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Lombok

From Academic Kids

Missing image
Lombok-NASA.JPG
Satellite photograph of Lombok, showing its volcano. Source: NASA

Lombok (1990 pop. 2,403,025) is an island of eastern Indonesia. It is 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" to the southwest, about 70 km across and a total area of about 4,725 km² (1,825 sq mi). The administrative capital and largest city on the island is Mataram.

The Lombok Strait marks the passage of the biogeographical division between the fauna of the Indomalayan ecozone and the distinctly different fauna of Australasia that is known as the Wallace Line, for Alfred Russel Wallace, who first remarked upon the distinction between these two major biomes.

The island's topography is dominated by the centrally-located stratovolcano Mount Rinjani, which rises to 3,726 m (12,224 ft), making it the third-largest in Indonesia. The most recent eruption of Rinjani was in June-July, 1994. The volcano, and its sacred crater lake, are protected by a National Park established in 1997. The southern part of the island is a fertile plain where corn, rice, coffee, tobacco, and cotton are grown.

The island's inhabitants are 85% Sasak (a people, closely related to the Balinese, but mostly practising Islam), 10-15% Balinese, with the small remainder being Chinese, Arab, Javanese, and Sumbawanese.

The Dutch first visited Lombok in 1674 and settled the eastern part of the island, leaving the western half to be ruled by a Hindu dynasty from Bali. The Sasaks chafed under Balinese rule, and a revolt in 1891 ended in 1894 with the annexation of the entire island to the Netherlands East Indies.

Lombok has much in common with nearby Bali, but less well-known and less-visited by foreigners. It has been working to increase its visibility to tourists in recent years, promoting itself as an "unspoiled Bali". The most-developed center of tourism is Senggigi, spread in a 10-kilometer strip along the coastal road north of Mataram. However, in early 2000 thousands fled from religious and ethnic violence that swept over the island, and tensions remain. Some travel websites warn that tourists sometimes provoke anger in this economically depressed region.

Gili Islands

The Gili Islands, an archipelago of three small islands just off the northwest coast of Lombok, are a popular destination for Western tourists looking for a remote island experience. Each island has several small resorts, usually consisting of a small collection of huts for tourists, and a restaurant. Most local inhabitants live in the hilly interior of the island. Automobiles and motorized traffic are prohibited on the islands by local ordinance, so the preferred method of transportation is bicycle or the horse-drawn carriage called a cidomo. Diving in and around the Gilis is also popular, although the prices are fairly high due to local cartel activities. The name "Gili Islands" is a bit of a misnomer, because Gili simply means "island" in the local dialect.

External links

de:Lombok et:Lombok id:Lombok nl:Lombok pl:Lombok

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