

    1. Nathasha

      dont get too worry about that.. I am Indonesian, grew up in Bali, and my husband is from Flores. Mosquitos is common thing all over Indonesia, especially in rainy season. For prevention just prepare the anti-mosquitos spray or lotion. Works great, but just dont use it too often. Some says it’s not good for long term usage.

  16. Peter

    I am writing this reply from Kuta Lombok, and I have to say that your observations of the place are totally correct. Whilst I rate that the beaches are some of the best I have seen in my life, the people here lack style in every way. Speaking of lacking style, I am amazed that even though you have gratified your body so badly with tattoos like that, you are able to articulate your thoughts so well, so well done to you. Most people in that demographic seem to have trouble talking yet alone articulating experiences in writing.

    1. Amélie Post author

      Is there supposed to be a correlation between tattoos and the ability to articulate oneself?

      1. Margrit

        Amelie, such a condescending reply from Peter😩😡
        Been traveling around for a long time and sometimes I just don’t “fit”. Other places make me feel as if I belong … Hey, your experience, your call👍🤛
        I will still check it out, but with caution😂

  17. Ross

    Kuta Lombok is great , people are to precious , people are great , ample food and restaurants , great exploring in bike , good beaches a lot off fun

  18. Matt

    Me and my wife have just returned from Lombok staying at Batu Layer like so many of you have said Lombok is not BALI
    We are a couple in our early 50s and have been to Lombok many times with and with out our children the place is fantastic and the locals nothing but friendly ok they try and flog you the odd bracelet but they are just trying to make a living
    The north gillis are great but if you want spectacular head down to the southwest gillis ,Gilli Gede is very nice and the locals very friendly with good snorkelling and top that with lunch at Ko-Mo Resort and you have a top day out
    As for Bali give it a miss very over rated ( our opinion only people )✌️

  19. Leanne

    How much you enjoy a place the first time is alot to do with how it compares to your expectations and if you spend time researching a holiday and money on getting there then it’s only natural to be disappointed if it falls short of your expectations. I, like Amelie was ‘expecting’ a chilled out unspoilt paradise, but sadly I was also disappointed because 1) the bracelet selling really is relentless, it’s not just a few times. You are trying to sleep/ read/ chill on the beach and every 5 minutes you are interrupted. This is the opposite of relaxing. It doesn’t mean you don’t sympathise with the locals trying to earn a living but at the end if the day buying bracelets is not why you came on holiday 2) The feral dogs- you see them everywhere and some are not in a good condition (e.g. limping), you just feel so sorry for them, I found it very sad. 3) Lots of litter and plastic bags on the sides of the road, even on some of he beaches.

    In summary we ended up researching more quiet beaches and getting taxis there, we also did a few surfing lessons and made the most of our trip but I wouldn’t go back to Lombok again because I found the combined 3 factors above a bit too depressing, but at least we didn’t have the farting owner with his balls hanging out, what a shocker!!

    1. LouiseHK

      Wow! I am so sorry for your bad experiences Amelie.
      I have to say that Lombok to me is paradise. We have been a few times to Lombok, each time seems better and better.
      As a family of 4, living as expats in Asia, we have been to most beach resort places, so have a lot to compare against.
      The thing is, we do not stay in Kuta. I think this is the first mistake you made. Whilst Kuta is convenient, the beach to me there is probably my least favourite. The town is sandy/ dusty and noisy – of course. But there are some really lovely places to eat and drink here, so coming into town for the evenings – if you want to socialise – is also really fabulous. If you want peace however, here is not the place!
      If you have transport, there are so many amazing and beautiful peaceful places to stay all along the coast, with our favourite over at Selong Balanak. The beach here is incredibly beautiful, and so tranquil. Often there are less than 10 people on the whole beach! Renting surfboards is cheap and easy, can get lessons here too if you like. It is a nice sandy beach break, so quite a lot safer for beginners then a lot of other Lombok surf sites.
      I have never been hassled on the beach by sellers, have taught my kids to surf in warm aqua seas, enjoyed buffalo wandering past, and immersed myself in the local food flavours of smaller warungs and cafes all along the coast.
      Kuta Lombok is going to massively change shortly, with the MotoGP and Mandalika Bay Resort being built. I do hope they manage to retain the Indonesian charm about the town, and that it does not turn into a Kuta Bali!!

      1. Amélie Post author

        Hey Louise,

        Thanks so much for your comment! As I said in the article, this was my experience many many years ago as a not-so-experience traveller, and I really don’t tend to write content like this, but it seems like it’s been sparking quite a debate over the last few years, so I decided to leave the article up. I would love to go back to Lombok and explore it some more and prove my initial impression wrong, and you’re really making me want to go again! Enjoy this wonderful part of the world while I freeze my nips off in Germany 😉 Amélie xx

  20. Joe

    Lombok is paradise for me I started my holiday in Lombok Senggigi and after that I moved to (( Gili canggu Ubud sanur uluwatu )) too mush tourists trafic stress
    I’ve decided to come back to the Lombok and I’m still enjoying this unique and picturesque island 🌴

    1. Joe

      About the selling bracelets I was in la chill bar enjoying the sunset time suddenly I don’t know how I started talking to an old woman who tried to sell me a bracelet and i did
      in the end she told me that since 9 am she didn’t sell anything
      With tears on her eyes for 20 dollars I will never forget that i regret I didn’t buy from her more bracelet (( I just have the filling of being manipulated by technology and media influence I mean when I buy shitty bag from Louis Vuitton for 4000 $ …..
      I just want to say to those having problem with selling bracelets in Lombok admit that people trying to make living because it’s not Rich island

  21. Vrac

    We came here last night. This is worst place in the world. We are living after one day. People are agresive and rud. Never again.

  22. Scott

    I’m here now and a little confused by the feedback. I live in canggu. It’s far more “dusty” than Kuta. The roads here are like new??? Great food, great place to stay and great beaches. Far far cleaner than Bali beaches.

  23. Aylin

    “.. if you’re not a surfer, you end up spending an awful lot of time in this rather soulless dusty place”

    “In comparison, I found the hills on either side of Senggigi so much more beautiful and a real treat to ride a scooter around.”

    –> I totally agree with you. We were also wondering if there is something wrong with us. It is quite difficult for us to warm up to Kuta. We will definetly give Kuta a try when we will come back right after the rainy season (we have been there in August), but next time we would stay just round 3 days there.

  24. Lisa

    Hi thanks for the info! I’m on Gili air and enjoying it so much!! No cars no motorcycles! People talk to each other ! I went to Ubud Bali and I would not stay there for more then 2 days!! Mass tourism! But what I disliked the most was the people on motorcycles! Apparently Kuta Bali is even worst!!! So I’m delaying our trip to Lombok just to feel good a little longer in Gili air 😊

    1. Amélie Post author

      I also loved Gili Air, and really disliked Kuta Bali. I did enjoy Ubud a lot though, mostly for the vegan food scene. If you surf, you may really enjoy Kuta Lombok. Everyone’s experience is so totally different also, don’t let mine interfere with yours too much (:

  25. da

    i guess it depends what are you looking for – galaxy smoothies or not ruined paradise. One has to understand what hospitality standards are way behind in Lombok, and North is also very different from South. Also remember, it is Muslim place. So dont expect respect from local with bikinis and shorts.

    I been many times to Bali and last trip was devastating, thats not Bali i used to know. I went to Lombok with open heart – and really found the paradise. And it is really not in the Kuta Lombok, place completely changed in last year already.

    I encourage everyone to understand how people live there and what they have to share and what we can still learn from them. I stayed in completely remote places and feel blessed that i still saw paradise which exists.

    Go before its too late, government approved the Motor Race for 2020 in Kuta, so it will be next Bali by then.

    1. Darek

      da, by writing “And it is really not in the Kuta Lombok, place completely changed in last year already.” where it is if not there?

      My and my girlfriend are going to spend there (or Bali) 9 days (30.11 – 8.12), i would like to surf but my girlfriend just want to chill.
      In Your opinion it’s better to stay on Bali or go to Lombok?

      Looking forward for Your answer 🙂

      1. Gaetane

        Hello Darek,

        We are actually in Kuta Lombok. I must confess that I have the same feeling as Amelie about kuta Lombok. This blog reassures me a little bit because we thought to be extra terrestrial compared to all the praise that we have read so far.
        That said, we found a beach that could suit you perfectly: Selong Belanak. Beautiful white sand beach, a part dedicated to surfing and one for swimming. A few falls to eat and rent a board. I’m not a Surf professional but I think it’s a good place to start. No bracelets sellers! Although I agree with some comments: these bracelets are sometimes the only way to earn some money, Kuta is a fairly poor island.
        This comment reflects the situation (and our personal feelings) in November 2019, it may be different at other times of the year.

  26. Rich Law

    Hi Amelie, thanks for sharing your experience!
    I can empathise with a lot of what you wrote, but I think what time of year you visited may have influenced your experience – the dry season can be a bit dusty in places but after the rainy season (Jan-March) things are lush and green! And for me South Lombok is all about being in the water – surfing perfect barrels or swimming in the beautiful clear waters. Personally I prefer staying outside of Kuta itself (Gerupuk is a lovely little fishing village), but the town itself is evolving in a nice way, with some great restaurants and vibrant scene. I loved eating at Marquisa and The Patio recently – best food I had in Indonesia. I haven’t read any of your other Lombok travel blogs yet, but hope you made it up North to Senaru and Sembalun? My partner and I did some amazing day-trips with Rinjani Dawn Adventures (, a local guiding company based in Senaru. If you didn’t go there, I’d very much recommend Mt Rinjani and Pergasingan Hill. The locals in these places are reserved but friendly and welcoming, and the children are not hawking bracelets (which is a bit annoying). Thanks again for sharing your views on Kuta🙏🇮🇩😎

    1. Amélie Post author

      Thanks for the comment Rich! As I explained in the beginning of the post, this is a very old article that for some reason started ranking well on Google. It’s really just an anecdotal experience and really not reflective of my usual writing style. I tend to be a lot more positive 😉 That said, it’s been over five years and I don’t remember the rest of the island so well. I remember enjoying Tetebatu, and it yes it was a lot of green and lush there. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  27. Chris Hodges

    Hi Amelie, Just read your blog and all the follow up posts.
    Im am Australian who has travelled extensively through Indonesia and am presently married to a beautiful indonesian girl and living in Mataram City Lombok. Ive only done day trips to Kuta and it aways looks pretty low key and cruisey but I think I can see where it all comes unstuck and wanted to make a couple of observations. The local people are certainly not too wordly and there’s not alot of tourism training going on here. The result is a place becomes popular with tourists and suddenly every man (and his feral dog!) is opening a guesthouse or a warung and trying to make a buck. Its not a great situation but certainly not untypical of the human condition. I havent been to the Gili islands for many years but I fear a similar thing is happening there – too many places to stay, too many cafes and warungs and too many locals desparate for tourist dollars. The government probably wont step in but until somebody does tourism in Indonesia is probably always going to be a bit rough and ready. Its not a reason not to visit but it certainly helps to keep that thought in mind. The thing that sets Lombok apart for me is the stunning natural beauty of the island from the beaches to waterfalls to Mt Rinjani and gorgeous scenic drives. My advice to anyone coming to Lombok who wants to avoid the tourist hustle would be to stay in Mataram and use it as a base to do day trips. Mataram itself is not an overly exciting place but there is a wide range of very well-priced accommodation, plenty of great inexpensive food options and very few touts. Once here you’re 30 minutes drive to the airport, 30 minutes to Senggigi Beach, 45 minutes to the departure point for the Gilli islands, a little over an hour to Kuta and the southern beaches or north to a choice of breathtaking waterfalls and around two hours to the starting point to trek Rinjani. And youre assured of stunning and varied scenery which ever way you go. The only other thing I would add is next time you are here, pay the money and visit Selong Belanak – its one of the most beautiful and accessible beaches you’ll find anywhere and the few cafes set along the back do great food without too much fuss or bother.

    1. Amélie Post author

      Thanks for the extremely thoughtful message Chris. As I’ve said before, this article is random and old and for some reason ranking well on Google, but it’s not the general type of information I like to share. I may quote you with some of this information when I update this post next because I hate that this is the entryway to my blog for a lot of people and really just an incident of my own, not a representation of a wonderful land.


  28. Pingback: Are we still allowed to like Bali? - Thoughts on responsible tourism. | The Midnight Blue Elephant

  29. made arsani

    Hello. I have been a tourism professional in Lombok for decades. Let me tell you that your description of Kuta is quite true, you can come back later, change your home stay you will have the same impression, if not certainly worse. What happened is that like many you were a victim of the promotion of Kuta Mandalika. Before this project all of Lombok was visited by tourists Senggigi, Sekotong, Senaru, Sembalun, Tete Batu and Kuta, who has the era was a small fishing village with a few home stays and surfers. Tourism was spreading all over the island, tourists had to be encouraged to go to Kuta which attracted few people. Then the government signed the development of this region of Kuta: 18 luxury hotels, centers shops, apartments, the largest golf course in South East Asia, and a competition circuit, a few months later it’s over for Lombok everyone does want to go to Kuta, you get off the plane from the fast boat, from the ferry ,everybody’s suggest you go to Kuta while all the rest of the island is abandoned, deserted What you have experienced is the manipulation of tourists nothing else to generate development for these big investors. You think you are helping children by buying a few bracelets without knowing that you are helping banks and multinationals, while depriving other sites. I read that some in the comments confused Kuta and Lombok therefore preferring to stay in Bali. It’s a mistake Lombok is a beautiful island, stay in Sekotong, Senaru, Senggigi, Mataram, there are 6 special regions try to see everything and flee from Mandalika, its, construction sites because there is no authenticity or interest

  30. dhyana

    HI Amelie, I am proud Indonesian, have been living in Lombok for quite sometime, and moved to Bali recently.
    Despite the beautiful beaches, less crowded and famous gili’s, i thought Lombok still have a lot of work to do.
    There is many unpleasant story about Kuta Lombok, unfortunately some of them was true.


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