Tuesday, 17 May 2016

FAQ on Hiking @ Mt Rinjani, Lombok, Indonesia

My friends and I recently embarked on a 3 days 2 night hiking trip up Mount Rinjani @ Lombok, Indonesia and I've been bombarded with questions from friends and family who are keen on taking up the challenge to scale Rinjani. Here's a list of FAQ I've receive & deemed useful for those of you who are interested in hiking Rinjnai!

Was it a leisure hike?

If you are a super hardcore hiker and have a godlike fitness level (like those Rinjani porters and guides), then yes.
Photo Credit: @amirulashrafpj
The hike up Mt Rinjani was challenging but accessible for those moderately fit. The elevation of Mt Rinhani is 3,726m at the peak.
Photo Credit: @amirulashrafpj
Please do undergo proper training before scaling Rinjani. My friends and I hiked Rinjani without much proper training but we all managed made it to the peak (we all live a moderately active lifestyle and we do sports at least two or three times a week), but oh boy, it was a mentally and physically challenging hike.
#TeamPowerpuffGirls | Photo Credit: @amirulashrafpj

Hmm, is it possible to do a hike with a shorter/longer duration?

Sure! Most guided tour offer hiking package from 2~4 days (and some even up to a week!)

I would recommend the 4 days 3 nights package to those who are moderately fit, and the 3 days 2 night if you're above moderately fit.
The route we took
We did not complete the 3 days 2 night hike entirely (even though we reached the peak) as we descended from the peak tad too late (we had to reach our camp site @ Sembalun Crater Rim before 9am to proceed our journey to the lake) and most of us were exhausted so we unanimously agreed to descend the same way we ascended - basically taking the same route as the 2 days 1 night hike but at a more leisurely pace.

You can refer to this page for the different routes available at Rinjani.

What to expect from the hike?

Photo Credit: @amirulashrafpj
No proper shower (except for rain showers). Toilet "close to nature". About 20 hours of hike for the 3 days 2 night package. Beautiful night sky. Countless shooting stars. Cool & fresh mountainous air. Amazing sunrise. Narnia-like scenery. Friendly hikers. Lots of joker lying to you on how much longer till you reach the next campsite.
Sunrise on the way to the peak of Rinjani
Photo Credit: @amirulashrafpj

Whut. So...tell me about the toilets.

At the camp site the porter will dig a hole and set up a portable, make-shift toilet for our convenience. However,in the event of answering the call of nature during your hike, you will have to do so behind a bush/tree/rock.

There were cubicles at some of the rest stops but it was really badly maintained, unfortunately.

Where did you stayed the night?

Photo Credit: @amirulashrafpj
Our day one campsite at Sembalun Crater Rim.
Amazing view from my camp
At night the temperature drops to about 10 degree Celsius so do bring along warm clothing!

Tell me about your toughest moment throughout the hike!
The four hours hike up the peak from Sembalun Crater Rim. We had to wake up at 2am for our hike up the summit.
Photo Credit: @amirulashrafpj
At this particular stretch, for every two steps up , we would fall one step down due to the loose volcanic ashes terrain. It was really mentally challenging as I was having a flu and a stomachache at the same time. Whenever I feel like giving up I just look up to the beautiful night sky, take a 5 second breather, and move on, and repeat.

Tell me about your most memorable moment of the hike!

There were so many memorable moments but this is certainly my favourite. About 200 more meters to go to reach the peak, and I was completely battered. Our guide ran down from the peak (yes, he can run up and down effortlessly) and told me "20 minit lagi! Tapi kalau aku tarik, 10 minit jer!" (Another 20 more minutes of hike more to go! But if I drag you up, it'll only take us 10 minutes!)

The last 500m stretch to the peak | Photo Credit: @amirulashrafpj
So he just hold my hand and dragged me up the peak LOL.
Photo Credit: @chaaarlie94
Along the hike you'll meet many friendly porters, guides and hikers who would give words of encouragement which was really motivating :")

How much did you pay for your hike?

1.5 Million IDR. Which is approximately MYR450, or USD110.
Our rate was relatively cheap as most foreigners are charged around 2.5-3.5 million IDR (MYR750-1150) . We managed to secure this rate thanks to a friend who had visited Lombok three times & knew a reliable person that arranged the hike for us.

The more people you get to hike with you, the cheaper the price you can get. Here's the contact of the person who arranged our hike & transportation in Lombok: Rijal +62819-0749-3367

What is included for the price you pay?

We used Rinjani Tropis services for our hike and these are the stuffs that are included in the price we paid:

- Guide & Porters
- Entrance Fee to Rinjani
- Meals (2 Breakfast, 3 Lunches, 2 Dinners)
- Tent
- Sleeping Bag
- Hiking Sticks
- Water (With daily refill!)
- Coffee/Tea
- Snacks
- One night stay at Senaru the night prior to the hike
- Airport transfer to Senaru
- Transportation to Sengigi after our hike & to Bangsal jetty on the next day

I would really recommend Rinjani Tropis's services. Our guide, Mr Ijok was one of the friendliest and responsible guide around. He constantly cracked jokes throughout our hike, and he made sure each and every one of us were safe throughout the hike.
Photo Credit: @chaaarlie94
Mr Ijok and his porter also made sure they took all the rubbish down hill and not leave any garbage behind! Most campsites at Rinjani was at a dire state due to rubbish left behind by campers. Please do bring extra garbage bags, be responsible & bring your rubbish down the mountain if you're hiking Rinjani!
Photo Credit: @amirulashrafpj

What do I have to bring for the hike?

- Hiking Shoes
- Change of Clothes & Warm Clothing! (It gets quite chilly at night)
- Windbreaker
- Headlamp
- Sandals/Slippers (Optional)
- Sunblock, Cap (UV ray stronger at the top of the mountain!)
- Wet Wipes or Tissues (Really useful for answering the call of nature in the wild)
- Waterproof bag (weather is rather unpredictable up in the mountains)
- Counterpain / Ibuprofen (in case of muscle sore)
- Electrolyte (in case of muscle cramp)
- Extra snacks if you're a picky eater
- Camera
- Powerbank (don't expect to find a power socket in the wild)

If you're a photography enthusiast don't forget to bring your tripod up to shoot the beautiful night skies!

Bring only necessary stuffs to avoid lugging up extra load up Rinjani. Leave any unnecessary items at the base camp.

It is recommended to tip the porters and guides, after all, they are the ones preparing your meal, carrying your tents & sleeping bags, setting up your tents and making sure you're safe and sound throughout the hike. Try carrying their baskets (which weights more than 20kg!)! Most of the porters carry the weights just on one shoulder, and they hike with flip flops or barefooted!

Do a food review for the food served during the hike!

Mr Ijok was a chef in Bali so the food he cooked was really tasty!
Toast and Fried Biscuits

Vegetable Curry

Do I really need a guide to hike up Rinjani?

"IF you are experienced, well-prepared, very fit, and fully-equipped " 
Source : Lonely Planet
Yes, it is possible to trek without a guide service. However bear in mind you will have to carry your own tents, sleeping bag and food supply etc. Almost everyone we saw was with a guide and porters. Our hiking trip was quite a luxurious and pampered one thanks to the guides and porters. The route up Rinjani is relatively straightforward, however, there have been cases where hikers got lost.

A porter, carrying loads weighting more than 20kg | Photo Credit: @amirulashrafpj

When is the best time to hike Rinjani?

April to November, which is the dry season. Rinjani National Park is off-limit to visitors during wet season (December to March)

Was the hike worth it?
Photo Credit: @amirulashrafpj


Photo Credit: @amirulashrafpj

Any tips/advice for me to hike Rinjani?

If you're planning to slide down Rinjani on your bottom, make sure your pants is thick enough to withstand the friction or you'll end up with a pair of "holey" pants like me. Or at least bring an extra pants in case this happens. #truestory
Sunrise @ The Peak | Photo Credit: @amirulashrafpj
Try to reach the peak before sunrise as it will get really demotivating once the sun is up and you can see how much distance you have to cover before making it to the top....gulp.

If you have any more questions regarding the hike, drop me a comment or an email @ jiaaqi95@gmail.com :)

For more information, visit


which contains many useful information to prepare your hike for Rinjani :D

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