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Lombok, Indonesia (2020)

Where To Go

My Quest For Zest...

What To Do

What To Eat

Where To Stay






Backpacking Lombok, Indonesia. Backpacking Indonesia on a budget. What to do in Kuta, Lombok. Best vegan restaurants in Kuta. Where to stay, best beaches, and travel to Lombok island.

Getting to Lombok from Gili Air was a short boat ride but then a couple hour car ride to the town of Kuta. Chef Hero, from Warong Sunny in Gili Air so kindly accompanied us on the journey. He drove us to Kuta from the port on Lombok by making the day into a “food crawl”. It was a full day, literally, haha.

We walked through a market, tasting and sampling some local dishes and treats. (Seriously still dreaming about these cassava bites that tasted like donuts...)

At a roadside stop I tried my first durian which was a fun experience! It's commonly known for its stinky smell. It's banned to travel with on subways and buses in most South East Asian countries. Most people tend to love it or hate it, making it a fun taste test game. The texture and flavor is indescribable, it's just...durian. (I’m now a durian addict, so make sure you take the taste test for yourself!)

Learning of my new fondness of durian, we made our way to a durian market and walked around the local atmosphere. When one durian has a strong smell, imagine the smell coming from here haha.

We stopped at a hydroponic farm which was super interesting getting a tour of all that was growing there and how the system works. Some taste testing of the sprouts and micro greens was in order and they were delicious. The sweet corn sprout tasted seriously like corn.

There were viewpoints and monkey spottings along the trip that we pulled over for. An action full day, we also visited a botanical garden and a historic religious site. Arriving to the guesthouse in Kuta called for an early nights sleep, but it was well worth the days adventure!

There is an airport near Kuta if you are flying in.

Kuta is a surfers town. There are a couple yoga spots, but somehow in the two weeks stay, I didn’t visit one. I went and got the schedule at Mana Yoga, which looked like a great space, but never made it to a class. Although I’m not a surfer, I have taken a couple lessons throughout my travels. If the conditions are favorable and you give me a couple tries, or thanks to beginners luck, I can stand up and ride the tide in. My time in Kuta was spent eating and swimming. I would spend hours on a board, swimming in the midst of the surfers, or snorkeling. There are countless beaches that have different size swells, making it easy to choose for your skill set.

Overall Kuta is fun vibe with plenty to do or spend the days relaxing and chilling out.

Scooters are a must in Kuta for means of transportation. The roads are super well paved, making a smooth and easy ride. It’s a bit hilly, but manageable!

What To Do

1. Surf.

I liked to spend my time on Airguling Beach. It was barely developed, just two warongs, making it a great atmosphere between the surfers/backpackers. You could spend the whole day there, renting a board on the beach, eating the local food, sipping a coconut, and soaking up the sun. I liked the surf here because the waves on the right break were just perfect for me, and for more advanced surfers as well. The far out break (you can swim or take a boat ride) was too advanced for me, but I some days took the paddle out just to test myself. The left side break offered some good waves every now and then, but unfortunately I had seen the thousands of sea urchins that covered the ocean floor on this side, and this deterred my willingness to risk a fall off the board. In the evenings the local surfers and kids join in the water too!

Selong Belanak Beach is for super beginner surfers. The waves were even too small for me. I would recommend here to just practice standing or to get a lesson from a local.

The waves at Pantai Seger seemed like a favorite among the true surfers. To me it seemed a bit crowded and the nearby rocks too risky, so I enjoyed watching from the beach with a coconut.

2. Sunset point at Pantai Seger. It’s a beautiful view and you can easily hike the near by hills for an even better 360 view.

3. Sunset at on the hills near Gerupuk Beach (another surfers spot).

4. Eat at all the amazing cafes! (See below Where To Eat!)

5. There is a night life, most people go to Surfers Bar. You will likely find live music in a lot of cafes in the center as well.

Where To Eat

1. Terra Cafe

Completely plant-based cafe! It’s got amazing food quality and presentation. Affordable and filling! Definitely recommend, I enjoyed plenty of meals here, and everything was 100%!

Super delicious jackfruit wrap with papaya wrapper.

Sushi is on point!

Smoothies bowls are not only beautiful but super tasty and nutritious!

Zucchini pasta is a huge portion and very filling.

The “omlete” is good, but it’s a lot of tofu, making it a bit heavier.

The juices and kombucha are really nice!

For dessert try the vegan snickers, yum!

2. Warung Jawa (by Pipes Hostel)

This is must try spot! The cuisine is Indonesian and its buffet style. You take a plate, fill it with all that you want, and then they calculate the price for you. I had some over flowing plates of food and never was the cost over 35,000rupee. There were so many vegetarian / vegan options on the buffet, offering a variety of different tastes and flavors. Make sure to keep your eyes proportionate to your stomach size, otherwise you’ll overfill yourself, like me.

3. Yogi Cafe

Great atmosphere upstairs, the place is super laid back and friendly.

They can make vegan smoothie bowls you just have to ask, the dragon fruit one was my favorite!

The Thai dishes they offer are really tasty and filling.

A vegetarian friend enjoyed the lasagna.

4. Kenza Cafe

I honestly resisted going here because it seemed a little bit too ‘western’. However, its a cute boutique at the front and serves good food.

The tri-hummus starter was nice.

The wrap was filling and beautifully presented.

Dessert was a slice of chocolate cake, so I’m happy!

The breakfast menu looked really nice here, and I wanted to try a smoothie bowl, but never made it on time/before they ran out.

5. Sea Salt

Really nice tempeh and roasted vegetables. The food was honestly really good.

A couple local kids came in to the cafe and were hustling us to buy bracelets. The staff didn’t tell them to leave or anything, and it was cute to chat with the kids. Of course though, I did end up buying something from them and felt obligated to do so.

6. Sandbox

Maybe it was an off night, but I arrived hungry and waited 2+ hours for the food. There was only about 7 other people in the cafe. I know they were working hard in the kitchen, and everyone had ordered different dishes, but I don’t think it should have taken thatttt long for an avocado sandwich and veg. curry. When the food did arrive, it was average and left me a bit disappointed.

7. Small falafel street shop near Kenza (just a few tables outside)

In all of my first month in Indonesia, this was the only meal I was truly disappointed with. Maybe being hangry heightened my irritation but…I was looking for something quick and easy to either take togo to the beach or quickly eat before. I placed my order for their falafel pita, which seemed to be their specialty, but they were out of falafel. I got the roasted vegetable pita instead and tried to communicate no feta cheese. The sandwich was on a less than average pita bread, if you could even call it pita. I didn’t appreciate the ketchup and mayo all over it either. My friend kindly ate the sandwich while I ordered another without the condiments and cheese. It seemed to barely have any roasted veggies on it. Not leaving me satisfied or filled.

Where To Stay

1. La Bangkat Homestay

The owners and staff are super welcoming and inviting. There is a nice pool in the center of the property. The rooms are clean and outdoor shower! Breakfast isn't included, but you can order from the kitchen, or wait until they are done serving and have access to the kitchen to cook your own. There is a buffet night full of good food and companionship with the other guests.

2. Palm Green Homestay

The rooms are super nice and clean. Outdoor shower in some cases, yay! There is a nice swimming pool. A breakfast is included, which is always a bonus hello free tea, juice, fruit, and pancake. The atmosphere is welcoming and you can meet some really cool people here. The location is great, just a short drive to the center.

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