Wednesday 29 March 2017

Snorkeling at Gili Meno

Our last day in Gili Trawangan, we decided to bring the kids for snorkeling around the islands. Lombok and the three Gili (islands) namely Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno dan Gili Air are famous for their crystal clear water , white sandy beaches and a variety of sea life.

We booked our boat a day earlier at a nearby booth for Rp 750,000 (about RM250) for a 2 hours boat ride. Normally in a shared boat, it only costs Rp100,000 (RM33) per person for a  4 hours snorkeling trip around the 3 islands , inclusive of the rental for the snorkeling equipments. However,  taking into consideration that we have 3 small kids and a baby, who might be tired after an hour or so, we decided to a charter boat to ourselves for the flexibility of time.

Gili Trawangan on a sunny day

For those who are interested to go for snorkeling or even diving, I would recommend to shop and ask around for best prices. There are services provided by the Vila Ombak Hotel but at a slightly higher price. There are usually men from the boats who will be around the hotel entrances offering the snorkeling or diving trips services. Do bargain especially if you can speak a bit of Indonesia language.

I really love snorkeling and I have been snorkeling in Krabi, Koh Lipe, Redang Island, sea walking in Bali etc, so I was looking forward to a brief underwater Disneyland experience in Lombok as well. But as there would be no changing area on the boat, my clothes would be wet and my baby would be uncomfortable should he needed to nurse, I had to forgo the idea.

I usually bring 3 types of cameras when we travel, and the GoPro is a must as I can record the beautiful fishes in the sea while I snorkel. Just so happen , about 10 minutes after we left the pier, the GoPro went into a "coma" and unable to be revived! The battery must be so old that although it has been charged overnight, it went off after a couple of photos taken. Lucky enough I brought my mobile phone in a water proof casing, so I could take a few shots of the  kids having a blast

That expression on Uwais' face is just priceless hahahah

Azur blue kinda water

Me selfie-ing with Uwais on my lap

The cloudy day was perfect as it was not too hot

Family photo

I think the highlight of the trip was when we had a glimpse of a sea turtle in its "home" on the sea bed. The 3 older kids and daddy had a swim while I took care of Uwais. Alhamdulilah only my eldest girl had a bit of sea sickness (like mom) , but the other 3 kids were ok.

The glass bottom in our boat was a consolation for me, as at least I got some view of the sea bed. 

We got back to the hotel at 11 am, had a quick shower, packed our stuffs and checked out at 1 pm after we prayed Zuhr and Asar together. Although the check out time was actually at 12 noon, they were very nice in allowing us to take an extra hour so that we could pray in peace

Gili Trawangan was a very special island indeed, and leaving was hard for me. In shaa Allah we would love to come back years from now.

Us on the boat crossing the sea to the Lombok main island

After our short speed boat ride towards Lombok main island, we were greated by Pak Eka our tourist guide, and we went for lunch at a nice restaurant by a paddy field. The food was included in the package and was yummy! But Uwais started to have a "hunger strike" where he refused solid food except fruits and milk only! Yikes! 

The beautiful scenery of paddy field by the restaurant 

Fish pond at the restaurant 

From there, we took the scenic route via Malimbu, towards Senggigi where we would spend our last night in Lombok.

This place is called Malaka, and it offers a view point where you can see the 3 Gili at the background. Gili Trawangan being on the left, Gili Meno and Gili Air

At Senggigi, we stopped by for some souvenir shopping before checking in to our hotel, Hotel Jayakarta. We went to Lombok Exotic shop for T-shirts and souvenirs, and then to Lestari food shop for their speciality food such as sea weed dodol.

You can try all the delicacies here for free 

In Hotel Jayakarta,  we were given 2 bedrooms for our family. The room is small but comfortable, with nice wooden flooring for my baby to walk around.

After sunset, we went for a dinner and another round of souvenir shopping. This time we stopped by at the shop called Sasaku, just next to Hotel Jayakarta. The shop is bigger, with larger variety of t-shirts, gifts and toys. The price is cheap as well, for Rp12,000 for 4 fridge magnets, and about Rp120,000 for a good quality t-shirt (collared) .

The next morning, we had breakfast by the pool at the hotel, had a morning stroll around the hotel while the kids having a splash, and then checked out at  10 am.

The triangular treats was like kuih lopez in Malaysia, and the green ones were similar to onde-onde

He was trying to get into the pool hahah 

I don't know how they could stand the cold water!

The journey from the hotel to the airport took 45 minutes, but Alhamdulillah we managed to check in 45 minutes before departure. Uwais was a bit cranky throughout the flight, testing our patience, but Alhamdulillah he was manageable .

This is Pak Eka our tourist guide. He is only a couple of years older than us. He said, "in Lombok, everybody can be Doctors" (note the car plate number hahahah). Lombok Indonesian has Bali dialect and they are as soft spoken as Javanese in Yogyakarta
He was asleep as we boarded the plane, woke up the minute the plane started taxing, and stayed awake till the last half an hour of the flight! 

Show him a camera, and all is well! hahahah

Safely landed after the 3 hours journey, we took an Uber home.

"Home sweet home" can't be more appropriate after a long 4 days of travelling. It is tiring but the experience was totally awesome. All I can say is Lombok is such a wonderful place for my kids' first proper overseas trip. 

The halal food, the ambiance, the polite people, the beautiful scenery, they were all perfect. 

I am already planning my next trip with the kids!

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