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Surprise Birthday Card Invitation I gave to them 1 week before departure.

Since I don’t have idea what i wanna give to my other half and my princess for their coming birthday, I planned this surprise birthday trip for them!. At first my husband didn’t know the destination until the flight attendance announced it in the plane before we took off. Anyway, It doesn’t matter. He looked very happy and look forward for the surprise.

This is just a relaxing holiday on the beach and pool. Here are the itinerary and cost for 4 days 3 nights. First night we were staying at Senggigi beach and moved to Gili Trawangan for the rest of 2 days in Lombok.

First day in Lombok

Our departure flight time was 6:50am on 3rd March 2018, so we leave the house around 4:00am by Grabcar to Klia2 terminal. Yeah, sleepy head when I’m not use to wake up so early. The check-in process and drop baggage were very smooth and we managed our time well until we boarding into the plane.

We arrived Lombok Praya International Airport around 10:02am. From here we transferred to our resort at Senggigi by private taxi. This was tricky part, you have to negotiate with them firmly. I went directly to the taxi counter and asked the rate and every counter gave a different rate. First counter offered me IDR285,000. Second counter gave between IDR300,000 – IDR250,000. It’s quite expensive but was expected.

Then, I walked away and went to Damri Bus counter. The bus fare per person was IDR40,000. I can’t believe the price was so high. According to my research, the bus fare is only IDR25,000. Then 1 taxi driver approached me and offered IDR250,000. I said no and negotiate the rate to IDR200,000 (MYR57.) and he said yes. I know the rate will not more than IDR200,000. So we proceed to his car after I bought a local sim card 2gb+2gb at IDR25,000 (MYR7) at the airport. Please check the sim card package u bought before you leave. Some says, they might cheat you.

Halfway, the driver stop us at Restaurant named Keker Restaurant for lunch without any extra cost. I knew this is a scam, since we saw all the taxi driver bring their passengers here. So we just ordered drinks and snacks; 1 coconut drink, 1 es teh and fried tempeh cost IDR60,500 (MYR17). Yeah, its expensive. Can you imagine if you ordered main course?

1:30pm: The taxi driver dropped us at our resort, Living Asia Resort & Spa. We stayed here for 1 night cost at IDR1,392,000 (MYR398)

2:00pm: Checked in to the room. Our room has partial ocean view. Clean room and spacious. Swimming pool and beach in front of our room.

3:00pm: We went for in-house spa at Champlung Spa.

4:30pm: Complimentary tea and snacks at the bar. My favorite snack was keledek goreng. I can’t help myself from not taking it repeatedly.

5:30pm: We spent our time swimming at the pool while watching the sunset. It was a great moment spending time together. the pool water was so warm which good for my girl.

9:00pm: We had dinner quite late since we overslept after the evening activities. We were surprised with a complimentary birthday cake served by the restaurant’s staff (they been told by me today is my husband’s birthday).

We celebrate my husband’s birthday by the beach technically although can’t see the beach at night. After that we walked by the beach for awhile before heading to our room and sleep.

| 4 March 2018 | Sunday |

Today, we had breakfast served by the restaurant’s hotel, Malaka Restaurant which included in room price. They have variety of buffet style breakfast, from western to Indonesian food. Of course we were delightful to enjoy Lombok delicacies.

Before we checked out from the resort, we spent our last time again at the beach and the pool. My girl really enjoy it and never get enough playing with water!.

We left the resort about 1pm after we requested late checkout and the resort happily let us stay another hour. Not to forget, we tipping the bell boy IDR15,000 for fetching our luggage from room to lobby. Transfers from Senggigi Beach to Bangsal Harbour, we use metered taxi blue bird cost one way IDR75,000. Just ask the resort receptionist to call up the taxi at your convenience. So sad we had to leave the resort so soon. Definitely we will come back again next time.

The taxi driver dropped us right in front of the Bangsal Harbour office ticketing after 30 min drive. Since its low season, he can send us until in front of harbour but have to pay car’s fee IDR4k. Small amount no big deal, so we don’t have pull our luggage and walk 500 metres with our grumpy girl. He said when crowded during high season, they have to drop you off 500 metres from it, so you are forced to take a cimodo with cost IDR15k.

What is Cidomo? A Cidomo is a small horse-drawn carriage used in the Lesser Sunda Islands of Lombok and the Gili Islands of Indonesia. They’re in fact small ponies as they stand under 14.2 hands. Largely imported to the islands from Lombok, their ancestors have been pulling ‘Cidomos’ for thousands of years as they were captured and tamed by the ancient Sasak people.

Once you step your foot out from the taxi, the touts start to irritate you by forcing you to by tickets from them. Its ridiculous, the price for fast boat offered by them to Gili Trawangan is IDR85k per person. My advice is just head down to the official ticket office and ignore the people who want your money!.

Public boat to Gili Trawangan cost you only IDR22,500 per person, total was IDR45k for 2 person and kids is free. You can see the difference, its almost 4 times lower than fast boat fee. Around 1:30pm, the public boat was standby at the beach shore, we walked there after being called. There’s lots of porters offered to carry our bags on but again, we told them we would do it ourselves. But 1 of them quickly grabbed 1 of our bag from the ground and carried on board then asking IDR20k but i didn’t entertain him, I only passed him IDR6k to him then he make sour face to me. Obviously its a scam guys, so bear in mind hold your bags tightly and ignore them. We were on a public boat so lots of other people and fruit/veg cargo was being loaded. Some of them were also smoking on the boat!.

Journey was only about 25 mins wasn’t bad at all for public boat compared with fast boat where they said took only 15 min. The experience wasn’t as much of a nightmare as I’d feared, but mainly because I’d read the reviews from internet. Forget about people say sea sickness, you only on the boat for short time.

By 1:55pm we reached at Trawangan harbour, then we ride cidomo to our villa, Sunset Palm Resort. Cidomo ride cost us IDR100k per ride (flat rate is IDR150k) but u are advise to bargain lower when there’s not a lot of tourist came. The flat rate is for anywhere regardless long distance or short distance, because Gili T is a small island. There is a big question mark over the treatment of the ponies, but if you are unable to walk or cycle, like if you arrive with big suitcases, then there aren’t other options.

Journey was about 15min to our villa, but the cidomo ride was a bit uncomfortable. The ponies had to go through an unpaved road and the condition is so bad. Get ready to feel your back bones broken into two.

Check in process to our villa room went smooth.

Sunset Palms Resort is a 4 star-rating resort in Gili Trawangan. It is surrounded by a productive coconut plantation and only a 100 meters from the white sand beach of the west coast part of the island.

We choose to stay in one of their Luxury private pool villa. Our room equipped with air-conditioned, comes with its own private outdoor pool and semi-open en suite bathroom featuring shower facility and free toiletries. There is also a seating area with sofa overlooking a pool view and a garden view. Below are my overall rating;

📌Cleanliness – 9
📌 Comfort – 8.5
📌 Facilities – 10
📌 Location – 10
📌 Host and Staff – 10
📌 Value for money – 9
📌 Wifi – 5

Price for 1 night booked with genius discount from booking.com was MYR345.00.

The location is perfect. Quiet area but near to everything you need. Away from hustle & bustle of Gili T. The hosts could not be more welcoming. Cold towels and drinks on arrival was so great. The staff are very helpful and friendly. Always keep on smiling. We were greeted every time we left/arrived back at the resort.

When we checked in to our room, they had flowers placed around it and they had made a swan out of towels. we requested for some birthday decoration in the room, they made it nicely. Well done!

Bike for rental is available for IDR50k (approximately MYR14) for 1 day. Bicycle is convenience transport while you are in the island. You can cycle around the island in less than hour.

We loved our private pool, the water is warm all the time. Was so amazed having our own space and lounge area outside. Checkout some photos of the villa below.

 

As soon we settled down keeping our stuff in the villa, we start walk to the beach. We decided not renting the bike for today. Distance from our resort to the beach only few meters. Watch out your step because there’s ponies poops on the road everywhere.

| 5 March 2018 | Monday |

Today, we rented a bike from the resort and cycling the island 1 loop.

 

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Published by Lina Sariff

Travel photographer

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