A short distance of 20-minute flight to the east has safely departed you off Bali to Lombok. The second island, which often receives acclaims as Indonesia's best kept secret, derives the exotic name from Javanese translation of "Chili". Interestingly, Lombok surely rises up the heat when it comes to the indulging notion of traveling pleasure. The island's intact, pristine natural treasure underlines the reasons why avid voyagers would find themselves in jolly amazement on beholding the beauty of this "virgin Bali." Less pestering hawkers, domineering towers, and dirty beaches, Lombok is irresistibly charming with more unpretentious locals, understated luxury, and unspoiled landscapes.
Lombok's wonderful tropical climates flourish abundant harvest of agricultural prosperity. The natives, as a result, enjoy much wealth over food possession and natural pamper on everyday life. It is therefore tourists, mostly backpackers, have become easily accustomed to the scrumptious offerings by the locals whenever they step into the indigenous' modest residences. Since refusals here mostly convey impolite gesture toward the down-to-earth residents, two must-do replies are accepting and returning their sincere smiles with "terimakasih," which simply means "thank you" in Bahasa Indonesia. Furthermore, these people would not tag you along and entreat tips or some moneys for certain favors; what they do is adjusted by their hearts. This is a unique quality which some other beautiful islands have lost their touch.
Unveiled luxury happens to cherish well some shrewd voyagers who have sought Lombok as their splendid leisure spot. You may opt for either Senggigi district, the most developed focal point of tourism highlights, or Gili Islands, the three enchanting mini-islands where a few available parties cater more than just the average all-night-long happy hours. Senggigi, reachable by a short ride with bemo or taxi, is a beachfront idyll that incorporates both irreplaceable cultural heritage and shopping pleasure. Batu Bolong, or familiarly well-known as Brahma's empty throne, has been the most popular site. It is a Hindu temple showcasing impressive sunset view at the stony tip, of which, according to the myth, the chiseled rocks have served as the seating of Brahma's, the god of creation. Alongside the renowned Senggigi Beach, there lie myriads of seaside hotels ranging from the simple backpacker stay to opulent five stars. Names such Senggigi Beach Hotel, Holiday Resort Lombok, Sheraton Senggigi, and many more can be instantly and easily booked through our brisk service. Beneath these hotels, there are interspersed home industries which sell valuable handicrafts like intricate, Lombok signature weaving. The handmade quality surpasses the budget price, meaning that there would be less sinful guilt yet more items to bring back home.
Three Gili Islands, which are Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, and Gili Air, are the hidden heaven-on-earths you must savor once in a lifetime. 45-minute cruise with the local ferry dashes you away from Lombok to your chosen Gili Island. Coming here, there is one existing golden rule that upholds any of these islands as an ideal getaway is the non-existence of engine vehicles. No traffic, no blaring motor bike, and no loitering taxi honking their horn on your hotel doorstep. The only ride here is cidomo, a horse-drawn open carriage to crisscross in the small number of population. Nonetheless, if floating in rich underwater and holding on to huge tame tortoises resemble your dreamy wishes, Gili Islands will not by any chance let you be disappointed. Play under the sun all day long but return to zealous bars during late nights for "lost paradise" parties are the only booked schedules for your stay in the assuaging isle. Commendable accommodations such Villa Ombak and Villa Almarik, whose owner is an original Italian, may be reserved through our faithful service.
The last venture perfecting Lombok as breathtakingly as possible is Rinjani Mountain. Being the runner-up of the highest mountains in Indonesia dares several fearless risk-takers to take up on the vertical challenge. While the professionals may make it through to the peak in three days and two nights, amateurs could always join the audacious trekking in four days trip. In fact, contacting us to inquire more about the available routes and the service of expedition agents would be the best start to make up this thrilling adventure for real. We ensure simply non-stop euphoria and guaranteed safety during the journey. Appearing as the ending of the dauntless climb later is the absolute pride over standing on top of the world witnessing in the closest distance a humongous caldera with a crater lake, Segara Anak, inside the sterile volcanic zone. All of the hard-work endured is suddenly paid off in an instant; the God's astonishing natural carvings are imbued with the ultimate pleasure of "no pain, no gain" principle. Exceeding adrenaline purifies you as a more resilient person who has conquered this Mother Nature's magnificence. At the same time, the mind-blowing landscape reminds you once again that Lombok is the truly "virgin Bali." Untouched, unforgettable, and unparalleled are what the unsurpassed indulgences in Lombok feel like.
Water sports in Lombok are some of the main reasons for the increase in the tourism industry in Lombok, whether you prefer to be under the water or over the water, there is plenty to get involved in or if you want to try something new then Lombok is a cheap place to get lessons in a new sport.
Firstly Diving is probably the most popular water sport in Lombok and accounts for the most tourists visiting the area. Most people who visit Lombok with diving in mind stay on the Gili islands, typically the largest and most developed of the three, Gili Trawangan. Here there is an incredible range of Lombok diving with many turtles, sun fish and bumper nose fish as well as awesome coral and other fish and larger animal including rays and sharks at some times in the year. It is not unusual to have over 20 meters visibility in the Gili Islands and sometimes you can see so far and clearly fish swimming that seem to be half a mile away. There is also Lombok diving on the south and east side of the island although most of the diving is for experienced divers and there visibility is not quite as good but there are other animals and creatures such as hammerhead sharks that can be seen which is very rare for most places in the world.
Second to Lombok diving is surfing and many surfers make the trip from Bali to get a bit of variation, less crowds and experience the difference of Lombok to Bali which is almost worthy of begin a different country. Surfers tend to base themselves in Kuta where there are no waves immediately but it is only a small drive through the beautiful scenery of Lombok to find the waves such as Grupuk and ekas of the east and Mawi and Desert point of the west. Grupuk is suitable for beginners as long as the swell is not too big but Mawi and Desert point particularly is reserved for the experienced surfers. Both of these breaks are further away from Kuta and have poor roads, desert point is very difficult to reach and is extremely dangerous although it is said by many to be the best wave in the world.
If you do not fancy surfing and diving sounds a little expensive or full on for your tastes then why not simply rent a snorkel and dive mask so you can swim through the lagoons looking at the life that inhabits them. You can see all of the different coral types and many small fish and sometimes even turtles and dolphins. This is much cheaper and be a great way to spend your time in the water and witness its beauty. There are also opportunities around the Senggigi area for motorized water sports and sailing different kinds of crafts as well as a couple of surfing breaks in the area. Lombok has a lot to offer in the water as well as out of the water.
Cultural performances across Lombok are diverse and varied with vibrant life and peaceful ceremonies. They include a scope of dances based on warriors to peaceful ceremonies for burials and offerings etc. The most popular of these is known as the peresean, which is a high-energy fight between two young men with rattan sticks and shields and a judge controlling the preceding and decides up on a winner. All most any festival and ritual in Lombok will be lead by the Gendang Belaq, a large drum that was originally used to lead people into battle. Today the Gendang Belaq is used for peaceful ceremonies and festivals and to welcome important guests.
The Perang Topat or rice cake war is a ritual ceremony, which again in derived from the days of war when the king would lead his people into battle during the unstable times of the Indonesian past. Here the blessing is to God for his deliverance of fertile soil and healthy harvest. Interestingly this ceremony is performed by both Hindus and Sasaks who celebrate this day in a number of ways, one of which is to throw rice cakes at each other. This ceremony is great to watch if you are around at the time which is the 6th full moon on the Sasak calendar which is usually in November or December.
The Lebaran Topat is an event celebrated by as part of the Moslem followers of Lombok and is a happy occasional where the traditional food of the people, the Topat is eaten with a variety of side dishes and prayer is performed for the safety and prosperity of the Mosque. This is usually limited to west Lombok so it is visible in Mataram and Senggigi and is a joyance affair. Another excellent fun event is the Male'an Sampi, which is a traditional event meaning ‘cow chase' where, cows race over about 100m of waterlogged grounds. This usually takes place in the farming off-season and displays a wonderful sight of social unity between the people of the villages. The cows are well treated and there are rarely injuries as this is their natural terrain. This even is organized by farmers and enjoyed by all. The farmers also consider the results of these races closely for breeding purposes.
The Batek Baris Dance is a march like dance where the Dutch military style is imitated, commands are given in Dutch although they are spoken in a Sasak Dialect. The Batek Baris Dance is usually performed during the Pujawali traditional ceremony processions. It is unclear whether the purpose to mock the Dutch, respect their influence upon the country or whether it symbolizes the strength of their own people during the Dutch reign.
All of the Lombok traditional and cultural dances are a wonder to see and it is certainly worth finding out the exact dates of any of the above or any other ceremonies and attending one that falls within your time in Lombok. Given the chance, it is even worth planning your holiday dates in order to catch one of the larger events.