After a three-hour flight, we landed in Lombok Island, which is located east of Bali.
Lombok is a haven for surfers, trekkers, beach-goers and… Crafts hunters like us! About one-third of the assortment listed on www.kulture.sg is sourced over there. The most famous form of craft on this island is ceramics, which come in different forms and style (terracotta, pottery). These products are perfect to decorate your home if you look for something rustic and genuine.
So let’s see how this adventure went with our little one tagging along!
Tip #1: plan your logistics ahead
Thanks to the internet, it is possible to book your transport and accommodation ahead of your trip. As much as we love surprises and spontaneity, traveling with a baby changes the rules of the game. We booked a car through Lombok Car Rental (yes, driving in Indonesia is totally doable with a bit of practice!). Having your own car in Indonesia allows you to freely roam around for 30 US$ per day onward. Add 20 US$ per day to hire a driver. The agent and the car were waiting for us outside the airport, which was very convenient. We strapped Cec in the baby seat and from there headed down the Southern coast to Selong Belanak, one of our favorite spots on the island.
In Selong Belanak, we booked a big bungalow from Bukit Indah Boutique Accommodation. This family-friendly home-stay is managed by Karen, a very nice and welcoming Australian lady. We are not financially interested in this business, but we highly recommend this place if you travel with your baby or infant. They provide everything you need (baby cot) and the staff is very baby-friendly!
The staff of Bukit Indah Boutique happily singing to Cec
Tip #2: Google Maps is your best friend
While in Lombok, we visited few craftsmen specialized in ceramics and terracotta. Esi and I were not very familiar with the Western part of the island, so we heavily relied on Google Map to find our way. If you do not want to pay extra roaming charges, you can download offline maps while connected to the Wi-Fi. You will then be able to use Google Maps as a GPS and mark the locations which you want to visit.
Beautiful ceramic tea pots from Western Lombok
Tip #3: take some breaks and enjoy the scenery
Having visited a lot of places in Indonesia, we find that Lombok provides a perfect balance between beautiful landscapes and tranquillity. The Southern coast has many deserted beaches where tourists do not go due to difficult access (most of the dirt roads are not maintained at all). Traveling by car gives you the opportunity to stop wherever and whenever you want, whether you need to change your baby’s diaper or take a picture of your surroundings. This is a great chance to learn to take the time to appreciate what nature gives us (something which is impossible to do bustling cities like Hong-Kong or Singapore) and to teach your little one about it at the same time.
Sunset in Selong Belanak, South Lombok
Tip #4: stay safe and hydrated
It gets very hot in this region, especially during the dry season. If you plan to hit the beach with your baby, we advise you to avoid going between 11 am and 3 pm. We also recommend bringing a baby tent (you can easily find them online) and apply sun lotion SPF 50 onto the skin of your little one. Make sure she / he also drinks plenty of milk throughout the day, and don’t hesitate to dip him / her in the sea to cool down! Cec really enjoyed her first deep in the ocean.
See you soon on our blog!
-Charles & Esi