For years Bali remained one of the most coveted islands in the world. With gorgeous rice terraces, epic surf breaks and a unique Balinese-Hindu culture, Bali has captivated tourists for decades. However with booming tourism and many expats planting their roots, the stunning nature and fascinating culture is becoming increasingly wiped out.
Lombok, just next door, has plenty of exhilarating surf breaks, stunning nature and a peaceful kind culture—without the crowds, scams and hefty price tag. Here’s why Lombok is so much better than Bali.
Lombok is Still Natural
Looking at images of Kuta, Bali, just 30 years ago may cause your jaw to drop. Bali has become victim of rapid development, and much of the coastline in the south is covered in resorts. While Ubud once enchanted travellers with gorgeous rice fields, today it feels like a hectic city. Contrastingly, much of Lombok remains pristine—coastline stretches for miles with no development at all. In just a few minutes on the back of a bike you will find yourself in rolling hills with nothing more than a few huts and workers in the rice fields. The centre of the island has a sprawling national park and gushing waterfalls, and is full of wildlife.
Lombok is Not Congested With Traffic
Bali may be a small island, but it can take hours to move just a short distance. Traffic is congested and motorbike accidents are quite common, making it a dangerous place to drive. Lombok still has little to no traffic, making it the perfect place to learn to ride a motorbike, and an exhilarating place to zoom around for those with experience. Taxis and shuttles can go from one side of the island to the other quickly and significantly less expensively.
Lombok Has Less Tourists
Bali has been on the tourist trail for decades and, consequently, it is full of travellers. In Lombok you can still surf waves in complete solitude and find beaches without another soul for miles. Without the crowds, you can truly soak in the magic of the incredible nature and culture.
Lombok Has a Local Vibe
With significantly less tourists, Lombok still maintains its local culture. In Seggigi and Kuta, the main tourist towns of Lombok, locals and travellers surf together in the ocean, eat in the same small warungs, and dance together in the same bars. In the capital city of Mataram, classic nasi campur food stalls line the streets and you can shop for traditional handicrafts.
Lombok Comes at a Lower Price
With fewer resorts than homestays and more warungs than fine dining, you can enjoy Lombok on a much lower budget than Bali. In Mataram, cheap food stalls sell delicious local food for under $1, while on the south coast in Kuta, Lombok, fresh grilled fish in an international fusion restaurants costs less than $5, compared to restaurants charging $10 and up in Bali. Guesthouses cost around $10 to $20 for a double room per night, about half the price of low-cost accommodation in Bali.