Bali’s neighbor to the east is Lombok. The island offers and interesting alternative, to fast developing, and often ‘in your face’ Bali.
Indonesia has 27 provinces (propinsi) Bali being one, Lombok and Sumbawa forming the province of Nusa Tenggara Barat. Each province has a governor.
The closest point of Lombok is 35 kms from Bali, however the ferry ride from Padangbai takes about 4 hours 30 minutes to get to the port of Lember on the west coast of Lombok.
The island itself is 80kms by 70 kms and is a bit smaller than Bali with a population of 2.3 million.
The native Sasak people are Muslim, and there is also a strong Balinese community on the west coast. Years ago Lombok was under Balinese control, and now both islands are part of Indonesia, so you don’t need to take your passport.
Here are some of the highlights of Lombok.
A coastal strip of hotels ranging from budget to boutique. There is some nightlife, and good food can be had.
•The Gili Islands:
Undoubtedly the main reason tourists come to Lombok. The 3 white-sand islands range from very quiet to somewhat developed. A great place to relax and there are dive operators set up especially on Gili Trawangan. The Gili Islands are accessed by small local ferries from the port of Bangsal (30-45 minutes).
The massive volcano located in the north of the island. A 3 day trek will get you to the top, with some lovely villages on the south slope including Tetebatu and Sapit.
Sparsely populated coast with wonderful empty white sand beaches.
Located in the NE corner of Lombok it offers lovely picturesque villages and view of surrounding volcanoes.
Located on the SW tip of Lombok, this point-break has been rated by Tracks magazine as the best wave in the world.