5 UNUSUAL THINGS TO DO IN LOMBOK
While COVID19 travel restrictions are still in place for many countries, the number of travel-related social content has increased across social media channels including Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. We decided to contribute our share of knowledge and some of the unusual things to do in Lombok that you may want to consider for your next visit which we believe will help create one of the most of unforgettable holiday in Lombok!
While there are a lot of things to do in Lombok, the island has a reputation as being a difficult place to explore which is so NOT TRUE! Over the last five years, new roads have been built and the international airport has opened. A wide variety of accommodation ranging from budget to luxury and exclusive like the Malimbu Cliff Villa combined with trendy restaurants and bars within reach have made Lombok an increasingly popular tourism destination.
Here are our Top 5 unusual things to do in Lombok in addition to visiting the beautiful Gili Islands, Rinjani Volcano and roaring waterfalls.
- Be part of a traditional Lombok wedding like you’ve known them for ages
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Lombok is a small island in Indonesia with many unique culture, ceremonies and rituals. One of their unique cultures is in wedding procession where the man takes his girlfriend and runaway to get hitched. Then, the man will send the family or friends as his representative to the woman’s house to inform her family and friends that they are married regardless of their point of view. This procession is called Selabar.
The woman’s family will prepare the wedding ceremony as the procession to get the legality of a wedding. Once legalised, the last procession called Nyongkolan will take place where they will celebrate the wedding and take the girl back home to meet her family with hundreds of other people participating in the walk from the man house to the woman’s house. Everyone is welcomed to celebrate this special occasion and it is an interesting parade to witness if you’ve never experienced anything like that.
NOTE: The parade is often the reason for the traffic jam in Lombok but it will not make people bored because they can see unique culture, music and custom while in the traffic. Instead of witnessing it from your vehicle, why not join in and walk the parade together?
2. The Lombok Rice Cake War is ON!
This is a quirky harvest festival when the Hindu and Muslim residents of the island of Lombok come together to pelt each other with boiled rice. Ouch! But Hey, it isn’t what you think it is. This is a good-natured fight to celebrate unity through rice diversity, commemorates the temple’s anniversary and gives thanks for the harvest! It’s about fostering peace and harmony between the two religions.
In fact, we would consider this as one of the most delicious war you’ll ever experience in your life as you get to eat Ketupat (dumpling made from rice packed inside a diamond-shaped container of woven palm leaf pouch) … depending on how many you managed to catch during the war.
The food fight takes a week of preparation. It is centred at the Pura Lingsar, a temple built by Hindus in the 18th century, and it takes a couple of weeks to prepare for, including prayer rituals and offerings of fruit and cakes for good fortune. This festival happens on the sixth full moon in the Sasak calendar (November/December). Headshots are frowned upon, some of the leftover ammo is distributed among the participants and spectators. The rest is buried in the fields, to ensure another season of healthy crops.
3. Pick a stick or pick a side!
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Sounds like The Game of Throne is happening here in Lombok, Indonesia! The ‘Peresean’ Rattan stick fighting is an ancient martial art that recreates the legend of Princess Mandalika who, rather than see two suitors fight to the death to win her hand in marriage, chose to take her own life. The fight also serves to ask God for rain for the imminent planting season with the ancient belief being that the more blood spilled, the more rain would follow.
This is an extreme fight game as the symbol of masculinity of Sasaknes man in Lombok, a battle of two men armed with rattan sticks in Sasak language called Penjalin and armoured buffalo skin thick and hard called Ende. The fighters attack each other, defending their opponent’s blows with a cowhide shield. It has become part of the tradition and entertainment culture performance in Lombok not to be missed.
4. Catch a bucket full of sea worms before dawn
Want to be a part of a truly exciting traditional festivities? Well, prepare yourself for this exotic, truly local age-old tradition of Bau Nyale! The tradition is a one of a kind annual folk festival of the Sasak People which usually happens in mid-end of February, in which hordes of people flock to the sea to catch sea worms (Nyale) which represents good fortune.
The folk festival has its origin from the legend of Princess Mandalika. Back in the heydays of Lombok’s kings and queens, there lived a beautiful princess named Mandalika. Tales and rumours about her extraordinary beauty quickly spread across the island to the point where princes in every corner of Lombok fell in love with her and were eager to wed her. The competition was inevitable, and turmoil eventually engulfed the island. (Read the full story here)
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5. Eat from the same plate of food with your hands Sharing is caring and it’s true in the Lombok’s culture when it comes to food! “Begibung” is a local famous sharing plate which allows diners to sample a range of the best Indonesian and Sasak cuisine. The interesting part of this is no cutleries are available. Everyone will dig into the plate using their hands! Of course, since the Coronavirus pandemic, this isn’t such a good idea anymore.
The good news is, there are many restaurants which serves this authentic cuisine with social distancing practice in placed and cutleries are provided. At Malimbu Cliff Villa, our private chef could prepare Begibung during your stay so you can experience the local cuisine without venturing out of the villa if that’s your preference.
If anything, the pandemic has taught us to get out of our comfort zone to try something different! We look forward to welcoming you and helping you create an unforgettable Lombok holiday. For more information about our villa, please do not hesitate to contact us or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org