Rabu, 04 April 2012

Cruising West Nusa Tenggara

The area of West Nusa Tenggara (Lombok Island and Sumbawa Island) is marked as the “Wallace Line”, point of transition between the flora and fauna of the western part and eastern part of the Indonesian archipelago. The Oxford zoologist W. George writes that Wallace’s Line marks the division between a rich continental fauna associated with high rainfall, forests and varied habitats and an impoverished fauna associated with low rainfall, thorn scrub and restricted habitats.

The Lombok Island is similar in size to Bali and divided only by the narrow Lombok Strait. The Lombok of today is often said to be what Bali was twenty years ago. The fact is that there are major differences in geography, climate, culture and religion of the people. The people of Lombok are called Sasak. They are Moslem, following their own particular traditions and  a with a unique identity, even though some of Balinese influence can be seen here.

Sumbawa Island is located in the east of Lombok, it is a harsh, dry landscape with some active volcanoes on it. Sumbawa consists of two island that are joined by a thin isthmus, the western part is called Sumbawa Besar and the eastern part is known as Bima. The people in the west speak a language similar to those in Lombok while the those in the east speak the same language spoken in Flores. To replicate the success of Bali as a tourist destination, Lombok has been trying to attract more visitors in the last ten years. Lombok has some beautiful white sandy beaches, traditional Sasak houses and the famous hand – woven textiles ( tenun ikat ) to offer, and Lombok is less crowded than Bali.

Places of Interest
Port of Lembar

Sukarare Village – Traditional Songket Textiles
Here you can see and shop for traditional hand woven textiles. The impressive technique, patterns and beautiful motifs have been handed down through generations.

Sindhu Market
A place where local people buy their daily needs. Here you can find some interesting items, such as local sweets, cakes, cloths, fruits, spices that you will not find back home.

Narmada, The Kingly Garden
Named after a sacred river in India, this beautiful garden was built as a royal park and is a place to worship God Shiva. These day, this garden is famous for its spring, located right in the center of the garden. People come for the holy water that they believe brings eternity.

Karang Bayan Village
Karang Bayan is a traditional Sasak Village. Here you can see traditional Sasak Houses, an old tribe that have been living in Lombok for many years and have become its major inhabitant. Also visit Mesjid Kuno, the oldest mosque on the island.

Senggigi Beach
An ideal place for relaxing, Senggigi is a white sandy beach that is safe for swimming. The beach overlooks Lombok strait and when the weather is clear you can see most sacred mount in Bali, Mount Agung, from a distance. Along the main road there are various kind of accommodation and restaurants.

Echo Sasak Tour
Duration : 4 Hrs 30 Mins
13:00 Lembar, Departure
14:10 – 14:30 Sengkol/Rambitan Village
15:40 – 16:05 Karang Bayan Village
16:35 – 17:00 Pondok Perase Fishermen Village
17:30 Lembar, Arrival

Lords and Shrines Tour
Duration : 8 Hrs 30 Mins
08:30 Lembar, Departure
09:00 – 09:45 Arrive at Local Market
10:00 – 10:45 Mayura Palace
11:00 – 11:45 Lingsar Temple
12:30 – 13:30 Lunch, Senggigi Beach
14:30 – 15:15 Karang Bayan
15:50 – 16:25 Weaving Factory
17:00 Lembar, Arrival

Source: Cruising Indonesia by Ministry of Culture and Tourism Republic of Indonesia

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