Bangko Bangko is the location of the famous Desert Point surf break in SW Lombok. Surfers and other visitors arriving from Bali and intending to get to Bangko Bangko, can find accomodation at the village of Tembowong, which is 11km west of Taun. The Putri Duyung Homestay (0812 – 3752459) offers simple cold water mandi rooms with traditional toilet for a bargain price. This is also a good stop off point if you are looking to explore Gili Gede, another island offshore. Boats can be arranged for a day, prices negotiable.
Pelangan is a small village 2km west of Tembowong. This is the main village in the area. To many visitors to Lombok, Mataram feels like a ‘one-horse-town’ so Pelangan isn’t going to be ‘excitement city’. You can find local shops and 2kms to the west is Hotel Bola Bola Paradis (086812 – 104250), featuring affordable rooms with fan and cold water. A small local road heading south, 6km away offers access to the tranquil south coast.
West from Pelangan the coast is thick with mangroves. Siung Bay is the next point of interest, located 7kms away. The drive from Siung Bay to Labuhan Poh is particlarly beautiful with white sand islands and sparking blue water.
Selegang is located 3kms west off Labuhan Poh, offers a flatter landscape, with a few local houses. The tarmac stops here, and the continuing road isn’t in great shape as is the case for many areas in Lombok. A further 3kms is Bangko Bangko complete with a white sand bay dotted witth local fishermen’s residences. Around the coast from Bangko Bangko is the village of Pandana. Its possible to hire boats to get out to the surf break from here, just as surfers do at Kuta Reef.
This extreme SW section of Lombok is dry and desolate. People will tell you they hardly notice any mosquitoes, but many people come back with malaria. The area has few amenities and is only busy when surfers are in town.
This whole section of SW Lombok will be busy only from June-September and at Christmas. If you are planning to go at high season you might want to call ahead for a room. Other times its extremely quiet as is most of Lombok.
Items to bring with you.
Local shops won’t stock the things you really want, so hitting a store in Mataram / Sengigi is the go, assuming you pass through there. If you are coming straight from the port of Lember, you might want to stock up in Bali. Things to bring might include medical equipment (band aids, bandages, gauge, antiseptic, ibuprofin, pain killer, etc.), alcohol (spirits), reading materials, bateries for electronic devices, surfing supplies (extra leg rope, wax, sunblock).
The islands can make a pleasant alternative to the famous Gili Islands.