Bali is a wonderful and most of us love it. Sometimes though, even Bali is too crowded and you need a special remote place. Lombok is the next island to the east and the level of tourism is a fraction of Bali’s. The level of everything is a fraction of what Bali is, including hotels, shops, warungs and it seems people. A German friend of mine came out a couple of years ago and went to Tetebatu on the slopes of Gunung Rinjani, the massive volcano. She said it was totally peaceful and lovely. Here’s what my book says.
“Fifty km east of Mataram and 7km north of Kotaraja on the cool slopes of Gunung Rinjani. From Terminal Sweta the minibus drops you off at Paokmotong; from there, take another minibus or dokar (horse & cart) all the way to Tetebatu up through good rich earth and rice / corn fields. Set in a garden and surrounded by fruit orchards, Wisma Soejono is an old colonial style house with a chilly spring fed swimming pool. Actually located 2km beyond the village of Tetebatu, (Stone Bridge), it was formerly the the house of a the first doctor in East Lombok.”
This is obviously referirng to taking local bemo transport, which is the ultimate cheap way to go. Tetebatu is an up and coming tourist area, but that has to be taken in context. The whole of Lombok feels like Bali 40 years ago. At 400 m altitude, Tetebatu, is cool, but not cold, it makes a great base to explore Central Lombok.
Getting to Tetebatu from Bali:
Fly from Tuban Bali to Mataram Lombok. Takes 30 minutes.
Take the Perama bus from Bali. Takes 2 hours to Padangbai from Kuta, 4-5 on the ferry, 2.5 hours to Tetebatu.
Accommodation in Tetebatu: At least 10 places, all budget type.
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Local transport: Cars and motorbikes, as well as car with driver are available in Tetebatu. You’ll have to negotiate. Probably a motorbike will be 40,000-50,000rp per day. A car might be 100,000rp -200,000rp depending on the type and age of the vehicle. Personally I’d probably fly in and hire a motorbike / car from the airport, affording me instant freedom.
Money: There is a moneychanger in Tetebatu.
Telephone: There is a Wartel (phone office) above the Salabese restaurant.
Tetebatu has villages close by making arts and crafts and also waterfalls. Its on my list of places to get to.