Lombok Island

Lombok is an island in West Nusa Tenggara (Nusa Tenggara Barat or NTB) province, Indonesia. It forms part of the chain of the Lesser Sunda Islands, with the Lombok Strait separating it from Bali to the west and the Alas Strait between it and Sumbawa to the east. It is roughly circular, with a "tail" (Sekotong Peninsula) to the southwest, about 70 km across and a total area of about 4,725 km² (1,825 sq mi). The provincial capital and largest city on the island is Mataram. It is somewhat similar in size and density with neighboring Bali and shares some cultural heritage, but is administratively part of NTB along with sparsely populated Sumbawa. It is surrounded by a number of smaller islands locally called Gili. The island is home to some 3.16 million Indonesians as recorded in the decennial 2010 census, and in 4 regencies along with the provincial capital Mataram.

Lombok Strait marks the boundaries of flora and fauna of Asia. Starting from the island of Lombok to the east, flora and fauna further demonstrate the similarity with the flora and fauna are found in Australia than Asia.
The scientist who first stated this is Alfred Russel Wallace, an Englishman in the 19th century. To honor this limit is called the Wallace Line.

Topography of the island is dominated by Rinjani volcano which height reaches 3,726 meters above sea level and making it the third highest in Indonesia. The mountain last erupted in June-July 1994. In 1997 the region of mountain and Segara Anak lake adjoining declared protected by the government. Area south of the island consists mostly of fertile land used for agriculture, commodities which are usually grown in this area include maize, rice, coffee, tobacco and cotton.

About 80% of the population of this island is the Sasak tribe, a tribe that is still close to the Bali tribes, but the majority embraced Islam. The remaining population is Balinese, Javanese, Chinese and Arabic.

Tourism is an important source of income on Lombok. The most developed tourism area of the island is on the west coast of the island and is centered about the township of Senggigi. The immediate surrounds of the township contain the most developed tourism facilities. The west coast coastal tourism strip is spread along a 30 km strip following the coastal road north from Mataram and the nearby current airport at Ampenan. The principal tourism area extends to Tanjung in the northwest at the foot of Mount Rinjani and includes the Sire and Medana Peninsulas and the highly popular Gili Islands lying immediately offshore. These three small islands are most commonly accessed by boat from Bangsal near Pemenang, Teluk Nare a little to the south, or from further south at Senggigi and Mangsit beach. A large number of hotels and resorts offer accommodations ranging from budget to luxurious. Recently direct fast boat services have been running from Bali making a direct connection to the Gili islands. Although rapidly changing in character, the Gili islands still provide both a lay-back backpacker's retreat and a high class resort destination.

Other tourist destinations include Mount Rinjani, Gili Bidara, Gili Lawang, Narmada Park and Mayura Park and Kuta (distinctly different from Kuta, Bali). The Kuta area is also famous for its beautiful, largely deserted, white sand beaches. Sekotong, in southwest Lombok, is popular for its numerous and diverse scuba diving locations. South Lombok surfing is considered some of the best in the world and includes Desert Point at Banko Banko in the southwest of the island. The northern west coast near Tanjung has many new upmarket hotel and villa developments centreed about the Sire and Medana peninsular nearby to the Gili islands and a new boating marina at Medana bay. These new developments complement the already existing 5 star resorts and a large golf course already established there.

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