People are finally discovering the Gili Islands. years ago it was all about Bali but now travellers are making the Gili’s part of their travel plans because the Islands are so ridiculously stunning. Tourist come to Bali as their first port of call and are now breaking up a portion of their holiday time to spend it on 1 of the 3 islands.
Following are some reasons why we love the Gili Islands and are confident that you will also love them.
The Gili Islands are located just off the Indonesia island of Lombok, and are a 90 minute fast boat ride away from Padang Bai in Bali. The popularity of these small islands has grown dramatically over the last 10 years where tourist numbers have sky rocketed. This is due to their fantastic, clean beaches, awesome snorkelling and scuba diving, and above all their isolation. The whole place is one big picture postcard. It does not get much prettier than here.
For those of you that have yet to visit the Gili Islands, following are some compelling reasons why it should now be a priority on your travel bucket list.
The Pristine Beaches
White sandy beaches, crystal blue water, calm waters make this the perfect place to unwind, chill out and get the best sun tan of your life. The waters unlike other areas of Indonesia are unpolluted and teeming with aquatic life.
Along the beaches you will find quaint, cosy Indonesian restaurants where you can grab a quick bite to eat in between snorkelling sessions. You can also sit on beach lounges provided by these restaurants and chill out for a couple of hours after eating. No one will ask you to leave. It’s a place where you don’t need you watch. Everything is done very slowly here.
You know how it gets really loud and noisy in Bali well in the Gili’s there are no cars allowed. So the only way you can get around is by cycling. walking or the old horse and cart. This just adds to the whole ambiance and beauty of the place. Having no cars or noisy scooters is not a problem as everything is relatively close to each other. In fact, most people generally stay near their hotel or hang on the beach the whole day. I the Gili’s it’s all about doing nothing and having a car or scooter is really unnecessary.
Bicycle hire costs about $2 per day and it’s a good way to have a look around the island and do some exploring. It really makes a difference if you are coming from crazy Bali where the streets are chaotic.
The Magical Sunsets
It’s like a mass migration of tourist. Every day at about 4.30pm hordes of tourists get on their bicycle and make their way to the western part of the island for the Gili Islands sunset. Here you can see the sun going down over the mountains in Bali. This is where people go crazy taking photos and popping them straight onto Instagram. Hotels nearby are also jam packed with people snapping away with a camera in one hand and a beer in another.
The Awesome Food
Food in Indonesia is great, end of story but in the Gili Islands it’s the way yo have it. The main dishes are fresh seafood and it’s served to you on the beach. Even better, some restaurants will cook up a BBQ on the beach and you can eat your meal hot off the grill. all meals in the Gili’s are a very relaxed event. There’s no need to dress up and you can come as you are straight off the beach. No formality needed here.
If you are into night markets where locals set up stalls (about 35-45 food vendors) and cook tasty Balinese and Indonesian dishes for less than $2, there are food markets every night in Gili Trawangan.
If you like your scuba diving then all 3 islands; Trawangan, Meno and Air all have fantastic dive spots where there is an abundance of marine life. There are even turtles,mantas and reef sharks. There are heaps of dive schools if you want to learn to dive and become Padi certified.
The whole area is a divers paradise. Try and get 2 dives in per day if you have the time.
Accommodation and food is really cheap. If you are a backpacker you are going to love it here cause you can get rooms right on the beach for less than $30 per night. The other 3, 4 and 5 star hotels are also incredibly cheap considering where you are and what you are getting – it’s good value for money. Plus meals at local warungs are cheap. Two people can dine out on less than $15-$20 for dinner.
It’s really isolated
You can feel the isolation when you are on the islands and this is when you really begin to relax. Less crowds, no cars and beautiful tropical beaches make the isolation worth it. You can really escape from the world tucked neatly away on any of the 3 islands.
So if you have been going to Bali or Thailand for your annual holiday and want to try something really unique, spend a week or two on the Gili Islands and enjoy mother nature at it’s very finest.