Since the latter part of 1949 Indonesia has been an independent nation, having been freed from Dutch colonialism. Since its independence the country has flourished, culturally and economically. Tourism has played a large part in Indonesia’s recent evolution, visitors have become, intrigued, enthralled and enchanted by the diversity of the archipelago.
The thousands of islands that make up the nation offer everything that any visitor could possible desire. Exhilaration, discovery, relaxation, meditation or just good fun, you will find it across the islands of Indonesia. However, one island amongst this vast archipelago offers it all, that island is Lombok.
Not the largest, and certainly not the smallest of the islands, Lombok has its own unique charm. The island has a land area of 4,625 square kilometers and has a population of around 3.2 million. Lombok lies between Bali to the West and Sumbawa to the East and is surrounded by warm, crystal clear, turquoise water that lap its white sandy beaches.
Getting to Lombok
Visitors can fly to Lombok, arriving at the Praya Central International Airport, about 40 minutes from the capital Mataram. There are international connections with Singapore and Malaysia and Air Asia operate 3 flights per week to and from Perth, Australia. There are numerous domestic connections to other islands which include a regular and frequent service from Bali, with a flight time of only 25 minutes.
Thousands of visitors arrive in Lombok from Bali every year by boat. Public ferries depart from Padang Bai Harbor, Bali, every hour for the Lembar Harbor on Lombok’s Southwest coast. Depending on sea conditions, the crossing takes between 4 and 5 hours. As an alternative to the ferries, the fast express boats are popular, these powerful, modern vessels cut the sailing time to around 90 minutes.
Lombok, where to Stay?
There is no shortage of accommodation options on Lombok, from luxury boutique hotels to hostels and Homestays, there are choices for every need and budget. At the very top end, visitors can experience the highest level luxury at locations such as The Oberoi Beach Resort. Valet service, a la Carte restaurant, sauna, gym, everything any visitor could desire is at hand, for a price. For this level of luxury, a visitor can expect to pay up to $500 per night!
There are hundreds of mid-range hotels on the island, for the most part, they are modern, clean, well run, comfortable and affordable. The island’s budget end hotels are certainly not disappointing, many include breakfast, have swimming pools and sea views from as little as $15 per night.
For the backpackers, hostels are ever popular, and on Lombok there is plenty of choice. Hostels tend to be clean, well run and picturesque and prices can be as low as $10 a night. Whatever your needs and budget, Lombok can accommodate, and regardless of your choice, value for money and good service are virtually assured.
What to do in Lombok?
Perhaps the better question to ask is, “What do you want to do”? You want to get close to nature? You can. You want to explore the depths of the crystal waters? You will. You want to have fun and party? Yes, you can. You want to relax in the sunshine on a pristine beach? Certainly. You want to go on a journey of peaceful meditation and self-discovery? You can do it. From adrenaline junkie to lounge lizard, whatever you want, Lombok has it.
Snorkelers and divers are spoilt for choice, there are dozens of sites to dive on. Meno Wall, The Cathedral, Frog Fish Point, Nipah Slope, Alang-Alang Wall and Manta Point are but to name just a few. The reefs are stunning and support a complex marine world of beautiful fish, anemones, sharks and turtles. During a visit to Lombok, going on an underwater discovery is a must.
Trekking on Lombok is becoming more and more popular every year. Trails are well mapped and get the explorer up close and personal with nature through the lush rainforests that support amazing flora and fauna. Look on in awe at the hot springs and mountain lakes and stunning views across the island. For the less experienced, expert guides can be hired to ensure you get to experience the very best of what Lombok’s nature has to offer.
Surfers will love Lombok. Surfing is good, and the best surf to be found moves around the Island at different times of the year. Virtually all the surf points are ideal for beginners and intermediaries, with one exception, Desert Point, here, on the island’s furthest Western coast, is to be found the biggest breakers and it is recommended for experienced surfers.
Relaxing on a beach, for many people, is sheer paradise. On Lombok there are many pristine, white sand beaches on which to relax. Pandanan Beach, Nipah Beach, Mangsit, and Tanjung Aan are just 4 of the many. Relaxation takes many forms, at the H20 Yoga and Meditation Center, and numerous others, visitors can learn to relax the mind and body from within, and go on a journey of self-discovery.
Lombok is physical and mental, inspiring and enlightening, enthralling, relaxing and enchanting, Lombok is exactly what you want it to be, especially, memorable.
Visit Bali Ferry if you plan to travel to Lombok by a ferry or fast boat.
To read more on topics like this, check out the Travel category.