Lombok is home to many quaint villages still practising traditional weaving techniques and historical dances. The Sasak people make up the majority of locals, and you can visit the Sasak Villages to gain further insight around Lombok's indigenous culture. Throughout Lombok, there are a variety of sights and landmarks to explore. In Sembalun Village, encounter lush scenery and agriculture first hand. Have the opportunity to harvest spices or learn about daily life as a local. In Sade and Sukarara Villages, you will see the locals in their homes weaving. Also in Sukarara, you will gain further insight around Songket, which is a weaving style that the village specialises in. Lombok is also home to sacred temples including Batu Bolong Temple and Lingsar Temple. With Batu Bolong Temple considered to be the country's most scenic temple set over the water. Spend some time exploring the intricate villages or grand temples throughout Lombok for insight on local culture and daily life.
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.
Sade Traditional Weaving Village sits in the centre of Lombok and about 30 kilometres from Mataram. Home to Lombok’s indigenous locals, the Sasak people, traditional homes still stand made of wood and bamboo. This style is one of the key distinguishable features of Sade Village. Sade village is only small, and as you explore the narrow pathways between homes, it will take about 30 minutes in total. It is most famous for its weaving and handicrafts, and across the streets, most homes sell souvenirs for you to bring home.
Throughout the village, the quaint little huts stand, with many people weaving outside on display. From a young age, women in Sade must learn how to weave, as it is part of the cultural identity to preserve the tradition and allow it to continue. The weaving work is also what attracts tourists, and you will be able to purchase woven goods directly from locals on your visit to Sade. The pieces are incredibly detailed, and one woven piece can take up to two months to prepare.
During your stay in Lombok, explore Sade Village and learn about the local’s life. See how locals weave intricate and colourful pieces over months and have the opportunity to purchase the woven pieces and bring one home to keep.
Sukarara Village is home to many intricate and beautifully woven cloths, which forms a vital part of Lombok’s identity. Just a 30-minute car ride from Mataram will take you to the village, located in Central Lombok. On arrival into the town, locals will welcome you warmly, dressed in traditional Sasak clothing. The town specialises in Songket which is an intricately patterned woven fabric created by adding gold or silver thread through it. This thread stands out against the other colours, creating a shimmering effect. The motifs of the Songket are diverse; some will showcase a flower motif or chicken motif, each with a unique meaning. Woven items are created using cotton fabric, silver thread, nylon and silk. The dyes are made from natural materials like betel vine lead, bark, turmeric or tamarind. Weaving is by hand, and most locals spend their days creating. Anything from dresses, table covers, blankets, scarfs and cloth can be created. You will also have the opportunity to try weaving for yourself and learn about the complexities and processes. Most of the woven fabrics are made from home, with many gift stores selling them too.
Weaving has now formed a crucial part of Sukarara village’s tourism, as many visitors flock to see locals weaving and purchase their creations. Spend some time exploring Sukarara Village and its stunning woven threads.
On the rocks nearby to Senggigi Beach, you will find Batu Bolong Temple standing tall, residing 12 kilometres from Mataram city. Sitting above the black rock of Senggigi Beach, the temple brings incredible beauty overlooking the sea. This sacred site for Hindu’s is a building of worship. From here, you can hear waves crashing, and enjoy a beautiful sea breeze flowing through. The rock under the temples has carved a natural hole, which is where the name Batu Bolong comes from (rock with a hole). This temple is one of Indonesia’s most scenic Hindu temples, while it is modest in size, the incredible views make it worthwhile to visit. If you begin your journey at Senggigi Beach, follow the sea-ledge path which will lead you onto the temple. Dress modestly with your legs covered, and you will need to wear a sash too.
On arrival, you will be greeted by two main temples. The first sits under a leafy tree, while the second sits on a low lying rock that sometimes can verge closely on to the waves. In total, fourteen pagodas stand tall over the rocks. On a clear day, you will be able to see Mount Agung in the distance, and if you stay until the late afternoon, watch the colours fill the sky at sunset. In the area close by there are many accommodation options as well as facilities, making it easy to visit Batu Bolong Temple. During your visit witness panoramic views across Senggigi Beach and learn about Batu Bolong Temple, as a stunning place of worship.
There are two main Sasak Villages in Lombok, which are home to the local indigenous people. One is Rembitan, and the other is Sade. The Sasak people make up about 85% of Lombok's population, representing the majority of the island's people. The Sasak tribe is the biggest in Lombok. Village life is based around weaving and farming, as Lombok's fertile soil creates the perfect landscape for crops to thrive.
Sade Village is the more popular village to explore and provides insight into local life with traditional, original family homes still standing and in use. This village is well known for its hand weaving, and a walk through town will give you an insight into local customs and culture. Rembitan Village is a quieter and less touristy option. The culture can be explored through earthy pottery which you can see in Banyumulek, Penujak and Masbagik while weaving villages include Sade, Sengkol and Pringgasela. Other forms of art created by locals include bamboo baskets, wooden statues and carvings. The Lumbung Padi, identified by thatched roofs, which stretch to the ground, defines Sasak architecture. The low doorframe is also a distinct feature. The structure was built so that entrants had to bow in respect to those in the house. This design has now been adopted by tourists to create the iconic bungalow-style home. Lombok's Sasak Villages are a fascinating insight into the traditional Indonesian culture for you to explore.
Lingsar Temple brings a symbolic harmony between Hindu and Islam religions in Bali and Lombok. Residing 10 kilometres east of Mataram city, it is a short 20-minute journey by car. Set amongst luscious green rice fields, the temple was built in 1714, it has been renovated with a stunning garden and lotus pools surrounding it.
The temple features three buildings - gaduh, kemalig and perisaman. Different junctions through the temple have been built to honour different gods. The junction in the east is to honour the god in Rinjani Mountain, the west to worship god in Agung along with two united that symbolise both Rinjani and Agung Mountain. In the Wektu Telu area, you will find the famous pool of water home to holy eels. It is considered good luck if you see them, and they can be lured out of the water with hard-boiled eggs, which are available to purchase from stalls outside the temple. Continue on from here and there are nine fountains to purify and heal illness. This is considered to be one of the holiest temples in Lombok and it was built under the reign of King Anak Agung Ngurah.
As Lingsar Temple is a sacred space you will need to wear a sarong and a sash to enter the shrines. If you forget one, there are vendors outside where you can rent one-off. Lingsar Temple's dual heritage is a key part of Lombok’s identity and a symbol of unity between the island’s faiths.