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School kids in Mataram

Less developed than Bali, Lombok also has better beaches, a bigger volcano and a greater variety of landscapes. Tourism is less intrusive than it is on Bali, but the flip-side is that the people of Lombok are less blasé about tourists: in some places you might find the residents quite resentful of the new wave of tourism.

The mainly-Muslim island of Lombok is an island of uncrowded beaches and tranquil countryside, dominated by the spectacular volcano of Gunung Rinjani. Although it's got a Balinesque feel to it, it has not yet fallen victim to the sloganised T-shirt, beer and bikini set.

In some places there's a refreshing indifference to tourists, but that's all set to change as the more independent-minded - as well as those who've 'done Bali' - strike out for fresh fields. This, combined with the recent development of several luxury resorts, means it's no longer a hidden jewel.

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