Senggigi is the main tourist strip of Lombok, stretched out along nearly 10 kilometers of beachfront just to the north of the capital Mataram.
Senggigi can be broadly divided into three parts: northern Mangsit Beach, central Senggigi and the southern stretch near Batu Bolong, with headlands separating the three. Mangsit has quiet resorts and very little other development, while nightlife and other restaurants are concentrated in Senggigi and the Batu Bolong area.
That said, Lombok's post-2000 misfortunes hit Senggigi hard, with many developments halted and a businesses closed and boarded up. Things are starting to improve again, with a few new villas going up, shops re-opening and attracting more tourist who seek the solitude and unspoiled scenery of Lombok. Senggigi is the place to find hotels/resorts with manicured grounds and swimming pools - often a short distance from the beach. Senggigi is not a typical tourist resort town where a day can be spent shopping and socializing at the local bars and restaurants (such as found in Bali). Most visitors use Senggigi as a home base and take day trips to the waterfalls, the Gili Islands, or just exploring the still authentic villages, temples, and jungle habitat found within a couple hours drive.
HOW TO GET TO SENGGIGI
Senggigi is about 15-20 minutes north of Mataram and its airport. Taxis charge around Rp 30,000 for the trip, while bemos will cover the distance for under Rp 5,000.
If you are frugal or intrepid and take the slow ferry from Bali, it's best to arrange transport in advance from the ferry dock to Senggigi, since the dock on the Lombok side is in a remote spot several kilometers south of Mataram. Travel agents on Bali offer transport from any point in southern Bali to Seggigi, including the ferry ticket, for about Rp 140,000.
WHAT TO SEE IN SENGGIGI
- Pura Batu Bolong, 2 km south of Senggigi. Small Hindu temple located in a scenic spot at a cape overlooking Senggigi beach, named after a rock (batu) with a hole (bolong). At the tip is an empty chair representing Brahma, the god of creation. Free entry, but you'll have to loan a sash (Rp5,000 a throw) from one of the urchins if you don't have one already. Sunsets seen from here can be very impressive.
- Senggigi Beach. A spit of sand stretching out from central Senggigi, this is Senggigi's raison d'etre but, by Indonesian standards, it's not all that spectacular. The beach is a little dirty, the hawkers are a nuisance and the Senggigi Beach Resort has grabbed most of the land. Some local surfers brave the smallish waves.
Senggigi is a popular launch point for other activities on Lombok. Without the hassle of Mataram, you can visit several other locations and come back to the same hotel each night. Tour operators can arrange these trips for you at around Rp. 300,000 for the day for a private car and driver or cheaper if you go with a group.
Popular excursions that can be done in a day trip include:
- Village visits, including weaving villages and other handicraft-producers
- Waterfall visits