In 1882, for administrative purposes, Bali was separated from Java and combined with the island of Lombok to form the Dutch residency of Lombok and Bali.
It is separated from Bali by the Strait of Lombok and from Sumbawa by the Strait of Alas.
To the naturalist Lombok is of particular interest as the frontier island of the Australian region, with its cockatoos and megapods or moundbuilders, its peculiar bee-eaters and ground thrushes.
In the southern chain is found a limestone formation analogous to that in Bali, Lombok and Java.
In the islands of Bali and Lombok the people still profess a form of Hinduism, and Hindu remains are to be found in many other parts of the archipelago, though their traces do not extend to the peninsula.
Disturbances between the Sasaks and the Lombok Balinese frequently occur.
A theory, which seems to have some probability in its favour, is that these mines were worked by the Khmer people during the period of power, energy and prosperity which found its most lofty expression in the now ruined and deserted city of Angkor Thom; while another attributes these works to the natives of India whose Hindu remains are found in Java and elsewhere, whose influence was at one time widespread throughout Malayan lands, and of whose religious teaching remnants still linger in the superstitions of the Malays and are preserved in some purity in Lombok and Bali.
It is most nearly akin to the Sasak language spoken in Lombok and on the east coast of Bali.
Bali is separated from Lombok by a strait not more than 15 m.