Life Begins At...

The Retiree Magazine Summer 2011-12

Life Begins At.....

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Page 32 of 171

LOMBOK - THE IDEAL VACATION Lombok is a tourist paradise, offering adventure tourism, eco tourism and superb sun and sea holidays without necessarily going miles into the jungle or making numerous fl ight connections to arrive at a secluded spot. Serviced by regular fl ights direct from Singapore by Silk Air and domestic airline fl ights from Jakarta, Surabaya and Bali, Lombok is destined to become one of the most sought after, exotic destinations in Asia. An international airport has opened 1st October 2011 in central Lombok. The Tourist Development projects are on the south coast. The project will result in a tourist area similar to Nusa Dua in Bali. With a population of just 3.4 million people, over 5,435 square kilometres there has been a cultural link to Bali from the 18th century when Balinese royalty, displaced by Dutch colonialists, invaded their neighbouring island. But that is about where similarities end. Lombok is a haven for the vacationer looking for peace and quiet in an age old environment. Make sure you take a reliable car and guide with you, there are no taxis roaming past, very few telephones in rural areas not many people speak English. Recent development has seen considerable increase in accommodation of an international standard over the past few years with the Sheraton Senggigi and Novotel. The Oberoi, Lombok, the islands' only luxurious resort opened on the north west coast in April 1997. The handicrafts; pottery, weaving and jewellery, of Lombok are world renown by sight, but unknown by place of origin. The Ikats, woven jewellery, baskets and pottery are magnifi cent, practical and very affordable! Fantastic bargains are to be found in pearl jewellery. The coral garden off the three Gili islands opposite of The Oberoi, Lombok is unspoilt, a paradise for snorkelers and divers who want to indulge their passion at little cost. Along with the treasure of coral comes responsibilities, the onus of protecting this beautiful asset must lie on tourism developers. To swim through the world's second largest patch of Blue Coral with the electric blue points standing out against the green, passing shoals of parrotfi sh is a joy to be repeated many times. There are several waterfalls in the northern part of Lombok which are a delight to behold. A few require something akin to an endurance test to reach, led by your guide, but are well worth the effort and you come away with stunning photographs and an olympian sense of achievement. The people of Lombok may not have the colourful parades of Bali, but their smile and welcome is just as warm. There THE OBEROI, BALI THE OBEROI, BALI are parts of Lombok where the westerner is a rarely seen fascination and children disarmingly stroke your skin just to see if it feels different. From coral gardens to waterfalls to Sasak villages to mountain trekking over Mount Rinjani this island has a fascination which overwhelms the senses, a new total holiday experience. THE OBEROI, LOMBOK THE RETIREE SUMMER 27

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