The island of Lombok is the rising star of Indonesian tourism. While it is true that it is growing in popularity, it is nowhere near as popular as its neighbor, Bali. Lombok has a lot to offer visitors. Indeed, in some ways, Lombok is a better tourist destination than Bali. Less traffic and more beautiful beaches are just a few examples. We are proud to share some facts you probably don’t know about Lombok!
#1 THE SASAK INDIGENOUS PEOPLE OF LOMBOK: SPICY AND PROUD
Geography and history define the Sasak, the indigenous people of Lombok who make up 85% of Lombok’s 3 million population. Shaped by Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam, the Sasak religion and culture is an intriguing blend unique to the Indonesian archipelago.
The family’s income comes mainly from fishing, weaving or agriculture. But don’t imagine that the Sasaks of Lombok are all about fishing, weaving and farming – dance and drama are intricately woven into the Sasak identity. Their language, religion, architecture, dances, and music are the marriages of sailors, conquerors, artists, political outcasts, and religious missionaries that have given the Sasak people their unique, spicy flavor.
The island of Lombok lies immediately east of the Lombok Strait which marks the biogeographic divide between the fauna of the Indomalayan ecozone and the distinctly different fauna of Australasia; this distinction is known as the “Wallace Line”. British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913) was the first to comment on the division between the two regions, as well as the abrupt boundary between the two biomes. The Wallace Line crosses the Lombok Strait between Bali and Lombok. The distance between Bali and Lombok is small, about 35 kilometers.
#3 BRIDGE AGAINST HINDUS
While Balinese Hindus are soft-spoken, kind, and always up for a joke, their Sasak cousins are more reserved and conservative. Always be polite to Lombok and smile first. A smile goes a long way.
Lombok and the Sasaks are a colorful mix of history, culture and religion. Pura Lingsar in West Lombok – this large temple complex is the holiest in Lombok – proof of that! It is the only Hindu temple in the world where Muslims and Sasak Hindus come to pray together.
#4 THE MEANING OF THE NAME OF THE ISLAND
The word Lombok is a word that comes from the local Sasak language. Translated into Indonesian it means ‘straight’. Lombok is also a less used word for chili in Bahasa Indonesia which has led many people to believe that the island is named after its spicy cuisine.
Lombok is famous for the 3 Gilis (Trawangan, Meno and Air) on the northwest of the island. But did you know that the word Gili actually just means small island? Trawangan is the largest of the 3 ‘Gilis’ and is the furthest from The Lombok Lodge, but still only 20 minutes by boat.
#5 THE DELICIOUS CUISINE OF LOMBOK
To discover the real taste of Lombok culture, the best way is to eat and explore the delicious local cuisine!
At the top of the list is Ayam Taliwang. This popular dish is a tasty spicy grilled chicken. Originally introduced by the people of Karang Taliwang village, it has become a culinary icon of Lombok island. Ayam Taliwang is made from chicken, preferably free range. It is half-cooked on the grill, then removed and dipped in a marinade of cooking oil and a hot sauce made from garlic, chili and prawn paste. Once the marinade has solidified, it is re-grilled to perfection.
Ayam Taliwang – Lombok’s most iconic dish – is usually served with Plecing (boiled spinach) or Sambal Beberuk. Every week Chef Jiwa creates a typical Sasak dinner menu with Ayam Taliwang as the main course. See Lombok Lodge Sasak menu >
#6 LOMBOK LABELS AND MANNERS
– As everywhere in Indonesia, using the left hand to give or receive something is extremely rude in Asia, the left hand is used to wash after bathing. Consciously use your right hand in all interactions with people.
– If you are lucky enough to be invited to one of the locals’ homes during your stay in Lombok, be sure to take off your shoes first!
– Be respectful in sacred places. Take off your shoes and dress modestly when visiting temples and mosques.
– Indonesians take great pride in keeping their cool when things heat up. Showing anger or yelling is considered very rude and a poor display of self-control, so even when a situation gets frustrating, smile and go with the flow.
– The handshake, as in the West, is a sign of friendship and respect.
After shaking hands, raise your hand and touch your heart to show your sincerity.
More than five years after a huge earthquake hit north Lombok in 2018 and now that the pandemic seems to have reached a tipping point, Lombok is back! Bigger and better than ever!
The best thing anyone can do for the island is visit it.
The best time to visit is now as you can experience the beauty of Lombok without all the crowds.
Discover our current promotions >
Founder of The Lombok Lodge Hospitality ®
Quoted From Many Source