So, for the Easter holidays we decided to explore Sumbawa and Flores. This time we went with another family who are very good friends of both my hubby and I. So total there are eight travellers. That will be fun!
We left Perth on early Sunday morning to Catch a 8 am flight to Bali. The flight was on time, thanks Garuda! We spent a night in Bali and the next morning we got picked up by our fast boat operator Wahana Gili from our hotel about 10 am and continued our journey to Padangbai where we boarded our fast boat to Lombok.
Wahana Gili fast boat was ok, not flash, there was no aircon and not much room upstairs too. Basically it was like a crowded bus in Jakarta, they tried to squish as much people as they could. For USD 34 I would expect a little bit better condition. Anyway, it brought us safe and sound to Bangsal harbour, Lombok.
We stayed one night in Puri Bunga, just right the opposite of Sheraton Hotel. After a cool down in the pool and some drinks, we headed for a nice dinner at Asmara.
The next day we checked out from Puri Bunga, and on the way we stopped at a weaving village and some pottery shops, then had lunch. After lunch we made our way to the harbour. We caught another fast ferry that runs by Newmont mining company and it only took 1.5 hour to get to Benite harbour in Sumbawa. If you catch a slow ferry it would take about 6 hours or so.
We stayed at Baha Baha villa, it’s a very nice place to stay. Simple but clean and I love the pool and the outdoor shower. A very recommended hotel to stay if you happen to be in Sumbawa. Unfortunately we only stayed for one night since the next day we had to travel for about 4 hours to Sumbawa Besar. Not much to see though. Sumbawa Besar is pretty plain and rugged, but some places are beautiful.
In Sumbawa Besar there’s not much attraction. We went to Istana Dalam Loka or also called “Wooden Palace” by the locals. The sultan of Sumbawa used to live in this palace but now he’s living in Jakarta. A little bit disappointed with this palace as it is only the wooden building that left and it is badly maintained. There is no furniture or any antiques, ornaments or decorations. Nowdays the palace is used for learning or practising traditional dances by locals. The children attracted lots of attention from the local kids. They were crazy to get a picture with the children, as if the children were movie stars. Both ways were having good fun though! 😀
The next day we got up as early as 6.30 which was early enough for me on holidays, and by 7am, off we went to donate children books to one of the local schools. More stories about this will be written separately. After donating books we were off to Moyo Island for snorkelling and a visit to Mata Jitu waterfall later.
So, from Samawa Beach Cottage, we hopped on to a boat and before we reached Moyo island, we stopped for a snorkel. It was a nice snorkel, the water was so blue with colourful fish. After snorkelling we had lunch at Sunset Moyo bungalow. If I’m not wrong the bungalow is the only accommodation in Moyo island. Unless you can afford Amanwana resort which Princess Diana stayed during her visit to Moyo.
Then, we hopped on motorbikes (ojek) heading to Matajitu waterfall. The track was pretty bumpy and rough, surely we all had sore bums! But it was worth it! The waterfalls are so beautiful and magical. Princess Diana went to this waterfall when she stayed at Amanwana, but of course she had a special jeep provided by Amanwana, not on motorbike😂
Lots of people don’t know about this waterfall, according to our guide. It’s because people think that Moyo island is a privately owned island and therefore the accommodation is very expensive and there are not many, and difficult to reach. Well, yes it is difficult because you need to hire a boat to get there and it takes about an hour or so. There is Samawa Beach Cottage hotel and Sunset Moyo bungalow for accommodation. Sunset Moyo is pretty affordable but also very simple. While Samawa Beach Cottages is middle to upper range price but also depends on what type of room you choose. I love Samawa though. If you stay there, they can transfer you to Moyo island by their boat.
After Moyo island, which was the highlight of my Sumbawa trip, we had to travel the next day about 6 hours to Bima to get closer to Sape where we caught our slow ferry to Labuan Bajo. We had a not so nice experienced in Bima. Bima itself is just very plain and bit ugly. And our hotel, oh my dear Lord! If we could, we would move hotel but apparently Lambitu hotel is the nicest and modest hotel in Bima! I won’t elaborate about the hotel, but if you can, just pass Bima or do not stay in Lambitu.
Thanks God we didn’t even stay for 24 hours in Bima and Lambitu hotel. Since our ferry was supposed to leave at 8 am, we had to leave Bima as early as 5 am , because there’s still about an hour and a half drive to get to Sape. And, guess what!? Got to Sape harbour around 7nish there was no sign of the ferry! Then we were informed that the ferry was still in Labuan Bajo and wouldn’t get to Sape until 4pm!! Ffs&$#+#*!!!!!! We were speechles!!
Luckily somehow my hubby managed to call the dive shop in Labuan Bajo (that we were staying in later) and they suggested us to go to this nice dive resort about 30 minutes drive from Sape, to kill time while waiting for the stupid ferry. It took us more than 30 minutes because we got lost and there wasn’t a proper sign to this resort. Finally we got to the resort and it was a really nice place to hang out and stay. The owners, a Canadian couple, were very friendly. But Guess what? The owner managed to get us a fast boat to Labuan Bajo that got us there in only 2.5 hours instead of 8 hours by the slow ferry. Yaaaaayy, we were so blessed!!!
So, after a nice swim, a play on the paddle board and a yummy lunch, off we went to Labuan Bajo on a fast and flash (for us) dive boat which zipped through the beautiful Komodo islands.
And that’s the end of our Sumbawa trip! What an experienced! I’m so grateful that we were all safe and sound. Kids were excellent which was also a bonus. Some parts of Sumbawa are really remote and beautiful but some parts are not so nice.
See you in Labuan Bajo!