Situated on the western side of Lombok Island, the city of Mataram is the capital and largest city in the West Nusa Tenggara Province. In addition to serving as the provincial capital, Mataram is the center of the provincial government, education, commerce, industry and services. Public buildings, banks, post office, general hospitals, shopping malls, and hotels are found here, making it a perfect staging point before travelers explore the undiscovered splendors of Lombok Island and neighboring Sumbawa Island.
The city is in fact an amalgamation of four towns: Ampenan, Mataram, Cakranegara and Bertais, that were once individual kingdoms and townships. Nowadays, these have become the city’s sub-districts with their own distinct features. Broadly, Ampenan is an aging port city, Mataram is the governmental and office center for the province, Cakranegara is the major commercial center on the island, and Bertais is the overland center for public transportation. The four sub-districts are connected through a main road that stretches from Ampenan Street in Ampenan to the Selaparang Street at Bertais.