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SOUNDS OF GILI an awareness of global warming...




newyearWelcome to the second issue of The Lombok Guide – Lombok's new tourism paper and your guide to the best that the island has to offer. The Lombok Guide is published on Lombok every fortnight and contains valuable information for all visitors to our magical island. Inside you'll find useful maps to make touring easier, important information about Lombok, plus great discount vouchers for restaurants, hotels and other businesses.

As we go to print on Christmas Eve, Lombok is buzzing with the Christmas spirit. Christmas trees are decorated; turkey, ham, Christmas cakes and puddings are on the menus of the restaurants, and tourists and locals alike are busily trying to decide where best to celebrate Christmas. Later in the week, the menus will change and everyone will start preparing for the biggest and best parties to see in the New Year. For a full preview, see our special New Year section on page 4.

Although it's too late to celebrate Christmas in Lombok, there's still time to hop on a plane and start the New Year in style or, at the very least, make a New Year's resolution to visit Lombok in 2008!

Just 25 minutes by plane from Bali, or a couple of hours by the new fast boat services, Lombok has a wide range of attractions and activities for all types of travellers – whether you're looking for action and adventure, discovering different cultures and traditions, or lazing on perfect beaches in the sun.

Visit the small villages and towns for a look at authentic lifestyles, unchanged by tourism; shop for traditional handicrafts, or witness fascinating dance and musical performances unique to Lombok. Wherever you go, you'll be greeted with smiles and friendly Sasak hospitality.

Delight in clean oceans bordered by lovely sandy beaches, and fringed with coconut palms.  Or visit the famous “Gili Islands” for world-class diving and fantastic snorkelling, boating and water sports.

Stay in opulent luxury, such as the Oberoi Resort, or a quaint thatched bungalow on the beach. Enjoy sumptuous fine dining at Square Restaurant in Senggigi or eat grilled fish on the beach at Gili Meno. Climb the world-famous volcano, Mt Rinjani, or have a massage at the Mandara Spa. Challenge the huge waves of Bangko-Bangko, or have a pedicure on Senggigi Beach. The options are endless. Come and discover the magic of Lombok… like thousands of others, you'll be enchanted!

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With the old year coming to an end and the coming year bright with possibilities, Lombok is a great place to welcome the beginning of 2008.  In this issue we give you the scoop on the best parties and the best places to celebrate the New Year in Lombok!

In Senggigi, most of the larger hotels have special events planned for New Year's Eve. These are perfect for families and guests wanting to celebrate with a special meal and live entertainment in a festive atmosphere.

The Holiday Resort in Mangsit celebrates with a “The Lombok Tempo Doeloe”, (old fashioned) New Year's Eve Party.  Enjoy an International Deluxe Gala Dinner Buffet and be entertained by the live Master Peace Band, and a spectacular modern dance performance, plus win great prizes in the lucky draw. Starting at 7.30pm, tickets are US $65++ per person.

The Senggigi Beach Hotel is having a huge Gala Party on their Sunset Beach. Party on the beachfront with a delicious “East meets West” international buffet dinner and live entertainment. Dance the night away to the live band and witness the fireworks show over the water. There are lots of exciting door prizes to be won, including Garuda airline tickets, accommodation and meals vouchers, and more. Tickets are just Rp 350 000++ per person.

The Sheraton Senggigi Resort also has a special Gala Dinner on the beachfront, with live entertainment, a band and dancing. There are raffles with prizes to be won and a fantastic fireworks show. Price is Rp 1 130 000++ per person.

For those who want to party until dawn, Senggigi's most popular clubs have huge New Year's Eve parties planned.

Marina Café celebrates New Year with their “Absolut Party”, featuring special guest star DJ Bone from Spinach Records in Jakarta. A well-known personality on the Jakarta club scene, DJ Bone will bring the house down with his popular blend of electro, progressive and tech trance. Together with Sexy Naughty Band from Jogjakarta, plus Marina's resident local DJ and sexy dancers live on stage, Marina is set to party all night! Show starts at 9.30pm until 4.00am.

Sahara Club in Senggigi Plaza has a great line up for their New Year's Eve Party, with special guests Zoullata Band from Jakarta and DJ Agus NRG from Surabaya playing great music all night. There's a live floor show by some very sexy dancers from Bali, as well as lots of games to play and prizes to be won. The action starts at 10pm – dance and party 'til you drop!

Gili Trawangan becomes one big party on New Year's Eve and you can easily wander between venues, catching the best of the action at places like Blue Marlin,and Tir Na Nog.

Villa Ombak, the island's largest resort, is celebrating with a “Trawangan Beach Party” on the beachfront. Dine on fresh seafood and delicious creations from their award-winning Executive Chefs, while being entertained by fire dancing, belly dancers and live music. The event culminates with a breath-taking fireworks display.

The Beach House has a “Gourmet Festive New Year's Eve Dinner”, featuring exotic seafood creations, including lobsters, jumbo prawns and fresh oysters specially flown in from Sydney, as well as Rum-soaked Roast Turkey and other delicious selections. Of course there'll be plenty of champagne, wines and cold beers on offer. Wine and dine in style before hitting the late night parties!

Horizontal Lounge is hosting a huge 3 day event, starting on 30 December and continuing until 1 January, to celebrate an environmentally aware New Year (see page 21 for details). Be entertained by top Indonesian DJ's spinning the best mixes on the island and dance on the beach, under the stars!  There'll be plenty of action at Horizontal and on the beachfront – this is an event not to be missed.

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art3If you are in Senggigi any time soon, be sure to check out the new “Artwork Original” exhibition which opened on 22 December at the Senggigi Beach Hotel. Held in the Suranadi Room (just to the right, off reception), the exhibition is open to the public and is well worth visiting.

“Artwork Original” is a collection of paintings by Indonesian artist, David Oamar. Originally from Java, David travelled to Bali before making his home in Lombok around twelve years ago, where he continues to create his fantastic artwork. David's talent was recognised by New Zealander, Peter Turrell, who believes the prolific painter will come to be known as one of the top artists in Indonesia. Peter also lives in Lombok and has been involved with Lombok communities for the past fourteen years, developing the skills of local artisans and helping to export their pottery around the world under the label of “Sasak Pottery”. Working together with Peter, David has developed a unique artistic style that blends both Indonesian and western imagery and techniques.

art2Painting with oil on canvas, David is producing stunning works of art unlike anything available elsewhere in Indonesia. The paintings on display range from well-executed traditional Indonesian scenes through to evocative artistic statements on modern life; and run the gauntlet from abstract, to realism, to portraiture. There are even some humorous, tongue-in-cheek paintings that reflect the East meets West collaboration.

art1The paintings range in price from a low Rp 150 000 up to Rp 18.5 million for the large canvases, with an average price of around Rp 2 million. Sizes range from small 40 cm paintings up to huge 3m canvases, and private commissions are welcomed. David's work already has a keen following in Australia and the artist is equally comfortable doing custom pieces to clients' specifications, portraits and commissions, as well as his own unique creations.

These original pieces would look amazing in any home, and make a great gift or memento of Lombok to take home. The larger canvases are stunning and would be ideal for hotels, villas or any place needing a make an artistic statement. The exhibition runs from 22 December 2007 until 22 January 2008. Viewing times are 9.30am until 12 noon, and 4pm until 8pm. Be sure to visit if you are in the market to purchase some moderately priced individual art, or even if you just have some spare time to spend appreciating some enjoyable local talent.

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surfing_conmpetitionThe first surfing contest by local Senggigi surfing organisation, “Senggigi Surf Rider”, was held over the weekend of 22 and 23 December 2007. The Senggigi Surf Contest was held on the popular surf point in front of the Senggigi Beach Hotel and, despite the lack of large waves, the competition was enthusiastic and attracted a good crowd of both participants and spectators.

Between 70 and 80 contestants competed in three categories: Senior, Junior and Grommets, over the two day event. Surfers ranged in age from the youngest grommet at 11 years, through to 35 years old. There were also categories for the best wave, the best barrel and the favourite surfer.

Local surfers, who formed the Senggigi Surf Rider group on 29 September 2007, organised and financed the contest themselves with funding from the members. All winners received certificates and prizes, including framed surfing photographs donated by local expat surfer, Sid Blade. Organisation Chairman, Nurbaya Sari SH, said that despite miscalculating the size of the waves from information gathered on the internet, the surf was suitable for this type of event and the first contest had been a great success. 

Final category winners were:
Grommets – First, Aditya Hadi Pramana (Didit).  2nd, Dani Abdullah. 3rd, Salim Mahsun. 
Junior – First, Alberto. 2nd, Toni. 3rd, Katek.
Senior – First, Taufan M Nur (Opan). 2nd, M Yusuf Hidayat (Dayat). 3rd, Julkifli (Onk)
Specialist winners – Best Wave: Didit. Favourite Surfer: Opan. Best Barrel: Dayat.

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calendar_2008Lombok has its first-ever calendar, produced on the island and featuring memorable images of Lombok and its people.

“Images of Lombok, 2008 Calendar” was produced by the Rotary Club of Mataram, who started the project as a way to raise funds to support their community programmes in Lombok, having seen similar calendars in other parts of Indonesia. This is the first time a calendar featuring Lombok has been available and the eye-catching design has been enthusiastically greeted by local residents and businesses.

Club President, Howard Singleton said that the Rotary Club had decided to produce a calendar to raise funds, but it was also an effective way to promote Lombok and images were chosen to show Lombok in the best possible light. Club members and friends submitted photographs to help with the creation of the calendar, with the greatest number being supplied by local expat writer and photographer, Sid Blade. Sid and Howard were also instrumental in designing the calendar, along with local graphic designer Royke Gunawan.

The collaborative effort of the three has paid off with an interesting and attractive calendar that features pictures of ceremonies and cultural traditions, local people going about daily life, and beautiful scenes from around Lombok.

The Rotary Club of Mataram is a voluntary, non-profit making Club that raises funds, mainly from overseas, for carrying out community projects in Lombok. In recent years, the Club has built and installed water filters to provide clean water in local villages, provided school toilets, joint-sponsored a dental project for school children, administered the performance of cleft-lip corrective surgery and helped with many other activities in Lombok.

All net proceeds from the sale of the “Images of Lombok” calendar will be used to fund Rotary projects to support the local community in the future. You can purchase a calendar for just Rp 75 000 from The Office Bar and Restaurant in the Pasar Seni, Senggigi, or at the Senggigi Beach Hotel, The Sheraton Senggigi Resort, and other large Senggigi hotels. On Gili Trawangan, the calendar is available at Blue Marlin Dive, Trawangan Dive, Rudy's and from the vendors on the beach.

These calendars make a beautiful gift for friends and a lovely memento of Lombok, as well as being useful in the office or home… plus you'll be helping to support a very worthy cause in Lombok!

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visitlogoFollowing on from our story last issue about the start of “Visit Indonesia Year 2008”, the government has unveiled its advertising slogan for the campaign amidst embarrassment and public calls for the grammatically incorrect slogan to be changed.

The awkward wording, "Visit Indonesia 2008. Celebrating 100 Years of Nation's Awakening", has already been used in a television advert, printed on billboards and government websites, and emblazoned on the sides of aircraft belonging to the national airline, Garuda. To be correct, the word "Nation's" should either be preceded by a definite article, the personal pronoun "our", or be replaced with "National."

Thamrin Bachri, director general for marketing at the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, said the phrase would be changed to "Celebrating 100 Years of National Awakening".

It is not immediately clear how much the slip-up will cost the ministry, but a spokesman for Garuda said that each of the 10 aircraft emblazoned with the slogan cost about US $1 800 to paint.

The 1908 event referred to in the campaign is the founding of Indonesia's first nationalist group, a development hailed here as a key step in the country's eventual independence from Dutch rule in 1945, but a fact few foreigners would know.

Many people have questioned the wisdom of referring to the anniversary at all in a tourist campaign, given that few people outside the country have ever heard of it and would be unlikely to be interested in attending events to mark it anyway.

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism hopes to attract around 7 million visitors in 2008 with its “Visit Indonesia” campaign. Indonesia recorded a 2.38 % drop in foreign tourist arrivals to four million in 2006, while neighbouring Malaysia attracted nearly 18 million the same year, and Thailand lured nearly 14 million.

The Indonesian archipelago boasts an array of attractions and varied cultures across its 17 000 islands, but only drew around 5.5 million tourists in 2007, most to its resort island of Bali. Nearby countries Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia each attract many more, thanks in part to slick advertising campaigns as well as better tourism infrastructure.

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SOUNDS OF GILI an awareness of global warming…

soundsofgiliGili Trawangan is set to experience three huge nights of non stop quality music and raging, from 30 December 2007 until 1 January, 2008, all in aid of raising environmental awareness amongst both Indonesians and travellers.

“Sounds of Gili” is presented by Microchip and Basement House, together with Juice Magazine and many other sponsors, and features a non stop parade of music by some of the hottest DJ's in Indonesia. Hosted by Horizontal Lounge on Gili T, the event will take place at that fantastic venue and the beach in front of Horizontal.

Top DJ's appearing over the three days include Timmy, Regan, Ical (Basement House), Opaz (Houselife), Nyemee, Jody (Evilution), Jana (Horizontal Lounge), Robin (Basement House), Indra7 (Microchip/Digital 6), Alvin K (Microchip/Dafkaf) and Ridwan (Imperial Beat).

The event was born from the imagination of a group of aware Indonesians discussing the current issues of global warming and climate change. Faced with the reality of living in smog-clogged Jakarta and rarely seeing the sun or moon, they realized that they were living with the cause and effect of these climatic disasters in the here and now.

More importantly they realised that, although Indonesia is a vast archipelago with many natural treasures such as the Gilis, these unspoilt islands exist in a fine balance with nature and would be in danger of being lost if global warming was to continue unchecked.

As the next generation, they accept they have a big responsibility in the fight to combat global warming and to educate their peers about the problem. Thus was born the idea to host an event on the Gilis and to introduce people from the city to these beautiful islands, so that they could see for themselves how clean and natural places outside of Jakarta are, and to understand the national treasures they are in danger of losing.

Gili Trawangan was chosen as the venue as it is considered one of Indonesia's best kept secrets and is totally smog-free and pollution-free. Months of planning has made the dream of these forward-thinking Jakartans a reality, thanks to the support of Horizontal Lounge and the Gili T community. A percentage of funds raised will also be donated to the fight against global warming.

Hotels on Gili T are already experiencing high occupancies for New Year and Sounds of Gili organisers have confirmed bookings of over 250 participants from Jakarta, so the event looks to be set for success. If you're lucky enough to be on the Gilis this year, join in to celebrate the New Year in an environmentally friendly way and help raise awareness about global warming while having a great time!

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