The Balinese are amicable people who have managed to preserve their culture despite overwhelming foreign influences brought to the region by an ever increasing number of tourists. Bali’s international airport, Ngurah Rai, in the south of the island, is the nation’s Eastern Gateway and is served by numerous international airlines and charters. In order to keep up with the growing number of visitors and the need for their comfort, more hotels have been built, ranging from small bungalows in the highlands to the luxurious Nusa Dua tourist resort area, near the airport, on the southern tip of the island. Water sports have also gained in popularity and Bali can boast of superb surfing, windsurfing, sailing, scuba diving and white water rafting.
For many years, the island of Lombok, just to the east of Bali has existed in the shadow of its more famous neighbor but is now becoming a popular destination in its own right. The mighty volcano of Rinjani dominates the island and provides magnificent panoramas for hundreds of miles. At first Islam time come to these islands in the 16th century, four Hindu Kingdoms co-existed in apparent peace what is now called West Nusa Tenggara and is still the religion embraced by those in the west of Lombok, which are primarily Balinese. Lombok experienced strong Balinese influences in the past, but has still retained a unique identifies. The indigenous people of Lombok, the Sasaks, are predominantly Moslem and have a strong, distinguished tradition, as do the people of neighboring Sumbawa. Soft white sand, virgin beaches are typical in Lombok, where the motto is ‘You can see Bali in Lombok, but not Lombok in Bali’. Famous for its ‘tenun ikat’ hand-woven textiles, the island has exceptional charm and its relatively undiscovered, except for Senggigi City, which becoming a major resort area.