Lombok is only 30 minutes from Bali by plane, yet it is like stepping into a different era. Longterm Bali visitors, tell me stories of Poppies Lane being a sand track, and Legian being the outer reach of westernization, warungs serving only Indonesian food, and the barest of western dishes. Those days are long gone, but a trip to the south coast of Lombok, will put you right back in that era.
Riding around Lombok on my motorbike in 2004, I was amazed that on the south coast, Kuta Lombok was the only real place westerners were found in numbers. Back then there were maybe a dozen bamboo warungs and a similar number of guest houses. Riding down the ravines that drop towards to the coast, I would ask locals where the warung was, only to be told ‘tidak ada’ (don’t have). For the most part, the south coast of Lombok is untouristed, with sweeping white sand beaches and few people. Surfers are the main group that explores the coast, with the world class Desert Point, in the west, and Ekas in the east. The problem with surfing Lombok, is that to go from one side of the island to the other, will take you 4 hours, unlike the surfing in Bali, where you can take advantage of the breaks at Uluwatu and Padang Padang, then hop over to Sri Lanka and Nusa Dua, in 20 minutes.
An article from AardvarkTravel, talks about the south coast of Lombok.