Selong Belanak Beach
A hidden gem of a beach in central Lombok, Selong Belanak has a long stretch of soft, flour-like, white sand ringed by green hills. A small island dots the center of the semi-circular bay, and the whole area is picturesque and tranquil. Although rising in popularity, the beach is commercially undeveloped for the most part and maintains its local character. It’s a family-friendly environment that’s great for sunbathing, swimming, and strolling. The clear azure bay has gentle waves perfect for the novice surfer. It's located about two hours south of Mataram, or 30 minutes west of Kuta Lombok.
The southern end of the beach is home to the local fishing village. Watch as numerous fishing boats go about their business. It is possible to make arrangements to go fishing with the locals. Otherwise, one can simply wander and get a sense of daily life in a Sasak village. There is a clutch of warungs on the beach here, with fresh fish from the grill and fish sate. The fish is generally cleaned in salt water and cooked without adornment, although spicy sambal is a recommended addition. Once a day you’ll see the unusual sight of a farmer walking a herd of cattle along the beach. Accommodations can be found in this area, but are somewhat limited to homestays and pricey villas. Most visitors to the area stay in nearby Kuta.
The central and northern parts of the beach are open for setting up blankets. Chairs and umbrellas may be hired at several stalls and warungs. The water is clean and good for swimming. Surfboard rental and lessons are available for those who would like to learn how to carve on forgiving “baby waves.”
The bay faces the Indian Ocean and is surrounded by a chain of hills. The view is certainly irresistible, and climbing one of the unchallenging hills at either end of the nearly mile-long (1-km) beach offers delightful panoramas.
The beach can become quite crowded during holiday or high seasons, but the lack of modern amenities and development allows it to maintain much of its “hidden beach” charm. The softness and texture of the white sand is unusual for beaches here — so much so that Selong Belanak is also called “Hawaii Beach” by locals and tourists alike.