A bit of background. This is not the first time in Bali, and certainly not the last time. I love this place: nature, beaches, parks, entertainment. Sometimes I come here for several months - my job as a financial manager at EasyWayPaper.com provides for freelance work, which allows me to work and relax at the same time. This fall, having worked well for a year and prepared financial reports, I went on vacation to Bali. And during my trip I decided to go to Lombok. So, I share with you my ideas about what is best done in Lombok.
When it comes to the enchanting islands of Indonesia, Lombok is becoming an increasingly popular alternative to Bali. Similar in size and home to beautiful beaches along with one signature mountain, the main differences are that Lombok is Muslim rather than the Agama Tirta sect of Hinduism of Bali, and that Lombok is far less developed and visited than its western neighbor. Here are some of the best things to do in Lombok.
Climb Mount Rinjani
The ultimate adventure in Lombok is undoubtedly climbing Mount Rinjani, the second-tallest mountain in Indonesia. Climbing this mountain is not an adventure for newbie climbers, but for those who are fit and in shape, it's one of the most beautiful adventures you can have on the island. The climb typically takes two days with a night of camping in between, and several companies on Lombok offer guiding and porter service.
Learn to Surf in Kuta
Whatever you do, don't confuse Kuta on the island of Lombok with its namesake next door on Bali. While the latter is a town often described as dirty, loud, and destroyed by tourism, the Lombok town is a low-key town and a great place for beginning and intermediate surfers, though there are a few spots that will thrill advanced surfers as well. Kuta is one of the towns poised to explode in terms of tourism in the next few years, as more travelers venture beyond Bali, so be sure to enjoy it while it's still calm and enjoyable.
Dive on the Gili Islands
The Gili Islands, northwest of Lombok, are one of Indonesia's top diving destinations. If you've never dived before, you can learn quickly; if you're looking to improve your skills, several advanced courses are available. Once you get out to sea, you can see reef sharks, turtles, octopus, manta rays, leopard sharks, barracuda, and more. If you're feeling daring, take a course on freediving - deep diving without a tank, lasting on your own breath as long as humanly possible.
Enjoy the Nightlife on Gili Trawangan
Of the three Gili islands, Gili Trawangan is the largest, busiest, and most lively, thanks to its backpacker community. Don't come to Gili Trawangan if you want to relax in silence; the other islands of Gili Air or Gili Meno would be better for that case. But if you want to enjoy lots of happy hour specials on the beach, sing drinking songs at the local Irish bar, or dance all night long, you'll find more than enough bars to satisfy you on Gili Trawangan.
Lombok is known as one of the quieter islands on the tourist circuit, but it won't be for long. Come enjoy it before the rest of the world discovers it.