My Little Adventure to Sumbawa Island
I have just returned from my first ever trip to the island of Sumbawa and it was truly amazing. I have always wanted to visit Sumbawa and last week, I found an opportunity to do so with 2 of my closest girlfriends and we just decided to just go for it!
If you don’t already know, Sumbawa is located to the east of Bali. It is sandwiched between Lombok to its east and Flores to its west. I have always had an urge to visit because I have a yearning for wild, beautiful places. Looking through photos on social media and the internet, I know that this is an island that I must visit at least a few times in my life.
The journey to Sumbawa was relatively lengthy – we had to fly to Lombok, then take a bus to the harbour, and then take a ferry to Sumbawa. We were headed to Poto Tano Harbour where we had a hotel car and driver waiting to pick us up. The trip was off to a good start! The locals were amazingly friendly and they love to start conversations with tourists. However, I would advise you to practice caution if you’re travelling with just girls, just as you would anywhere else in the world. In an unfamiliar place, always get the hotel to send someone to pick you up at a set price and with a credible staff member, otherwise, you will have to haggle and go off with a complete stranger!
Unlike Bali, Sumbawa is untouched and relatively underdeveloped. From the harbour, you can see that the land is a wide-open space filled with dry underbrush and some stocky greenery and coconut trees. This means breathtaking unimpeded views, strong winds and just that overall feeling of freedom. I think this is what Bali must have been like 50 years ago. We stayed at Whale and Waves in Kertasari for 3 days and 2 nights. From the hotel, we enjoyed magnificent million-dollar views of the clear blue water, sparkling sands and the mountain in the distance. It was pure magic. Throughout our stay, we explored the island’s incredible natural attractions. Everywhere you look, it is just pristine natural beauty. We woke up at 4am to get to Mantar Hill, a popular sunrise spot. It was 12 degrees Celsius and I was freezing! We headed to Semonkong Waterfall which was just unreal and to Jereweh Beach for sunbathing and seafood.
If you’re planning to visit Sumbawa, do not expect 4 or 5-star restaurants like those you can find in Bali. The most you’d get is simple warung food and freshly-grilled seafood. I really enjoyed eating fresh fish from the sea – you can get it anywhere and at such ridiculously cheap prices. Just walk along the beach and there will be locals selling seafood throughout the day. They grill it in front of you and you can devour your lunch or dinner hot off the coals. Remember to always drink mineral water to minimize the risks of infections. Vegans would have a hard time here though, as the only green vegan-friendly foods available are Plecing Kangkung and Gado-Gado. If you love the Ayam Taliwang, a traditional food of Lombok and Sumbawa, then you’d be in heaven here because you’ll be getting it in the most traditional form yet.
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed my short holiday in Sumbawa. It is so good to just be amidst nature without the noise and stress of the big city, traffic jams and loud music. There is so much wide open space everywhere we look and I loved every minute of it. I will definitely come back again someday soon. Hopefully, they will have better internet connection by that time! 🙂