Lembongan - What To Do
Ever felt like Bali is too crowded and noisy?
Ever dreamt of escaping from this island? Then Nusa Lembongan might be your destination of choice...
The peace you're craving for is just 40 minutes away from Sanur! Get on the fast boat and start relaxing as water splashes wash away the tension.
Nusa Lembongan is the second most popular Indonesian island after Bali. Only 12k away, but so different. Unlike Bali it might seem a bit sleepy at first, but after you spend a couple of days sunbathing on its white sand beaches, you'll most likely fall in love with the quietness it lurks.
Lembongan is 8 square kilometers in size with just 5000 local citizens. it neighbors two small islands called Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Penida. Ceningan is connected to Lembongan by a suspension bridge so you can get there by bike. To reach Nusa Penida you will have to take a bout. The cheapest one departs from the suspension bridge in the morning and it's usually full of old ladies heading for work with huge baskets for seaweed. You can also pay locals who will provide you with the speed boat. Either way it'll cost you an affordable amount of money.
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First thing that will catch your eye in Lembongan is a crystal clear water. it's so transparent, you will be able to see the ocean bed and small fishes whisking here and there. Dozens of fishermen's boats inhabit the cozy lagoon of the island. And you will hardly see any tourist swimming there. Well, maybe just those using kayaks and stand up paddles. But that's it. Seaweed farms are the reason behind this odd picture. Lembongan is known for its fishing fields and seaweed farming micro industry. From the tourist's perspective it is of course a real Paradise for divers. The island is surrounded by coral reefs and provides shelter for thousands of exotic marine species. Highly anticipated manta ray is one of them.
Get off the boat, breath in the fresh air, let the breeze rumple your hair (if you have any) and rent a motorbike. This is what you should do first. There are no taxis or regular buses on the island.
Simple bicycle might be your option too, but in that case get ready for some hardcore pedals spinning.
The variety of hotels and rooms is diverse enough to choose from. There are luxurious villas, middle class bungalows and home stay houses which will make your life in Lembongan pretty authentic. Either way you will feel comfortable thanks to the hospitality of the stuff and locals, who are always happy to help you.
Now, take a shower, put on some sun screen and go explore the island. There are several beaches and sightseeing spots you just have to check out. Start off with the Jungut Batu area, It's in the northwest, lot's of hotels and cafes invade the beach line. This part of the island usually attracts backpackers and surfers. The hillside of Jungut Batu is known as Bukit(The Hill). It's occupied by some higher level hotels and private villas. Jungut Batu beachfront is also the best place to see the sunset in Lembongan.
Move along the shore, enjoy the ocean view and huge blue sky melting horizon line into something nonexistent. Make a stop at one of those little cafes, eat some Nasi Goreng and play with the monkey. Drive forward to get to the seaweed farm and don't forget to leave your bike at the entrance.
Refresh your body at the Mushroom beach. This place to the southwest of Lembongan becomes really quiet after 3 pm, when all the day trippers have returned to Bali. Enjoy the wide sandy beach and grab a lunch in a cozy water side restaurant. For some fancier bathing head to the Dream Beach or Sandy Bay. Those spots are increasingly drawing more and more visitors. The coastal landscape in this part of the island features limestone cliffs and some amazing cave formations.
Speaking of caves, for those of you who like underground experiences there's an Underground House, a common tourist attraction of Lembongan.
Next stop is Nusa Ceningan, Go south, climb up the hill, cross Lembongan and reach the hanging bridge. Make sure you pass it by feet. The view you'll see from there will make you grab your camera instantly. Make some shots of a fishermen's boats floating here and there like snowflakes. Then move along, drive up another hill and witness one of the most spectacular spots of Nusa Ceningan - The blue lagoon. There you can also test your nerves by jumping from the cliff. 13 meters of free fall before you enter the clear blue water. 9 meters option is also available for those less brave. it's your challenge! In case you value your life too much and despise any kind of risk feel free to order a bottle of cold beer, sit under umbrella and relax while watching those people jumping off the cliff. You'll get an amazing view and a thrilling show for just a price of Bintang.
On your way back stop by the Panorama Point. Have a delicious dinner with an incredible view of Lembongan bay.
Amazing sunset may be a good compliment to your meal. Just feel how it makes the food taste even better.
Have a good night sleep in one of those cozy bungalows near the Mushroom beach. Doze of listening to the sound of waves gently hitting the shore. You'll need all the energy next day when it's time to visit the third neighboring island Nusa Penida.
Nusa Penida is the least developed of all. And that is what makes it unique. Almost deserted by tourist it keeps the true spirit of wilderness. Renting a bike there will not be a problem though, so don't you worry.
Moving along the shore of Nusa Penida is a true pleasure Palm forest on the right, blue ocean on the left. Let the fresh breeze caress your skin and enjoy the ride.
You won't see a lot of cafes or restaurants there. Still, those that happen to welcome you are truly the best. In terms of dining and serving the most delicious coffee out there. Just give it a try . You won't regret it.
Go up into the green jungle, be careful on the serpentine. Make a quick stop at a village where talented masters carve on elegant figures out of limestone blocks. Befriend locals and ask them about their life. Give high five to happily screaming school boys and girls as you pass them by on your motorbike. Remember, foreigners do not frequent this island. Move along the curvy roads to get to crystal bay on the east side of Nusa Penida. This place is not easily visited by land. Thus usually it stays deserted and quiet. While at the same time it's one of the best diving spots in Indonesia. Just outside the bay there's a huge rock, a small island even, which can be used as a reference. Underwater life is pretty rich here. Eels, napolean and parrot fishes inhabit the bay. As well as turtles and even Mola Mola.
All in all, this island trinity will give your body and soul as much peace and relaxation as you can handle. All kinds of water activities, picturesque views, great food an astonishing sunsets will make you wanna come to Lembongan over and over again!
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