Millions of people visit Bali each year seeking a beach paradise, so the island is exploding with people locally and foreign. There is no public transport so people travel with private cars and motorbikes. Getting around the popular parts of the island takes a long time because of the traffic. Whereas Lombok is still quieter and has a lot more space to breathe.
Bali has been a victim of rapid development that the island now feels more like a city than an exotic getaway. Lombok, just next door, still has pristine stunning nature – blue water beaches, rolling hills, paddy fields, and lots of trees. The centre of the island has a sprawling national park and gushing waterfalls, and is full of wildlife.
Lombok has more homestays than resorts and local food shops than restaurants. You can enjoy Lombok on a much lower budget than Bali. Cheap food stalls sell delicious local food for under $1 and guesthouses cost around $10 to $20. In Bali, everything costs about double.
Just a short boat ride, you can visit the Gili islands that are eco-friendlier with no vehicles, just horse carriages. They offer beach-front resorts and restaurants. You can swim and snorkel or just enjoy a relaxed holiday with massages.