Luxury Budget Trip in Lombok & Gili Islands
Planning a short trip with budget less than RM 1,500? Lombok should be on top of your list! In this beautiful island, you don’t have to burn your pocket to stay in beautiful villas, most importantly, people here are really friendly.
The Best Time to visit Lombok
Apparently, my travelling period isn’t the right time to visit Lombok, December to March is a raining season, it did rain throughout the night & evening during my stay, sunshining good weather only happens in the morning starting 7am, but if you wish to see crystal clear ocean, this is definitely a NO NO period as the ocean gets really dirty after the rain.So when is the best time to visit Lombok? April to June is your best bet. During my chitchat with Villa Edenia’s manager, she told me the ocean gets really clean & pristine during April to June, and is the best time because you can avoid the Summer Holiday crowd and enjoy a peaceful snorkelling or diving activities.
Top 4 Reasons for visiting Lombok & Gili Islands
1) Flight is cheap as RM 300 for a RETURN!
2) Hotel/Resort/Villa is affordable
A Villa stay for 4 people, 2 rooms with Private Pool as low as RM400 per night, that’s an incredible budget price!
Lombok – Svarga Resort
The resort I stayed in Lombok before going to Gili Trawangan is Svarga Resort, for a villa with 2 rooms and a private pool, it’s only RM400 per night, which means 4 of us only need to pay RM 100 each.
Gili Trawangan – Villa Edenia
Most of the hotels in Gili Trawangan are a bit more pricey than Lombok as I was told the land in this small island are really expensive. The villa we stayed is Villa Edenia, for villa with 2 rooms and a private pool, it cost about RM 465 per night, which is still a really good price I would say!
3) Snorkelling is relatively budget price!
Snorkelling is really inexpensive in Gili Trawangan, we got a private boat for 4 people cost only IDR 1,020,000, it’s only about RM 300. The snorkeling tour takes about 4 hours with a guide & snorkeling gear included. Tour starts at about 10am, we make a first stop at Gili Air just across Gili Trawangan for the first snorkel. The whole snorkel experience was great and feel safe as there is a guide snorkel together with you and guide you along.
After the first snorkel, we stopped by Gili Air for lunch and then continue on to search for green turtle at Gili Menu, the guide will take the dive to look for green turtle first and guide us when he spotted one. If you have gopro with you, they will even helped to take a close up videos for you, totally amazing.
4) Transportation around the island are cheap!
Lombok Airport – Senggigi
Airport Transfer from Lombok Airport to Senggigi is about IDR 300,000 (RM 90) for one car which can fit up to 5-6 pax.
Senggigi – Gili Trawangan; Gili Trawangan – Lombok Airport
IDR 800,000 (RM 230) for 4 pax, inclusive of a private car to the port and ticket for private boat to Gili Trawangan; from Gili Trawangan to Lombok Airport is IDR 1,000,000 (RM290) for 4 pax inclusive of ticket for private boat as well as private car to the airport.
NOTE: From Gili Trawangan to Lombok port takes about 20 minutes by speedboat and from the port to Lombok Airport takes about 1 hour drive.
TIP: There is another budget way of travelling between Lombok Island & Gili Island which is their public ferry, it’s only about IDR 20,000 per one way ticket but you may need to check on the timetable. Public boat which costs less than RM6 departs in the morning at 7.30am, and in afternoon at around 4.30pm. Here’s a good guide if you would like to find out more: How to get to the Gili islands from Lombok
Transportation in Lombok & Gili Islands are totally different
Before you decide to stay in Lombok or Gili Islands, there’s one thing you need to know, in Lombok Island, you may rent a scooter and ride around the island, but in Gili Islands, the only transport you have is Horse Cart or Bicycle, and of course you’re free to tour around the island on foot.
Rent a scooter bike in Lombok
Renting a scooter bike from hotel is only IDR 70,000 per day, yes, it’s PER DAY, with only RM 20, you can ride a scooter bike around Lombok.
Rent a bicycle in Gili Trawangan
Renting a bicycle in Gili Trawangan from hotel is also the same price as renting a scooter, but in Gili Island, there’s no scooter bike, the only transportation you have is Bicycle or Horse Cart. You can rent the bicycle from your hotel for quite a fair rate and the horse cart from the port to hotel usually cost about IDR 150,000 one way.
Cost Breakdown for 5 days in Lombok
Flight: RM 300
Hotel/Resort: Average RM 100 per night x 4 nights = RM 400
Bike/Bicycle Rental: RM20 per day x 5 days = RM 100
Private Transfer (Airport & Gili Island) = RM 155
Snorkeling Tour = RM 75
Food & Drinks = Average RM50 per day x 5 = RM 250
Total: RM 1,280
Bali or Lombok?
As much as people loves Bali, I would still vote for Lombok! When I said I vote for Lombok, doesn’t mean Bali is boring, but for me, Bali is too mainstream and touristy, the locals look at you like a money tree, everywhere you go is about spending money, whereas in Lombok, when you don’t spend or buy anything from the street sales guy, they will still give you a free direction and smile.