Asian paradise destinations are popular primarily for their beaches, and secondly for their shopping. Foreigners always get a special treat knowing that all the items for sale are not sold in their home countries. Local items are cheap and authentic, and the shopping experience is cultural and exhilarating. Shopping in Lombok does not disappoint in terms of these expectations.
In addition to its world-class beaches, colorful reefs, majestic waterfalls, unspoiled islands and the looming Mount Rinjani, Lombok is also known for its sleepless nightlife and wide array of shops. So, after getting wet and basking in the warm soothing sun, get ready for a different kind of Southeast Asian shopping experience.
On top of your list should be the island’s unique and exotic pottery, woven baskets and textiles, and jewelry. Lombok pottery products are highly regarded for their original and intricately elaborate designs. They do not pass through mass-producing machines, instead requiring hours and hours of tedious manual labor. They are mostly made by the local villagers of Penujak, Banyumulek and Masbagik, each village maintaining its own unique style and patterns. Lombok pottery is also known to fuse well with bamboo, rattan and other kinds of home furniture and interior designs. The island’s center for pottery is located within the capital city of Mataram in the village of Banyumulek. Also very popular is the Pamour Art and Gallery on Raya Senggigi. This gallery also sells antiques, woodcrafts and ceramics.
The other bestsellers are signature-Lombok woven baskets that are as intricately designed as the pieces of pottery. The center for all woven products is Sukara, Lombok’s traditional weaving village. Visitors are allowed to see the entire process of creating the products, from growing the cotton, spinning the thread, brewing the dyes and to finally weaving the looms. The village’s traditional style of weaving is called “ikat”, which means “to tie or bind”. Although you will not be forced to buy the finished products, it is expected of you after watching how they are created. This is not a bad deal, anyway, since you know that what you’re buying is authentic, handmade and all-natural. The most common woven items are sarongs, shirts, dresses and home decorations.
Meanwhile, Lombok pearls are popular to all visiting tourists since they literally come to you. Freshwater pearls are the most common commodity being sold around the beaches by local vendors. For the rarer kinds of pearls, there are about 15 pearl companies around the island that sell them in bulk. The most popular store is the M&L Pearl Shop on Raya Senggigi near the Jayakarta Hotel. Coral pieces are also for sale.
Finally, the best souvenirs and show pieces to take home for display are different kinds of decorative items, home ornaments and pieces of furniture, as well as authentic and fake antiques, sold along the very busy Sweta Bazaar and Cakranegara. Then go to Gili Tarawangan and Tete Batu to stack up on your sarongs. Authentic and extremely artistic sarongs are the best gifts to take home for friends and family. Shopping in Lombok is not completele without buying one or two pieces of sarong.