During our trip to Gili (a series of islands located just off the northwest tip of Lombok, Indonesia) we meandered our way to the islands rather than taking the Gili Cat, a brand new speed boat. We had more time to meet people and ultimately arrived in the Gili after several days in Senggigi. Gili T seems so different compared to our time here in 2008. Is that why they say, “You can never go back?” I wish infrastructure would develop without compromising beauty, the coral and the shoreline. Last time we traveled in Southeast Asia we did not arrive until September which is after the “high” season. I remember all the coastlines being quiet, as most tourists had returned to school from their holidays. We left Gili T by public boat for 20,000Rp ($2/each) and in about fifteen minutes arrived at Gili Meno. After a few key questions, we set off by foot on the trail to the sunset side of the island. I was told the walk would take 40 minutes. A little further into the walk we stopped at a fork in the road, puzzled as to which direction to take. A little girl stood nearby. “Panta? (beach) … Sunset, Gekko?” She pointed both ways. It is an island, she was telling us. I said, “Bagus? Indah?” (More better? Pretty?) She pointed and said, “Sunset Gekko.” So we went to the left. The snorkeling was much better than what we saw at Gili T. Immediately we counted two turtles, several schools of fish, and many colorful hard and soft corals. I also saw a lobster. I called to George to make sure he saw it as in hundreds of snorkeling excursions and over 300 dives I had never seen one wander about so much and have such a colorful look. Later that day during sunset, I saw dolphins jumping and spinning. What a great day! The next day, we snorkeled and walked the entire island.
"So this is the place I should have been for the last two months", was my first thought as I wound my way through a sexily curved hill. Padang Bai is a small, annexed fishing village with a little bay, a secret white sand beach (that's the beach's actual name) a few warungs and guest houses and some deep emerald hills directly behind. Despite its' fishy orientation there's a freshness there that is missing in South Bali. It's the lack of bike fumes and rubbish. Most people pass through on their way to get their rocks off on Gilli-T. Big mistake, this place gets my vibe.
Nusa Penida Island
JUNE: skip Java, go straight down to Bali at Nusa Penida Unveiling the wonders of the small islands of Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Ceningan, and Nusa Penida, off the eastern coast ofBali, the Nusa Penida Festival will be held on 2nd to 5th June 2014. Presented by the Regency of Klungkung through its Tourism and Culture Office, the festival will be centered at the Nusa Lembongan Island and will involve all the villages of the district. Scheduled to be held for four consecutive days, the festival will feature all the distinct cultural attractions and handicrafts of the islands which are rarely presented to public. Among these are the art of Sanghyang Gerodog which is an authentic performance of Nusa Lembongan. The art of Sanghyang Gerodog was thought to have been lost for over 32 years before it was revived about two years ago. Sanghyang Gerodog was originally performed for a full month period featuring 100 types of Sanghyang including Sanghyang dedari, Sanghyang Penyalin, and more. The video below showcase one of the use of the Sanghyang Gerodog ritual to heal ailment in human bodies and nature. From mid June to mid July, the best place to be is in Jakarta. June 22nd is the official birthday of this capitol city, and the governor prepared plenty of culture events and activities around. From the Betawi Art festival, Jakarnaval, Jakarta Culinary festival, including Jakarta Great Sale.