Lombok – an island east of Bali, but less famous than its neighbor. While every year millions of tourists are attracted to Bali, many places on Lombok are still untouched. Over here mass tourism is unknown. Lombok offers many empty and often isolated dream beaches, friendly and interesting people, tasty food and fantastic nature.
Along the south coast of the beautiful island of Lombok lies a long and wide stretch of white sand beach facing the pristine aquamarine glistening seas of the Indian Ocean. The beach is known by the local people as the Bay of Aan, or Tanjung Aan located in the Mandalika area in the district of Central Lombok.
“Discovered” by surfers, Tanjung Aan boasts a swathe of a 2 kilometers long white sand beach. Uniquely, the beach has two different types of sand, more eastward the sand is like little round white pepper grains whereas further west it is as soft as sugar. Under the hot noonday sun the beach is quite empty visited only by villagers waiting under the trees for the few tourists who pass by.
But this tranquil rural scene is soon to change as the government has earmarked the Mandalika area to become an integrated international resort complete with luxury hotels, roads, and modern facilities.
In fact, this is believed to be the abode of the Lombok princess called Mandalika, who tragically threw herself into the sea when she was forced to wed a man she refused to marry. She ran up the hill by the Aan beach, now called Mandalika hill, then plunged herself into the deep sea to disappear, only to reappear every year as sea worms that surface in the millions providing nutrition to her people. Every year around February, for as yet some unknown reason, millions of sea worms appear along the southern coasts of Lombok, Sumbawa and Sumba.
Today, from the top of the Mandalika hill you can overlook the huge and still unfathomable Indian Ocean, where the sea changes color from transparent turquoise to bright blue then to dark blue where the ocean floor drops into a deep valley. This part of Lombok is ideal for the cultivation of pearls, and indeed it is along this coast where Lombok’s famous varied colored pearls are being farmed.
How to get there
Tanjung Aan and Mandalika are located just south of the new Bali International Airport which was moved from the old airport at Selaparang on the West side of Lombok. Taxis are available at the airport. Kuta Beach Lombok is around 11 km from the airport
From Mataram, the beach of Tanjung Aan is 75 km. from the capital city of Lombok, travelling east then south east. On the way, take time to visit the traditional Lombok village of Sade, which lies conveniently on the way.
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