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Lombok Travel guide

Lombok beach View of Mt Rinjani from a paddy field Fishing boats
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Lombok : Michelin's recommendations

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The "chilli pepper" Sunda island is wilder, more intense and, in a word, spicier than its famous sisters, Java and Bali. It's sure to delight travellers in search of authenticity.

Located beyond the "Wallace line", a gigantic geological fault and biogeographical border between the two large Indo-Malay and Australasian ecozones, this little insular territory also has another side, its southern sphere. And it is more contrasted, as there is little in common between the crops grown in the rainy central plains and the southern hills blanketed with savannahs and arid scrubland.

Try climbing up Rinjani, a divinity of ash and stone to which Lombok owes its fertility as well as its torment. From the summit you can see one of the most magnificent panoramas in the Indonesian archipelago. Take a stroll through its rice paddies, giant stairs sculpted on the slopes of the volcano. Their distinctively-shaped rice granaries have become one of the emblems of this island.

Then you can trade in your hiking boots for a pair of flippers, as the Gili archipelago opens up its fabulous underwater aquarium to you against a picture postcard backdrop. Whereas climbing up Rinjani probably gave you quite a thrill, here you can just sit back and enjoy a little rest and relaxation.

The Asian-style moderate Islam practised here is imbued with Hinduism and animism. Gamelans are played together with tembang sasak, the island's sung poetry. And don't hold back the smiles - they'll be returned a hundredfold along with a cheery "Hello Misterrr!".

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Lombok : Must-see towns and regions

  • Too small even to be called a village, Mangsit looks like a peaceful little haven. The countryside has preserved all of its charm and there are fewer hotels, making it a perfect alternative to Sengigg...

  • Tetebatu

    Thanks to the wet climate of Rinjani's southern side, Tetebatu has fertile land (rice, tobacco, fruit) that is irrigated by various springs. The surrounding villages (which specialise in crafts such a...

  • Kuta

    Unlike Bali's Kuta beach, this perfect beach has managed – by the skin of its teeth! – to escape the developers (a gigantic project initiated by Dubai has miraculously just been cancelled). For a litt...

  • Sade

    This Sasak village is one of the few in which the astonishing traditional houses with thatched roofs have been preserved (even the mosque has one). Constructed out of interlaced bamboo or palm leaves,...

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