Lombok Island in Indonesia - Though less developed than Bali, in recent years Lombok has given Bali a run for its money in the realm of tourism. Lombok has wonderful beaches, volcano and varied landscape. It is an ideal place for those looking for a private holiday away from the hustle and bustle of a normal tourist spot.
History of Lombok
The earliest recorded society on Lombok was the relatively small
kingdom of the Sasak. The Sasak people were agriculturalists and
animists who practised ancestor and spirit worship. The original Sasak
are believed to have come overland from northwestern India or Myanmar
(Burma) in waves of migration that predated most Indonesian ethnic
groups. Not much is known about Lombok before the 17th century, at which
time it was split into four regions; Pagasangan, Pagutan, Mataram and
Cakranegara, each ruled by a Sasak king. This disunity was exploited by
the neighboring Balinese. Balinese princes ruled Lombok from the
mid-18th century until the 1890s, when the Dutch sided with the Sasaks
and defeated the Balinese in bloody battles. Under Dutch rule, the
eastern islands of Indonesia were grouped together as the Lesser Sunda
Islands, administered from Singaraja, Bali. When Sukarno proclaimed
Indonesia's independence on 17 August 1945, the Lesser Sunda Islands
were formed into the single province of Nusa Tenggara. In 1958, the
province was divided into three separate regions - Bali, West Nusa
Tenggara and East Nusa Tenggara.
Climate of Lombok
Lombok has tropical climate with average temperature ranging between 28°C
and 34°C. There are two main seasons: wet (from October to April)
and dry (from May to September). Humidity is high throughout the year.
Best Time to Visit Lombok
The best time to visit Lombok is surprisingly during the rainy season
(October - April) when humidity decreases and the landscape is lush and
green. The dry season (May-September) can be particularly hot and dusty.
Lombok Tourist Attractions
Gili Islands: These small coral-fringed islands are famous for
their white sandy beaches and are an ideal place for those interested in
sun and sand. The place also offer wonderful opportunities for
snorkeling. The absence of automobiles and hawkers add to the pleasure.
Kuta: Kuta is an upcoming beach resort of Lombok. The place
offers quiet and laidback atmosphere to the tourists.
Museum Negeri Nusa Tenggara Barat: This modern museum has
exhibits on the geology, history and culture of Lombok and Sumbawa, and
is worth visiting. If you intend to buy any antiques or handicrafts,
have a look at the daggers, silver or gold-threaded cloth, basket ware
Pura Lingsar: Located 6 km east of Mataram-the capital of
Lombok-this large temple complex, built in 1714, is the holiest place on
Lombok. The temple combines the Balinese Hindu and Wektu Telu religions
in one complex. The Hindu temple in the northern section is higher than
the Wektu Telu temple in the southern section. It's an especially
fascinating place for those interested in Wektu Telu, Lombok's
Taman Narmada: Laid out as a miniature replica of the summit of
Gunung Rinjani and its crater lake, Taman Narmada derives its name from
the sacred Indian river, Narmada. Its temple, Pura Kalasa, is still used
and the Balinese Pujawali celebration is held here annually.
Rinjani: Rinjani, the highest mountain in Lombok at 3,726m, is
an active volcano. The volcano is a popular destination for hikers and
treks to the caldera are common. The hot springs located on the
northeastern side of the caldera are thought to have amazing healing
Senggigi: Senggigi is the most developed tourist spot on Lombok.
It has beautiful beaches and good snorkeling facilities.
Shopping in Lombok
Intricate palm-leaf wedding trunks and armoires with mother-of-pearl
inlays is one of the favorite shopping items in Lombok. Bone, wood, and
bamboo are good buys, along with ikat and songket, a fabric with silver
and gold thread running through it that was traditionally used for
sarongs worn by royalty.
How to Reach Lombok
Mataram is the capital city of Lombok, and is served by an
International airport. It is also possible to reach Lombok by ferry from