“The feeling of stepping onto a white sandy beach surrounding by uninterrupted views of sun-drenched white sands and azure seas is indescribable. Something not to be missed is island hopping and snorkelling in the Gilis. Only about two hours by fast boat from Bali, you can reach Gili Trawangan, the entry point to the three Gili Islands of Gili Trawangan, Gili Air and Gili Meno.”
The Gili islands have established themselves as trendy destinations for international visitors looking for remote islands to ‘get away from it all’. The natural feel of the islands has been greatly enhanced by the local authority’s decision to prohibit the use of motorised vehicles on the islands. This simple change greatly enriches the holiday experience as, most of the time, everyone must get around the island by bike, feet or local transport called ‘cidomo,’ which is basically a horse and cart with a roof.
Gili Trawangan is the main island of the three and has become well known as the ‘party island’ packed with accommodation from luxury to homestay, restaurants, cafes, and bars. These days the accommodation is not only limited to local standard; the increasing numbers of foreign visitors in recent years has had a considerable influence in introducing international standards. This is particularly the case with food and drink, and there is no longer the need to worry you will go hungry because your palette cannot handle traditional spicy food. Numerous restaurants along the Gili Trawangan beachfront offer comprehensive Asian and Western menus.
Gili Air, even though it is the most populated of the three, is only well known for its diving spots. The inland area is mostly populated by people from Lombok (this is the closest of the Gili Islands to Lombok). Off the shore of Gili Air is a wonderful dive site known as the ‘Gili Air Wall’ with an abundant array of colourful tropical fish and an immense reef of living coral, a joyful sight as you slowly swim or snorkel by. If you’re lucky, you may see seahorses and turtles lurking in the depths. The underwater scenery is breathtaking; these islands really are a paradise for keen divers.
Between the two other Gili Islands, Gili Meno is the smallest of the three and is visited by fewer tourists which makes it perfect for honeymooners or for those who really want to get away from the madding crowd.
Whatever you’d like to do, the Gili Islands have much to offer, it certainly is a wonderful experience, and after spending a few days, you’ll be feeling relaxed and recharged. From the beachside to the underwater marine life, from the tranquillity of island retreats to the exiting international party scene, the Gili Islands have it all.