General Information About Lombok
At around 4,514 km² (1,825 sq miles), Lombok is smaller than Bali, and has a wide range of natural attractions and outdoor activities to suit more adventurous travelers. The main tourism areas are in Senggigi on the west coast, the Gili islands off the northwest coast, and Kuta on the south coast.
The beaches surrounding Lombok are pristine, with clean waters bordered by long stretches of sand and usually fringed by coconut palms. The west of the island is especially green and lush, with a series of beautiful bays skirting the entire coastline and the lovely Gili islands within easy reach. The southern coast is even more stunning: long stretches of deserted beaches, cliffs and bays facing a vast ocean that provides some of the best surfing in Indonesia.
Large parts of the island are still heavily forested and embellished with waterfalls, rivers, hills and mountains, providing myriad opportunities for exploration. Dominating north Lombok is a mountain range of 13 peaks, crowned by the magnificent volcano, Gunung Rinjani. To the south, agriculture is the mainstay. Many fields are still tilled using water buffalo and antiquated equipment, and the villages there are timeless.
For those seeking authentic cultural experiences, the ancient traditions of the local Sasak people, largely undisturbed by outside influences, are endlessly fascinating. The Sasak still live in traditional villages, farm, fish and produce handicrafts. Colorful ceremonies, dance and music are an authentic part of local life and not staged for tourists. Lombok pottery, made by hand and fired in simple wood kilns, is exported all over the world, while old weaving, thatching and woodworking techniques are still handed down through the generations.
Lombok may not have the spit and polish of Bali, but it does have the tropical paradise atmosphere which many expect to find on the larger island.Places to visit in Lombok Gili Islands
The three Gili islands – Gili Air, Gili Meno and Gili Trawangan – lie just off the northwest coast of Lombok. For years they have attracted visitors from around the world for their pristine waters, great diving and snorkeling, as well as numerous little beach side cafés and funky, laid back charm, with no cars, motorbikes or dogs to disturb the peace. Tropical island aficionados have long considered the Gilis to be on a par with Thailand’s south coast island havens and the coral atolls of the Maldives. Although previously the domain of backpackers and more intrepid travelers, word has got around and the Gili islands now attract a diverse range of visitors, from serious diving enthusiasts to families and couples of all ages.Rinjani National Park
Rinjani soars some 3,726m (12,224ft) above sea level and is the second highest volcano in Indonesia, attracting thousands of trekkers and climbers annually. The huge crater near the top contains a beautiful crescent-shaped lake, Danau Segara Anak (Child of the Sea Lake). A smaller volcanic cone, Gunung Baru Jari, juts out from one side of the crater. There are a number of caves, small waterfalls and hot springs scattered around the volcano, most important of which is Air Kalak on the northeast of the crater, where the volcanic heated waters are said to cure illnesses, particularly skin diseases. In 2004, the Rinjani Trek won the prestigious World Legacy Award and the volcano is recognized internationally as an important ecotourism destination. The trek, funded by the New Zealand government, has set up a series of programs for climbing the volcano and for trekking in the Rinjani National Park, all of which involve the local communities.
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Little is known about the Lombok before the seventeenth century. Before this time it was made up of numerous competing and feuding petty states each of which were presided over by a Sasak 'prince'. This disunity was taken advantage of by the neighbouring Balinese who took control of western Lombok in the early seventeenth century. The Makassarese meanwhile invaded eastern Lombok from their colonies in neighbouring Sumbawa. The Dutch had first visited Lombok in 1674 and the Dutch East India Company concluded its first treaty with the Sasak Princess of Lombok. The Balinese had managed to take over the whole island by 1750, but Balinese infighting resulted in the island being split into four feuding Balinese kingdoms. In 1838, the Mataram kingdom brought its rivals under control.
Relations between the Sasak and Balinese in western Lombok were largely harmonious and intermarriage was common. In the island's east, however, relations were less cordial and the Balinese maintained control from garrisoned forts. While Sasak village government remained in place, the village head became little more than a tax collector for the Balinese. Villagers became a kind of serf and Sasak aristocracy lost much of its power and land holdings.
During World War II a Japanese invasion force comprising elements of the 2nd Southern Expeditionary Fleet invaded and occupied the Lesser Sunda Islands, including the island of Lombok. They sailed from Soerabaja harbour at 09:00 hrs on 8 March 1942 and proceeded towards Lombok Island. On 9 May 1942 at 17:00 hrs the fleet sailed into port of Ampenan on Lombok Island. The Dutch defenders were soon defeated and the island occupied.
Following the cessation of hostilities the Japanese forces occupying Indonesia were withdrawn and Lombok returned temporarily to Dutch control. Following the subsequent Indonesian independence from the Dutch, the Balinese and Sasak aristocracy continued to dominate Lombok. In 1958, the island was incorporated into the province of West Nusa Tenggara with Mataram becoming the provincial capital. Mass killings of communists occurred across the island following the abortive coup attempt in Jakarta and Central Java. During President Suharto's New Order administration, Lombok experienced a degree of stability and development but not to the extent of the boom and wealth in Java and Bali. Crop failures led to famine in 1966 and food shortages in 1973. The national government's transmigrasi program moved a lot of people out of Lombok. The 1980s saw external developers and speculators instigate a nascent tourism boom although local's share of earnings was limited. Indonesia's political and economic crises of the late 1990s hit Lombok hard. In January 2000, riots broke out across Mataram with Christians and ethnic Chinese the main victims, with alleged agents provocateur from outside Lombok. Tourism slumped, but in recent years has seen a renewed growth.
Hinduism and Mahayana Buddhism arrived in Indonesia in the 4th and 5th century, as trade with India intensified under the southern Indian Pallava dynasty. This is evidenced in the Kutai, Tarumanagara, and Kantoli kingdoms of the period. From the 7th century to early 11th, the powerful Srivijaya naval kingdom become a hegemon in Southeast Asia and flourished as a result of trade and the influences of Hinduism and Buddhism that were imported with it. Srivijaya's main foreign interest was nurturing lucrative trade agreements with China which continued from the Tang dynasty to the Song dynasty. Srivijaya had religious, cultural and trade links with the Buddhist Pala Empire of Bengal, as well as with the Islamic Caliphate in the Middle East. The necessity to maintain its trade monopoly had led the empire to launch naval military expeditions against rival ports in Southeast Asia and to absorb them into Srivijaya's sphere of influence. The port of Malayu in Jambi, Kota Kapur in Bangka island, Tarumanagara and the port of Sunda in West Java, Kalingga in Central Java, the port of Kedah and Chaiya in Malay peninsula are among the regional ports that were absorbed within Srivijayan sphere of influence. A series of Javan-Srivijaya raids on the ports of Champa and Cambodia was also part of its effort to maintain its monopoly in the region by sacking its rival ports. After the invasion by Rajendra Chola I the king of the Chola Empire from Koromandel, authority of Srivijaya over the islands of Sumatera and the Malay Peninsula weakened. Some time later came a new dynasty that took over the role of Sailendra Dynasty, called by the name of Mauli dynasty. Mauli dynasty of Malay kings that rules Dharmasraya kingdom, centred in Batanghari river system. In later period of the kingdom's capital shifted inland upstream of Batanghari to Dharmasraya and later moved further inland toPagaruyung.
Between the 8th and 10th centuries, the agricultural Buddhist Sailendra and Hindu Mataram dynasties thrived and declined in inland Java, leaving grand religious monuments such as Sailendra's Borobudur and Mataram's Prambanan. The Hindu Majapahit kingdom was founded in eastern Java in the late 13th century, and under Gajah Mada, its influence stretched over much of Indonesia. The founder of the Majapahit, Kertarajasa, was the son-in-law of the ruler of the Singhasari kingdom, also based in Java. After Singhasari drove Srivijaya out of Java in 1290, the rising power of Singhasari came to the attention of Kublai Khanin China and he sent emissaries demanding tribute. Kertanagara, ruler of the Singhasari kingdom, refused to pay tribute and the Khan sent a punitive expedition which arrived off the coast of Java in 1293. By that time, a rebel from Kediri, Jayakatwang, had killed Kertanagara. The Majapahit founder allied himself with the Mongols against Jayakatwang and, once the Singhasari kingdom was destroyed, turned and forced his Mongol allies to withdraw in confusion. After its peak in the 14th century, Majapahit power began to decline and was unable to control the rising power of the Sultanate of Malacca. Dates for the end of the Majapahit kingdom range from 1478 to 1520. A large number of courtiers, artisans, priests, and members of the royal family moved east to the island of Bali at the end of Majapahit power.
Popular Bars in Lombok
Explore Romantic Gili 10 Dec 2017 - 31 Dec 9999
- Island-hopping on outrigger boat
- Fresh seafood for lunch
- Visit the three idyllic atolls of the main Gilis
- Discover uninhabited islets for a taste of having your own private beach
- Enjoy snorkle and swim in clear turquoise water with abundant tropical fish
Lombok Heritage 22 Dec 2017 - 31 Dec 9999
- Discover the legacy of Hindu Balinese Kingdom in Lombok
- Experience the hustle and bustle at Mandalika Market
- Witness the harmony between Hindu Bali Lombok and Islam Sasak Lombok
- Discover how law and order were enforced during the reign of Old Balinese Kingdom
Lombok Waterfalls, Sendang Gile & Tiu Kelep 21 Dec 2017 - 31 Dec 9999
- Discover the age-old Sasak culture, traditions and beliefs at a traditional village
- Visit a rustic local village of Senaru, nestled at the base of the highest mountain in Lombok
- Visit the most famous waterfall in Lombok and feel the refreshing mist touch your skin
- Subtle rice terraces of Lombok