The highlights of
Lombok are the unspoilt villages in the centre of the island, the local
handicrafts, virgin white sands beach like the Gili Islands, Kuta and
South Lombok, new developed resorts in area of Sekotong and South west
Lombok, the superb trekking to Gunung Rinjani, and the more remote parts
of the coast. You'll need at least 6 days to appreciate Lombok, plus
another day or two if you travel by slow ferry from Padang Bay (Bali).
those who coming by ferry and plan to go for trekking to Mt
Rinjani Lombok, spend your first night at Mataram or Senggigi
and make an early start to Senaru or Sembalun the next day,
allow two or three or more days for trekking and then back to
the beaches for relaxing; Senggigi or Gili Islands.
You can spend two days or more on the gili islands depends on
your taste for island life. You can explore Southern beach of
Lombok in one full day tour.
Planning When To Go
The dry season is better to travel to remote areas, particularly
from June to October. The wet season in Lombok is a little
hotter and considerably more humid, but quite OK for traveling;
in some ways it's more pleasant than dry, dusty conditions, and
the landscape is greener and more attractive.
The newest colourful map of Lombok which includes a good street
map of Mataram, Gili islands, senggigi and trekking trails
published by Lombok Sumbawa Promo available at Lombok Network
Office; Jl. Intermilan 85-87 Puri Meninting tel: +62 370 662
8139, or +62 370 634 162.
Visas & Documents
Visa requirements are the same as for Bali. There's an
immigration office in Jalan Udayana Mataram, near the airport,
but no consular service at all. You can obtain visa on arrival
at Mataram Airport if you coming direct from Singapore by Silk
Air. Make sure your passport validity still OK for at least six
People are pretty reserved on Lombok and women are generally
treated with respect. The sort of harassment which western women
often experience in Muslim countries is very unusual here,
though totally not unheard of. Respectful dressing is a good
idea, beachware should be reserved for the beach and basically
the less skin you expose the better. Attitude can be as
important as what you wear.
Travel With Children
Lombok is generally quieter than Bali and has much less
dangerous traffic. People are fond of kids, though perhaps more
reserved about it than Balinese. Major stars hotels has
facilities for kids play ground or even interconnecting rooms
designed specially for family of 2 adults + two or more kids.
Most beaches are protected by coral reefs and are quite safe for
swimming or snorkeling, but there are strong currents at places
around Gili Islands and no life guards anywhere.
Public Holidays &
Puasa (the month of fasting): Ramadhan is the ninth month
of Muslim Calendar, the month of fasting (puasa). Ramadhan start on
September 25th, 2006. During Ramadhan, people rise early for a big
breakfast (sahur), then abstain from eating, drinking and smoking
until sunset. During this time, many local restaurants are closed in
Mataram, but foreigners can eat and drink at the tourist area like
senggigi or gili islands. The end of Ramadhan, Idul Fitri (also called
Hari Raya) is a major celebration and holiday, so transport and
accommodation is crowded, but it is interesting time to be in Lombok.
also called Hari Raya Lebaran, the first day of the
10th month of the Muslim calendar and the end of Ramadhan. This climax
to a moth of austerity and tension. Drums all night at mosques,
fireworks and no sleep. At 06:30 AM next day everyone turns out for an
open air pray service. Gifts are exchanged, and pardon is asked for the
wrongdoings. Everyone is dressed in their finest and newest clothes and
neighbors and relatives are visited with gifts of specially prepared
food. At each house visited, tea and sweet cakes are served, and
visiting continues until the relatives have been seen.
Ketupat, this is a wektu telu festival held in Batu Layar near
Senggigi, seven days after the end of Ramadhan.
Idul Adha -
Hari Raya Qurban: this day of sacrifice is held on the 10th day
of the 11th month of the Muslim calendar.
Celebrating the birth of Muhammad on the 12th day of 12th month Muslim
Nabi Muhammad, this festival celebrates the ascension of
this annual rain festival is held at Lingsar between October and
December. Adherents of Wektu Telu religion and Balinese Hindus give
offerings and pray at the temple complex then come out and pelt each
other with ketupat (sticky rice wrapped in young coconut leaves).
this is a Balinese Hindu celebration held every year at the Kalasa
temple in Narmada in honour of the God Batara, who dwells on Lombok most
scared mountain, Gunung Rinjani. At the same time the faithful who have
made the trek up the mountain and down to the lake Segara Anak hold a
ceremony called pekelem, where they throw gold, trinkets and objects
into the lake.
All other religions in
Lombok also have their own holidays and festivals. Other National Holidays
are also observed; New Years Day, Independent Day (17 Agustus), Christmas
Day, Waisak, Galungan, Kuningan, Chinese New Year, etc.