Stumble Into Indonesia's Unseen Places
Submitted by viravira on 16 October 2014 • Destination
Staying at Hotel Tugu Lombok, I was in awe with so many things at the property, from the elements of decoration to the whole concept of the design. There are so many to tell, I will start from the beginning of the day: the unforgettable breakfast on a boat experience.
Here is the story behind the Sunrise Picnic:
Once upon a time, the tip of Rinjani Mountain was believed as the “Kayangan” or the Heavens, where the Chief of Gods, Batara Guru, resided with the beautiful goddesses. One day, the goddesses decided to bathe at the sea of Sire Beach, on their way of paying a tribute to the sacred sites along the coast.
One of the goddesses locked eyes with the handsome son of Sea Dragon, the very powerful king of the sea, who was meaning to bathe at the same spot. Just like in a fairy tale, it was love at first sight between the goddess and the prince. Being so young and in love, the goddess decided to stay at the coast with the prince and got married.
Predictably, Batara Guru wasn’t very happy about this. He sent the Sun God, Dewa Surya, to persuade the goddess to come back to the Kayangan using the charming sunrise each morning. The Sea Dragon King was afraid that the goddess would finally leave his son, but he was in no power of stopping the Sun God and its sunrise.
So a compromise was made. The sun still rises on every start of the day and the Sea Dragon King sends one of his dragons to sail the sea every morning to deliver stories about the happy couple to the Sun God, who then deliver them to Batara Guru on the peak of Rinjani Mountain.
Inspired by the romance, Hotel Tugu Lombok offers its guests to have a very early breakfast on Naga Mesem, the name of their wooden dragon boat, which translates to ‘smiling dragon’.
On the front tip of the boat, a carved wooden dragon head is attached, as if leading the boat wherever it goes. Passengers can stay at the lower or upper deck, but the breakfast is served on the upper deck by default. The boat starts sailing at about 6 a.m. from Sire Beach, just before the sunrise. Because it was very early, we didn’t have much choice on the breakfast menu, just the simple ones like omelet and bread with butter, plus some fresh juice.
Before climbing to the top deck and eat, I stayed down, sitting behind the dragon’s head. We were going toward the sun that was hiding behind Rinjani Mountain, showing itself bit by bit making the day grow brighter and brighter. It wasn’t an epic colorful sunrise, but I liked watching the dragon as if he was playfully chasing the sun in the vast ocean, trying to tell her something. Oh I must’ve been under the influence of the romantic goddess and prince story! On the opposite side, a hint of Agung Mountain (in Bali) and Gili Trawangan was in sight. Yeah, they’re that close.
Though it was supposed to be a romantic breakfast, I was accompanied by Indri, a fellow blogger. Nothing romantic between us, but we enjoyed the Sunrise Picnic, as it is officially called, because it was serene, beautiful, and definitely a new experience for us. We passed by some fisherman boats, saw rows of coconut trees on other beaches and glimpses of other resorts further north.
We finally munched our omelets and breads when the sun was already a bit high above Rinjani top, followed by a session of selfies before our dragon finally made a U-turn, back to Sire Beach.
If you’re looking for an unusual romantic date while traveling, you could definitely try this breakfast on a boat while watching the sunrise. A butler and a boatman will be the only people with you, making sure that everything goes right. Life jackets are ready for use just in case of anything.
This Sunrise Picnic is one of the few other unique dining experiences provided by Hotel Tugu Lombok. The published rate for this is IDR 1,350,000 per couple. I think you could book for it even though you’re not staying at the hotel, but perhaps there would be an added cost for transportation if you need a pick-up since it’s located quite in a remote area.http://www.tuguhotels.com/lombok/
Indri and I were lucky to have this experience as a complementary from Hotel Tugu Lombok, but the opinions are my own.