Lombok is a beautiful virgin paradise island situated east of celebrated island, Bali. It is accessible both by air and sea. It takes only 25 minutes by plane and about 4 hours by regular public ferry. Alternatively, Lombok can also be accessed by sea for shorter sailing duration by fast boat from Benoa Bali.
Lombok gains its fame among visitors who are in search for a unique way of spending their lazy time. Lombok is really an ideal place to relax your body and mind; it is away from hustle bustle. You can simply enjoy yourself lazing around on the sleepy gorgeous beaches which Lombok is famous for. Surf among world best surf points on Kuta Beach or dive and snorkel to discover the undersea charms of Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, and Gili Air.
Lombok also offers exciting trekking adventure on Rinjani, the sacred volcano for both Sasak and Balinese, for tourists with more adventurous spirit. It takes about. For soft trekkers, walking around the foot of the volcano and Lombok tropical forest and get splashed by the awesome waterfalls and breathe the fresh air can be an unforgettable refreshing experience.
In addition, Lombok is not only rich of natural beauties, but it is also rich of cultural attractions. Lombok friendly people are happy to share their traditions, arts and crafts with foreigners. They welcome guests with open hands and minds to their secluded traditional villages in Sade, Segenter and Senaru. It is based on the traditional believe that ‘a guest is a king’. So meet and greet the Sasak while you are in Lombok and experience their ancient life style.
PEOPLE and RELIGIONS
The population of Lombok has reached almost 3 million (2.950.105). The figure is shown by the 2005 census. The indigenous people of Lombok are referred to as Sasak Ethnic. Dominating the population up to 85%, Sasak people speak their own local language which is also referred to as Sasak and almost 100% of them adhere Islam. Nevertheless, there is a minority number of Sasaks who still practice certain rituals which are associated to animism and Hinduism in addition to Islamism; a unique mixture of believes. They are referred to as Moslem Wetu Telu. The rest of the inhabitants are mostly Balinese who came to Lombok in the early of 18th century and conquered mostly West Lombok; they remain very “Balinese” and Hindu, minority Chinese and Arab traders and other ethnics from the other islands.
The Dutch landed in Lombok for the first time in 1674 and occupied the eastern most part of the Island and left the western one ruled by the Balinese tyrannical monarchy. The Sasaks were very suffer under the Balinese King and revolted in 1891 and ended in 1894 with the Dutch intervention who finally annexed the whole island and hence Lombok completely part of The Netherland East Indies.
GEOGRAPHY and DEMOGRAPHICS
Lombok is administratively part of West Nusa Tenggara Province and is grouped into East Indonesia, in physical and economical development. It is also grouped into archipelago cluster often referred to as Kleine Sunda (Lesser Sunda) during the Dutch administration.
Covering the area of about 4.725 km², Lombok is situated between the coordinate of 8.565º S and 116.351º E. Topographically, Lombok is dominated by the stratovolcano Mt. Rinjani that towering at 2.726 m (12.224 ft) above sea level. The third highest mountain in Indonesia offers an unforgettable experience for trekkers either to the rim, crater lake or summit. The last minor eruption was in 1994, making the island covered in volcanic dust.
Lombok climate is tropical and generally similar to other islands in Indonesia. The temperature ranges from 23º to 33º Centigrade. The rainy season last from October to March and the dry season last from April to September. The rainy season reaches its peak around January to February and the wind blows stronger, resulting temporary closing of the harbor, occasionally. Nevertheless, the climate and weather tend to be more unpredictably different than usual following the global warming.
Lombok is a bit similar to its neighboring Bali Island culturally and linguistically. The amalgamation of both cultures since many centuries gives a unique color to Lombok’s culture. There are many words in Sasak that is pronounced alike and bear the same meaning. The Wetu Telu adherents practice prayer not only in mosques but also in certain Hindu temples, as part of Hindu influence. The unique marriage tradition which is often referred to as merari (elopement) is still practiced widely in Lombok.
Lombok’s culture also includes the annual Bau Nyale (sea worm cathing) ceremony which falls around February. Being a Moslem island, Lombok can be more attractive during Prophet’s Birthday month. It is celebrated all over the island and is normally combined with circumcision and hair cutting ceremonies.