Stumble Into Indonesia's Unseen Places
Submitted by viravira on 9 November 2014 • Destination
I’m glad to have been invited to stay at the Hotel Tugu Lombok. Apart from the spectacular hotel, I also got to enjoy a tranquil beach where it’s located, Sire Beach, at Tanjung Village.
Located northwest of Lombok, Sire Beach in only 25 minutes boat ride from the famous three gilis (Gili Trawangan, Air and Meno).
Here are a few things you can do on Sire Beach, mostly based on my experience.
I changed my mind about bringing my running shoes though usually I love the thought of jogging on the beach. I felt like lazing around and that’s just what I did when I wasn’t taking notes about the property or typing on my laptop. But I saw a woman jogging across the Sire Beach, not sure where she’s staying. The beach is actually tempting for a jog because it’s wide and clean. Little pieces of coral are scattered here and there, so I wouldn’t recommend you to run barefooted.
There’s a volleyball net installed on the beach, near the spa room. If I weren’t such in mellow mood, I’d probably ask Indri to play, perhaps borrow the ball from the hotel or something.
To view the sun coming out from behind Rinjani Mountain, you can simply sit on the beach chairs or hammocks on Sire Beach. Better yet, request for a specific Sunrise Picnic from Hotel Tugu Lombok for a unique sunrise experience.
The sunrise peak is usually at 5.30 am, but you better consult with the hotel staff or check on your mobile app for more precise schedule.
The water of Sire Beach is clear, I recommend you wearing a bathing suit and bring a snorkeling gear if you’re having the breakfast on the boat, so you can plunge right in. We weren’t prepared, so we went snorkeling later in the afternoon, guided by a hotel staff. We had a beach entry, which I wouldn’t recommend because the corals are quite high up to the surface (it was low tide in the afternoon). I got a little scratch on the knee from it, but not as bad as when I snorkeled in Kiluan Bay.
The water was quite warm, we paddled quite far to get to the Bay Rock. It’s a spot where they replanted corals. However there wasn’t much growing, yet. And along the 20 minutes we paddled, with our life vests on, I didn’t see much impressive scenery underwater. A few starfishes in various colors and shapes were in sight, though. If you go further from Bay Rock, it’s said to be really deep and you’d have to dive to see some underwater life.
So if you’re thinking of snorkeling at Sire Beach, better plunge in from the boat.
We were given a complementary spa treatment at their little spa room on the beach because the ones at the Spa Temple were fully-booked. That’s actually a fantastic coincidence! Nothing beats a spa treatment with the sound of waves like what I’ve written here.
I chose the Lomboknese massage because it’s a mix of Javanese and that body-crunching Thai massage that I love so much. Afterward, you can shower there (no hot water though) or back in your own room. I felt really relaxed after the massage, all I wanted was to sleep, but I had to shower and prepare for our dinner. I felt fresh after the shower though, good thing.
By now I can say that the Tugu Group is an expert in creating spectacular dinner experiences. Remember our dinner by the temple in Blitar? And the impressive stories of Tugu Kuntskring Paleis restaurant? This time in Lombok, Indri and I were given a fabulous dinner experience on Sire Beach.
They served the food in one of little bamboo huts with red drapery, surrounded by lit candles. As if it wasn’t romantic enough, the night was lighted by full moon. How more romantic could it get? Well, actually, having the dinner with a real romantic partner would top it all off.
We ordered bebek betutu (fried duck, cooked in Betutu style) and grilled chicken with sambal matah (raw chili condiment). The preparation took a while because they sort of cooked them from scratch. The taste was delicious, the poultry meat was soft, but I think they’ve taken the spiciness a notch to adjust with westerner’s liking, as they are their guests mostly. I had to ask for extra real chili, not “tourist chili” to suite my expectation.
There are, of course, a lot of other activities you can do at Sire Beach. And to access it, you don’t have to be a guest at Hotel Tugu Lombok. Nearby villagers sometimes walk past the beach, and outside guests are allowed to do activities there, even swimming in the trisula swimming pool by the restaurant Bale Koko Pletok. But since the beach is well maintained by the hotel, it would be great if you order some food and beverages from their restaurants.