TOURISM IN LOMBOK
The island of Lombok is located east of Bali.
Lombok Tourism is not quite as developed yet as Bali
and it is that reason which makes Lombok
the perfect getaway. Escape to picturesque
mountainside landscapes to the white sand
beaches of the Gili islands.
Geography and climate :
Lombok has the secund largest volcano of Indonesia,
Mount Rinjani, which extends 3726 meters high with a crater lake called Segara Anak.
The rain season starts from October to March, the dry season from April to September.
The month of May is a good moment to visit Lombok with bright daylight and green scenery.
People and religion :
Local inhabitants of Lombok are called Sasaks. They speak Indonesian as well as their local Sasak language. Other ethnics are the Balinese, Chinese, Arabian and Javanese. Lombok has three main districts with three capital cities : Mataram in the West, Praya in central and Selong in east Lombok. The majority of commerce is in the capital city of Mataram in
West Lombok. Majority of the people are Muslims. Every Friday around 12.30 noon, Muslims are going to the Mosques. Therefore, on that day most businesses and government offices are closed half day and then re-open after praying (not including Senggigi ).
If you are planning on travelling around the island and visiting small villages it is more respectable to wear slacks or knee length shorts, a shirt with sleeves or a sarong. If you happened to be in Indonesia during Ramadhan, which is the Muslim month of fasting from sunrise to sunset, please do not eat, drink or smoke out in the open public during this month long Fast. Even though the people don’t seem bothered in the common tourist areas like Senggigi and the Gili islands, it is always better to respect the people and avoid eating, drinking and smoking openly.
Local currencies :
There are many money changers in Lombok and established ones in Senggigi where you will find the best rates. If you have traveler’s checks the rate will be less than bank notes. Try always to carry small denominations with you if you plan to take a taxi are making small purchases because many sellers don’t have change.
About daily currencies and the Indonesian Rupiah ( IDR ), you can visit www.oanda.com (quick converter).
Car rentals :
Don’t miss Lombok’s beautiful scenery. If you choose to rent a car or motorcycle and drive yourself, you must have an International Driving License. We advise to rent a car with driver. Renting a car is a good alternative to get around Lombok, with driver for instance, you can relax and enjoy the view ( Tip driver pocket money for meals if you stop for lunch or dinner ). If you are pleased with service, tip ( IDR 20.000 minimum ). If you collide (as a driver ) with anything, or it collides with you, you are responsible for all cost. Motorcycles are a convenient and inexpensive way to get around the island, but Tourists are sometimes injured in a motorbike accident. If you rent a bike, drive slowly and very defensively. Helmets are required by law.
Business hours : If you need to visit a government office, arrive between 08.00 AM and 11.30 am. This also applies mostly to banks and private businesses.
Communication systems : WIFI is available in the most of the public places, restaurants, …
For cellular phones you can purchase prepaid calling cards to make outgoing calls at lower cost than calling on your home SIM.
Flights to Lombok :
there are direct international flights from Singapore to Lombok ( BIL, Praya) with Silk Air ( a subsidiary of Singapore Airlines ) flies direct three times per week. (www.silkair.com) –
From September 2013: direct International flights with Jetstar from Perth ( Australia ) –
Lombok International Airport has full Visa on Arrival facilities.
European connections are easy via Jakarta ( the capital city of Java) or Bali (Denpassar)
From Bali to Lombok there are many daily flights with different companies :
Garuda Airlines – Merpati Airlines – Trans Nusa Air – Lion Air – Sky Aviation –
Lombok by sea :
Another option is now, arrival close to Senggigi, to take a speedboat shuttle from Bali to Lombok – Eka Jaya – Gili Cat – Blue Water express or a few regular companies providing you that service – more adventure then a flight! You can also use the public Ferry ( approx. 4 hrs ) and departs every 2 hours from Padang Bay (Bali) to Lembar (Lombok) – Ticket is easy to get once you arrive in the harbor.
Art and culture :
WETU TELU is an unique religion that blends Islam. Animism is found in North Lombok and roots from the village of Bayan. The people who practice this still consider themselves Muslims but they have their own rituals in addition to the normal Muslim ones.
The second largest city in Lombok, Cakranegara, houses an important temple for Hindu follower in Lombok. This architecture beauty is remnant of the Karangasem Kingdom of Bali, when it ruled Lombok in the past. This temple is the largest one in Lombok. Meru temple was built in 1720 AD by Balinese prince Anak Agung Made Karang, as an attempt to unite all the small kingdoms on Lombok since this temple was built as a symbol of universe.
Medical Assitance :
Most hotels have on call doctors. For what it is known by Australian as ‘Bali Belly’, Lomotil and Imodium eliminate symptoms, but not infections. A fever along with the symptoms requires doctor prescribed antibiotics. Drink as much as liquid as possible. For discomfort, diarrhea and cramping drink strong hot tea, avoid fruits and spicy food. Drink only bottled water or boiled water ( air putih )
Peel the fruit before eating, avoid raw vegetables except at reputable restaurants. Ice in restaurants is safe.
Protect yourself from the intense equatorial sun. Use sun block or high protector crèmes.
Sexually transmitted diseases are increasing in Indonesia. Protect yourself, act responsibly and use condoms, available over the counter in market shops and pharmacies.
All visitors to Indonesia automatically get a 30 days tourist visa as long as your passport is valid for six months from the time you enter. You also need to show proof of onward ticket upon arrival. Many people who want to stay longer go on ‘Visa runs’ to Singapore.