“Lombok is so good
looking that if It was a man I’d marry it. Lombok is so rich that
I’d seriously like to be its wife – it could give me almost
anything. For me, Lombok is like Richard Gere was for Julia Roberts
in Pretty Woman. All I have to do is picture Lombok, and the images
that float before me already put me in a different state of mind.
Lombok is a fairy tale, with azure waters, giant palm trees, gleaming
volcanic asphalt, little roadside eateries, crystalline waterfalls,
coral reefs, banana plantations, grazing animals, and spectacular
It was immediately apparent that Lombok is much less developed than Bali, and far fewer tourists visit it. Everywhere we went – except for Gili – we hardly met other Europeans, and if we stopped somewhere to ask for directions, half the village gathered round to stare at us. The locals, when they spotted us, even yelled at us from the back seat of passing mopeds, always the same few English phrases: “Hello Misterrrrr!” and “yes!” or “yesno!”
“We didn’t read a single article that claimed Lombok as the new Bali, and I wouldn’t mention Bali and Lombok in the same breath, either in a positive or negative comparison. They’re simply very different. People’s faces, their dress, their beaches, their buildings… They’re all completely different. Only 10% of the population is Hindu Balinese, while the remaining 90% are Muslim. In this way, it resembled Gili Air. Another similarity was the fact that a significant part of the island is currently a building site.
Many people come to Lombok to climb the volcano of Rinjani, and to surf. We didn’t visit Rinjani because it was too expensive, and as for surfing, we decided that snorkeling and diving were enough water sports for us.
Of course, that doesn’t mean we didn’t hit it off with Lombok. For us, this island was all about the beaches, which were the best we saw on our whole trip, and the spectacular sunsets. We found some that were almost completely undiscovered by tourists – there were just a few local fishermen and us. It was unbelievable! Lombok is free of the great influxes of tourists which inundate Bali, and even the Gili Islands. Moped traffic is also calmer due to the lower levels of traffic and an almost complete absence of police. In the south, at least, that was our experience.” (2016)