Most dive centres in Senggigi will travel out to the Gili Islands for the daily dives, so if you're short on time or your budget is no issue, then you might want to consider staying on the islands. Senggigi is the hub of super cheap resorts and lovely beaches, hence the reason a lot of people choose to stay here and travel out to the sites.
You'll find quite a few dive centres down the main street of Senggigi. Daily trips to the islands usually include 2 or 3 dives and may include lunch, making it a wonderful way to spend the day. Liveaboards also leave from here to Komodo National Park where you can enjoy some beautiful, untouched dive sites.
Whatever your interests, you'll find some great diving out at the Gili Islands such as drift diving, great macro life for the photography enthusiast, wall diving and great marine life such as sharks, rays and turtles.
There is some good snorkelling off the point in Senggigi, or you can head a few km's north of the town to the Windy Cottages. There's also snorkelling in the sheltered bay around the headland. Enjoy the gorgeous beaches and relaxed atmosphere of this great beachside town.
(By Kelly Luckman)
SENGGIGI on the island of Lombok, Indonesia, is the central town of the island’s main tourist region, all set on beautiful beaches facing into the sunset. It lies between Mangsit and Kerangdangan to the north, and Batu Bolong to the south.
Travellers wanting to stay in Senggigi should be careful about bookings as the whole region is referred to as Senggigi, and it is easy to find yourself on a remote stretch of beach, away from the hustle and bustle of the town itself, where you will find a plentiful supply of shops, bars, live music and beachside restaurants. You may not want to have to take a taxi back to your hotel after every night out.
While Senggigi is only a 20 minute taxi ride from Lombok’s capital Mataram, the island’s new airport (Bandara) is 55kms from the resort, and a taxi journey will cost around $160, though it is possible to cut the cost of this journey by taking an airport bus into Mataram, and a taxi from there. To return to the airport it is essential to travel by this route.
Getting around locally is better achieved by flagging down a ‘Bemo’ – covered pick-up trucks with seating – which will take you around the local attractions at very economical rates, but these stop running at dusk, and are not usually willing to go outside the main tourist areas, unless you charter a whole one for a set journey. If you do this, be sure to negotiate the price before you set off.
There is plenty of budget accommodation to be found for around $12 a night, with good hotel accommodation available for around $65, but don’t stay near the mosque if you are a light sleeper.
Many of the tourist destinations will have handicraft shops, and while the local art, including woodcarving, is attractive and inexpensive, some countries have strict rules about importing it, especially Australia, unless it has been fumigated and inspected. Lombok saltwater pearls are also attractive, but beware of the street hawkers who often try to sell you the less valuable Komodo freshwater pearls.
Warungs (stalls selling roadside food) are a popular eating option for those on a budget, and asking a taxi driver for his recommendation is a good way to find the best ones. You will also find Warungs on the beach. There are also lots of budget restaurants, but again – ask for a recommendation.
(By Angela Webster)