There are thousands of island spread out along the Indonesian archipelago and, for some reason, the one most attractive and popular among tourists tend to be in the eastern part of the island chain, aomgst them we find the gili islands, atrio of islands just off the northwestern coast of lombok
The Gili Islands are made up of three small islands called Gili Trawangan, Gili Air and Gili Meno, of these Gili Trawangan is the largest and acts as the entry point for the group. The most convenient way to travel to Gili is by high-speed boat from the Serangan area of Bali. Bluewater Express operate a high-speed boat service that sails regularly to the Gili Islands. Usually, with a brief stop at the Bali port of Padang Bai along the way, the journey takes about 2 hours to reach Gili Trawangan.
The Gilis have established themselves as a very popular destination for international visitors looking for a remote island to ‘get away from it all’. The natural feel of the islands has been enhanced by the local authority who have prohibited 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’ with its crowded beach sidewalk filled with restaurants, huts, resorts, cafes, bars and minimarkets. These facilities are not only of local standard, the increase in 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 need to worry you will go hungry because your palette cannot handle spicy traditional food with numerous restaurants along the Gili Trawangan beachfront offering both Asian and Western menus. The island even boasts gelato sellers in many areas.
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 diving spot called ‘Gili Air Wall’ with its colourful array of tropical fish and an immense reef of living coral, a joyful sight as you slowly swim or snorkel by. If you’re lucky, you might see seahorses and turtles lurking in the depths. Gili Meno is the smallest of the Gili Islands and is sandwiched between the other two. Gili Meno is visited by fewer tourists and is a perfect place 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. 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.