Skip to main content

About Lembongan


Welcome to Lembongan, one of three islands found to the South East of Bali, completing the the trio of islands that make up the Penida District. This little archipelago in turn, is part of the Lesser Sunda Islands.

For the technical among us, the exact GPS co-ordinance are  8°40.906′S 115°27.067′E. To make things a little more complicated, administratively Nusa Lembongan actually falls into a sub district of Klungkung, a regency completed by the other two islands of; Penida and Ceningan. Klungkung is also a town, situated in the South East of Bali, for those that need even more confusing stats.

Now that we have familiarized ourselves with the geographical location and governmental control of the island, Lembongan is more commonly known as the ever more popular tropical get away. Lembongan is situated, just a stone’s throw away from the hustle and bustle of Bali.

Separated from the mainland by the 12km Badung Strait, the island is approximately 8km2, with the Bali Sea to the North and the Indian Ocean to the South. The Journey across is but an easy 30-minute speedboat ride from Sanur, and can also be reached from Padang Bai, on Bali.

When arriving on the beach, one will notice little to no difference in the local culture, traditions and day to day goings on due the Lembonganese being Hindu. This being said there will be one big difference which is evident within the first barefoot step onto the soft white sand. To date there are no Hawkers nor overzealous locals to taint the spectacular backdrop and paradise that is. Even on first glance, one will take in the alluring crystal blue waters and magnificent greenery of the luscious hillsides the island has to offer.

Nusa Lembongan from Google - About Lembongan


With currents pulling water from both the Bali Sea and the Indian Ocean the biodiversity of the local waters is overwhelmingly teaming with life. Bustling healthy coral reefs filled with a broad spectrum of colourful reef fish in every direction and several sites that boast a 70% chance of seeing manta rays. This rich environment makes Lembongan an ideal destination for keen snorkelers and scuba divers alike.

Even with a growing population of different dive schools, the dive sites are yet to be overcrowded, allowing one to really appreciate the pristine underwater world surrounding the atoll. These waters still remain one of the few places in the world to offer great chances of spotting the Mola (Mola Ramsey) in certain seasons.

Upon first impressions, the island appears a perfect destination to put one’s feet up, relax and soak up the sun while shedding the busyness, one might be feeling from their stop on the mainland. This is in fact, perfectly correct but for those that wish to dig deeper and scratch beneath the surface there is much to do and learn.

Nudibranch - About Lembongan

Manta Rays - About Lembongan

Reef - About Lembongan

Lembongan Village - About Lembongan

Jungut Batu - About Lembongan

Mangrove - About Lembongan


The island is traditionally divided into two villages. Jungut Batu (Mountain spur stone) and Lembongan village. Both villages have their own separate banjars (groups). According to the last census, which was way back in 2009 the permanent population was estimated to be 5,000, so one’s guess would now be over 6,000.

Traditionally the language spoken is a slight dialect of Balanese with Bahasa Indonesia being a distant second. This being the case, with tourism growing year on year, English is widely spoken and understood ranging from broken to fluent.

Attached to Jungut Batu is one of the biggest attractions on the island; the Mangroves. This covers an area of 212 hectares, which can be explores by boat or SUP. Mangroves are salt-tolerant trees, also called halophytes, and are adapted to live in harsh coastal conditions.

Mangroves contain a complex salt filtration system and complex root system to cope with salt water immersion and wave action. They have adapted to the low oxygen (anoxic) conditions of waterlogged mud. This creates an enormous nursery for thousands of reef fish and other marine animals.

Moving into the main town that is Jugut batu which is situated in the Northwest and traditionally attracted the surfers and backpacker travelers. You will find an abundance of homestays in this area. These range from the cheap traditional, to modern new builds filled with all the mod cons of aircon, tv etc.

With the recent expansion of the island you will find a myriad of eateries which, again range from Nasi Bunkus (local takeaway rice dish) to fine dining run by a formerly Michelin star chef. For those that wish to indulge fully, it is recommended you explore the windy little gangs that run behind the town. There you will still to feel the echos of what the island once was before the transition to a ‘Holiday getaway’.

Local vendors and tradesmen are still to be found selling their wares and engaged in their labour, remaining an integral cog of the self-sustaining indigenous community. Even to this day with the predominant business being tourism, pockets of provincial life still exists and continues on, side by side with an evolving world. To find the more luxurious and up market establishments in Jungut Batu you only need to take a short walk south to The Bukit (the hill)

The Locals:

The main Population is to be found in Lembongan Village, which is located in the South of the island. It is here where you will find the biggest congregation of local homes belonging to traditional island families.

As time has passed, small Warungs have started to open and remain locally owned and run, so if local food is on your list it can be found here. In the centre of the village an enormous Banyan tree grows proudly, surrounded by family temples.

In Hinduism, the leaf of the banyan tree is said to be the resting place for the god Krishna. Be not surprisingly, when you see the base of the large trees are wrapped in holy cloth. This highlights its significance, as Balinese people believe spirits and demon inhabit the large trees. Older banyan trees are characterized by their aerial prop roots that grow into thick woody trunks which, with age, can become indistinguishable from the main trunk.

The village is also home to the Gala Gala; an underground house. The cave like house was built by Made Byasa. Made was a farmer, dancer and Mangku Dalang (puppet shadow performer). Due to his profession as a Dalang, he got inspired by one of Mahabharat episodes, “Wana Parwa”; the twelve years in exile in the forest.

In the story Pandawas decided to build a cave, Gala-gala, to protect his family from Korawas. who wanted to find and kill all of Pandawas’s family. Using only simple tools such as hammer and chisel, Byasa started digging in his own yard in 1961. In 1976, a 500-square meter labyrinth was completed with a complex web of tunnels connecting a meditation room, bedroom, bathroom, dining room, living room and kitchen. To find out the true reason why Made Byasa undertook this task, the tour will tell all.

Ceremony - About Lembongan

Seaweed Farms:

In Lemboangan’s more recent history, you will have heard that the island became a seaweed farming island. This unfortunately is a bygone era and finished up in 2015. Many farms were located on the coastlines, with most of the seaweed destined for Asian cosmetics.

One of the main reasons named for its demise, was the growing tourist trade and its by-products finding their way into the shallow waters, hindering the growth of the seaweed. On the positive note, many of the farmers have found jobs in the tourist trade, which for their families is much more lucrative and far more sociable hours.

Some tours from Lembongan village are still available, which will teach you all you need to know about the trade.

Seaweed Farm - About Lembongan


On your wonders around the village it is possible to come across locals gambling on a cockfight. Cockfights, which in Balinese are known as tajen, meklecan or ngadu, are required at temple and purification (mecaru) ceremonies.

No one knows when they started. The Tabuh Rah ritual – which is to expel evil spirits –  always has a cockfight to spill the blood. Tabah Rah literally means pouring blood. There are ancient texts disclosing that the ritual has existed for centuries.

It is mentioned in the Batur Bang Inscriptions 1, from the year 933 and the Batuan Inscription from the year 944 (on the Balinese calendar). The blood of the loser spills on the ground, an offering to the evil spirits. Three cockfights are necessary for this purpose. Only men participate. Women do not even watch.

Twin Island Villas:

Take a short ride up into the hills to Ancak and you will find the home of Twin Island  Villas. This is still a very much undisturbed part of Lembongan and is steeped with local vibes; most of the village are family.

The Dive resort is embedded into the hillside overlooking the the Ceningan strait with magnificent views reaching to Penida. This is also where you can steal your first glimpse of the famous Yellow Bridge.

Twin Island Villas - About Lembongan

The Yellow Bridge:

The iconic Yellow bridge that connects the two islands of Lembongan and Ceningan was recently re-built after the tragic events on Oct 16 2016. During the ceremony of Nyepi Laut the bridge was overcrowded with locals, causing it to collapse. This tragedy, ended up taking nine lives and injuring more than 30 others.

Showing true grit, they started rebuilding just days after and in only a few months the bigger and stronger bridge was completed in the very spot the predecessor had stood for 30 years.

This new structure, also known as ‘Bridge of love’ (Jembatan Cinta) lays out at 140 meters long and 1.8 meters wide and costed 3.4 billion IDR. It was officially opened with a Hindu ceremony on 25th February 2017.

Yellow Bridge - About Lembongan

Little Planet - About Lembongan