Aside from the obvious one these are the dangers of travelling in Lombok.
The most obvious one is going out and surfing shallow reefs when you don’t have the experience to do it. The best way around this is to go with an accredited surfing instructor who can show you the area first before you surf. You can read up on how to find an accredited surf instructor here. We also recommend knowing how to use your board leash as a tourniquet in the event that you have a serious cut which could result in you bleeding out.
Another problem in Indonesia is illegal gold mining. The illegal miners use mercury to leach the gold out of the soil. When it rains all this mercury ends up in the ocean. We’re lucky that in Gerupuk we do not have this – but at other areas like Are Guling – I would not surf there after its rained. The effect that this can have on your brain and on the health of your reproductive organs is well documented.
Crocadiles. Yes Lombok HAD crocodiles. In fact the South Coast of Lombok was home to them before they were culled almost to extinction. A few survive around the Eastern Part of Lombok but they are endangered and barely seen.
Theft is rare in Lombok – however now and again we hear of horror stories of bandits terrorising victims on the back roads. How do you know when you have someone following you? Accelerate on your scooter to go as fast as you can – if the bike behind you is also doing the same thing and repeadly keeping pace with you then this should sound alarm bells in your head. Another scam is bandits pretending to be injured on the road. When you slow down to help they steal from you. In both of these situations go as fast as you can and stop at a place where there are other locals. In the event that you cannot out-ride them – stop and give them everything you have without argument. It’s important to note attacks on tourists in the past with machetes have only occurred because the tourists did not give bandits what they wanted. The good news is that we now have police stations at all of the main intersections around the south coast of Lombok. Our best advice is to always travel in groups of 3, stay close to eachother and avoid night time travel between villages. 1 in the front and two side by side behind them. This way you always have eyes on each-other whilst riding.
Lombok is a tropical island – with it comes the tropical diseases. Ensure before you travel that you get all of your immunisations and carry a travel pack with essentials you require like Diarrhoea tablets and Paracetamol (note paracetamol in Lombok contains sudoephidrene). Its also important to understand the symptoms at the onset of communicable disease and seek help immediately when you suspect you have caught something. When it comes to communicable disease the best tips we have are;
- Don’t do anything which exchanges saliva with locals i.e. drinking form the same bottle.
- Never walk barefoot – a slight cut can lease to infection and disease
- Wear long sleeve clothes whenever you are near freshwater rivers and lakes to reduce the chance of getting bitten by mosquitos (especially in the rainy season).
- Always eat food that you know if safe. How do you know if it is safe? Check out our blog on picking the right street vendor to help you.