Kuta, a small beach town on the south end of Lombok, has perhaps become my favorite town in Indonesia over the years. I’ve spent a lot of time here – always staying longer than I anticipated.

The landscape differs from Bali almost completely. Relative to Bali, Lombok is full of rolling hills and mountains – lush green cascading down hillsides like a thick moss – and ribbons of white sand beaches at every turn. There are farms, cattle, winding roads, rice fields, and smiling children who slap you five as you zoom by on your motorbike.

a young girl comes to say 'Hi'.

A house set in the rice fields

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The air is much drier here than the rest of Lombok. The days are sunny and hot with the exception of an occasional rainstorm in the late afternoon. Dav and I often start the day by taking our motorbikes along the coast roads looking for a different hidden white sand beach. At many of the beaches, the waves gently lick the sand, leaving a soft layer of white foam before heading back to sea. We stop for a while when we find a good spot, take a dip and maybe a nap. We might stay there for a while, or we may cruise to the delicious vegetarian restaurant Ashtari, or the family run Sonya’s.

The view from Ashtari

Back at our hotel, I sometimes play volleyball with the staff of the Novotel, or challenge David to a ping pong game, or swim in the hotel pools, or take a yoga or cooking class. There never seems to be a dull moment here. Even if you don’t have a plan for the day you can just take your motorbike down one of the many potholed roads and find yourself on a deserted beach, a small fishing village, or at the steppes of a rice paddy. You might spot a tanned surfer cruising by with his surf board, and before long find yourself at Grupuk or another surfer’s haven. Bumping along a sandy beach path, you might be stopped by a grazing family of oxen, oblivious to your presence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kuta is paradise. The laid back atmosphere and the few tourists allow the area to feel as if it’s your own. It is a place I look forward to visiting many times to come and I hope this beautiful area stays as it is, although the encroaching resorts and new airport threaten the environment here.

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