Travel Tips and Useful Informations
On Lombok there is more crafts than art. The main crafts of
Lombok are practical items made for everyday use, but showing great
skills and finish, traditional techniques and natural, locals
materials. Villages specialize in certain crafts, and it's
interesting to travel to a number of them, seeing hand weaving in
one village, basket ware in another and pottery in third.
Lombok pots have become widely known. Three major villages that are famous with their pottery production are: Banyumulek, Masbagik and Penujak. These villages had their own style and methods which were further developed and improved under the aid plan from new Zealand Government on 1991. Most of Lombok pottery are handmade and using very simple tools and methods - no machinery used but very creative. Check out the newest article related to the long process of making the pottery on our special page: Lombok's Unique Pottery. From there, you can browse through our online catalogues, contains fine selections of Lombok Earthenware Pottery - collected from three major villages on Lombok.
This product can be categorized newcomers compare to other Lombok's art and crafts. Not widely known, but has becoming very popular nowadays. Many big hotels design their lobby wall or give some touch of arts with this product. Unlike lombok pottery, white stone carving does not using any coloring technique, or complicated steps of work. The basic materials is the natural solid rocks/sands stone, which further developed into basic shapes and then carved into final shapes with sands paper and finished by special liquid to protect the natural color from moistures and weather.
RATTAN FURNITURE & HANDBAGS
Although not being distributed worldwide yet, but rattan furniture and basket are also very popular in Lombok nowadays. Rattan furniture that made in Lombok are quite different and very smooth. There are two places in west Lombok where they produce rattan furniture, one in Meninting and another one in Ampenan near the airport of Lombok. Both place concentrate on rattan furniture and handbags only. Some online samples/catalogue prepared by UD. Sumber Rotan
TRADITIONAL HAND WEAVING
Two main villages on Lombok that known for it's traditional weaving factory are; Sukarara (Central Lombok) and Pringgasela (East Lombok). Typical of sarongs and tenun ikat are produced here. The sarong is not only a comfortable article of clothing but can serve as a sheet, towel and multitude of other uses. Songket, is one of the most complicated hand weaving that usually done by women from generation to generation. The process can take over a month to reach one piece of songket. Some expensive songket combines silver or gold strings to give a touch of natural, shiny motif. Other kind of hand weaving is called Ikat Weaving, usually done by men.
LOMBOK WOODEN MASK, BOXES AND PRIMITIVE CARVINGS
Many of this product can be found in some art galleries in Bali's Legian St, or Ubud. They are well marketed in Bali, and often claim as original Bali's art. Two main villages in Lombok where they mainly produce those items are; Labuapi and Rungkang Jangkuk.
Lombok and Sumbawa's seashore are potential and pollution-free for Oyster Farm. Many Japanese investors are involved in developing sea pearls and black pearls. Sekotong, East Lombok, and North West of Lombok are the places where most sea pearls comes from.
LOMBOK DINING AND SHOPPING
Shopping is pretty miserable on Lombok compared to Bali and other areas within the country but if you are not planning on visiting elsewhere within the country then the following info will be of assistance to you. The capital’s shops sell largely practical and functional goods, the best selection being in Cakranegara City. Sweta market is the largest traditional market on Lombok and is pretty average as far as markets go.
Art Market in the centre of Senggigi is a good place to pick up clothing and nik-naks, but prices start at astronomical levels and can be an effort to bring down. Bartering is essential!
Antiques The best 'antiques' shops are located in Ampenan. Native fabrics are best bought in one of the many textile shops in Cakranegara, Sweta market or locally in one of the traditional weaving villages.
Basketry Lombok is renowned world wide for it's intricately woven baskets and this is one item that is best bought here rather than elsewhere in Indonesia. There are numerous outlets on the island
Clothing and other items made from cloth The small string of mini shops and stalls on Gili Tarawangan offer lower prices for T-shirts, second hand books and trinkets. Ethnic villages near Tete Batu have superior blankets and Sasak sarongs.
Pottery villages not far from Mataram sell their wares to visitors. In fact anywhere on west Lombok, seems to have reasonably priced pottery. The best traditional pottery is produced in Belak.
Souvenirs The best place for buying souvenirs, furniture and beach clothes is Senggigi where a few good woodcraft and antique shops also exist. Shops will be keen to take you to their factories for a greater choice. However, many ‘antiques’ are not as old as one might think. A carving that has sat unsold on the shelf for 5 years is considered an antique.
Masks are another worthwhile purchase on Lombok and well, worth buying.
Woodcarving is spectacular to say the least on Lombok and here too the choices compared to buying one elsewhere in Indonesia are pretty much of a muchness as woodcarving, throughout Indonesia is very well executed.
Weaving is best bought in the areas of Cakranegara and the capital Mataram.
Dining on Lombok, as within anywhere in Indonesia poses endless possibilities as the country has one of the world's greatest cuisines. From a five-star restaurant to a roadside stall, you will be amazed by the choices offered. Tourist-oriented restaurants abound in tourist centres but Indonesian and Chinese food is predominant.
Influences from all corners of the globe make up Indonesian cuisine. Curries, cucumber, eggplant, Indian mustard and cow peas came from India; the Chinese brought the wok and stir-frying, Chinese mustard, and vegetables such as brassica and Chinese cabbage; from Arabia came kebabs and mouth watering goat stews, while the Europeans introduced avocados, peanuts, pineapples, guavas, papayas, tomatoes, squashes, pumpkins, cocoa, soybeans and cauliflower.
Lombok food revolves around spices, often partnered by coconut milk, which adds a rich flavour and creamy texture to intriguing dishes of tropical vegetables, poultry, meat and fish. Sugar, fragrant roots and leaves are fondly used and the end result is food that is both subtle and sophisticated. Rice is the basis of any Indonesian meal. A main serving of rice is normally taken first, followed by a small portion of three to four dishes of vegetables or meat, known as lauk. Dishes of lauk are placed in the centre of the table for all to share. It is not considered polite to ‘dump’ a bowl of food on top of your rice…spoon it on top as you go.
A side dish or sambal, made with red-hot chillies ground with dried shrimp paste and other seasonings such as limejuice should be taken with caution. It can be scorching for the inexperienced or chilli intolerant person. If indeed you are burnt, do not drink water immediately as it will only worsen the situation; instead settle for bananas, plain boiled rice, bread, cucumber or a glass of milk. However, delicious side dishes like tempeh, a protein-charged savoury cake made of fermented soybeans, and rempeyek, small crisp cookies made of peanuts, should not be missed.
Snacks For simple dining, there are warungs - snack bars and mobile carts that cater mainly to local workers and those who understand that low cost hawker meals are really safe to eat. These three-wheeled carts are often pushed by young boys and are nicknamed kaki lima, which means five legs - the three wheels of the cart and the two legs of the boy!
Adventurous travellers can delight in sampling all these delicacies that can be found within reach. Those who are unsure but are willing to try should go for something simple such as pisang goreng or banana fritters, lumpia, a type of fried spring roll, and bakso, a meatball soup.
A snack called tupat, actually steamed rice in coconut-leaf packages that are cubed with tofu, cucumber, spinach and sprouts and mixed with a fiery peanut sauce is well worth sampling. Do not miss bubur injin or black rice pudding for breakfast or dessert, it is heavenly.
Tropical Fruit Lombok has a extensive range of fruit, some unimaginable and some you wish you had never imagined! One of these is the fabled durian, the king of fruits, which is a thorny fruit the size of a football. It has an offensive smell to some but is prized by locals and tastes somewhat like a fruit salad mixed with thick cream. In other words don’t be put off by the smell, just try it and you’ll more than likely be VERY pleasantly surprised. TIP: Do not eat Durian if you are drinking alcohol as it can make you VERY ill.
Others that can be savoured include mangoes, mangosteens, bananas, jackfruit, rambutans, markisas, pineapples, papaya, longans, melons, oranges and custard apples, to name a few. Of course, the best fruit would be the salak or the snakeskin fruit. This scaly, brown fruit encloses a crunchy white fruit with a pear-like flavour.
Western Food is available in many restaurants but why eat western food when there's far more taste sensation meals created by your Indonesian hosts.
Tip: Bottled drinking water (air) is highly recommended and safer to drink than tap water. The most common brand is Aqua, which is synonymous to drinking water. Just be certain that the bottle has an intact plas.
According to customs regulations, one adult is allowed to bring into Indonesia a maximum of one liter of alcoholic beverages, 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars or 1000 grams of tobacco, and reasonable amount of perfume.
Photographic, video and filming equipment radios, typewriters, and cars are admitted provide they are recorded in your passport on entry and taken out of the country on departure.
Narcotic, firearm and ammunition, TV set, and Chinese medicine are strictly prohibited. Fresh fruit, plants and animals must be passed by Quarantine Office.
There is no restriction on import or export of foreign currencies. How ever it is prohibited to import or export Indonesia currency exceeding Rp.50.000
TRAVELING ALL OVER LOMBOK
Visitor can explore the tiny island by using various means of transportation such as: Taxi, Bus, Bemo (local’s public transportation) and Motorcycle.
Taxis operated from all major hotels and airport with rate varying according to destination. Taxi companies in Lombok are Lombok Taxi, Lendang Express and Airport Taxi. Taxis are metered unlike the cars that belong to travel-agencies.
Public minibus are available every corner of the island with quite inexpensive price. They take and drop off local passenger. For those who prefer to travel more privately, self-drive, rented cars or motorbike may be the choice. The prices, however, do not always included insurance. And they vary depending upon the type of vehicle and the duration of hiring. Petrol pomp and service stations are available at every large town. In emergency there are always road side kiosks fuels out of drums at a bit dearer price.
While driving yourself, please take out most care since the traffic rules may be some what different from those observed in your country.
An international drivers license is required, but one can apply for temporary permit in Lombok and go for test driver in tourist driving license office in Jalan Langko Mataram Lombok
It is compulsory to wear a crash helmet while you ere on the road on a motorbike. Helmets are available at motorbike hire outlets. Small horse drawn carts called Cidomo serve as convenient transportation during off hours and off the beaten track.
Peel the fruit before eating; avoid raw vegetables except at reputable restaurants. Ice in restaurants is safe.
Drink always from bottled water and eat well done cooking food, unless when eating at recommended restaurants/cafes or hotel's outlet.
Street or beach vendors are often pushing too hard on selling and most visitors feel inconvenient. Never try to look at any of their item/s even they might be interesting to you, even this could be fun for those who want to learn about bargaining tactic. For most visitors this is hassling.
Protect yourself from the intense equatorial sun. Use sun block and hat.
Sexually transmitted diseases are increasing in Indonesia. Local sex workers have multiple partners from all over the world. Act responsibly and use condoms, available over the counter at pharmacies.
Due to the limited number of flights to Lombok, during the peak season we highly recommend you to make flight booking far in advanced. Don't forget to ask your local tour operator to re-confirm your ticket minimum 24 hours in advanced to ensure yourself to get seats.
DURING YOUR TRIP TO GILI ISLANDS :
1: Do not let the local porters carry your bags for whatever reason. This guys are usually try to be gentle or act like a boatman crew. They often charge an expensive and unreasonable amount. If you have to pay, a regular porter cost is about Rp. 1000-2000/bag.
2: Do not buy any mosquitoes coil from some kids at the harbor, as they are trying to sell things at the highest they can. There are lots of shops on the Islands selling those stuffs with better prices.
3: Do not try to look at the things that they offers, and do not make any promises to say "maybe later". Those guys can recognize your face and ask for the promises.
4: When you returned from the Islands, many kids brings water to wash your foot. At first you may feel convenient, but at the end they ask some money. Give them some school needs i.e: pens, or writing book. It's better not to let them do anything to you.
5: Carry small changes to pay public buses or taxi. Call the taxi operator: 627000 (lombok taxi) if you need to be picked up. If you have to go by private car, try to fix the price first rather than argue at the end of the journey.
6: Stonefish are found on the coral reefs where they are camouflaged and almost invisible. They are poisonous if stepped on.
7: Also, be aware of strong currents while swimming or snorkeling. It is best to ask the advice of a dive master before swimming alone.
8: Jelly Fish is almost invisible on the water. It looks like a crystal/plastic, but very dangerous.
Some kind of jelly fish is making your skin itchy, and some are poisoning.
9: Use a high protection of Sun Cream. The weather can be very hot on the afternoon.
10: Do not leave any valuable belongings unattended at the beach while swimming or snorkeling. Ask for a deposit box at the hotel where you stay.
Need for accommodation only on Lombok, please use this link: Lombok Hotels, Villas and Resorts
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