Suggested  Itinerary - Planning Your Trip

The highlights of Lombok are the unspoilt villages in the centre of the island, the local handicrafts, virgin white sands beach like the Gili Islands, Kuta and South Lombok, new developed resorts in area of Sekotong and South west Lombok, the superb trekking to Gunung Rinjani, and the more remote parts of the coast. You'll need at least 6 days to appreciate Lombok, plus another day or two if you travel by slow ferry from Padang Bay (Bali).


For those who coming by ferry and plan to go for trekking to Mt Rinjani Lombok, spend your first night at Mataram or Senggigi and make an early start to Senaru or Sembalun the next day, allow two or three or more days for trekking and then back to the beaches for relaxing; Senggigi or Gili Islands.

You can spend two days or more on the gili islands depends on your taste for island life. You can explore Southern beach of Lombok in one full day tour.


Planning When To Go

The dry season is better to travel to remote areas, particularly from June to October. The wet season in Lombok is a little hotter and considerably more humid, but quite OK for traveling; in some ways it's more pleasant than dry, dusty conditions, and the landscape is greener and more attractive.


Lombok Maps

The newest colourful map of Lombok which includes a good street map of Mataram, Gili islands, senggigi and trekking trails published by Lombok Sumbawa Promo available at Lombok Network Office; Jl. Intermilan 85-87 Puri Meninting tel: +62 370 662 8139, or +62 370 634 162.


Visas & Documents

Visa requirements are the same as for Bali. There's an immigration office in Jalan Udayana Mataram, near the airport, but no consular service at all. You can obtain visa on arrival at Mataram Airport if you coming direct from Singapore by Silk Air. Make sure your passport validity still OK for at least six months.


Women Travellers 

People are pretty reserved on Lombok and women are generally treated with respect. The sort of harassment which western women often experience in Muslim countries is very unusual here, though totally not unheard of. Respectful dressing is a good idea, beachware should be reserved for the beach and basically the less skin you expose the better. Attitude can be as important as what you wear.


Travel With Children

Lombok is generally quieter than Bali and has much less dangerous traffic. People are fond of kids, though perhaps more reserved about it than Balinese. Major stars hotels has facilities for kids play ground or even interconnecting rooms designed specially for family of 2 adults + two or more kids.

Most beaches are protected by coral reefs and are quite safe for swimming or snorkeling, but there are strong currents at places around Gili Islands and no life guards anywhere.


Public Holidays & Special Events

  1. Ramadhan or Puasa (the month of fasting): Ramadhan is the ninth month of Muslim Calendar, the month of fasting (puasa). Ramadhan start on September 25th, 2006. During Ramadhan, people rise early for a big breakfast (sahur), then abstain from eating, drinking and smoking until sunset. During this time, many local restaurants are closed in Mataram, but foreigners can eat and drink at the tourist area like senggigi or gili islands. The end of Ramadhan, Idul Fitri (also called Hari Raya) is a major celebration and holiday, so transport and accommodation is crowded, but it is interesting time to be in Lombok.
  2. Idul Fitri also called Hari Raya Lebaran, the first day of the 10th month of the Muslim calendar and the end of Ramadhan. This climax to a moth of austerity and tension. Drums all night at mosques, fireworks and no sleep. At 06:30 AM next day everyone turns out for an open air pray service. Gifts are exchanged, and pardon is asked for the wrongdoings. Everyone is dressed in their finest and newest clothes and neighbors and relatives are visited with gifts of specially prepared food. At each house visited, tea and sweet cakes are served, and visiting continues until the relatives have been seen.
  3. Hari Raya Ketupat, this is a wektu telu festival held in Batu Layar near Senggigi, seven days after the end of Ramadhan.
  4. Idul Adha - Hari Raya Qurban: this day of sacrifice is held on the 10th day of the 11th month of the Muslim calendar.
  5. Maulid Nabi, Celebrating the birth of Muhammad on the 12th day of 12th month Muslim calendar.
  6. Isra' Mi'raj Nabi Muhammad, this festival celebrates the ascension of Muhammad.
  7. Perang Ketupat, this annual rain festival is held at Lingsar between October and December. Adherents of Wektu Telu religion and Balinese Hindus give offerings and pray at the temple complex then come out and pelt each other with ketupat (sticky rice wrapped in young coconut leaves).
  8. Pujawali, this is a Balinese Hindu celebration held every year at the Kalasa temple in Narmada in honour of the God Batara, who dwells on Lombok most scared mountain, Gunung Rinjani. At the same time the faithful who have made the trek up the mountain and down to the lake Segara Anak hold a ceremony called pekelem, where they throw gold, trinkets and objects into the lake.

 All other religions in Lombok also have their own holidays and festivals. Other National Holidays are also observed; New Years Day, Independent Day (17 Agustus), Christmas Day, Waisak, Galungan, Kuningan, Chinese New Year, etc.