We are planning a trip through indonesia and are definitely excited about Bali, but keep hearing that it has gotten very touristic and harder to find genuine experiences (and more expensive) lombok has been defined by some as Bali 15 years ago. We are more looking for south est asia than bars and clubs. For anyone who has been to both, what is your recommendation?
Bali has changed a lot in 15 years, but there are still some lovely pockets.
Bali and Lombok are both very different destinations, remember they are different cultures and as such you will have a different experience. Bali is Hindu and Lombok is Muslim.
I love both. I cant choose.
I love Bali for the laid back relaxing lifestyle and always manage to have a brilliant time. I tend to go to Ubud or any of the most northern beaches as opposed to Kuta, Seminyak, Nusa Dua or Sanur. However in my next trip (in a couple of weeks), I'll be in Sanur for a few days purely for convenience.
The northern beaches in Singaraja for example are the Bali of 20 years ago. Lovely.
In Lombok, I like to go to the Gili Islands. I haven't been there for a few years and have been told they've changed a bit. Still great for snorkelling and scuba diving though.
I'm also travelling to Flores. Apparently this is the new Bali of 20yrs ago. Lonely Planet is yet to write a guide ;)
Why not combine the two? One week in Bali and One week in Lombok? about 6 years ago