Place yourself in relax mode, snorkel beautifully and enjoy an ice cold, far too sweet, cocktail. The Gili Islands, of which Gili Trawangan, Meno and Air are the best known, are located west of Lombok and are only a short boat ride from the mainland. Lianne has been to Gili Trawangan a number of times and together we went to the idyllic Gili Meno. Each island paradise has its own collection of charms, which we will tell you more about in this blog.
HOW DO YOU GET ON THE GILI’S?
⌲ Sail from Lombok. Several boats a day go to the islands from the town of Bangsal. This is about half an hour by boat, where you can choose between the local boat for about 1 euro or the “tourist boat” for 6 euros.
⌲ Sailing from Bali. There are a lot of providers who want to ship you to the Gili’s, so that shouldn’t be a problem. Often you can arrange this at your accommodation or just go to the harbor and catch the first boat that goes here. You can also bargain with this. Both fast and slow boats depart from Sanur, Amed and Padangbai and cost about 20 euros for a one-way trip.
There are also boats between the Gili Islands, where you can take them for a very small price (1 or 2 euros). However, the boat only leaves the harbor when it’s full, so a deck of cards for waiting is recommended.
WHAT TO DO ON THE GILI’S
The Gili Islands are paradises where time stands still for a moment, despite tourism. There are no cars at all, just a horse (or donkeys) and wagon or a small number of electric scooters. After traveling in Bali and Lombok you will really notice the silence, no sound of crackling engines. Our tip: enjoy it!
On the islands there are also various activities such as snorkeling, hiking and drinking cocktails. We do believe that a visit to the Gili Islands is mainly to relax. Incidentally, you can build a nice beast on Trawangan!
SNORKELING AND DIVING
If you have decided to do something, then go snorkeling or diving. You have the underwater sculptures on the coast of Gili Meno. You may know the photos of the concrete images of people underwater in a circle, where the fish swim all around. You also have the chance to see turtles, rays and other tropical fish.
We snorkeled fantastic, right in front of our lovely Sunset Beach Bungalow on Gili Meno where we stayed for 4 nights. This was a relatively luxurious resort which cost us 20 euros per night. Just step out of your private cabin into the beach and get a massage at home. Here you can take the well-known swing photo and also enjoy the sunset.
As the photo below shows, the sunset from the Gili Islands is magical. With Bali in the distance and some 70’s reggae hits in the background, you can see the sun setting beautifully. Have a nice drink with this and maybe this is the start of your romantic night.
MASSAGES BY THE SEA
When you are reading or listening to music, you have the chance that an old girl will come to you with a pressing question. She wants to massage you for a good price. In complete silence with only the sound of the water washing up, this is the ultimate way of relaxation.
PARTIES ON GILI TRAWANGAN & AN OUTSIDE BIOS
Trawangan is THE party island of the three. Here you can hang from the numerous beach bars and when you put on the naughty shoes, enjoy the well-known mushrooms. Be careful with this, after all, it remains drugs and you are going to be a bit crazy, just ask Lianne.
Plop down in your beanbag and leave everything for a while. On Gili Trawangan you can enjoy a movie in the open air on a big screen. How beautiful do you want the setting to be with the sea in the background?
If you are tired of one island, you can easily take the boat to another island or back to Lombok or Bali.