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Lesser Sunda Islands

Travel Guide Asia Indonesia Lesser Sunda Islands

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Introduction

Balinese Rice Farmer

Balinese Rice Farmer

© All Rights Reserved PANDE

The Lesser Sunda Islands, or Nusa Tenggara, form a chain of island in the central southern part of Indonesia. The are located west of the Greater Sunda Islands (including Java, Borneo, Sumatra and Sulawesi).

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Geography

The Lesser Sunda Islands can be divided into three provinces: Bali, East Nusa Tenggara (including Flores, Komodo, Sumba and West-Timor) and West Nusa Tenggara (including Lombok and Sumbawa).
Geologically, the islands of Lombok, Bali, Sumbawa and Flores, are of volcanic origin, while islands like Sumba and Flores are non-volcanic and are part of the Australian Plate.

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Cities

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Sights and Activities

Bajawa

Bajawa is a town on Flores and is the capital of the Ngada Regency. It lies south of the East Nusa Tenggara province and southeast of Ruteng. Bajawa features natural hot springs which are used for bathing and volcanic scenery.The population is primary Roman Catholic.

Gili Islands

The Gili Islands are located just off the northwest tip of Lombok. There are three islands. First, Gili Trawangan (the largest and most visited of the three islands, also known as the party island). Second, Gili Air (the closest of the three islands to Lombok, and the one with a well developed local community). Finally Gili Meno is sandwiched between the others. Gili Meno is very laid back indeed.

Gunung Kelimutu

Gunung Kelimutu is a volcano, close to the small town of Moni about 50 kilometres to the east of Ende on central Flores. The volcano contains three striking summit crater lakes of varying colors. Tiwu Ata Mbupu (Lake of Old People) is usually blue and is the westernmost of the three lakes. The other two lakes, Tiwu Nuwa Muri Koo Fai (Lake of Young Men and Maidens) and Tiwu Ata Polo (Bewitched or Enchanted Lake) are separated by a shared crater wall and are typically green or red respectively. The lake colors vary on a periodic basis.

Mount Rinjani or Gunung Rinjani is an active volcano in Indonesia on the island of Lombok. It rises to 3,726 metres, making it the second highest volcano in Indonesia. On the top of the volcano is a 6 by 8.5-kilometre caldera, which is filled partially by the crater lake known as Segara Anak (Child of the Sea). This lake is approximately 2000 metres above sea level and estimated at being around 200 metres deep. You can fish in the lake. The caldera also contains hot springs. From the top of the volcano, you can see Gunung Agung, the Gili Islands, Sumbawa and the vast sea.

Komodo National Park

Komodo National Park is a World Heritage Site and the volcanic islands are world famous because of its gigantic Komodo lizards, which are an impressive sight.

Komodo Dragon - Rinca, Kmodo National Park

Komodo Dragon - Rinca, Kmodo National Park

© All Rights Reserved phileas


The animals can be extremely aggressive so be alert at all times, especially when you have small children with you. They exist nowhere else in the world and are of great interest to scientists studying the theory of evolution.

Labuanbajo

Labuanbajo is a fishing village on Flores. It is the entry door of Flores and a good base to explore Komodo or Rincha. You can do pretty good snorkelling or diving in the area. The snorkeling within the park offers many opportunities to see pristine reefs with some of the greatest fish and coral diversity in the world. Nearby Seraya Island is a great opportunity to do some diving and snorkeling and every evening at Kalong Island thousands of flying fox bats put on an amazing display.

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Getting There

By Plane

Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS) is located in the southern part of the island, just 13 km south of Denpasar. It is the third busiest airport in the country and now meets international aviation security standards. The airport has extensive international service and good domestic service, including flights to Jakarta, Surabaya, West Papua, Borneo, Sulawesi and Sumatra. Pretty much every country in the Asian and pacific region can be reached directly by flights from this airport.
Garuda Indonesia flies to/from Hong Kong, Melbourne, Nagoya, Osaka, Perth, Seoul, Shanghai Pudong International Airport, Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo and lowcost airlines Air Asia serves Kuala Lumpur.
Several other airlines have some more destinations, including Taipei, Amsterdam, Dili, Darwin, Brisbane, Doha, Bandar Seri Begawan, Guangzhou, Broome, Bangkok, Moscow and Adelaide.
Some of the other islands, like Lombok and Flores, have connections to other Indonesian cities as well, and some international connections.

By Boat

There a car and passenger ferry connecting Bali (Gilimanuk) and east Java (Ketapang), crossing takes about an hour.

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Getting Around

By Plane

Most of the main islands have one or more airports with regular connections between them.

By Boat

There's a car and passeger ferry between Bali (Padangbai) and Lombok (Lembar), crossing takes about 4 hours.
To get to the Gili Islands from Lombok, you can travel there from Senggigi or Bangsal. It is 15 minutes to Air, 30 to Meno and 45 to Trawangan.
There are now also some direct services from Bali as well, all of them either via Lombok, or continuing to Lombok after the Gili Islands:

  • Blue Water Express travels from Benoa to Bangsal on Lombok, continuing to Gili Trawangan, taking about 2 hours
  • Gili Cat travels to Gili Trawangan from Padang Ai (1,5 hours).
  • Island Getaway travels there from Serangan (2 hours)
  • Perama Express to Trawangan from Padang Ai, continuing to Senggigi.

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Sleep

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This is version 6. Last edited at 8:01 on Jun 29, 16 by Utrecht. 14 articles link to this page.

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