We booked the ferry through ‘Scoot cruise’ which was an open ended trip around the Nusa islands, Lombok and the Gili Islands. The office was situated in Sanur as well as the ferry port. We got a KFC which was vile so ditched it and got a Mc Donalds which was also vile…my chicken was black which was odd, so maybe in Sanur its best to stick to bypass the fast-food cuisine haha!
The speed boat was bit iffy and I did get a bit sea sick but it didn’t really take that long until we could see in the distance beautiful sandy beaches and crystal clear water… an absolute paradise island! I immediately forgot I was seasick and just got really excited!
Nusa Lembongan is a small island situated southeast of Bali mainland and is one of three neighbouring islands, which include Nusa Penida and Nusa Ceningan. The island is absolutely out of this world, and exactly the image that conjures when thinking of a tropical paradise. It is like an unspoilt Bali, without all the chaos and congested development, and with barely any tourists.
We piled onto a truck thing, as there are no taxis on the island so everyone normally rides a scooter or one of these truck things! We rented bikes in the end for Rp 50,000 ($5 / £2.50) per day. The truck broke down twice on the way and literally couldn’t get up this one massive hill with so many people and bags piled in on top of each other in the back. We had to all jump off and then sort of run after the truck when it got going haha. While we were all admiring the gorgeous views, a motorbike sped past with what looked like two eight year old boys…this was a sight we got used to straight away as it seems children can ride bikes before they can pretty much walk! Crazy!
The windy coastal paths offer some incredible views, and are perfect for exploring on foot or blasting around on the mopeds like we did. We passed seaweed farms, lush jungles, breathtaking cliffs and a suspension bridge over to Nusa Ceningan.
Our accommodation was again, absolutely perfect! Our own private open planned hut, overlooking a beautiful swimming pool! We paid RP 300,000 ($30/£15) per night which is probably one of the cheapest on the island. I fell in love with the owners son who was around 1 years old and absolutely adorable!
That’s another thing about the Indonesian people, they are so welcoming and really lovely people! Their beliefs and cultures still strongly prevail, and each day they leave colourful flower-petal offerings, or different foods for Buddha on the doorsteps of their houses and businesses.
One of my favourite places on the island was Dream Beach, where you can have food and cocktails on the beach bar overlooking an absolutely stunning beach, or have a dip in the infinity pool. It really was paradise.
There isn’t really any nightlife on the island, which was actually the perfect detox for us and gave us time to chill. I would recommend this island in a heartbeat!
Everyone knows how much I love a good sunset, so I was over the moon to hear of a restaurant on ’Sandy Bay beach’ with the best view of the sunset on the island. It literally did not disappoint! The restaurant was very expensive, and they added on a massive tax and service charge at the end (which is something that definitely has to be taken into account before ordering food anywhere in Indonesia!) but the food was bloody good…plus the wine…maybe thats why the bill was high haha.
Surfing is really popular on this island, so Matt took Callum out surfing for the first time at ‘playgrounds beach’ which is ideal for beginners. They were out there ages and Callum even caught a few waves and stood up…putting me to shame as I’m still absolutely crap. Matt had a good surf and was the first time since Sri Lanka that he had been out so he was happy! There are three main breaks on the island; playgrounds, Shipwrecks and Lacerations which apparently become pretty crowded in peak season, but they caught a good day where there were only a few others out there!
As well as surfing, Nusa Lembongan offers all types of water sports and boats excellent quality waters for diving and snorkelling with very rare marine life and corals.
Matt, Callum and myself went out snorkelling one afternoon in the North of the island next to Mangrove Forest. You have to pay $2 to get down the road…something to do with maintenance of the road, and the money is taken by three shifty, unofficial looking locals!
The snorkelling is about 200metres out to sea, and we were too stingy to pay for a boat so just decided to paddle out.
I agreed before I’d actually seen what we had to paddle through! It was literally about 2ft deep for the whole 200 metres and thick with sea plants so you couldn’t even see what your belly was grazing against. We all split up as we tried to get out of the rank muddy bit asap, and I just swam without stopping and without letting myself imagine the animals underneath overtime I put my hands down!
When we finally got out there, the water was perfect with clear visibility. We saw hundreds of tropical, brightly coloured fish including loads from Finding Nemo!
Manta rays, turtles, whale sharks and some species of sharks can be seen when diving around this island, but unfortunately we saw none of these while snorkelling, probably as we were not deep enough or further out enough.
Another of the must-do activities in Nusa Lembongan is the Blue Lagoon Cliff Jump. This was a bit confusing to be honest because when we got there, there was just two children taking an entrance fee, and when we got to the cliff it looked as if it had all closed down and that there had previously been a bar there before. The views were spectacular but the jump looked insanely high! Matt and Callum obviously ended up jumping though!! It was a 13 metre drop and a bit of a hard climb back up to the top, but they both absolutely loved it! I was going to have a go but chickened out and ended up doing the 10 metre jump around the corner! Took me about 3 minutes of standing on the edge until Matt got bored and pushed me off haha!
We did meet one guy though who’s friend had jumped off but landed on his face…we didn’t see the result but apparently it was NOT pretty and he broke his nose badly and his face was an absolute mess…so definitely make sure the current and the tide is right!!
As mentioned before, there are some incredible restaurants on the island, as well as very low budget local meals which are also delicious! The most popular local Indonesian dish is Nasi Goreng (fried rice with vegetables and chicken with an egg) or Mei Goreng (the same but noodles instead of rice).
We decided to go to an opening night of a new restaurant called ‘Lemongrass’. The adverts had informed us that it was 50% off ALL meals and we were immediately sold. We were all starving when we arrived and ordered starters straight away whilst we decided on mains. About 15 minutes after that we ordered our mains, with quite a few sides…had to take advantage of the discount!
Anyway….after an hour and a half when we were all so HANGRY our starters finally arrived. They were so terrible but we were so hungry that we had eaten it all before they had brought the sauce to put on the spring rolls. Another 2 hours dragged painfully on and our mains still had not arrived!! It was a nightmare and we were just getting ignored by very rude staff every single time we asked for our food. We never even ended up getting our food and ended up having to go somewhere else! SO FUMING haha the four of us are NOT good when we are hungry…so yeah the point of that story is do NOT go here.
That was the only bad experience of food her though and everywhere else was perfect! Overall, Nusa Lembongan is a beautiful island that we will definitely be returning to in the near future. I just really hope it doesn’t expand at such an out of control rate that it becomes just like Seminyak!