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the backpacker's mecca- lombok

INDONESIA | Tuesday, 6 January 2009 | Views [2543] | Comments [2]

overlooking senggigi beach

overlooking senggigi beach

Alfred Russell Wallace, a natural scientist in the 19th century marked a point of transition between the flora and fauna of the western and the eastern Indonesia, this is called the Wallace line. The western boundary mark being west nusa tenggara (nusa tenggara barat), the main islands being Lombok and Sumbawa.

Lombok island is in itself an island of vast cultural and natural diversity. Its northern part being mountainous and lush with tall trees and shrubs. The mountains are clustered from east to the west. The highest volcano in the island, Mt. Rinjani 3,726 m asl, is the country's third highest. This area is flocked one of the richest flora and fauna, it was awarded by the National Geographic and Conservation International, as the Destination Stewardship award of the 2004 World Legacy Award for environmental and social leaders.



The south, on the other hand, is arid and covered by savannas. The beaches are ravaged by large surfs (Tanjung A'an -this maybe the only place wherein one can surf everyday).  Large mammals are absent and are instead replaced by marsupials, lizards, cockatoos and parrots. The eastern part of the island further pronounces the difference, wherein dry seasons are more prolonged. The staple food being corn and sago instead of rice.


During the 16th century, at around the first time the Islams came to the islands, four Hindu kingdoms co-existed with them in apparent peace with the neighboring west nusa tenggara. Lombok experienced a strong Balinese influences, but has strongly retained their unique identity. A small population of Buddhists also exists, them being the first inhabitants of the island. The indigenous people of the island are predominantly Moslems - the Sasaks. They have successfully retained a strong and distinguished traditions as do the neighboring island Sumbawa.


The island is famous for soft, white sand, virgin beaches. It is an unspoiled and peaceful version Bali where one can observe a stronger Indonesian ambient. Literally and figuratively: "You can see Bali from Lombok but not Lombok from Bali." The island has a mystical and exceptional charm and is relatively undiscovered except for Sengiggi and the now famous Gili islands (dubbed as Backpacker's Mecca).

Lombok's capital is Mataram. It is one of the safest and most peaceful cities in Indonesia. All over the island one can see the island's campaign slogan: B-ersih, I-ndah, S-ehat, A-man (Clean, Beautiful, Green and Safe). During the night the island, especially Senggigi is stamped with policemen on large occasions.



Must haves


Visiting the island, one must get a hold of the distinctive ikat handwoven tiles called "Songket." The cloths have a very rare designs that are somewhat reminiscent of Afrikan textiles. To appreciate it better you can drive the village of Sukarara wherein one can see how these textiles are handwoven. Prices in this village are relatively cheaper. The value of the textiles gets higher as it gets older. 

Tags: indonesia, lombok, rinjani, senggigi



Wondering if you are safe from armed robbers on the south slopes of Mt Rinjani and in its crater etcetera in that region of Lombok?

  Chris Grant Apr 7, 2014 9:44 AM


Hi Chris!

Ive been to Lombok several times, backpacking solo. Ive never encountered such incidents. Ive had idiotic moments though like renting a taxi all the way from mataram to the northern port going to the gilis.

  sea2summit Apr 7, 2014 5:20 PM

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