Basically Bali’s poorer Islamic cousin,
Lombok is drier, less connected, more violent (the last riots were against Christians in 2000) and more expensive. In fact, it’s inferior in all respects to its westerly neighbour unless you want old-school authenticity. Once visitors leave the beaten track around the north-west of the island and Rinjani, there are some gems to be found. Highlights include the ‘unknown’ Gillis (Asahan, Poh, Gede, Nanggu and Tangkong), the Jukut and Joben waterfalls, the antique markets and Chinese food at Ampenan, as well as the deserted beaches and stupendous surf that dot the south west coast. Just, whatever you do, don’t arrive here all fired up for a party, almost all music stops here at 11pm and nightlife in general is frowned upon.