Lombok is not well set up to cater to those with any visual, mobility or hearing impairments. It'd be wise to consult with a local specialist like Accessible Indonesia (www.accessibleindonesia.org) or Bali Access Travel (www.baliaccesstravel.com), who can assist with trip planning and advice. You can also download Lonely Planet's free Accessible Travel guides from http://lptravel.to/AccessibleTravel.
When not in malls or high-end boutiques, bargaining forms an important part of the shopping experience. Here are some tips:
- The first price offered by the seller is only a starting price.
- Your counter-offer may be anywhere from one-third to two-thirds of the starting price.
- If you don't like the next offer, walk away – the vendor may go lower.
- Once you name your final price, and it's accepted, you've committed to a purchase.
Dangers & Annoyances
It's important to note that compared to many places in the world, Lombok is fairly safe. There are some hassles from the avaricious, but most visitors face many more dangers at home. There have been some high-profile cases of visitors being injured or killed on Lombok but in many cases these tragedies have been inflamed by media sensationalism.
Boat travel carries risks, as does drinking cheap local spirits – there have been a number of deaths from methanol poisoning due to contaminated alcohol.
Entry & Exit Formalities
Lombok is rarely a traveller's first point of entry to Indonesia, but its airport does receive international flights from Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.
Citizens of most countries can receive a 30-day visa for free upon arrival. Keep in mind that this visa cannot be extended, and you'll be fined 300,000Rp for each day you overstay. If you have obtained a 60-day visa in advance, be sure the immigration official at the airport gives you a 60-day tourist card.
For further info on Indonesia’s visa situation, contact an Indonesian embassy.
Lombok is a pretty relaxed island, but there are a few rules of etiquette.
- Modesty It is considered polite to avoid public displays of affection.
- Clothing Avoid showing a lot of skin when away from the pool or beach. Similarly, don't walk through town in your swimwear.
- Places of worship Be respectful in sacred places. Remove shoes and dress modestly when visiting temples and mosques.
- Free wi-fi is common in tourist-oriented cafes and restaurants, hotels and malls.
- Internet cafes are rare outside Mataram.
- Internet speeds are reasonably fast on mainland Lombok; 3G data and faster is near universal.
On Lombok, LGBT+ travellers should refrain from public displays of affection (advice that also applies to straight couples).
The Indonesian government takes the smuggling, using and selling of drugs very seriously and the drug laws are unambiguous. If caught with drugs, you may have to wait for up to six months in jail before trial. As seen in high-profile cases involving foreigners, multiyear prison terms are common for people caught with illegal drugs, including marijuana. Those found guilty of dealing can be subject to the death penalty.
ATMs are common throughout Lombok, with the exception of smaller satellite islands (like Gili Gede) and more isolated interior villages. It's generally easy to exchange money. Credit cards are accepted at higher-end establishments.
- Restaurants Higher-end restaurants, particularly those at hotels, will add a service charge. Elsewhere, tipping isn't expected, though outstanding service might warrant 10%.
- Taxis Tipping isn't required, though many round up metered fares.
- Spas Not mandatory, though 5% to 10% is appreciated.
- Hotels Some midrange and all top-end hotels add 21% to the bill for tax and service.
Typical opening hours are as follows:
Banks 8am–2pm Monday to Thursday, 8am–noon Friday, 8am–11am Saturday
Government offices 8am–noon & 1–4pm Monday to Friday (these are not standardised)
Post offices 8am–2pm Monday to Friday
Restaurants & cafes 7am–10pm daily
Shops & services catering to visitors 9am–8pm daily
Major tourist towns like Kuta and Senggigi have a kantor pos (post office), but don't expect to ship anything from the Gilis. Sending postcards and normal-sized letters (ie under 20g) by airmail is cheap, but not very fast. From Lombok, mail delivery takes about two to three weeks to Australia, Europe or North America. Don't use the post for anything you'd miss.
Many of Lombok's holiday dates change according to the phase of the moon (not by month) or by religious calendar, so the following dates for religious and other holidays on Lombok are an estimate.
Anniversary of West Lombok (Government holiday) 17 April
Ramadan 5 May in 2019; 10 to 11 days earlier each year
Idul Fitri (End of Ramadan) Thirty days after the start of Ramadan
Founding of West Nusa Tenggara (Public holiday) 17 December
- Smoking There is no ban on smoking in restaurants and bars, though most hotels will ask you to do so outside.
The international access code can be any of three versions, try all three. Mobile phone numbers in Indonesia start with 08.
|Indonesia's country code||62|
|International access code||001/008/017|
Cheap local SIM cards (from 5000Rp with no calling credit) are sold in the airport, Mataram and major tourist centres. Data speeds of 3G and faster are the norm across Lombok. Any unlocked mobile phone should work.
Western-style toilets are pretty universal at cafes and hotels in tourist areas. Public toilets are a rare find.
Travel With Children
People on Lombok are fond of kids but less demonstrative about this than the Balinese. The main difference on Lombok and the Gilis is that services for children are much less developed.
Best Regions For Kids
Small island so kids won't get lost; gentle surf; many tourist amenities and activities such as snorkelling
Can feel cramped and maybe too close to Gili T debauchery
Modest, quiet hotels on the beach; limited traffic; reef-protected beach with gentle waves
Somewhat isolated; boring for teens; Lombok offers limited kid-specific diversions
Traditionally, women on Lombok and the Gilis are treated with respect, but in the touristy areas, harassment of single foreign women may occur. Would-be guides/boyfriends/gigolos are often persistent in their approaches, and can be aggressive when ignored or rejected. Clothes that aren't too revealing are a good idea – beachwear should be reserved for the beach. Two or more women together are less likely to experience problems, and women accompanied by a man are unlikely to be harassed.