Visible from the east coast of Bali, the SW corner of Lombok offers an entirely different experience in terms of culture and scenery. Complete with quiet bays, white sand beaches, a tranquil village style and half a dozen small islands, SW Lombok can be the break you’re looking for.
Bangko Bangko is the furthest point of the SW coast, home of the world famous Desert Point surf break. On its day this long left hander compares with many of the world’s best waves. The area does have a reputation for malaria though, so take precautions if you are hanging out there.
The road that leads to Bangko Bangko is dry and arid with a few scattered villages, typical of this part of the island. Don’t expect to find too many guest houses or warungs along there. Lombok is a great place to explore by motorbike, due to the lack of traffic. This also goes for cycling, if you can deal with hot temperatures, scorching sun and sparce facilities. The terrain leading down to Bangko Bangko is reasonably flat so cycling is possible.
Arriving at the port of Lember in western Lombok, your ferry journey from Padangbai in Bali will of taken 4-6 hours, depending on access to the dock in Lember. From Lember to Bangko Bangko by road is 57km, passing through the villages of Sekotong, Taun, Pandanan, Tembowong, Pelangan, Labuhan Poh, Selegang and finally Bangko Bangko. Out of Lember the coastline is mangroves / black sand beaches and not so attractive, but later the ride passes the northern coastline of the SW peninsula, affording views of bays and beaches. Small islands are close by with inviting white sand beaches. The road is asphalted up to 3km from Bangko Bangko, another reason for taking a trail bike rather than a ‘bebek’. At the village of Sekontong you will find a road leading south towards the villages of Blongas and Sepi on the south coast.
Taun & around
When reaching the village of Sekotong and choosing to continue west, you will pass lobster farm and salt manufacturing, leading to the village of Taun. This village sits at the head of a bay which is particularly scenic, with white sand beaches, many local fishing platforms and views of the 3 small islands offshore.
Visiting the small islands is totally possible and locals can arrange a boat for you. On one of the islands, Gili Nanggu, is the Hotel Gili Nanggu, a perfect place for a tranquil stay.
Hotel Gili Nanggu
This hotel has budget rooms as well as better rooms with AC. The other 2 islands, Gili Genting and Gili Tangkong do not have accommodation options other than camping out under the stars. The boat trip from Taun to Gili Nanggu takes 20 minutes and local boats might charge you something in the region of 50,000rp each way. Feel free to negotiate.
According to the guidebook, decent accommodation can also be found just 2km west of Taun in the village of Labu. Hotel Sekotong Indah (0818 – 362326) has simple fan / cold water rooms, though there is one with AC. Great views and a relaxing bale are highlights.
Continuing west the road affords wonderful views of small islands and white sand beaches. Accommodation can be found in Padanan, which is 4km west of Tuan.