Nusa Lembongan is an island located southeast of Bali and part of a group of three islands including Nusa Penida and Nusa Ceningan. Nusa Lembongan is the most touristic place among the three, so do not expect a no man’s land there. Anyways, it remains a pretty island to stop by for few days.
The trip from Bali to Nusa Lembongan
To reach Nusa Lembongan, we took the transportation package of our hostel in Seminyak, Capsule Hotel New Seminyak. It cost us 400 Rp (28 €) per person, including the taxi, the speed boat, the transfer to our hotel and the round-trip. It took us 3 hours from the hostel in Seminyak to Nusa Lembongan island (40 min. of taxi from Seminyak to Sanur, 1 hour wait for the speed boat, 1 hour’s journey by speed boat). Concerning the speed boat, you sometimes need the stomack to bear it, especially if you are not used to taking boats like me. Not only this is hell fast but also they drive it without paying any attention to the violent whirlpool. When getting in the boat and getting off, your astonished eyes will admire the crazy (lack of ?) organization of the staff. As there are no hulks on the beach, the boats moore unsteadily. So, the staff helps everyone to get in and off to avoid any possible accidents due to waves on the shore and has to carry everybody’s luggage.
Staying at Bungalow No 7 in Nusa Lembongan
Bungalow No 7 is the hotel we stayed at. It is located 2 min-walk from the place where the boats moore. This is a nice hotel for couples and families although a bit expensive if you want to travel on budget. You have air-con in all rooms and depending on the standing of your room, you can get hot water and/or a view on the beach. The price of our room was 27 € per night. Among facilities available, you have free wifi (even if it is generally not working), free breakfast every morning and a cool swimming pool facing the beach.
The staff was friendly but definitely lacked of organization. One example among others, when we checked in, they did not have any information about our reservation on booking.com. So, they put us in a lower standard room than the one we booked on first night and moved us to the good room the day after.
What we liked in Bungalow No 7
- The location of the hotel on Jungut Batu Beach
- The rooms are big
- The swimming pool facing the beach
- Eating the breakfast every morning staring at the ocean and watching nice sunsets from the terrace
- Motorbike rental at the hotel
What we disliked in Bungalow No 7
- The lack of organization of the staff
- The food of the restaurant (except for the nasi goreng and the mie goreng)
- If you don’t get the room facing the beach, it is sorely lacking light
What to do in Nusa Lembongan
We would first recommend you to to rent a motorbike and explore the island. Especially if you want to see more of the local life and get away from the resorts shore. Even though Nusa Lembongan is a small island, it is definitely crowded with tourists. Of course, it was far less crowded than Seminyak on Bali, but do not expect a desert island either. Here is the list of places we visited on the island.
Up the hill, you can access Dream Beach. This is a beautiful small beach where you can lay back and jump in the waves. But be careful with the strong currents.
Only a yellow bridge separates Nusa Lembongan from Nusa Ceningan. You can easily drive there and tour the island. However, we did not find so many interesting things to see or do there. At least, we could enjoy a pleasant view on the low-tide sea and the seaweed underwater. Also, we found it very cool to drive around to get there.
We would recommend you also to go to Mushroom beach and if you are interested about this kind of activities, the locals do their best (to harassment sometimes !) to sell you the Mangrove tour and the snorkeling point. We did not really enjoy the snorkeling point as you don’t see many fishes underwater and the water is not so clear. Have we just been unlucky on that day ? Maybe.
Where to eat on Nusa Lembongan ?
Bali Eco Deli
We loved this place ! Bali Eco Deli is a cosy café located on the main road of the island. They are healthy-centric and vegan-oriented, so you can eat salads, fruits, home-baked bread, freshly prepared smoothies etc… Our top food were the Purple Boost Smoothie and – oh God ! – the Banana bread with nuts and the Dark chocolate brownie ! We were going there everyday for lunchtime. You get the relax atmosphere, freshy food and… a free high-speed wi-fi connection (which is essential for us to run this blog of course).
The Deck Café is a cool place to eat for lunch and dinner time, but super expensive compared to indonesian prices. You can enjoy a lounge atmosphere with deep-house music in the background and a superb view on the ocean. We recommend you to eat their pizzas and drink a smoothie !
Our overall opinion about Nusa Lembongan
We really enjoyed our time in Nusa Lembongan because our hotel was very well located and pleasant. We also had a warm and sunny weather everyday (sometimes we got some sudden downpour, but this is so typical in Indonesia that we stopped paying a real attention to it). Driving around the island is very cool and even though it starts to be polluted by mass tourism, you can still relax on this island and enjoy the beaches. We were just very disappointed by the fact that most of the hotels are located face to the beach but built on tar. Tar is not aesthetic at all and that kills the beach. Moreover, there are moored boats all along Jungut Batu beach. Consequently, you see few tourists enjoying the sea, as they almost left no place for tourists to swim on this main beach. We all spend more time enjoying our swimming pools rather than the beach before our eyes, which is a real pity ! One of the big plague of the island with the tar are stray dogs ! They are everywhere and they scared us like hell. One night three stray dogs followed us from the beach to our room door ! It was very scary as we knew they could be dangerous. We tried to ignore them (well, to pretend that we ignored them) but that was a scary experience even though nothing happened to us. As a result, I could not walk peacefully anymore and even less at night, so we were riding about all the time with the motorbike. In a nutshell, do not expect a paradise island and everything is overpriced given the offers. Anyway, Nusa Lembongan is a stopover that we definitely recommend you to shun the overcrowded Bali.