Lombok's culture is what makes the island so unique. 80% of the population is Sasak—the island's indigenous culture. A visit to the island provides incredible insight around everyday local living. For further understanding of Lombok's history, there are also many tours or day trips to explore.
To shop where the local's shop, visit the Kebon Roek Market, located in Mataram City, in Ampenanwhich. The market brings the community together to sell vegetables, meats, tobacco, spices and other goods, providing fresh produce for a great price. Set across four levels, it is a fascinating insight into local life.
After you have stocked up on the delicious fresh produce from the markets, it is time to learn about Lombok's religion. Lingsar Temple (Pura Lingsar) is an essential part of Lombok, as it combines Balinese Hindus and Lombok's religion, Wetu Telu (derived from Islam) by bringing the two temples together. Set amongst rice fields, between the temples are ponds and gorgeous gardens to enjoy. The dual heritage of Pura Lingsar makes it an essential part of Lombok's culture and is a representation of how the two religions unite on the island.
For a glimpse into Lombok's history, Pura Agung Narmada served as a summer palace for the King of Mataram. The park is a replica of Lombok's great Mount Rinjani, centred around the crater-lake Segara Anak. Many locals also visit to enjoy a picnic or a swim in the gorgeous scenery. Take a wander through the palace and the park to see the beautiful gardens. After, enjoy a dip in the holy springs. To learn about the history in further detail, join a local guide in the park to hear the stories of the park.
Learn about Sasak culture up close by visiting one of the local Sasak villages. Sade Village provides insight around how locals live, and the region has been preserved, with little modern technology. The lifestyle here is centred around weaving and farming, and during your visit, you can purchase the handmade woven goods too. Look out for the traditional Sasak homes, which feature a low door frame and patios covered in cow manure. The little door frame requires visitors to bow in respect at the entrance, and the cow manure keeps mosquitoes away and deters dust.
For an indoor experience and a relaxing afternoon, a visit to the West Nusa Tenggara Museum is home to an array of artefacts and a collection of geology, archaeology, fauna and flora. Learn about eastern Indonesia and the incredible history of this region. Set in the heart of Mataram City, it is the state museum.
Lombok is rich in culture, and there are many activities and adventures as a traveller, for you to explore. Spend some time learning about the island's lifestyle and customs, and how it still to this day plays a vital role in every life in Lombok.