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Travel Guide Asia Indonesia Lesser Sunda Islands Lombok



Lombok Fisherman

Lombok Fisherman

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Lombok is an Indonesian island in the province of West Nusa Tenggara, part of the Lesser Sunda Islands. It is separated from Bali by the Lombok Strait to the west, and from Sumbawa by the Alas Strait to the east.




Lombok's highest point is the Rinjani, at 3,726 metres above sea level. Lombok and Bali are separated by the Lombok Strait. It is also part of the bio-geographical boundary between the fauna of Indo-Malaysia and the distinctly different fauna of Australasia. The boundary is known as the Wallacean Line, after Alfred Russell Wallace who first remarked upon the striking difference between animals of Indo-Malaysia and those of Australasia and how abrupt the boundary was between the two biomes.


  • 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. It is the center of government and administration services.
  • Cakranegara - a business city closed to Mataram. It has shopping mall, stores, markets, Hinduism temple, hotels, hospitals, etc.
  • Kuta - a surfing mecca like its Bali namesake, but that's where the similarity ends
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Tampenan - city that used to be an old international harbour when The Netherlands were still controlling Lombok.




  • The Gili Islands - a popular place for beaches, snorkelling, diving and just hang around.
  • Tanjung A'an, a beautiful area near Kuta Beach - The sand is very unique as it looks like pepper. Beach guards are on the beach early. They prevent hawkers from hassling tourists, but normally the hawkers are mostly children and quiet villagers trying to make a living, and they are quite good nature. Frequently good quality Sarong and Kelapa Muda (young coconut) drinks are available from local people seeking business at this beach. They will open up the coconut for you of course and if you are lucky they might be able to supply a straw or glass to provide a refreshing drink whilst sitting at the beach. This area is in the east of Kuta beach.
  • Sukarare - See the local handicraft and weaving process in Desa (village) Sukarana. The price should be cheaper than in Sengigi shops.
  • Narmada water park (Taman Narmada) - Located 10 kilometres east of Mataram, this park was the relaxation place for the king during the time of feudalism. This park has a Hindu temple and swimming pool. It also has a fountain which is called "Youth Fountain", believed to give long life to a person that drinks its water. Entry fee for this park is Rp 4,000 and 'Foreigners' are sometimes charged a posted entrance fee of Rp 10,000.
  • Air Terjun Sendang Gile (English: Slightly crazy waterfalls).
  • Air Terjun Tiu Kelep - Senaru’s “2nd waterfall” Tiu Kelep is a further 1 hour walk, you might prefer to seek a reputable local guide if you don't already have a driver willing to show you the way. In order to get to the second waterfall you follow the path most of the way down the the first waterfall but then follow bush track upstream. Shoes are not recommended as you will have to wade through the river for 50 metres or so. There is a deep pool at the top where you can swim and jump off rocks and a dark tunnel with a concrete shoot that can be used as a water slide.
  • Air Terjun Betara Lenjang. Senaru’s “3rd waterfall” Betara Lenjang requires some advance planning and is strictly for rock climbers with a suitable local guide and equipment.




  • Traditional massage - Local Sasak women offer massage services within the main tourism areas and especially on the beaches in Senggigi and Mangsit. These massages are strictly traditional and therapeutic in nature and are often delivered at the beachside on a primitive platform set up for the service or on a more substantial Beruga possibly inside the grounds of a Hotel. Therapeutic and remedial massage is practised across the island for a wide range of ills and traditional Sasak practitioners are in great demand by people from all walks of life in Lombok.
  • Snorkelling - There are several good sites between the Gili Islands. If lucky, you can spot and swim with turtles.
  • Surfing - The area around Kuta is a surfer's paradise.
  • Scuba Diving - There are several accredited dive centres in Lombok and they provide a wide range of services and packages.
  • Trekking - There are several good treks around the island, including multi-day hikes up Mount Rinjani a 3,726-metre-high volcano. There are several short treks to see water falls and other island attractions. There are many reputable suppliers of Rinjani climbing packages and services. Adequate forward planning is essential for Rinjani climbs. Rinjani last erupted in May 2010 and the last major eruption was in 1994.
  • Fishing Charters - Charters either with professionally organised boats or for the intrepid more informal arrangements with local perahu operators on the beaches of Lombok are available for day trips or longer but be cautious that the boats are carrying suitable safety gear and other equipment required for the trip and your personal requirements. Local people are often lost at sea after falling into the water from their perahu whilst fishing.
  • Biking Tours - Guided biking tours are available to experience Lombok from a bicycle seat.
  • Pearls Shopping - Lombok is wellknown as one of best pearls producer in the world, the iconic gold pearls are the most hunted by the tourists.
  • Cooking Classes - Classes consist of a minimum of 2 people to a maximum of 6 people. Experience the different flavour of "Indonesian cuisine" and learn about the local products. The cooking classes commence daily at 10:00 am and are a fun educational and enjoyable way to learn about the Indonesian food and culture for the whole family.



Events and Festivals

  • Bau Nyale - festival is held every year.
  • Perang Topat - is held after Happy Ramadhan
  • Peresean - is held every year.




While tropical, hot and humid, 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.

Avg Max32.3 °C32.2 °C31.6 °C31.5 °C30.2 °C29.4 °C28.5 °C28.9 °C29.9 °C31.4 °C32.5 °C33.1 °C
Avg Min22.1 °C21.8 °C22.9 °C22.8 °C22.8 °C22.2 °C22.3 °C22.4 °C21.9 °C22.3 °C22.6 °C24 °C
Rainfall280 mm223 mm162 mm108 mm94 mm44 mm29 mm19 mm33 mm110 mm165 mm247 mm
Rain Days2118141697524111320



Getting There

By Plane

Selaparang Airport (AMI) is the main airport on Lombok, near Mataram.
Several airlines fly to Lombok from Jakarta, Surabaya, Bali, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.

By Boat

There's a car and passenger ferry between Bali (Padangbai) and Lombok (Lembar), crossing takes about 4 hours.
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.



Getting Around

By Car

Renting a car is also an option and there are several places in Senggigi, Mangsit and Mataram to rent from. Expect to pay Rp 150,000-175,000 (low end mid-late 1980-90s Suzuki mini jeep-Jimmy (2x4) 4 seats, Rp 250,000-300,000 for a Toyota Azanza/Daihastsu Xenia (2x4) 6-8 seats, Rp 300,000-450,000 for a Toyota Kijang or later model Kijang-Innova (2x4) 7-8 seats. Age and condition of car will effect price as will high rental demand in the peak tourism period around the June-August and local holidays.

A good alternative to renting a car is to rent a car with a local driver. The price range is normally Rp 350,000-700,000/day and will vary upward with the destinations required. Rp 350,000 will normally only cover a very basic trip with a limited distance. This type of service is normally offered as an all inclusive package of rental car, driver and fuel. The driver can take you effortlessly to all the local attractions, plus some places that are never shown in the guide books. A suitable driver will take responsibility for whatever happens during the trip and will be happy to accommodate your travelling schedule. If you want to take a 2-3 day trip around the island, the driver will accompany you, eat low priced meals, and find low price places to stay at night. Normally the renter is responsible for the drivers meals and the costs of accommodation if an overnight stay is required at a location distant from their home.

Metered taxis are common in Mataram, Cakranegara and Ampenan and readily operate to the Bangsal, Sira and Medana area and along the west coast tourism strip including Senggigi as well as to Lembar.

By Motorbike

Renting a motorbike is also an option and there are many places in Senggigi, Mangsit, Mataram, Cakranegara and elsewhere to rent from. Expect to pay around Rp 50,000 for most models and possibly more in peak season or local holidays when demand for motorbike rentals can be very high. Late model full-automatic and semi-automatic motorbikes are available in Lombok and they normally have engine size in the range 100-125cc.

By Bus

Bemos (converted passenger-carrying minivans) are the main means of short and medium distance transport on Lombok. They can be hailed down on all larger streets and will happily take you even short hops down the road. Fares are inexpensive.

Prices for set distances vary at times and if the price of fuel has risen or it is in short supply causing roadside price fluctuations then the Bemo prices will often follow. Try and watch what local customers are paying for a similar distance to your own and if really in doubt just include Rp 1,000-2,000 extra. It is prudent to have enough small notes to be able to pay the correct fare without needing change.

If you are carrying large bags of shopping or other items more than a day pack or small hand items then expect to pay a little more. For a large amount of shopping or a really large single item such as a bicycle, luggage or similar maybe double the charge for a single person or a bit more if the driver is missing out on business from other people because you have taken a lot of space in the vehicle or if the driver needs to assist with the loading and unloading.

Senggigi to Mataram will require a change at the Pasar Ampenan from the more utilitarian Suzuki Carry 'box back' style of bemo popular used in the rural areas across to a yellow and red Suzuki bemo of the enclosed van body style that runs about in the city areas, unless of course you have chartered the vehicle to your required destination.

By Boat

To get to the Gili Islands you can travel there from Senggigi or Bangsal. It is 15 minutes to Air, 30 to Meno and 45 to Trawangan.




The word lombok means "chili pepper" (cabe) in Bahasa Indonesia and although the local cuisine is quite spicy, it might not always be as hot as the island's name suggests. The local word describing chilli is sebie in Bahasa Sasak, and the name of the island of Lombok is actually derived from the word lomboq, meaning straight in the local Sasak language and not from any connection at all with the local chili as many people believe.

Probably the best known local dish is ayam taliwang, although nobody seems to be able to agree on the exact recipe: most interpretations involve chicken coated with a rich red sauce flavored with galangal, turmeric and tomato, which can be either mild or searingly hot. Pelecing is a spicy sauce used in many dishes made with chilli, shrimp paste, and tomato. A local shrimp paste called lengkare is used on ​​the island of Lombok. Sares is made from chilli, coconut juice and banana palm pith and is sometimes mixed with meat. Non meat dishes include kelor (hot soup with vegetables), serebuk (vegetables mixed with coconut), and timun urap (cucumber with coconut, onion and garlic).

Generally the least expensive and most popular item on the menu is nasi campur or mixed rice. This dish is a complete meal served on a single plate, usually consisting of rice and vegetable ingredients often incorporating either tofu (tahu), tempeh (tempe), chicken (ayam), beef (sapi), fish (ikan), peanuts (kacang), together with a wide variation of cooked vegetables. As the name suggests, the meal can be a mixture of many different items, at times some may be a little difficult to accurately identify and the style and ingredients will vary from place to place. A dab of spicy red paste called sambal (basically stone ground red chilli peppers) is placed somewhere near the side of the plate. Sambal is the universal condiment served on Lombok and is extremely hot to the palate of most tourists, so use with care.

The price of food varies dramatically depending on the location on Lombok. The restaurants in the popular tourist destinations of Senggigi and the Gili Islands command the highest prices but also offer the largest variety of international foods including banana pancakes, pizza, beef steak and other travellers favorites. In most other areas of the island numerous small restaurants, called warung, cater primarily to the local population. The savvy traveller will discover these small restaurants serve a variety of delicious local food at a very low price.




Alcoholic drinks are generally available throughout the island including all tourist destinations. However, since Lombok is predominantly Muslim, some areas (notably Praya) prohibit the service of alcohol at bars and restaurants. Local supermarkets offer a variety of local as well as international beers. Note that alcohol is heavily taxed in all of Indonesia: a small bottle may be the most expensive item you can order when served a full meal in a "local" eatery.

The island's most touristic township, Senggigi, has numerous bars and clubs with the usual international favourites including the ubiquitous Indonesian seksi dancers often found in nightclubs. A favourite local drink, is tuak, a red or white fermented palm wine with 2-5% alc. volume. Please see the Stay safe section for caution on methyl alcohol adulteration.




Most of Lombok's better-quality accommodation can be found within the Senggigi strip to the north of the airport. The Gili Islands have become increasingly popular with the younger crowd and now offer a full range of accommodations. Kuta is popular with surfers and eco-travelers seeking the more serene, traditional village environment. The area around Sira and Medana on the north western coast near Tanjung has 4 resort style hotels. The main city of Mataram, on the other hand, has very little tourist oriented accommodation with a couple of larger full service hotels on offer. There a many smaller and lower priced hotels situated in the Cakranegara/Sweta area and others throughout the city.

One accommodation option which is becoming more popular, emulating what has happened on its sister island of Bali, is renting a private villa complete with staff. However not every place sold as a "villa" actually fits the bill. Prices vary widely: some operators claim to go as low as US$30/ night, but realistically you will be looking at upwards of US$200/night for anything with a decent location and a private pool. At the top of the price range rents can easily go to US$1,000/night or higher. Villas can be found in Senggigi, at Sire beach near Tanjung and, increasingly, the Gili Islands; see those articles for more detail.

Pesona Bulan Baru HotelJalan Raya Senggigi-Setangi No 11 P O Box 777, Senggigi, 83355, Lombok, NTBHOTEL-
Villa Karang HotelGili Air Pemenang MataramHotel-
Losmen Tjabe MerahJalan Saleh Sungkar - Gang Sawah Ampenan - lombok - N.T.BHostel-
Villa Sayang Boutique Hotel & Spa LombokJakan Sonokeling West LombokHOTEL-
Hotel Vila OmbakGili Trawangan LombokHOTEL-


Quick Facts


  • Latitude: -8.50689
  • Longitude: 116.6719

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This is version 26. Last edited at 12:37 on Jul 21, 15 by Utrecht. 11 articles link to this page.

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