Located due east of Bali, Lombok does in some ways sit in the shadow of its famous neighbour. Now experiencing fairly rapid growth in tourism, thanks in part to a new international airport, more and more areas of this beautiful island are opening up to visitors.
The Gili Islands
Once a backpacker paradise, the 3 ‘Gili islands’ off the north of the mainland are now busy with package tourists too, which has changed ‘the vibe’ a little. Luxury developments have sprung up all over the place. But, the three islands (Air, Meno and Trawangan) still maintain some of their original island charm, and are a great place to chill out, enjoy the beach, and eat fresh fish. And don’t miss out on the great snorkelling and diving on the reef.
All around the coast of Lombok you’ll find empty beaches and other Gili (islands), and new and exciting hotel developments of all kinds have begun to appear. Big Hotel chains are buying vast swathes of some of the coastline, though, so go soon while it’s still relatively quiet.
You can get to Lombok by Air from most major cities in Indonesia, and by boat from Bali. There are speedboat services from Bali to the Gili Islands, and slower boats connecting Lombok with elsewhere.
The towering Mount Rinjani dominates the island’s interior. During the dry season you can climb to the crater rim, and further up to the summit. It’s a tough 3 day climb, but if you’re lucky with the weather you can be rewarded with some other-worldly views at the top.
Kuta Lombok has developed as a surfers paradise, and it’s near the airport in the south. There are cheap places to stay andf eat, and surf for all experience levels.
Lombok is oft-overlooked in favour of the rich culture and developed infrastructure of Bali. But go to Lombok and discover its unique people, interesting culture, food, and beatuful places both on the beach and inland.
Click here for other destinations in Indonesia