Lombok is an island in West Nusa Tenggara province, Indonesia. It forms part of the Lesser Sunda Islands chain, with the Lombok Strait separating it from Bali to the west, the Alas Strait in between and Sumbawa to the east. It is unevenly round, with a “tail” (Sekotong Peninsula) to the southwest, about 70 kilometers across, and a total area of about 4,514 square kilometers. The capital and largest city on the island are Mataram.
How to get there
Transportation within Bali-Lombok-Gili Islands is possible by both air and sea. By air, tourists can go to Lombok International Airport, which lies in the southwestern part of Lombok. It is, at present, the only international airport within the region. In Bali, there is the Ngurah Rai International Airport near Jimbaran in the southern part of the island, which offers air travel to several local and international destinations. Daily flights are accessible from Bali and Lombok.
Alternatively, passengers can reach Lombok from Bali through sea transport which is easier to follow. The most affordable is via public ferries. The ferries leave from Padang Bai on the eastern part of Bali to Lembar on the western part of Lombok at 2-hours intervals with a 24-hours transport system, transporting vehicles, passengers, and goods.
Places to see in Lombok
- Gili Islands: Inhabited on the northwestern tip of Lombok, these three islands are base to deep-water coral reefs and tranquil beaches. Defined by powdery beaches covered with palm trees, they’re known for their coral reefs just offshore. At Gili Trawangan, the most populous island, a sunken ship sits at Wreck Point near Mentigi Beach. On the smallest island of Gili Meno, sea turtles swim at Turtle Point. Gili Trawangan is the party island, with mushroom shakes on offer and a great beat by the water. You will feel fresh as Gili air is something along the lines of a laid-back environment – however, despite everything, it knows how to party! These islands are ideal for those looking for a peaceful haven. Though once you have had your fill of the calmness, you will find all-night dance party places within a blink away.
- Mount Rinjani: Mount Rinjani is an active volcano. The peak is in the Regency of North Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara. It extends to 3,726 meters, making it the second-highest volcano in all of Indonesia. Adjacent to the volcano is a 6-by-8.5-kilometer caldera fuelled partially by the crater lake recognized as Segara Anak or Anak Laut, due to its color, as blue as the sea. This lake is around 2,000 meters above sea level and measured to be about 200 meters deep; the caldera also contains hot springs. Hindu people assume the lake and the mount are sacred, and some religious activities are occasionally done in the two areas.
- Mawun Beach: Mawun Beach is a perfect horseshoe-shaped beach in southern Lombok with two hills staring back at the tourists. The stunning beach has soft white sand and gentle waves for swimming and more powerful waves in the heart for water sports opportunities. Some travelers even like to trek up the hills to check out the picturesque view of Lombok. The drive here can be steep, but the calming view of clear, blue waters and lack of crowd at Mawun Beach is pleasant.
What to eat in Lombok?
When you are traveling to Lombok, forget Pizzas and try local food items. Here are a few traditional delicacies worth trying in Lombok:
- Nasi Balap Puyung: Nasi Balap Puyung is cooked rice served with soybean, chili paste, shredded chicken, abon (shredded and fried meat), and grilled eel.
- Ares: Ares is a delicious traditional dish made of young banana stem cooked together with coconut milk, among other spices that produce a mix of sweet and tangy tastes.
- Ayam Taliwang: Ayam Taliwang is the iconic Lombok cuisine that traditionally stars grilled chicken served with chili paste. Although the original version has the chicken grilled, some restaurants offer deep-fried chicken as well.