Lombok, Bali’s neighbor – dive Bali, dive Lombok
Visit Lombok – the spicy little island next to Bali!
Lombok is the Indonesian name for chili pepper. You’ll find our spicy little island only 70km from Bali. Also Lombok is about three-quarters its size. The two islands are separated by the ecologically significant Wallace Line. The Wallace Line is the line of demarcation. Meaning separating Equatorial Asia from Marsupial Australia. Hence, a line that marks vast and immediately noticeable changes in the flora and fauna of the two regions.
Lombok lies only 375km south of the equator. Therefore you’ll find a pleasant tropical climate. Days are almost universally 12 hours long. Sunrise is approximately at 6:20 a.m., sunset at 6:30 p.m. Of course depending on the time of year. The average daytime temperature is between 27° C to 30° C along the western coastal area. The average inland temperature is 29° C to 34° C. Lombok’s tropical monsoon climate has two distinct seasons. Dry season March to October. Then wet season November to March. Monsoon refers to the wind, not to the rain. This means the rain tends to be short-lived and localized.
Lombok People and History…
The majority of Lombok’s population is Sasak. No one really seems to know for sure where the Sasak people originate from. Actually, some believe from India due to their darker complexions and curlier hair. However, many believe that there was an influx of immigrants to Lombok from Java. This sometime in the 14th century from Sumatra to Java. Most Sasak today practice their own local interpretation of Islam. This version has elements of Hinduism and indigenous WetuTelu beliefs mixed in.
The Dutch arrived and colonized the eastern part of Lombok in the 17th century. But leaving the western part of the island to the Balinese until 1894. However, while the Balinese ruled they put in a lot of effort to create another “Bali”. This you can by the numberless temples and water palaces as in Narmada. As well as introducing their particular brand of Hinduism. Even today the most interesting tourist sites are usually the Balinese. Visitors may be forgiven if they think that Lombok and Bali are similar.
Cultural etiquette has been described as the unspoken but assumed behavior. Behavior that conveys politeness. Therefore, it is important to take the time to learn about and follow “local etiquette”. Also, for whatever reason, people on Lombok do not seem to be as obliging by nature as Balinese. Usually it takes more time to get to know them. This means that on Lombok there are a few specific rules that visitors should be sure to know about and follow. Never hand anything to an Indonesian with your left hand. As in most Islamic countries the left hand is considered “unclean” and thus insulting. This may make the action somewhat cumbersome by changing hands. However, take the time to do it anyway.
Handshaking is customary for both men and women. Indonesians will frequently touch their chest with one or both hands after shaking hands as a sign of sincerity. The proper way to summon someone is to use one words Pak or Mas, (for men) and Bu or Mbak (for women). Make a scooping motion towards you with your hand, palm facing down. Also be aware of where & how you position your feet. Also a thing to remember is that it’s considered impolite to expose the sole of your feet. Women should avoid wearing halter tops or shorts. As well as tight fitting or revealing clothes outside the tourist areas.