Admiring Lombok: An Unforgettable Weekend Trip with Sudamala Senggigi and EkaJaya Fast Boat

Sudamala Resort Senggigi Lombok together with EkaJaya Fast Boat recently took us on an eye-opening experience to witness a glimpse into the local culture, values and uniqueness of Sasak life while also enjoying the island’s stunning natural beauty.

A person wearing a red hat and traditional attire operates a wooden loom, weaving a colorful cloth at Sudamala Resort Lombok

This carefully-tailored trip took place last weekend over 3-days and 2-nights at Sudamala Senggigi.

The sky was beautifully bright and clear during the 40-minute car ride from Sudamala Sanur to Padang Bai harbour – it was as if Mother Nature herself shared the same excitement as us! Lombok was going to be our destination, which is easily accessible from Bali by boat and where we were going to be spending the whole weekend exploring the island.

People with backpacks and bags walking along a pier towards boats on a clear, sunny day, ready to board the Eka Jaya Fast Ferry at Padang Bai prepare to sudamala senggigi
The Eka Jaya Fast ferry sails through the ocean with lush green hills and steep cliffs in the background.

We quickly arrived at the Eka Jaya Fast Boat port, where we were warmly greeted by the Eka Jaya team. We checked in hassle-free and were invited to board the boat and start our crossing to Senggigi Harbor in West Lombok. The boat ride was a comfy 1.5-hour journey, where we were treated to mesmerizing sights of breathtaking scenery, as the ocean shimmered under the sun and mountains loomed on the horizon.

Entrance front of Sudamala Resort Lombok featuring a thatched-roof structure surrounded by lush greenery, with a road, signage, and traffic cones in the foreground.

In no time, we reached Eka Jaya port in Senggigi and continued our 10-minute trip to Sudamala Resort Senggigi by car. Yes, the resort is located less than 10 minutes from the Senggigi harbour – talk about convenient! We arrived at the resort’s lobby and soon felt a warm welcome as though we had returned home. The staff were so friendly and we were greeted with big smiles while being served refreshing cold lemonade and chilled towels. 

Our home throughout the weekend

So, this is our comfy nest for the next 3 days. As we stepped through the ‘Angkul-angkul’ entrance, we were amazed by the combination of traditional architecture and the beautiful nature surrounding us. Every structure in between is surrounded by green, lush tropical gardens, which we noticed right from the pathway whilst wandering from the lobby towards the villa. 

A man carries a pink suitcase, while a woman holds a bag as they walk down the garden path towards a man standing by the villa entrance at Sudamala Lombok. The path is surrounded by dense greenery.
A serene outdoor area at the villa looks at Sudamala Resort Lombok features a small, rectangular pool adjacent to a thatched-roof building. There's a shaded seating area to the left and tropical plants surrounding the space.

Walking through the bedroom, we instantly felt that this secluded sanctuary had a very unique ambiance. Every detail that was put into the space featured a blend between the beauty of the Sasak culture and nature itself.  Not to mention, a spacious terrace with two sunbeds beside our very own private pool and a gazebo to use for our in-villa breakfast whenever we wished.

Room at Sudamala Resort Lombok

Whether we were taking a shower under the open sky, spending some relaxing moments soaking in the hot tub or even just sitting and relaxing by the pool, every moment felt like an invitation to enjoy the island’s stunning natural surroundings.

Chasing sunrise

After a restful night, it was time to rise and shine at 4am to enjoy some sunrise chasing – an exciting experience that we had been looking forward to since the trip began. Shoes, towels, drinking water and of course, flashlights were prepared – then we were ready to hike to the top of Mangsit Hill. We set-off from the resort and walked to the village, which was located about 5-minutes away.

trekking adventure

There we met a friendly local guide who has been assigned by the resort to take us to the top of the hill before sunrise. The trail was quite challenging as it was steep, but that was also what made everything feel extremely fun! We hiked under the moonlight, bushes surrounded our walk and we were accompanied by the sound of the insects and crows of roosters from afar. After around 35-minutes, we reached the top of the hill! 

Woman stands with outstretched arms in a field of tall grass, embracing the morning views in hills, facing forested slopes and a cloudy sky.
A scenic view of a hilly landscape covered in lush greenery under a cloudy sky with a hint of sunset and the promise of sunrise from the hills in the background.

Under the morning sky and surrounded by the fresh air, we were welcomed by a vibrant green savannah swaying in the breeze. There were mountains and hills as far as the eyes could see. Even though the sky was cloudy and the sun didn’t shine much that morning, we felt very lucky to have taken part in this experience. We then went down the hill and Sudamala’s staff were ready with cold towels and fresh coconuts – it was a sweet moment to remember.

A serene landscape from the hills featuring a clear blue sky, palm tree, lush greenery, and a calm sea in the distance.

Colourful culture 

Indonesia is built on a range of diverse cultures and Lombok is no exception. During the day, we had the opportunity to learn about the indigenous culture of the Sasak tribes’ people who live mainly on the island of Lombok – numbering around 3.6 million or 85% of Lombok’s total population.

A Sasak lady in traditional attire weaves fabric using a loom near a poolside setting with colorful umbrellas and the ocean in the background.

We were very lucky to meet some skilful young Sasak ladies who came from several villages in the northern part of Lombok and witnessed how they make a living by weaving and creating earthenware crafts, which are often sold to tourists or exported to Western countries. 

Sasak ladies creating earthenware crafts

The weaving work doesn’t just involve skill, it also needs a lot of strength and patience! These amazing female weavers sit on the floor for hours, arranging lots of different coloured threads. What makes this Sasak woven fabric even more wonderful is that it’s made up of techniques, patterns and motifs that involve age-old traditions, which have been handed-down throughout the generations.

Culinary treasure

As lunchtime approached, the hotel organised a cooking demonstration by Chef Lalu Juandi, who has been with Sudamala Senggigi since the resort’s opening. The menu for the cooking demo featured the famous authentic Lombok dishes: Ayam Taliwang – grilled chicken marinated in a spicy sauce made with chilli, garlic, shrimp paste, and also Plecing Kangkung – blanched water spinach known locally as ‘Kangkung’, topped with a spicy tomato and chilli sambal.   

Chef Lalu Juandi, wearing a white hat and black apron, prepares a dish with various vegetables and herbs, while another person stands in the background in an outdoor setting.
Ayam Taliwang

“The key to an authentic Ayam Taliwang is hidden behind the top-grade quality of Lombok’s shrimp paste,” said Chef Juandi. This results in a flavourful grilled chicken with a strong smoky taste and slightly spicy kick. The taste was complemented by the Plecing Kangkung which featured fresh sambal made from shallots, garlic, shrimp paste and lime juice, giving the dish a fresh, tangy and spicy flavour.

A person in traditional attire is giving a speech or presentation to a group of people wearing colorful outfits and headscarves in an outdoor setting among tropical vegetation, near the herb garden at Sudamala Resort Lombok.
A group of people stand near the "Herb Garden at Sudamala Resort Lombok" sign in a lush area with palm trees and greenery, next to a building with a tiled roof. Some individuals are taking photos.

What’s more remarkable is that all of the ingredients are locally sourced, with some herbs hand-picked from the resort’s own garden. The kitchen also recycles daily waste to create natural fertiliser, used to grow the necessary herbs and vegetables. This eco-friendly practice was initiated and maintained by the resort’s management, who understand the importance of sustainability.

Palm sugar farm

In the afternoon, we took a 30-minute drive to a local village, where we met the villagers who work as palm sugar harvesters. It was a great experience to watch how they live and work in nature. We took in the entire process as they skilfully climbed tall palm trees to collect the sap, which is then boiled down to create the rich, sweet palm sugar to be sold in the local market. The process is very labour-intensive and requires both strength and precision, reflecting the dedication and expertise of the harvesters.

A person wearing a red and yellow outfit climbs a tall palm tree surrounded by lush green vegetation and a clear blue sky.
Metal container with several coconut shells placed on sand, a brown stick resting on top. Some coconut shells are split in half, while others are intact, and a few green leaves and hints of fresh palm sugar are scattered inside.

Walking through the village, we saw the traditional methods they use, which have been handed-down through generations. The harvesting of palm sugar is a vital part of their economy, sold both locally and to wider markets. It was a fascinating experience to witness their hard work and to learn about the significance of palm sugar in their daily lives and culture.

Sate Tanjung

There is plenty of delicious cuisine on the island that foodies are sure to fall in love with. We couldn’t get enough of ‘Sate Tanjung’, the legendary tasty local fish satay cooked by people of Bengkaung village.

Of course, it had been a long but exciting day. The sun began to set once we finished at the palm sugar farm and we continued our trip to Mendana Beach to enjoy a relaxing afternoon sampling some of the mouth-watering local food.  It was there that we found Sate Tanjung! 

Grilled Sate Tanjung skewers arranged on a banana leaf, displayed on a bamboo mat. Each skewer is charred and browned from cooking.
Two people are preparing and grilling skewers of satay over a charcoal grill in an outdoor setting, with green banana leaves as a serving platter. They are seated on a checkered mat on the ground.

The texture was smooth, with a smoky aroma and the fragrance from the amount of local spices that are used was very strong. However, it’s this which results in its pleasing taste! Sate Tanjung is a very famous traditional delicacy from this village. It is made from fresh fish (typically tuna) which is finely minced and mixed with a blend of aromatic spices, including turmeric, lemongrass and coconut milk. 

A hand holding a green leaf with skewers of grilled meat. Trees and a body of water are visible in the background.

This mixture is then moulded onto bamboo skewers and grilled over an open flame, giving it a slightly smoky flavour. It results in a savoury, tender satay, perfect to enjoy as a snack or even to be served as a main meal with steamed rice and sambal. Sate Tanjung is a beloved local specialty that offers a true taste of Lombok’s culinary heritage.

A group of people gathers around a table filled with opened coconuts, enjoying fresh coconut water in an outdoor setting with trees in the background.

Fresh coconuts were also served on the long table in front of bamboo carpets laid under the shade of a tree. Settling down, we savoured the freshly grilled Sate Tanjung and fresh coconut, overlooking the ocean. 

Festive dinner

The amazing sunset concluded our Lombok journey. We went back to the resort, freshened-up and took a little rest before closing the day with a great barbeque buffet dinner in the restaurant. We enjoyed the evening at the deck with good food and accompanied by traditional dance performances. During this beautiful festive set-up we were served by Sudamala Senggigi’s professional team, who created the perfect end to our trip.

Barbeque Dinner at Sudamala resort lombok
Music Performance at dinner time at Sudamala Resort Lombok
A group of people seated around a long, decorated dining table in a thatched-roof restaurant at Sudamala Resort Lombok, enjoying dinner under hanging lanterns.

As our unforgettable weekend in Lombok drew to a close, we reflected on the incredible experiences and the warm hospitality we received. From the luxurious comfort of Sudamala Resort Senggigi, to the seamless journey provided by EkaJaya Fast Boat from Bali to Lombok – every moment was thoughtfully coordinated 

We are deeply grateful to the event organisers for their meticulous planning and dedication, which allowed us to fully immerse ourselves in the rich culture and stunning natural beauty of Lombok. Thank you for making this journey truly exceptional!

Media Group photo Sudamala REsort Lombok

Sudamala Resorts – Senggigi, Lombok — Labuan Bajo, Flores — Sanur, Bali

Eka Jaya Fast Ferry
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