I visited Lombok for the first time in the mid-80s, December 1984 to be exact. We visited part of the main island and spent a few days in Mataram, but we spent more time hanging round Gilik Trawangan, a real paradise at that time. In Gili Trawangan there was only 1 small basic accommodation then, this belonged to the family who lived there in the island. Gili Trawangan was truly untouched then, clean water and the cost of this accommodation was only £2 per night at the time (Rp.25,000) all inclusive (room and meals 3 x daily). Today, Gili Trawangan is a little Ibiza full of drunken tourists never-ending noisy bars and restaurants. I am so happy that I saw it when it was still a real paradise.
Lombok is located east of Bali, is part of the West Nusa Tenggara Strings of islands (Bali, Lombok, and Sumbawa). Lombok is less famous than its neighbor, Bali, less spoiled and less commercialize in many ways. When millions of people still flocking to Bali every year despite its being overcrowded, Lombok, on the other hand, less visited in spite of its beautiful beaches where many places there are still untouched.
Lombok offers amazing things for tourists, such as fabulous food, white beaches, beautiful hotels with sea views. From the mainland, you can reach the Gili islands fairly easily by small motor boats.
Hotels prices here in Lombok are reasonable, and during the low seasons, you can stay in a 4-star hotel for as little as US$ 50 a night. We stayed at a lovely seaside hotel in the Senggigi Resort but travels to many parts of Lombok during our stay. We visited the Kuta Beach Lombok, Sade – the Sasak Village and the weaving region of Sukarare.
To me, Lombok is very special, because I love less-touristy destinations. The people here are friendly, and the food is still authentic and superbly delicious. My favorite dish is “plecing kangkong”, morning glory vegetables slightly cooked and served in super hot special chilly condiment flavored with local lemon juice.
There are so many things to see in Lombok. If you hire a car during your stay, drive around using the sea-side road and sample some local cuisine in local warung/restaurants. Enjoy freshly grilled fish for a mere US$5 per portion, you won’t be disappointed. You can sit on a hut by the beach, watching local activities, whilst you are waiting for your meal. Everything here cooked from fresh.
If you love textile, visit the Sukarare region, you can see the textiles being woven by the local weavers and buy directly from them. They also have some locally woven textiles in Sade, but do be careful what you buy, in tourists’ locations, they do sell the fake textiles, they often claimed they are locally made, but some of these are made in China and some from Troso, Java
Visit Lombok, so many things to see and to enjoy without the hustle and bustle of crowded tourism. Happy holiday