Nestled between striking mountains, Sembalun Village sits in a valley and at the base of the Mount Rinjani. The village is three hours by car from Mataram, making a very scenic drive. The drive, however, can be a little bit challenging due to the steep climb. On your journey to reach the village, you will pass by lush green rice fields and tropical gardens. The fertile soil from the volcano helps agriculture thrive, which is the lifeblood of the community. Here you will find cabbage, carrots, chilli, rice and onions growing, with farmers playing a vital role in the village. Spices are also in abundance here and on your visit; you will have the chance to experience harvesting them on a traditional farm.
The local Sasak people share their culture and traditions through art and food. Amongst the people, there are eight different dialects across the island.
Traditional housing still stands where the first families in the village lived. Made up of mud-brick, the historical value of these homes within the community is very high, and to this day, the houses are still in use. Music also plays an essential role in the Sasak culture. Some of the popular instruments used include flutes, traditional Indonesian instruments like the Gamelan, and percussive instruments. Learning to play the Gamelan is a skill passed down through the family.
A visit to Sembalun Village is a chance to learn about daily life as a local. Whether you join in on the local communities harvesting, explore the original homes still standing or listen to the music of the local people, a visit will bring you further insight around Lombok's cultural identity.