When planning a tropical holiday, many travellers struggle to decide between Bali or Lombok. The good news is that both islands are gorgeous and worth exploring; however, here are ten reasons why Lombok is worth visiting over Bali.
It's still an untouched paradise
Lombok is a quiet retreat, home to tranquil beaches and unspoilt landscape. While Bali still has some incredible, untouched regions, the main tourist destinations are highly populated and bring travellers from across the globe to explore. At many iconic locations, like Kelingking Beach (the dinosaur-shaped island), there are even queues to witness and get a photo with the main attraction.
If you are planning to drive around the island, then Lombok's quieter roads will come as a welcomed surprise. Bali's traffic can be a real nightmare, and make a one hour trip extend out much longer. So instead of having to plan your journey off-peak, or be prepared to sit and wait in traffic, the quiet roads of Lombok will leave you to travel freely across the land.
Great for learner surfers
Many of the surf breaks across Bali are crowded, and there's often a bit of hustle required to get a wave. For learners, practising on the wrong beach can be not only daunting but dangerous too. Instead, Lombok's wide, empty beaches are a learner's dream. The ample space will leave you to explore at your own accord and spend hours perfecting your surfing style.
You can still "Eat, Pray, Love" here
Thanks to the popular book and movie, many people come to Bali to experience the culture, and incredible yoga scene on offer. However, the good news is that Lombok also provides the same spiritual and physical experience for travellers looking to dedicate some time to yoga.
Different studios are scattered across Kuta and Mataram so that you can effortlessly intertwine your new yoga routine into your holiday.
Scootering around is easy
For some reason, renting a motorbike or scooter and buzzing around Bali has almost become a traveller's right of passage when visiting. Yet due to Bali's chaotic roads and lack of rules, this chosen method of transport can be quite dangerous for explorers who are used to strict rules and order back home. The beauty of Lombok is that the traffic is removed from the scene, making it easy for travellers to adjust and enjoy a comfortable ride around the island at a leisurely pace.
Quiet beach coves
A round-up of Lombok is not complete without mentioning the many quiet beach coves to explore. Lombok has its very own Kuta Beach, however, apart from sharing the same name Bali's Kuta, the similarities end there. Set in the south of Lombok, this quiet surfing town is home to restaurants and bars lining the beachfront. Nearby is Mawun Beach, which brings sunbeds and drinks all day long to enjoy, or Selong Beach, which is another quiet beach to relax at, with a view across the ocean.
The surrounding islands are quite possibly one of the best things about Lombok. Join in on one of the many tours which will take you to three islands in one day, or explore at your own accord. Whether you visit the Gili Islands or the quieter, lesser-known islands to the east and west of Lombok, a day out on the boat is in order.
While Bali has the Balinese Massage, Lombok has a traditional massage. Spend a day pampering yourself at the many spas across the island, and see how Lombok's massages rival the well known Balinese Massage.
It is home to Indonesia's second-highest volcano
If hiking is your preferred outdoor activity, then hiking up Mount Rinjani must be added to your to-do list. Lombok is home to Indonesia's second-highest volcano, and hiking up this incredible mountain will provide sweeping views across the island, ocean and neighbouring islands.
It is a step back in time to what Bali once was
Lombok is a glimpse back to what Bali was once before its tourism boom. Simplicity, nature and local culture rule the island, and the people's connection to the land is present.