In the Lesser Sunda island chain of Indonesia, there is Java, then Bali and the third island is Lombok, a wilder and less publicized spot than the tourist destination, Bali. It is gaining a reputation for its beaches and surfing locations, and with hotels becoming more competitive along with improving infrastructure, Lombok is a destination that is increasing in popularity. Traditionally producers of colourful pottery, woven textiles and pearls, there is more to Lombok than visiting the coast and offshore islands that are so popular.
Top Attractions in Lombok
The Gili Islands are the ‘must do’ attraction in Lombok. With a selection of beautiful, semi-deserted islands off the coast, Lombok is the stepping off point for tours and trips to these spots that have, to date, missed the main bulk of tourists. Islands such as Gili Kondo and Gili have an abundance of turquoise water and white sand for you to enjoy, while Gili Trawangan has a bit extra to offer with the Turtle Hatchery that is working to preserve the turtle habitat in the area. There is another hatchery at Gili Meno.
Cultural Attractions in Lombok
You have the choice of joining a traditional pottery class at Banyumulek village or trying traditional weaving at Sukatere Village, while a visit to Sasak Sade will introduce you to the cultural traditions of the village, including dance and weaving, marriage customs and general way of life in Indonesia.
Natural Attractions in Lombok
The prettiest beach in Lombok is the Pink Beach, aka Tangsi Beach, which is coloured by the remains of the coral on the beach. A visit to Mount Rinjani is also a ‘must-do’ with tours available to visit the Crater Lake in a two or three day tour, to see the best possible panorama of the island and even views of the neighbouring Bali.
Religious Attractions in Lombok
Just a walk from the centre of Lombok’s capital city, Mataram, is the Narmada Water Park. This is a historical and religious site, built in 1727 by King Anuk Agung Gede Ngurah Asem, to resemble the sacred Mount Rinjani, which was too high for the king to regularly climb to complete his pilgrimage. There is a natural pool in the Gardens here which is believed to be the Fountain of Youth. The second most important temple on Lombok, is Pura Meru, also built in the 1720s. A Hindu temple, it is dedicated to Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu.