Mount RinjaniPart of West Nusa Tenggara, Lombok lies across the straits from Bali. Still unspoiled, it has some of the culture and arts of the Balinese and is easily accessible from Bali by sea or air.

An island of 4,594 square km, Lombok was formerly a Kingdom with its capital Mataram. The population comprises the native Sasak whose main religion is Islam; the western part of the island is inhabited by Balinese, where the Hindu way of life prevails, complete with ancient temples.

The island’s attraction are its white sand beaches at Senggigi and Kuta beach, the summer palace at Narmada and the floating court of Justice at Taman Mayura. The summer palace dates back to 1805, built by the Balinese monarch of Karangasem, and has beautiful terraced gardens, bathing pools and a lake. The mountain resort of Suranadi, 17 km from Mataram, gives a panoramic view of the countryside. Lombok’s mighty volcano, Mt. Rinjani, reaching 3,726 meters, waits to be climbed as a safe but arduous 3 day trek to view the turquoise water of its crater lake.

A popular tourist destination, the Gili Islands (or just the Gilis) are very relaxed and laid-back, with countless little beachside cafes serving up elaborate seafood buffets, fresh salads and good quality western and Asian food.

All three islands feature superb, white sandy beaches, crystal clear water, spectacular coral reefs, and the best snorkeling and diving to be found anywhere between Bali and Lombok. Visitors from all over the world are attracted to the simple pleasures of sun, snorkeling, diving, beautiful beaches, and socializing. The absence of cars and motorcycles adds greatly to the leisure of staying on the Gilis. With a wide range of accommodation available, the islands have maintained the lazy rustic charms of a tropical paradise.

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