Lombok: What Bali was?

Lombok Beach

Some people say that you can find Bali in Lombok, but not Lombok in Bali, because Lombok is what Bali was, before all the development and tourism. Lombok's charm lies in its century-old culture, tranquil coastal areas with virgin white beaches, and green mountains.

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The two major ethinicities that live in Lombok are the Balinese and the Sasaks. Bugis and Javanese also contribute to the growth of a unique cultural tradition of Lombok. Hinduism is the primary religion embraced by the Balinese in Lombok, while Moslem is the predominant religion of the Sasaks.

People mostly live on agriculture, and corn and sago are the primary staple. The growth of tourism supports the small and home industries of rattan and bamboo handicrafts, terracottas, and ikat cloth.

Cultural Attractions

Lombok Fight
* Perang Topat : Held annually around Nov-Dec between group of Hindu followers and Moslem Wektu Telu followers at Lingsar. Perang literally means 'War,' and Topat is a kind of dish made out of cooked rice wrapped in woven young coconut leaves. Yup, you guess what it means: food fight!
* Bau Nyale : An annual ceremony related to the legend of Princess Mandalika. Held at Lombok's Kuta Beach, this event is a courtship ceremony where young men and women gather merrily along the beach to collect Nyale Fish (a kind of sea-worm), teasing and flirting with each other.
* Gandung Dance : Performed usually by a young woman in wedding parties or other celebratory occassions. A lucky gentleman can be invited to join her if she so chooses and taps him with the tip of her fan.
* Presian Dance : Folk war dance where young men duel with rattan sticks and shields made out of cows leather. An orchestra provides the musical background.
* Gendang Beleg Dance : Another war dance typically used to welcome or send off soldiers from or to the battle ground. While dancing, the dancer will also skillfully plays the gendang (drum).
* Rudat Dance : Performed sitting down by young men while singing rhythmic religious chants of Islam teachings.

Places of Interests

* Bangko-bangko: : Natural forest reservation with beach resorts and excellent surfing site. Located 80 km from the city of Mataram.
* Batu Bolong : Hill-top temple for a spectacular view of the sunset. 8 km west of Mataram.
* Batu Koq : A village ideal for an overnight stay before climbing Mount Rinjani.
* Beleka : Handicraft center, located 37 km east of Mataram.
* Aik Bukak : Natural spring with swimming pool, 40km from Mataram.
* Ampenan : A great historic harbor city known for its museum.
* Gili Air, Gili Meno, Gili Trawangan : A cluster of small islands off the northwest coast of Lombok, about 27 km from Mataram. Peaceful surroundings with beautiful coral seabed.
* Gili Gede : A small island off the southwest coast of Mataram with a Sasak traditional village.
* Gili Poh : A small island reachable by ferry from Bali.
* Gunung Pengsong : A mountain with a temple on the hilltop and surrounded by a forest inhabited by monkeys. The sunset view of Lombok strait from the top is spectacular.
* Jeruk Manis Waterfall (Sweet Orange Waterfall): A waterfall considered to have healing power amidst cool mountain air and forest surroundings. 52 km from Mataram.
* Karang Bayon : A traditional Sasak village, 19 km from Mataram.
* Kuta (Putri Nyale Beach) : Attractive virgin white beach and beautiful panorama. Annual ceremony of Bau Nyale is held here.
* Lemor :: Dense forest with a spring, 77 km from Mataram.
* Loyok/Kuta Raja : Handicraft center
* Lembar : Main harbor connecting Lombok with Bali.
* Lingsar : A Hindu Temple in which a Moslem worshipping place is also found. It has a bathing place.
* Malimbu : Beautiful beach resort, ideal for wind surfing.
* Matram : The capital of West Nusa Tenggara Province. It has museums, traditional marketplace of Sweta, the tomb of General van Ham, etc.
* Mayura : A beautiful park of the King of Lombok of the centuries past, with a resting place called Bale Kambang. Near it you can find Pura Meru, the biggest temple in Lombok.
* Narmada : Tranquil resting place of the King of Lombok that is modeled after Mount Rinjani and its lake. 12 km east of Mataram.
* Pejanggik : A village known for its traditional hand weaving cloth.
* Pennyak : Pottery center
* Mount Rinjani : The highest peak in Lombok, with a national nature reserve and tropical forest. Climbers can start from Sembalun Lawang. Also, the crater lake of Lake Segara Anak has a spectacular view.
* Sade : A Sasak traditional village
* Senggigi : The most famous beach of Lombok, with gorgeous sunset.
* Selong : The capital city of the East Lombok district.
* Sindaing Gile : Known for its waterfall and beautiful panorama. Also a stop over for people who want to climb Mount Rinjani.
* Suranadi : Hindu temple with a spring-water pond and botanical garden nearby.
* Tanjung A'an : Beautiful white, sandy beach 4 km east of Kuta.
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