Lombok is an island in the West Nusa Tenggara province of Indonesia. It is part of the chain of the Lesser Sunda Islands, with the Lombok Strait separating it from Bali to the west and the Alas Strait between it and Sumbawa to the east.
As beguiling, beach-blessed and downright blissful as its near neighbour Bali, Lombok is now much more than just a surfers’ paradise.
Lombok boasts untouched, pristine beaches, a big volcano, Mount Rinjani, and a huge variety of different landscapes and sceneries. The island of Lombok offers the most complete escape from the hustle and the bustle of towns. Tourist activity is confined to Senggigi, Kuta Lombok, and Gili islands, but even these places are low key compared with most part of Bali. The rest of the island is ripe for exploration.
Lombok is known for beaches and surfing spots, particularly at Kuta and Banko Banko (in south Lombok). The motor-vehicle-free Gili Islands (Gili Trawangan, Gili Air and Gili Meno), off Lombok’s west coast, offer more beaches, reefs for diving and snorkeling, and a sea turtle hatchery.
West Lombok (Bangsal, Lembar, Mataram, Tanjung, Senggigi.)
The administrative centre, well known beaches and the vast majority of the developed tourism infrastructure on the island and gateway to the famous Gili islands
North Lombok (Mount Rinjani, Senaru)
Mighty Mount Rinjani, waterfalls, glorious scenery and home to the Waktu Telu traditions.
Central and East Lombok (Praya, Labuhan Lombok, Selong, Tetebatu)
Quiet rural villages and beaches and ferry departures eastward to Sumbawa and onward to Flores.
South Lombok (Kuta, Sekotong, Tanjung Aan)
Magnificent remote beaches and surfing heaven
Gili Islands (Gili Air, Gili Meno, Gili Trawangan)
Tiny islands of the west coast, popular with divers and a vital cog in the Asian backpacker circuit.
- Mataram — the capital city of West Nusa Tenggara province and the island’s largest city
- Kuta — a surfing mecca like its Bali namesake, but that’s where the similarity ends
- Senggigi — the islands principal tourist strip with a wide range of hotel, resort and villa destinations. Includes the Senggigi township and the coastline from Senggigi beach to Mangsit beach in the immediate north and Batu Layar to the immediate south
- Praya — Lombok’s second city and nearby to the site of the islands international airport, Bandara Internasional Lombok.
- Selong — the capital city of the East Lombok Regency
- Tanjung — small city in the northwest, administrative capital of North Lombok Regency, lies at the foot of Mount Rinjai’s slopes, the two nearby peninsulas of Medana and Sire are home to some of the best resort and luxury villa destinations on the island
Tropical climate with warm and humid weather all year round. Temperature range from 21 Celsius to 32 Celsius. Wet season starts from November to May and dry season start from May-October. The best time to come is in the month of May when the weather is just perfect with bright daylight and green scenery. Lombok is drier than neighbouring Bali, which makes it a particularly attractive option during the Oct-Apr rainy season (it rains on Lombok too, but rarely for more than an hour or two). The peak of the tourist season, though, is May-August.
The dominant Sasak culture in Lombok and the very restrained and quiet nature of its people may help explain why Lombok is less popular in terms of shopping, cuisine, and nightlife than Bali. Lombok is however becoming increasingly popular with tourists and honeymooners who want to relax in an inexpensive, tropical, un-crowded atmosphere, with many natural treasures and majestic scenery. Nothing happens quickly in Lombok and visitors who are stressed from their daily lives find Lombok a delightful place to unwind.
The anticipated tourism boom has been halted on several occasions. In 2000, mobs of the ethnic Sasak people, ostensibly provoked by fundamentalist Muslim agitators, diverted from a trip to Maluku, looted and burned churches as well as homes and businesses owned by Hindus and ethnic Chinese. These actions were actively resisted by many of the Sasak people and brought on a swift response from the authorities to protect the tourism precincts of the island. The bombing of nightclubs in Bali in 2002 and the further explosions in 2005 further exacerbated the fears held by foreign tourists. For many years the embassies of several countries have issued stern travel advisory warnings against travel to Indonesia. The ensuing years have remained very peaceful in Lombok. In the years 2010-2011 tourists appear to have regained some confidence that travel to the island is safe. The fears and apprehension amongst many international tourists concerning travel to Lombok appear to be entirely unsupported. Aside from minor and very isolated incidents of petty theft and the normal dangers of travelling on the roads in Indonesia the island remains a quiet, peaceful and safe destination for visitors. Lombok is a relaxing place, the warm tropical sun can normally slowly melt a sense of urgency and a hurried pace off most visitor
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