I could easily spend all day just sitting on the main street in Lembongan village and watch the goings-on. For a small island village, there are so many characters and things to see. And if you are visiting Lembongan, you must do a village tour – it gives you the best sense of what village life is really like on a small tropical island.
The day starts very early with ceremonies and going to the markets to collect fresh vegetables and fish. I often walk through Lembongan village early and love watching everyone choosing the best ingredients for the day. Sometimes I’ve been lucky enough to witness the early morning ceremonies, peaceful and quiet, a beautiful Hindu practice.
Children start school very early so it’s normal to see them all immaculately dressed by 6am and heading to one of the schools on the island. You can’t help but smile and laugh as you walk past the school ground and they all yell out “Pagi” or “Hello Ibu”…and then run off to play again.
Further into the village and the shops are all opening and everyone is heading off to work. There are a few places along the main road I like to stop that sell great fruit and super strong Bali coffee which I love. So I take my coffee down to the seaweed farms, or at least the steps near them, and sit and watch the process of the seaweed farmers.
Easily the hardest job on the island, these farmers (men and women), work according to the tides, harvesting the seaweed when it’s ready and the tides are right, and drying the seaweed when the weather allows it, often under shelter or tarpaulin. There is one lady who I could sit and chat with for hours. There is a slight language barrier but somehow we manage to work out how to chat using bits of English and Indonesian and hand signals.
I then like to walk along to what I call the ‘port’, the main stopping spot between Lembongan and Ceningan. The loss of the bridge, and the terrible loss of lives, has changed the ‘port’ forever but it’s a testament to the strength of the people as they continue with their daily work and have adapted to not having the bridge. Boats going in between the two islands are now the only form of transport until the bridge is re-built.
There are so many things to see and do around the island, like visiting the underground house in the village, snorkelling around the island, diving, sailing between the islands, or just enjoying stunning views on the beach. So make sure you book a village tour and organise some snorkelling or diving when you visit Lembongan and stay at Hai Tide Beach Resort – the staff all live on Lembongan and love telling you about their stunning island home!