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Lombok Island

Lombok (population 2,950,105 in 2005) is an island in West Nusa Tenggara province, 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. It is roughly circular, with a "tail" to the southwest, about 70 km across and a total area of about 4,725 km² (1,825 sq mi). The provincial capital and largest city on the island is Mataram.


The Dutch first visited Lombok in 1674 and settled the eastern most part of the island, leaving the western half to be ruled by a Hindu dynasty from Bali. The Sasaks chafed under Balinese rule, and a revolt in 1891 ended in 1894 with the annexation of the entire island to the Netherlands East Indies.

Geography and demographics

The Lombok Strait marks the passage of the biogeographical division between the fauna of the Indomalayan ecozone and the distinctly different fauna of Australasia that is known as the Wallace Line, for Alfred Russel Wallace, who first remarked upon the distinction between these two major biomes.
The island's topography is dominated by the centrally-located stratovolcano Mount Rinjani, which rises to 3,726 m (12,224 ft), making it the third-highest in Indonesia. The most recent eruption of Rinjani was in May-June, 2009, which was a small oozing eruption of 'Gunung Baru' (New Mountain). The volcano, and its crater lake, 'Segara Anak' (child of the sea), are protected by the Gunung Rinjani National Park established in 1997. The southern part of the island is a fertile plain where corn, rice, coffee, tobacco, and cotton are grown.
The island's inhabitants are 85% Sasak whose origins are thought to have migrated from Java in the first millennium BC. Other residents include 10-15% Balinese, with the small remainder being Chinese, Arab, Javanese, and Sumbawanese. Since the Sasak population typically practice Islam, the landscape is punctuated with mosques and minarets. Islamic traditions and holidays influence the Island's daily activities.

Economy and politics

Proximity to Bali is Lombok’s blessing, and its curse. While only 25 miles separate the two islands, they are in fact worlds apart. "Indeed, overzealous tourism officials notwithstanding, Lombok is not “an unspoiled Bali,” or “Bali’s sister island.” Lombok is not Bali at all, and that is precisely its charm." Lombok has retained a more natural, uncrowded and undeveloped environment, which attract travelers who come to enjoy its relaxed pace and the opportunity to explore the island's unspoiled but spectacular natural beauty.
The most-developed center of tourism is Senggigi, spread in a 30-kilometer strip along the coastal road north of Mataram, while backpackers congregate in the Gili Islands off the west coast. Other popular tourist destinations include Kuta (distinctly different from Kuta, Bali) where surfing is considered some of the best in the world by leading surfing magazines. The Kuta area is also famous for its beautiful, untouched beaches.

While the area may be considered economically depressed by First World standards, the island is fertile, has sufficient rainfall in most areas for agriculture, and possesses a variety of climate zones. Consequently, food in abundant quantity and variety is available inexpensively at local farmer's markets, though locals still suffer from famine due to drought and subsistence farming. A family of 4 can eat rice, vegetables, and fruit for as little as US$0.50. Even though a family's income may be as small as US$1.00 per day from fishing or farming, many families are able to live a happy and productive life on such astonishingly small incomes.


Following the fall of Suharto regime in 1998, Indonesia experienced a period of domestic unrest. At the same time terrorism in Indonesia further aggravated domestic unrest across the archipelago. In early 2000, religious and ethnic violence (ostensibly provoked by Jemaah Islamiyah Islamist agitators) flared up in the Ampenan area of Mataram and the southern area of Senggigi. Many foreign embassies issued Travel Warnings advising of the potential danger of traveling to Indonesia.
This period of unrest dramatically impacted tourism to Lombok. Tourism has been slow to return to Lombok, provoked in part by a worldwide reluctance to travel because of global tensions. Only since 2008, when most countries lifted their Travel Warnings has tourism recovered to the pre-2000 levels.
Both the local government and many residents recognize that tourism and services related to tourism can potentially be a major source of income to the Island. The island's natural beauty and the customary hospitality of its residents make it an obvious tourist destination.
Emaar, Emirati property company planned to build a new town sprawled in 1,200 hectares in Central Lombok. It costs estimated at US$600 million. It will have a 7 km natural waterfront, which will support a marina, apart from luxury residences and five-star resorts by Ritz-Carlton. The Ritz-Carlton will also have a world class golf course and retail amenities. The homes will employ tropical designs and low-rise architecture in tune with the surroundings. Lombok now appears to be on the verge of a tourist boom. With the commercialization of Bali over the past few years, and with it the accompanying traffic and reduction in open, natural spaces, many tourists are discovering the charm of 'Undiscovered' Lombok. With this new interest comes the development of a number of posh boutique resorts on the island serving quality food and drinks, but just a stones throw away from rural, unspoiled countryside — much as Bali was decades ago.

Source: wikipedia


Lombok, the famed island situated in West Nusa Tenggara of Indonesia, is a quaint backpackers paradise. Located in the vicinity of Bali, this tourist hotspot is fast gearing up to become one of the most coveted getaways. An ideal retreat in to the lap of nature, this majestic island is dotted with numerous attractions. It has something in store for everyone, catering to the shopaholics palate as well as the party hopper's. All you gastronomes can sample some delectable delicacies, that are dished out by eateries. Dig into sumptuous Chinese and Indonesian fares that will leave your taste buds asking for more. Besides, you can also sample scrumptious tit bits.

Shopping in Lombok vouches to be a memorable one. Flecked with innumerable shopping joints, you can take your pick from an assortment of wares on display. Gift yourself an entirely new wardrobe or stack your bags with beautiful collector's items, on sale, in the bustling marketplaces of Lombok. Indigenous art and craft are on display and you can lay your hands upon lovely baskets, vibrant weaves and brilliant pottery among a host of others. Lombok's potters have carved out a niche for themselves in the whole world. The true connoisseur makes a beeline for Banyumulek of Lombok, to lay their hands on these splendid handcrafted artifacts. The region located in the western part of Lombok, scores a brownie point with tourists, who troop to its pristine environs all round the year. Cashing in on the tourism boom, the Government is pulling out all stops to woo backpackers to its lovely locales. You can master the craft of pottery by paying visit to Banyumulek, where you can catch glimpses of the potters, immersed in their craft, providing for a perfect photo opportunity. The colorful pots come in variegated shapes and sizes and they are among the most sought after souvenirs of Lombok. These pots are guaranteed to lend a whole new look to your cozy den. So, on your trip to Lombok, a visit to this lovely tourist joint is a must.

So, pack your bags, draw up your itinerary, and make a dash for this amazing destination.


Mataram is the capital of Lombok. The town actually consists of four different towns Ampenan, Mataram, Cakranegara (Cakra) and Sweta. Ampenan has most of city sights, including Negeri Nusa Tenggara Barat museum, which gives a good overview of the culture of Lombok. Cakra is the best place for eating, sleeping and shopping. It also has the Water Palace, which is worth a visit and the largest temple of Lombok, Meru Purse. Mataram is the administrative centre and Sweta the transport connection of the whole island.

As a center of government administration, Mataram has many large, impressive public buildings and substantial houses. The city also has transportation and shopping facilities. The main square is used for art exhibitions, theater, dance, and wayang kulit (puppet theater) performances. In other parts of Mataram, there are a variety of old-style markets and neighborhoods featuring traditional craftwork like basketware and gold- and silver-threaded sarongs, or wraparound garments.