WHEN IN KUTA LOMBOK:
- In Restaurants
Be polite. People here, eat when hungry. So when a group orders food, they may not get their meals all at the same time. Many warungs only have a small cooking space so can’t make all the food at once. Ask the Wait staff to repeat your order so you get the right food as our accents can be tricky for locals to understand. Service may not be perfect. PLEASE: if lighting up a smoke think, would I do this at home when people are still eating? If not. Don’t do it here.
- In Public
It’s fine to wear your board shorts or bikini at the beach but when you leave the beach, cover up. Think “would I walk around the streets at home dressed like this”? If not. Don’t do it here. Lombok is a tolerant island, but it is Moslem, so show respect. Evenings out at a bar, dress however you like. Everywhere you go, Keep Valuables safe, just as you do at home.
- At a Locals home
If you are lucky you may be asked to come for coffee to a local’s home. Please remove your shoes before entering their house.
If asked for a meal bring some sugar, or coffee, or rice. Something.
- Government Offices
If you have to go to a government office to extend your visa, or a notary to sign papers, then you may be turned away if you are not dressed appropriately. Females cover shoulders and wear a dress to your knees or long pants, or sarong. Men shirt and long Pants.
- Driving in Lombok
The rules are not easy to figure out. It may be better to consider hiring a car and driver. Especially if you do not have insurance. Roundabouts. Yes the rule is the same as most western countries, BUT in Kuta many locals go around the wrong way or straight through. So be always watching and don’t start driving like a local. Motorbikes will weave around you left and right and will pass you on the right as they are about to turn left. Often No indicators on or indicating left and then turning right. It’s scary. Talking about scary…
- Hiring a motorbike
Most hotels, homestays, hire bikes. If you hire a bike from them you may have less problems. Photograph any dents or scratches on the bike so you will not be blamed for them. Where ever you go, LOCK your bike, just like you would at home. There have been incidents in recent history where people hire you a bike, then someone follows. After you have parked and locked the bike, they use another key, drive off and you are left paying the cost of a “stolen” bike. Less likely if you hire from your hotel or homestay. If you do damage the bike, you will have to pay to have it fixed. Many People here are not rich. They don’t have insurance for bike hire, so you will be liable for the cost of repairs.
SUMMARY: If you encounter a problem anywhere, stay calm, don’t yell to sort it out. If you are polite, dress appropriately, drive safely and defensively, keep your valuables safe, relax about your meals and service, you will love your time in Kuta and you might not want to leave.