Lombok is a small island and can be easily navigated by car, motorbike or in some places, public transport. The quiet pace of the island makes it a relaxing and tranquil place to explore. To make your holiday go smoothly, here is everything you need to know when it comes to getting around and exploring Lombok.
When you arrive at the Lombok International Airport, shuttle buses are available, connecting you to different parts of the island. Another option is to speak to your hotel to arrange a transfer in advance. To move around the island, travellers often rent a motorbike or car and explore at their own accord; otherwise, a driver can be organised. If you plan on renting a car or motorcycle, an international drivers licence is required. In Indonesia, driving is on the left side of the road. Helmets are required on bikes, and often fines may apply for those not wearing one.
Take note if you are travelling during Ramadan. Most tourist facilities remain open; however, in Mataram, certain local restaurants will close in smaller, residential areas. Over this period, it is recommended that tourists eat at hotels and resorts instead.
Depending on where you base yourself on the island, in the north, Senggigi is the largest and most well equipped town for travellers. If you are planning to visit the Gili Islands, the port is nearby connecting you by speedboat in just 15 minutes. On the Gili Islands, there is no motorised transport allowed, to maintain a quiet and relaxed atmosphere. However, the good news is, the islands are small and can easily be navigated on foot. Hop on a bicycle and explore the islands or ride on a Cimodo (horse and cart).
Back in Lombok, if you are staying in the south in Kuta, this little village is comfortable to walk around and quite small. From the beachside resorts, walking between restaurants and bars will be the best option.
For travellers exploring Mataram City and the south of Lombok, after 8pm the roads begin to quiet, and there is a little more crime, just like most cities. Pay attention and consider organising your transport option ahead of time, so if you plan to go out or have dinner, you have a safe way back to your hotel. The main crimes on the island are stealing and scamming. Often theft on beaches occurs, so pay attention to your belongings while swimming. Another target is stealing motorbikes and items left in cars, so always lock up and refrain from leaving valuables in your vehicle.
Throughout Indonesia, card skimming is a real issue. Pay attention to card skimmers attached to ATMs, and only use machines that are next to shops or stores. Machines connected to shops are more regulated and often maintained, while stand-alone ATM’s on the side of the road are commonly fixed with skimming devices. However, don’t be mistaken, Lombok is still a safe place to travel to, and all of these situations can be easily avoided. Just like most Asian countries, practising awareness and taking caution with valuable items is required.