Ampenan, Senggigi - Stein Travel
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The vast metropolis of Ampenan, Mataram, Caimanegara and Swete, with a population of around 250,000, comprises four towns, the boundaries of which are all but indistinguishable to the casual visitor. While Sweta is the main transport hub and site of the island's biggest market, Ampenan, the town furthest west, is the main tourist area and the location of most shops, hotels and restaurants. Most visitors pass through the area fairly quickly but there are one or two sights worth seeing nearby, including the weaving factories in the capital Mataram, whose processes have remained largely unchanged for hundreds of years, and a weaving village to the south where traditionally dressed women work on wooden handlooms. There are a number of shrines and temples open to visitors, the best are centred around the Mayura Water Palace, dating from 1744 and used by the royal court during the Balinese rule of Lombok.

Information & Facts


Bahasa Indonesia is the official language, but many dialects are spoken. English is widely understood in Jakarta and tourist resorts.


Rupiah (IDR) is the official currency and is divided into 100 sen. Foreign currency can easily be exchanged at banks, hotels and money changers in major tourist destinations; US dollars is the most accepted currency. Cash often yields a better exchange rate than travellers cheques, which are not always accepted. It is recommended that travellers cheques also be in US dollars. Most major credit cards are accepted at hotels, restaurants and stores catering to the tourist trade. ATMs are available in main centres. Small change is often unavailable so keep small denomination notes and coins for items like bus fares, temple donations and cool drinks.


Indonesia spans three time zones. GMT +7 (West, including Java and Sumatra), GMT +8 (Central, including Bali, Sulawesi and Lombok), GMT +9 (East, including Irian Jaya).

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