Kuta Lombok © Alex Hanoko
Not to be confused with its better-known namesake on Bali, Lombok's Kuta is almost totally undeveloped by comparison, having only been 'discovered' by surfers a few years ago and still devoid of any large holiday resort hotels. The whole south coast is characterised by miles of stunning curved sandy bays set beneath empty, rolling hills. There are plans for development but that is still many years away, to the delight of many tourists who prefer to explore Indonesia's undeveloped coastlines.
Kuta's southeast peninsula and Awang Bay are dotted with tiny fishing villages untouched by tourism, while inland villages specialising in local crafts such as pottery, weaving, basket ware and carving can be visited. There are bars and restaurants in the town, but no ATMs, and internet is patchy. Locals sell crafts like hand-woven sarongs and even pearl jewellery and they can be a bit persistent and annoying if you don't buy from them - but generally the lack of crowds and touristy stalls is a refreshing change from the most popular areas of Indonesia which have been thronged by tourists. Kuta Lombok is still relatively rustic and unspoiled so it is ideal for those travellers who don't mind foregoing luxury and the occasional convenience to experience a place that still feels like a secluded island paradise.