A Lembongan Weekend

Published 01 June 2015   

FRVBali_Lembongan beachBeautiful beaches, clear blue waters and rocky cliffs.

Nusa Lembongan is famous for its laid back lifestyle and is perfect for those looking to simply hang back, do a bit of scuba diving, lie on the beach and empty the brain.

The island sits just 20km off the coast of Bali, but it is a world away in terms of the pace of daily life. Here there are just a few mopeds, bicycles and a handful of shuttle taxi vans running the length of the island, and the only traffic jams are when a herd of cows stops to graze on the side of the road, blocking your way for a couple of minutes at most. Diving and surfing dominate, but for the more lazy amongst us there is a large element of lying-on-the-beach-with-a-cocktail culture to be had.

FRVBali_LembonganThatched roof simplicity and sun loungers.

Most of the accommodation is on the flat land on the northern side of the island and it ranges from 5-star luxury villas and resorts, through to reasonably priced hotels, bungalows and homestays. Seeing as I was there for the diving, my bed for the weekend was at the Secret Garden Resort, a very well-priced, barefoot chic resort with a swimming pool, big private bungalows with comfy beds and en-suite bathrooms. They also have their own PADI and SSI dive operation called Big Fish Diving. The food is simple but the beer is cold and the dive operation is nothing but the best with top of the range gear, boats, and most importantly, safety.

FRVBali_Lembongan Beach Club CrewNutrition and fun are a heady mix at Sandy Bay.

Every dive starts with a briefing to let you know where you are going and what you can expect to see. This day we were in search of the giant mola mola, or sunfish as it’s commonly known, a rare sight but a frequent visitor to these islands at certain times of the year, akin to spotting a leopard riding a rhino while on safari in Africa. Loading into the boat we were soon cruising off to Crystal Bay on Nusa Penida, a beautiful bay fringed with coconut palms and white sands above, and filled with beautiful corals and fish below.

FRVBali_Lembongan viewMultitudes of fishing boats and fast ferries fill the main bay.

This was an auspicious day indeed for a lucky few in our group, for out of the depths did indeed swim a mighty mola mola, which created a huge amount of ‘whoops’ and ‘yeehaas’ back on the boat. This is the kind of event that divers travel half a world to see, and that dive operators pray to any god going to make happen. After this successful dive, we were back at Secret Garden by around 2pm, so an afternoon at the beach was still well within grasp and it was off to picture-postcard perfect Dream Beach, where we spent the rest of the day lazing away under a hot sun and cocktail umbrellas.

FRVBali_mola_molaThe elusive mola mola, or sunfish.

One thing diving does is give you a huge appetite, and the range of food on Lembongan never fails to satisfy. After this particularly action-packed day it was the Beach Club at Sandy Bay that got our vote for sunset dinner and drinks, with their ridiculously wide and tasty menu of food and cocktails, as well as a beachfront infinity pool and a sublime setting on the water. After a good few hours and a reasonably priced bill, and feeling a little worse for wear, we took advantage of their free taxi shuttle, which they thoughtfully provide to keep the roads safe from inexperienced motorcyclists in the dead of the night mixed with a few too many drinks.

FRVBali_Lembongan beach2Dream Beach – aptly named.

Whether you dive, surf or simply love the sun and eating well, consider a trip to Lembongan for a mainland alternative. It’s close, it’s inexpensive, there are no crowds, and if you don’t count a rare herd of cows blocking the way, there’s not a traffic jam in sight. [FRV]

Where to Stay and Dive
Secret Garden & Big Fish
www.bigfishdiving.com

How to get there
Rocky Fast Cruise:
www.rockyfastcruise.com

1 Comment

  1. Public boat to nusa lembongan day trip from sanur bali, only 30 minutes from Bali island and is the perfect nusa lembongan day cruise.

    Posted by Shinta on 06 February 19 at 8:39pm [Comment]

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