Thursday, October 18, 2012

Top Indonesia Destinations: Lombok Island

Lombok Island is just right next to Bali and is sometimes referred as "an unspoiled Bali". There is no exaggeration in this: Lombok has maybe the most remote and unspoiled beaches in the Indonesian archipelago. It is covered with lush forests and immense mountains. Some of these mountains are volcanic and they provide a majestic backdrop to white sandy beaches and pristine waters. Although it is just right next to Bali and almost has the same size, the island is a relatively unknown and unspoiled tropical paradise with relatively low number of visitors. Lombok is much less developed than Bali. It appeals to travelers truly seeking a quiet island escape.

Getting to Lombok is quite straight-forward if you choose to fly. You can take a plane to Lombok from Bali and Jakarta by several Indonesian Airlines. You can also fly there from Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. Passengers can travel to Lombok on any of the six weekly SilkAir flights from Changi Airport. You can also take slow ferries from Bali (mostly used by locals to travel between islands). For the new backpacker heaven, Gili Islands, you also have speedboat option directly from Bali but air transport is much reliable and safer than any boat alternative.

What can you do in Lombok Island? Well this is a large island, similar size of Bali so it has plenty of beaches and forest to offer to visitors. Although it is not as developed as Bali, it offers many natural attractions and activities. The area around Kuta, a coastal town in the south of the island, is a world class surfer paradise. Several accredited dive centres offer skuba diving packages while Gili Islands offer the best snorkeling sites in Lombok. Like Bali, trekking, fishing and biking activities are also available.

Lombok Island
Lombok Island
The most popular area of Lombok is Senggigi Beach, a 10-kilometer stretch of coastline. Resorts on Senggigi Beach are close to the water and the township, where travelers will find some basic infrastructure including shops, restaurants and a post office. Jeevaklui HotelThe PuncakPuri Mas Boutique Resorts & Spa and Qunci Villas Hotel offers best value for money accommodation .

Off the coast of Lombok are the Gili Islands, a small archipelago of Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air which are very popular with backpackers. The Gili Islands offer secluded beaches, warm waters and good snorkeling and diving, with dive centers located on each of the three islands. The islands enjoy a slow pace – there are no cars and most of the activity on the island centers on eating, swimming and relaxing.

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