West Lombok, Indonesia 

Lombok's largest city, Mataram, with a population of just over 500K, is the capital of West Nussa Tenggara province. It is the proud home of a shiny new Islamic Center whose grand, three-story mosque was designed by local architects who wished to blend Arabic styles with home-grown, island motifs, including the traditional drum used to call people to prayer. Mataram is a modern city that retains but a few fading traces of its long history, including the sparse remains of a pre-colonial royal palace and its Hindu temple, Taman Mayura.

West of Mataram, along the coast is Senggigi, the hub of Lombok’s still relatively quiescent tourist development, from where one can watch the sunset over the great cone of Bali’s Gunung Agung volcano. The hills above this long and sparsely settled tourist area are home to fairly mellow troupes of the small Grey Macaques, transplanted from Bali to Lombok in prehistoric times. (Most of the animals one encounters on Lombok are transplants from the western islands, which lie on the other side of the Wallace Line.)

Lombok’s population is predominantly Muslim, including locally derived, syncretic sects. A small presence of Balinese Hindus persists on the west coast from the days when the island was conquered and occupied by their ancestors. (Though the people of western Lombok accepted the authority and presence of the Balinese, other Sasak peoples rebelled against them, ultimately defeating them with the assistance of the Dutch.) An ancient, syncretic, Sasak Buddhist religion is also still practiced by a small minority. South of Mataram are two crafts villages: Banyumulek village, producing a wide range of hand-thrown pottery for ornamentation or everyday use; and Sukarara village, producing handwoven sarongs and other textiles. —Usha Alexander, Dec 2016.

Senggigi town





Senggigi Beach (1, 2)

Fishing boats

Senggigi Beach

Senggigi Beach (more)

Chess on the lawns

Another beach (1, 2)

From Pura Batu Bolong (more)

View of Mt Agung, Bali

North of Senggigi

Another bay (1, 2)

A lizard on the door

Cap Cay lunch

Pura Batu Bolong

Temple entrance

Shrines on top

Shrines on top (1, 2)

Laughing statue

A religous ritual (more)

A religous ritual

A religous ritual


Islamic Center Mataram

Lavishly built

Brand new in 2016

Pride of Mataram

Mosque at the center

Mosque interior (1, 2)

Local style drum,
for the call to prayer

Fine architecture

A street in Mataram

A produce market

A produce market

A local mosque

Pura Meru (more)

Built in 1720; largest Hindu
temple on Lombok

Dedicated to Brahma,
Vishnu and Shiva (1, 2)

Empty seat

Taman Mayura entrance

A water palace built in 1744
by King Karangasem

There were once mayuras

Once a royal meeting place

A temple onsite

Water lilies

A shrine

A mayura statue

Weaving in Sukarara Village, Pottery in Banyumulek Village

Women weavers (more)

Older weaver

Slow patient work

Fabrics produced

Tourist trying out a dress (more)

Pottery in Banyumulek Village

Finished goods (more)

Loaded jackfruit tree

Monkey Forest

Long-tailed Grey Macaques

Expecting food?

Potential food?

Female macaque

Drinking from a bottle

Yawning male (more)

Kid trying to eat
plastic trash (more)

Snug embrace




Designed in collaboration with Vitalect, Inc.