Lombok to East Nusa Tenggara

Lombok has been earmarked for tourist development for decades, on the pretext that it is in a position to emulate Bali’s success. Whether the development plans will ever come to fruition is another matter and for the time being it remains a relatively quiet alternative to Bali, although considerably busier and more developed than the islands to the east. The number of visitors to Lombok is generally dependent on the numbers visiting Bali, and since the bombs, tourism in Lombok has very much taken a beating. While there are a number of first-class hotels along the beaches away from these tourist areas, Lombok is still ‘traditional’ and foreigners are a comparative novelty. It is also a poor island; the famines of the Dutch period and the 1960s remain very much in the collective consciousness.

Most visitors to Lombok stay on Senggigi Beach, on the west coast and just north of the capital Mataram, or on the Gilis, a small group of islands north of Senggigi. However, the south coast, around Kuta, with its beautiful sandy bays set between rocky outcrops, is more dramatic. There is a good surfaced road to Kuta and some good accommodation once you get there, including one international-class hotel (but be aware that plans are afoot to con- tinue this tourist development). There are also a handful of towns inland with accomm- odation. While Lombok has gradually expanded over the years, with the exception of the Gili Islands, it has not yet taken off – which, of course, is why some people prefer it to Bali.

This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF
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