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The island of Lombok is truly a rarely spoken gem of Indonesia. Eclipsed by neighboring Bali in popularity, this tropical getaway offers incredible natural attractions: white sandy beaches with crystal-clear turquoise waters, breathtaking waterfalls, second-to-none surf breaks, unique cultural activities, and more.
Lombok’s selling point is its remoteness and slower, quieter pace compared to the more developed Bali. It is definitely the less-traveled between the two, with less traffic jams and less buzz. The island not only boasts natural attractions typically associated with islands, like beaches or waves, but it also hosts the second-highest volcano in Indonesia, Mount Rinjani, where you can enjoy one of the best volcano treks and jungle hikes in the world.
Despite its remoteness and quieter pace, Lombok really is a place for everyone regardless of what you seek. For those seeking a quiet escape with a more relaxing atmosphere to wind down, rest assured you will not be let down by this island. Even if you’re more of a night owl, it’s also for you! While lounge bars or cafes that open until late are relatively rare, you can head over to Gili Trawangan, the island situated west of Lombok, for late-night celebrations.
Lombok Island, as the westernmost part of the West Nusa Tenggara province, is nestled between the island of Bali and the East Nusa Tenggara province.
Located in the Central Indonesia Time (WITA) (GMT+8), it shares the same timezone as its neighbor Bali, Singapore, and Perth. To get there, you will need about 2 hours of flight or 23 hours of driving and ferry from Jakarta.
Is it for me?
If you prefer a less crowded, untouched sanctuary with a quieter pace, then Lombok is the way to go for you.
If what you need is a quiet escape from the bustles of city life and crowded areas, Lombok will offer you just this and more. While tourism is on the rise, its natural tropical wonders are still largely unspoiled by an influx of tourism, giving the island a raw, pristine, yet exclusive feel.
The island’s sprawling rice fields, diving spots with stunning views, and white sandy beaches will offer you an unparalleled kind of peace and solitude exclusive only to undisturbed, less-traveled areas like Lombok.
What is the food like?
Lombok offers unique, distinctive traditional dishes that you must try. The soft-textured Rembiga Satay, Ayam Taliwang, and Sate Bulayak sit among the most sought-after Lombok cuisine. For vegans, you should try the region’s most popular vegetable dish, Plecing Kangkung, or Poteng Jaje Tujak, a fermented sticky rice glazed with palm sugar.
Can I fly directly to Lombok?
Yes. Some airlines offer direct flights to Lombok. The island has a fully operational international airport in Praya.
What show should I not miss?
When you visit Lombok, watch out for some of the fascinating local festivals and celebrations that take place throughout the year. The Bau Nyale Festival is one such celebration. The festival honors the fabled Princess Mandalika. You will get to see a series of fun activities that last from sunrise through sundown, such as catching sea worms (nyale), exchanging poetic rhyming verses, and more.
Taking place every year in the tenth month of the Sasak calendar, it is usually celebrated in February in the south coast beaches of Lombok, notably in Seger Beach near Kuta.
When is the best time to visit?
The dry season, which runs from May to October, is the best time to visit Lombok as the temperature is coolest and driest around this time. Mind you, this is also the peak season where most tourists visit the island.
If you don’t mind frequent downpours and drizzles, then consider traveling during the wet season from October to March. The rains are usually short-lived and occur in the evening. It is definitely possible for you to enjoy a trip to Lombok during the rainy season, especially if you prefer to do activities during the day and rest in the evening.
What local custom should I pay attention to?
85% of Lombok’s population are indigenous Sasak people who are culturally and linguistically close to the Balinese. However, while Balinese mostly adopt Hinduism, the majority of Sasak people in Lombok practice Islam and its traditions.
Here are some local customs that you need to be mindful of: In Lombok, public smoking is forbidden. Furthermore, if you want to visit any temple or mosque, you need to dress up modestly and accordingly – some buildings may only allow you to enter if you wear the traditional clothes.