Practical Information - Lombok
Indonesia’s official national language is called Bahasa Indonesia which is spoken and understood throughout Lombok. Bahasa Indonesia is used in Government offices, for business purposes and in broadcasting and the media. The local dialect of Lombok is known as Sasak and spoken among local people and often the only language used in the more remote and undeveloped areas around the island. English is commonly spoken and understood in resort areas along with other European languages.
Lombok time zone is UCT/GMT +7. There is no daylight saving time difference through the year as it lies in the tropics just south of the equator. There is a uniform pattern of around 12 hours daylight all year round with sunrise at 6:00 am and the sun sets just after 6:00 pm.
Currency & Money Changers
The local currency in Indonesia is Rupiah (IDR). Travellers cheques and foreign currency can be changed at numerous money changers and banks around the island. ATM machines are available in Mataram and in Sengiggi. There are also several ATM machines on Gili Trawangan and Gili Air, but as yet, none on Gili Meno. It is advisable to take cash with you when travelling to the more remote areas of Lombok such as Sekotong as the nearest ATM can be at least an hour’s drive away. International credit cards such as Visa and Mastercard are accepted by many large hotels, major stores and some restaurants and hotels on Gili Trawangan.
Tax and Tipping
An 11% Government tax is levied on all bills and many restaurants and hotels also add a 10% service charge on top. Tipping in Lombok is at your discretion, and not mandatory. However, it is common practice to tip individuals such as taxi drivers and tour guides for excellent service.
8:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday to Friday
8:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday to Friday (Government offices)
8:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday to Friday(Commercial businesses)
10:00 am to 10:00 pm every day (Mataram Mall and in resort areas)
6:00 am to 6:00 pm every day (markets)
Electricity supply in Lombok is 220 volts using two pin sockets and universal adaptors can be purchased in supermarkets and tourist shops. There is 24-hour electricity available on Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air but it is not uncommon for blackouts to occur there and in more remote areas on Lombok. Larger hotels often have backup generators. Some of the more remote Gilis in the South West do not have electricity and businesses and homes use their own portable generators.
It is advisable to visit a doctor and update your vaccinations before visiting Indonesia. Medical facilities are available and adequate at Risa Medika Klinik and Rumah Sakit Harapan Keluarga in the city but in the remote areas of Lombok medical care is almost non-existent. In cases of medical emergency, use a private car, taxi or police vehicle to get to hospital as ambulances are used more as non-emergency assisted patient transport. Only drink water which has been boiled or sealed bottled water. All food must be well-cooked.
It is recommended to wear light fabrics due to the warm, humid climate. When going to banks and the immigration office, wear long trousers and a shirt. Singlets and sandals are not allowed. When visiting places of worship - temples and mosques - shorts and beachwear are not considered appropriate.