Ampenan is the suburb of the city of Mataram. It is situated on Lombok Island which is known as the old town. According to historians, the name Ampenan was taken from the local word “Amben” means heaven. Used to be, Ampenan was a city that was used by the Dutch colonial as a port. Because of that, the area was full of various ethnics.
Today, the population of the area still consists of various ethnic, such as Arabs, Malays, Tionghoa as well as the Bugis people. It can be seen when you enter the city. On the main street of Yos Sudarso, there are shops belong to the ancient Chinese people. There are also shops belong to the Arab community which usually sell goods typical of the Middle East. Because there are so many old buildings, Ampenen is also known as the old city.
However, Ampenan is not just its ancient buildings because it also has a beautiful beach. Once again, the beach was used by the Dutch colonial as a main port. Today, local people still use it especially for whom have cafes and small restaurants. Though the beach is quite crowd in the afternoon but the panorama is so amazing. When the sun goes down in the west, local people and tourists usually spend their time there. They enjoy the sunset while enjoying delicious roasted corn near the beach sold by the local sellers.
The panorama will be more dramatic and romantic when the situation was getting darker; at that moment, the moon shines brightly replacing the sun. In the Ampenan beach, you will also find the ruins of the pier that was built during the Dutch era or around 1948 to 1950. Today, the location is used by local people as a fishing spot. Ampenan port is an important port in Lombok until the 1970s. Unfortunately, the history of the old port must come to an end because the government decided to move all activities to the Lembar port.
It is not hard to reach the old city of Ampenan because the location is in the capital city of Mataram. Much public transportation, including bus and taxi passes the area. There are also hotels in the area where usually tourists spend the night. The nightlife in Ampenan is also amazing since many bars open until late.
Simply we can say that Mataram, including Ampenan is the place where you can easily find public buildings, banks, post office, public general hospitals and shopping malls. This is the main city and the most crowded city in Lombok.
Tourism accommodation is completely equipped here. Tourists can also find traditional dance performances and art exhibitions. There is also traditional puppet shows called Wayang Kulit played regularly. If you like old traditional markets, Ampenan is a perfect destination. Here, you can easily find shops sell silver-threaded sarongs, basket ware and gold-threaded wraparound garments. So, do not forget to go to the old city of Ampenan when you visit Lombok because the city will provide you an unforgettable moment.