The capital of Lombok, Mataram is a busy city of a half million people. Most residents are indigenous Sasak, but there is also a substantial population of Balinese Hindus as well as expats from Australia and other parts of the world. You'll see families traveling through the congested traffic on motorbikes (which can be rented here by the strong of heart and the well insured). For some serenity, visit the Mayura Water Palace, with its pavilions and temples built in the 1700s around an artificial lake. To experience the expat life here, head to one of the city's many great little warungs, or cafés, for a plate of noodles with a Bintang beer or a Balinese coffee.