Nusa Lembongan is an island located southeast coast of Bali. Becoming one of Bali's most popular destinations, this island paradise is a world away from the hassle and hectic pace of South Bali. This is a fine place where you can find enjoyment, peace and relax. Main activities include surfing, diving and snorkeling. The water is some of the clearest you will find anywhere, and a vivid aqua blue in color.
Geographically, Nusa Lembongan is an island approximately 8 square kilometers and about twelve kilometers the island is separated from Bali by Badung Strait. The island is one of three neighboring islands, the others are Nusa Penida and Nusa Ceningan. Nusa Lembongan is beautiful surrounded by coral reefs with white sand beaches and low limestone cliffs. Many areas around the island are good for diving and snorkeling, with abundant marine life and healthy coral. Surfing can get a bit crowded, but the waves are good. There are several white sand beaches away from the main centers which are virtually never crowded. There is a flourishing and well established seaweed farming industry here, and many visitors find it interesting to learn about this.
Culture and economy in Nusa Lembongan that the local Lembonganese are Hindu and visitors will notice little or no difference from the prevailing culture on the Bali mainland. You may be able to catch a cock fight, look out for a crowd of local men. This generates a lot of excitement on this island. And the economy is largely tourism-based and Nusa Lembongan is the only one of the three neighboring islands to have any significant tourism-based infrastructure. There is also subsistence agriculture and fishing on the island and a seaweed farming micro-industry.
Nusa Penida is the largest of three islands of the south eastern coast of Bali, the others being Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan. The island is some 200 square kilometres, it is much larger than the better known Nusa Lembongan. However, tourist infrastructure is very limited here. It is, though, an island of stunning natural rugged beauty, and tourism-related development plans have been rumoured and mooted to no effect for many years now. Nusa Penida covers a wide area of diving locations, including Penida Bay, Batu Lumbung (Manta Point), Batu Meling, Batu Abah, Toya Pakeh and Malibu Point. Nusa Penida, and neighbouring Lembongan and Ceningan islands, is an island-wide bird sanctuary.The islands' communities have used traditional Balinese village regulations to create the sanctuary.
Nusa Ceningan is the tiny island between Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida, which is easily reached via the suspension bridge on foot or by bicycle/motorbike. There is a notable surf break off Nusa Ceningan which attracts some surfers away from the more crowded breaks on Nusa Lembongan. Otherwise the island offers some scenic roads and paths, and the westward views back over Nusa Lembongan to Bali are impressive. Viewing the sunset over Bali from the central Ceningan ridge is very much worth the effort. The estuarine channel between Lembongan and Ceningan is home to many seaweed farms.
Lombok's most popular tourist destination, the Gili Islands came to the attention of the wider world as a backpacker mecca in the 1980s and 1990s. Gili Islands consist of Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air. Gili Trawangan (Terawangan), or simply Gili T, is the largest and most visited of the three Gili Islands off Lombokk, known as party island. Fast boat services are the quickest and most direct way to travel to the Gili Islands from Bali. There are now numerous direct boat services from Bali to the Gilis, all of which continue onto the main island of Lombok. On Gili Trawangan (as well as the other two Gilis), there are no motorised vehicles. The main means of transportation are bicycles (rented by locals to tourists) and cidomo (a small horse-drawn carriage). For travelling to and from each of the Gilis, locals usually use motorised boats and speedboats.
Gili Air is the smallest of the Gilis and it's closest to the Lombokmainland, making it popular with honeymoon couples and travelers seeking a quiet retreat. It has population of about 1,000 and administratively lies in the West Nusa Tenggara province. The island offers excellent snorkeling and SCUBA diving off its east coast, and turtles can be seen along the coral reef.
Gili Meno is the middle of Lombok's three northwest coast Gilis. The main income comes from tourism, coconut plantation and fishing. Gili Meno has swimming beaches all around the island, and a bird sanctuary. The island attracts fewer tourists than Gili Trawangan and is the quietest and smallest of the islands. However, honeymooners are often drawn to the crystal clear water and idyllic, secluded white beaches.
Padangbai is a small town in eastern Bali, Indonesia nearCandidasa. It serves as a ferry port for travel to Lembar on Lombok,The Gilis and other of the Lesser Sunda Islands. It is also a lovely beach town that is popular with those who prefer a small town atmosphere over the large scale beach party that is Kuta. Most visitors to Padang Bai are there to catch a boat to Lombok and sadly miss out on a charming little place in its own right. People who do give it a chance often cancel their trip in order to spend more time in this lovely village. Spending a night or two here will certainly not be time wasted.
There is good diving and snorkeling in the immediate area, and a number of operators are present to cater for those activities. This is also a fairly convenient base from which to explore some of the wider attractions of East Bali. Accommodation tends to be quite basic and aimed at the backpacker market, but there are more upmarket options in town. It's a great place to relax, enjoy the beach and eat fish!