LOMBOK, between the islands of Bali and Sumbawa.
With quick air and sea connections from Bali, and a new international airport, Lombok is easy to get to. Lombok offers many empty and often isolated dream beaches, friendly and interesting people, tasty food and fantastic nature.
It is also the home of the famous Mount Rinjani, so if you like trekking then a trip up to the summit of this active volcano is not to be missed.
If you want to get away from the crowds and go somewhere a little less commercialized then Lombok is a great place to start.
Nearby, spend a quiet hour amid the rows of Mangosteen trees
and bathe in the scent of jasmine at the Mayura Water Palace.
This royal court and floating pavilion was built in the mid 1700s by Lombok’s former rulers, The Balinese.
Head north from Mataram along the scenic west coast road to Senggigi Beach.
This laid-back resort town makes an ideal base to explore the rest of Lombok,
then enjoy a dip with local families at the beach below.
At sunset, everything stops at Senggigi, as the sun drops into the sea.
When it’s time to move on, follow the inland road north to Pusuk Park Pass,
a mountainous reserve teeming with monkeys.
A few miles on, is the town of Tanjung. Wander the local market, a real window into the lives of Lombok’s mostly rural people.
The Tanjung area is the gateway to one of Lombok’s biggest attractions, The Gili Islands. These three, tiny islands lie just off Lombok’s North West coast, and are also accessible by fast boat from Bali.
Once you jump ashore, prepare to step back even further in time.
Life here is refreshingly simple, and the only way to get around is on foot, bicycle, or pony cart.
For the most back-to-basics experience head to Gili Air and Gili Meno. These are the smallest of the islands and offer miles of sand, simplicity, and seclusion.
Gili Trawangan is the largest of the three and is just a thirty minute boat ride from Lombok.
This island offers the widest range of accommodation, restaurants and activities.
Pull on a dive mask, do some shopping or just get to know the locals.
Whichever Gili Island you choose, a few days here is guaranteed to reboot your body clock to island time, and put you back in touch with the rhythms of nature.
Welcome to Lombok, Bali’s little sister. A place to remind us that sometimes it’s not always best to be first, or to grow up too fast, too soon.