Labuan Pandan

Labuan Pandan

Great offshore islands

If you’re circumnavigating Lombok, then next stop once you blow out of Senaru is Labuan Pandan, a fishing hamlet so small it’s barely a village. It nevertheless boasts three places to stay, some pretty black-sand beach and some pristine, excellent snorkelling off the clutch of islands that rest just off Lombok’s northeast coast.

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The islands curve around the northeast coast of Lombok, with the two largest, Gili Lawang and Gili Sulat, found about an hour to the north by boat from Labuhan Pandan. A cluster of smaller islands about 30 minutes to the south include the quite popular Gili Kondo (also referred to as Gili Lampu).

On the way to Gili Kondo.

Gili Lawang and Gili Sulat are given over primarily to mangroves and have little in the way of beaches—we were told Gili Sulat has no beaches at all, while Gili Lawang has just a couple of small stretches—but some very good snorkelling lies off both of them. We were lucky enough to spot two eagle rays and a beautiful yellow-head moray eel off the channel reef between the two islands—the rays were an absolute highlight! An elevated mangrove walkway crosses Gili Sulat, but the old wooden walkway has collapsed—it was in the process of being redone (seemingly very slowly) in concrete when we visited. Once finished, according to our guide, you’ll be able to walk right across the island.

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