Getting Around

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Taxis are easily available in Lombok and unlike in other areas of Asia, all use their meters (argo) to calculate fares, so there is no need to haggle a price. Bluebird taxis (light blue color) are the largest company in Lombok and you will find them in the cities and around tourist areas such as Senggigi. Lendang Karun Taxis (white cars) are also available, mainly in the cities.

Taxis will take you to any area, including to Kuta or Lembar and Bangsal Harbours it's even possible to use taxis for day trips. If you are shopping, or want the taxi to wait, ask the driver to keep the meter running. Fares are comparatively low and waiting time is very inexpensive. Generally a taxi around the Senggigi to Mataram, around Rp 65.000. Phone for a taxi or ask your hotel to arrange one for you, or flag one down on the street. Make sure the driver starts the meter when you get in.

Cars and Motorbikes can be hired in Lombok and driving yourself is easy. Cars drive on the left hand side of the road (as in the UK). Modern, air conditioned cars that comfortably seat 5 people including the driver can be hired for between Rp 250 - 350.000 per day, including basic insurance. Motorbikes are the most popular form of transport and are generally small, light 125cc bikes with automatic gears. Modern and economical motor scooters, such as a Yamaha Mio or Honda, are easy to ride and do not have gears. Expect to pay between Rp 35 - 60.000 per day for motorbike rental, depending on age and type. Both require an international drivers licence.

Tour are readily available in all the tourist areas and drivers and guides are licensed by the local Kotasi (tour organisation) who also regulate prices in the industry. Most tour operators are reliable and will have a wealth of local knowledge, which can make touring a more rewarding experience. It is also the most comfortable way to explore the island, as you have time to sit back and observe, rather than negotiating traffic and unfamiliar roads. Popular tours, such as day trips to Sendang Gile waterfall, or to Kuta and the south coast, are structured to take in a full day of sightseeing. Tours cost between Rp 350 - 700.000 a day for a driver and an air conditioned vehicle for up to 4 passengers depending on distance and the length of the tour.

Cidomo (pronounced chi doh moh) are traditional horse drawn carts that were once the main form of transport in Lombok and are still used today, although they have been replaced by cars and motorbikers in the cities. The covered wooden carriages are pulled by small local ponies and in villages and at the local markets in Kebun Roek, they are popular transport, particularly for carting goods. Use cidomo for short trips, such as getting to restaurants and hotels around Senggigi. Negotiate the fare with the driver before climbing in a short trip should cost no more than Rp 10.000.

Bemo (pronounced be moh) are generally small minibuses used as public transport in towns and cities. The small versions used in villages are vans with an open back and seats along each side. They are useful for making short trips along designated routes, such as from Mangsit to Senggigi. Flag down a passing bemo from the side of the road and climb on board press the button on the ceiling when you want to stop and get off. Short hops should cost around Rp 5.000. These bemo can also be chartered for your private use negotiate a fare with the driver for a direct trip to a specific location, without stopping to pick up other passengers. Be aware that, unless you know approximately how much the trip should cost, the wily drivers will probably cheat you it may be cheaper (and more comfortable) to catch a taxi.

In the cities, large bright yellow bemo travel the routes from Ampenan to Mataram, Mataram to Cakra, and beyond. You will see them cruising the streets, horns beeping as they pick up and drop off passengers. Be wary of pickpockets on city bemo. If you are travelling between the cities, you will need to change bemo, as each serves only one area. If you are in doubt, watch other passengers to see where they transfer between bemo and how much they are paying. Fares between cities are around Rp. 5000.


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