Part One and Two is over here people.
THIRTIETH OF SEPTEMBER
We woke up early and got a metered cab to the airport where we flew from Bali to Lombok with Garuda Indonesia. The duration is similar to PEN-KUL duration, about 45 minutes.
Apparently, Garuda Indonesia is Indonesia's Malaysia Airlines.
Once we were at the airport, we had someone waiting for us at the departure gate to transfer us to Gili Trawangan! The car journey took about 3 hours. It was quite a difficult ride for me because the motion sickness was kicking in real hard.
That's not all. We had to take a speedboat to the island so more motion sickness for me thank you very much. I was looking pale and weak most of the time. Bleh.
We asked the hotel to help us book for our transport from Lombok Airport to Gili Trawangan Harbour because we didn't want to be paying a lot more with the local vendors there.
I thought it was cheap to have a car arranged to pick us up at the airport and transfer us all the way (inclusive of boat ride) to the island at about IDR 550,000 (RM185 per person) but BOY WAS I SO WRONG.
It was super expensive! We found out from the locals that we could have gotten the same deal (but with a public boat which we are fine with) at IDR 500,000 (RM185 for two persons!).
Noob tourist we are. Bleh.
We got to Gili's Jetty and we were already amazed with the crystal clear water. I thought I have seen it all, but obviously nope. I haven't been to Maldives yet. Hah.
But seriously, the water here is super clear, considering this is where all boats will be at.
You can also see some local children swimming nearby.
When we got to the island, immediately we knew that this is a party island. Everyone is walking in bikinis and see-throughs it was insane. Cannot imagine the place at night okay.
The one thing about this place is that there are no cars or motorcycles here. They all use bicycles and horses to transport people and things. So, I was feeling excited. No need to pay RM10 to experience horse-rides. Heh.
They call them horsecar. It's basically taxi service minus the air-conditioner, proper seat, windows and doors.
We checked into La Cocoteraie Ecolodge and rested a while. By now, thank God all my motion sickness is no longer there.
I hate this part of myself that makes travelling so painful sometimes. Heh.
La Cocoteraie is a very natural-oriented glamping kind of resort. It's like you want to camping but you don't really want to set your own tents et cetera. So, La Cocoteraie's existent is mainly for those who loves the camping world but atas sikit. Hence, GLAMping.
There are only 8 luxury tents so if it's fully booked, means sorry you need to stay elsewhere.
Continue scrolling down to see what are things we love and not love on our very first glamping experience.
What we love:
Service like a five-star resort.
Every hotel staffs were friendly and very helpful, and they are always smiling! Everytime we chill at the lobby area, they would come over and make coffee/tea for us on the house. So, we asked one of the staff if they could help us arrange for a horsecar to transfer us to the jetty early in the morning on our last day and he explained to us that it would costs us 50% more than the normal rate because it's early in the morning, at about 6am.
So, we thought its fine because the hotel is quite a distance away and we didn't want to walk there with our luggages.
He then suggested to us that we could cycle there and he will get another staff along on different bicycles to take both our bicycles back. Then, he went on to say that it's on the house!Complimentary service! We gave them big tips of course.
On the last day's morning, we could not have our usual breakfast so they cooked and packed for us in a nice box so that we could eat them in the airport! HOW THOUGHTFUL IS THAT! WIN!
No need to rent bicycles.
We realized that some tourists have to rent the bicycles from their resort and not included as part of the hotel 'perks'. Ours is free of course!
The resort is very systematic.
I don't know how to explain this but they do everything very correctly. Our bicycles are numbered according to the tents we use with proper 'parking lot'. I love it. It feels very organized.
Eat breakfast like a boss.
I personally do not like buffet in general, so when we found out that we get to choose our breakfast from a list of sets, I was happy! I chose the same American Breakfast set every single day and they do not disappoint.
Also, we asked if we could have our breakfast outside our tent, they agreed and said that they can only serve to our tent after 9am! Whattttt? That's even better because means we get to sleep more and still be treated like a royalty. Unlike those hotels that has time limit to breakfast. Boo.
Headlamps and torchlights.
Provided with no extra charge.
Provided with no extra charge.
Super caring and fast-to-respond staffs.
We told them that we got attacked by bed bugs and without wasti9ng any time at all, the man asked two of his staffs to go into our room and checked.
By check, I mean they took out everything, dismantle the wooden bed, carry the mattress out and checked every corner of that tent to make sure no eggs or more bed bugs were hiding. I was very impressed. They could not give us another room because every other room is occupied.
We prayed non stop for a good sleep on our last night, and indeed, we did :)
Oh my goodness. This is one of our regrets! We wanted to buy their bamboo straws but we decided not too for don't know what reason! They were so nice to be used and can re-use a lot of times some more. I don't know how to explain it to you but if anyone happens to go to Gili, please stop by La Cocoteraie Ecolodge and get us the bamboo straws!
What we don't really love:
Location of the resort.
It's situated on the west side of the island (circled in red) and the happening place is on the east side, so everytime we want to move from La Cocoteraie to the happening place, we would need to cycle for a good 10 minutes I think, which isn't that bad to be honest.
There are 2 route to our resort. One is via the beach which is a really long ride home in the dark and the other one is go through the middle part which is also very dark and super dusty. So, we will always ride along the beach although it takes a much longer time.
Traveling at night
It is pitch-black-dark when it's at night. For sure we stayed at the happening area till at night then only we will cycle back to our resort because there is nothing to do on the other side of the island.
However, it gets super dark because there are very minimal lamp-posts along the way back to the resort. I remembered being fearful on our first night there because all we had was headlamps and bicycle dynamo lights. Everything else that surrounds us are just pure darkness. However, we stopped so many times just to look at the stars because it was so clear in the midst of all that darkness.
It was very nice.
Attacked by bed bugs.
We don't know from where did the bed bugs come from, but we got them on our second last night there. It could have been from us when we were resting on the beach-cushion earlier and they got onto us and now they are probably spreading all over La Cocoteraie.
I don't know.
Or it could have been from the resort itself.
Whatever it is, it was horrible to have bed bugs on us because we felt itchy all the time!
They followed us home too by the way cos I saw one crawling on my shirt in the luggage. Mahuan to the max.
Secluded and dusty.
The resort is not located right in front of the beach although pretty nearby. The road and the area surrounding the resort could get very dusty but that's probably because there were lots of construction ongoing.
But yeah, it was dusty.
Weather inside the tent.
It is hot. Even with the air-con switched on since morning, it will still be pretty warm inside in the evening. No need to mention about being in there in the afternoon. It's like an oven okay.
I am exaggerating a little bit. It's not like being in the oven, but it is very warm inside.
Okay, so that's some of the likes or what nots.
After checking in and changed, we cycled to the happening area and have tea time like a boss again. Can order anything we want ah. Hah.
We had mojitos, aglio olios and french fries at the price of IDR 170,000 (about RM56 for two). It is a tourist island afterall. The locals told us that every night there will be a night market in the middle of the town (near jetty) and that we should have our seafood dinner there.
We walked around and look-see look-see so that we would know what to do on that island for the next 3 days. It was either take another snorkeling trip-tour or stay in the island and explore the entire place. The latter one of course. I could not do another round of sea-sickness thank you. Heh.
FIRST-SECOND OF OCTOBER
For the next few days, we cycled everywhere and did everything we could possibly do on a small island like Gili Trawangan.
We asked the local on the best swimming spot to see turtles. WE SAW TWO OF THEM!
We ate like the locals on the side of the street in a small rundown hut.
We spoke in Bahasa like a pro to the locals.
We did an outdoor-by-the-beach-naked-massage (sort-of) like a typical tourist. We paid IDR 195,000 (RM65 per person).
We slept on the beach-beanie like a tourist.
We ordered pizza and ate to our hearts content.
We watched Now You See Me on an outdoor cinema at the beach. BEST EXPERIENCE EVER.
We swam on the other side of island where the locals say you may see sharks if you lucky enough.
We walked around in bikinis and topless (with no shy shy all).
We bought local made bracelet for the huz himself.
We did not fall from our bicycle despite the pitch dark road.
We loved :)
We swam some more in their ocean.
We stalked people and create our own stories based on their body language.
We are pros in judging bikinis now.
We stopped at a very dark place to star-gaze. It was beyond amazing!
We took (tried) a couple shot on the famous swing over the water swing.
We cycled around the entire island a few times just because.
We ate like a boss. What is diet?
We had to withdraw more money because we kinda overspent?
We wanted to buy the bamboo straws. Regrets.
We dined at the night market like a true Malaysian.
We didn't know that colorful fish can be eaten and nope, we didn't take any risk in trying.
AND WE HAD ONE OF THE BEST MASSAGE EVERR.
Ambiance is everything when it comes to massage services so I'm glad that he insisted that we must give this a try although our moolahs were running pretty low. There's always budget for massage! Heh.
We had booked this the night before because we didn't want to miss this chance. We walked the entire island and found this one to have a by-the-beach experience so we hor ee lok!
It was a full body Balinese massage so means naked completely except your undies.
It was weird at first because I had to like be smart and cover everywhere so that the tourist at the beach won't be seeing anything from down there. It was so awkwardly funny.
I jumped onto the bed immediately and he quickly took the sheets and cover me.
Once the lady start massaging, I was totally in the zone already.
The smell of the beach and the sound of the waves, best combo.
Love this one!
THIRD OF OCTOBER
A local man who spoke really good English told us to get the Public Boat tickets back to Lombok instead of going through an agent as it is way cheaper.
But we went to a local agent and asked about it and decided to pay IDR 500,000 (RM165 for 2 persons) for the public boat transfer from Gili to Lombok and a private car transfer (Lombok Jetty - Lombok Airport). It's definitely a far better deal than what I arranged earlier with the hotel which was double the price just because they arrange a private speedboat for us.
So people, learn from our lesson. Ask the locals and you will save money.
The journey back to Penang was not as painful as I thought it would be. I thought we would already feel the Monday blues but we were somehow glad that we were going home. Thanks to the bed-bugs.
The honeymoon was amazing. I was being pampered to the max please.
Adrian Koay, when you are reading this, I am writing this on the 4th month of being a wife to you okay. It's been very interesting to be married to such a weirdo and thank you for bearing all my nonsense everyday. Thank you for trying your best not to move so much on the bed because I may get motion sickness while asleep. Hah. What a joke right?
Everyone asked us the same question since September 2016.
"How is married life?"
It is one of the most difficult life-changing decision and to be honest with you, I am still trying my best to adapt to everything new around me. If we were not warned, I would think that arguments are most likely to happen every alternate days, but because of pre-marital counselling (which I strongly suggest that every couple should attend even if they are not planning to tie the knot yet), we did not argue a single time since becoming one. Kid you not.
We recently just found out (through a professional marriage counselor) that I have been carrying a lot of stress since the marriage and it's not because of him or the marriage.
It's the whole life-changing-process that I think I am doing a lot better now. It almost feels like I am starting a new life all over again with somebody in my bed. Hah.
So many things/culture/habits that we are changing/merging in order to create our own family's identity. Sounds like hardwork but I am glad it's you that I'm going through this with. Cheesy much?
To many more night pillow talks and cuddles :)
For 8 days 7 nights at Bali & Lombok, Indonesia
PEN-KUL-PEN flight ticket with Airasia (AK): RM167
KUL-DPS (one-way) flight ticket with Airasia (AK): RM160
DPS-LOP (one-way) flight ticket with Garuda Indonesia (GA): RM160
3 nights stay at La Cocoteraie Gili Trawangan: RM510
Sim card with 4GB internet usage: RM40
Land transport (Metered taxi/Horsecar/Boat): RM535
Entrance ticket fee: RM75
Massage Sessions: RM150
[Note: RM1 = 3,000 rupiah (as of September 2016)]