Vikingvalhallas – About Gili Islands – Which one to visit, Top things to do and how to get there is the best plan for discovering ,
We had 7 days available to explore this area of Indonesia, which we distributed between Bali and Gili Islands. I don’t regret this decision at all, but, if you have more time, I recommend you spend and book 2 or 3 days separately to go to the Gili Islands.
In fact, since these islands are so close to the tourist epicenter of Indonesia, many travelers decide to take a trip to the Gili Islands from Bali. Its idyllic beaches, its dreamy sunset, and its leisurely island life make everyone who visits them fall in love.
Although tourism has grown immensely in this archipelago in recent years, there’s no doubt that it’s still worth traveling to the Gili Islands.
Relaxing on a white sand beach or diving among colorful corals are just some of the things to do in the Gili Islands. If you’re thinking of traveling to this earthly paradise, in our Gili Islands guide, you’ll find the following information:
What are the Gili Islands?
The Gili Islands are an archipelago formed by three islands (, Gili Meno and Gili Air) that are located on the Northwest coast of Lombok and belong to the province of West Nusa Tenggara.
However, if you check where the Gili Islands are on a map, you’ll see that they’re also very close to Bali, the most touristy island in Indonesia. Therefore, many travelers believe that the Gili Islands are in Bali. In fact, most tourists who travel to the Gili Islands do so from Bali and not from Lombok.
Bali also has an archipelago of paradise islands called Nusa Islands. However, the Gili Islands surpass them in fame for having, according to some, better sunsets and shallow coral reefs ideal for snorkeling.
If you’re a diver and ask me if the Gili Islands or Nusa Islands are better, I recommend the Nusa Islands. Different species of manta rays and the giant Mola Mola fish can be seen around this archipelago during some months of the year (we talk about this in our article about the). In addition to this, there aren’t many differences between the Gili Islands and the Nusa Islands. Both archipelagos have spectacular beaches that will make you feel like you’re in paradise – The Gili Island for Backpackers and Young people
With only 3.4 square kilometers, Gili Trawangan is the largest of the Gili Islands. In addition, it’s the one that receives the most visitors annually, because you can find some of the cheapest accommodation in the Gili Islands here.
Gili Trawangan stands out for its vibrant nightlife, which is possible thanks to its bars and nightclubs that stay open until dawn. Therefore, Gili T is the favorite Gili Island of young people; they even call it the Gili Island for backpackers.
In the center of the island, there’s an international community of Rastafarians attracted by the few legal restrictions on drugs. If you’ve ever heard that drugs are legal in the Gili Islands, this is mainly due to the lack of prohibition of them. Since there are no police in any of the Gili Islands, if you add thousands of young people searching for fun, Gili Trawangan couldn’t be anything other than what it is today: a favorite destination for bachelor parties and other sprees.
However, it’s still a paradise. There are no motor vehicles, so you’ll have to go everywhere on foot or by bicycle.
If you plan to enjoy your honeymoon in the Gili Islands or travel as a family, I wouldn’t choose this island.
Gili Meno – The best one to disconnect from your day-to-day
Gili Meno is the smallest of the Gili Islands and the one with the fewest services. However, that is changing. Recently, they installed the first ATM, and every day, new accommodations are opening, although they’re still somewhat expensive.
If you want to visit the most remote island of the three, I recommend you choose Gili Meno. Additionally, many sea turtles live here, and it has the most virgin seabed you could dream of.
This island, however, is not paradise for all travelers. If you like to try different restaurants, have an extensive range of tours available, and do more than just lie on the sand reading a book, you may find it a bit boring.
You’re better off choosing one of the other islands and taking a half-day tour to visit Gili Meno. You’ll have more than enough time, since you can travel its coast on foot in an hour.
Gili Air – The best Gili Island for honeymoons
Gili Air is the best Gili Island for honeymoons, family trips, and travelers who want to escape the madness of Gili Trawangan but need more action than in Gili Meno.
On this island, you’ll find more restaurants than in Meno and even some cocktail bars. However, the mood is totally different from GiliT.
They say that Gili Air is the Hippy Island of the Gili Islands. Although it’s now quite touristy, it isn’t crowded, so it’s a very good option.
If you have doubts about which Gili Island to choose, I recommend Gili Air. Also, don’t forget that you can spend the day at any of the other islands whenever you want. Island hopping is one of the main things to do in the Gili Islandsentirely worth it: the sunset on the first night in paradise.
The sky caught fire, creating impossible reflections in a completely calm sea. Watching the sunset is the most important thing to do in the Gili Islands.
3. Bike around the islands
You won’t be aware of the tiny size of the Gili Islands until you take a bicycle ride. On the largest of the Islands, Gili T, it will only take 20 minutes. Of course, there are so many things to do in the Gili Islands that you’ll probably stop before you make a complete loop.
4. Visit the three Gili Islands
Going from one Gili Island to another is very cheap and a good way to get to know the Gili Islands and their differences.
There are public boats that connect each island to each other and that depart twice a day (once in the morning and once in the afternoon). These “public boats” have quite low prices, 35k IDR approx., although it’s true that I don’t recommend them if the sea is choppy and you get seasick easily. Even so, they’re a great option for spending the morning on another island different from the one you’re staying at. “Island hopping” is one of the best things to do in the Gili Islands.
5. Swim with Sea Turtles
If your dream is to swim with sea turtles, welcome to the Gili Islands! You can find them on all the beaches, although if you want to increase your chances, go to Gili Meno, where there’s even a small turtle sanctuary.
At almost all the beaches of the Gili Islands, you can rent snorkel goggles, which is because the seabed is the most important thing to see in the Gili Islands. Additionally, you can go to visit the submerged sculptures in Gili Meno, one of its main tourist attractions.
More than anywhere else, if you visit the Gili Islands, be very careful with your plastic waste. Don’t let it end up in the ocean, since little by little, we’re destroying the few remaining paradises in the world.
6. Go party in the Gili Islands
Partying in the Gili Islands is a unique experience. After watching the sunset to the rhythm of the drums of Gili Trawangan, enter any nightclub and enjoy the music. If you are one of those people who like partying until dawn, join one of the late-night fires to wait for the sun to rise.
We were very lucky because we found a group of travelers with a guitar, so we sang songs around the fire until it was daylight.
7. Take a picture on the famous swing of the Gili Islands
Who doesn’t know about the swing of the Gili Islands? Well, swings, because there are several, although the most famous are those of Gili Trawangan.
They have become so popular that today it’s almost impossible to take such a long-awaited photo without queuing. If you want to know exactly where the Gili Islands swing is, we tell you in our
8. Stay in a bungalow with sea views
There is a lot of accommodation in the Gili Islands and some with quite good prices. If you can afford it, rent a bungalow with sea views.
Although later we’ll talk about the best hotels in the Gili Islands, my favorite is the, where we stayed for two nights.
9. Diving in the Gili Islands
All the Gili Islands have diving schools. Whether you have a certification or want to get it, diving is one of the main things to do in the Gili Islands.
If it’s your first time, they’ll first give you some basic rules at the school, and you’ll have a few hours of training in the pool before diving into the sea.
10. Eat seafood on the seashore
If you want to enjoy the cuisine of the Gili Islands, enjoy a Nasi Goreng with seafood in any of the restaurants on the beaches.
Eating in the Gili Islands is usually more expensive than in Bali or Lombok but, even so, you can always find cheaper options. For example, I recommend not missing the GiliT Night Market, something essential to visit in the Gili Islands(2hs) or take a public boat to Lombok.
To go by boat from Bali to the Gili Islands through Lombok, you must go to the port of Padang Bai in Bali. There, take the ferry that leaves you at the port of Lembar in Lombok. Then you will have to go to the port of Bangsal, where you can finally take the public boat to the Gili Islands (9-12hs in total).
The problem with this option, in addition to the fact that you’ll waste practically a full day, is that the port of Lembar is not well connected with the port of Bangsal (neither is it with Teluk Nara or Senggigi).
That is why, unless you have a long, I advise you to take directly, since it’s the cheapest one you’ll find. The price, if you book it in advance, is practically the same as the public boat option for $24 instead of IDR 280k ($20 approx.).
However, if you hire it throughfor a higher price, they’ll pick you up at your to take you to the port so you save even more time. On the way back, they’ll leave you in the area of Bali that you choose.
That’s why we took theto go to the Gili Islands from Ubud and then, on the way back, they left us in Canggu, which saved us a lot of time and money. Here’s a list of in case you also visit this town I think, is perfect if you prefer to have everything organized, as it includes pickup at your hotel in Bali, speedboat, accommodation for two days in Gili Trawangan and Gili Air, and a snorkeling tour where you’ll visit different points of the three Gili Islands. Without a doubt, this is one of the
We did it on our own, takingIf you also do so, I recommend that, as soon as you get to the Gili, you approach one of the many tourist agencies around the small ports to book your excursions in the Gili Islands for the following days.
Without a doubt, the snorkeling tour is the best excursion in the Gili Islands. We paid 160k IDR ($12) after negotiating for a while. In addition, if you have more time, I also recommend you take a “public boat” to spend the morning at any of the other islands, something essential to do in the Gili Islandsat least.
To maintain order, the Lombok government has hired private security guards who collaborate with the police, who walk around the island from time to time. As is the tradition in the Gili Islands, when someone is caught doing something undesirable, they are forced to do the “walk of shame.” This punishment consists of having to walk in the streets with a sign around your neck that says your crime. Also, if you’re a foreigner, you’ll be banned from entering the Gili Islands for a few years. Is there worse punishment than being expelled from paradise?
Gili Islands Drugs
As I said before, drugs in the Gili Islands aren’t regulated (perhaps because there are no police as such), so, at least in Gili Trawangan, they’re quite common.
In many bars, you’ll see signs where hallucinogenic mushroom milkshakes are offered in broad daylight. In addition, in the center of the island. there are marijuana plantations, so almost any villager sells or knows where you can buy.
Additionally, you should know that, although I haven’t heard any news about it for some time, before my trip, there were some cases of adulterated alcohol in the Gili Islands that killed several travelers. Just in case and to avoid risks, I decided to drink only Bintang beers during my visit to the Gili Islands.
Gili Islands Earthquake
The Gili Islands are in the, so
earthquakes are common. On August 5, 2018, there was an earthquake of magnitude 6.9 in Lombok that caused hundreds of deaths. The earthquake was also felt in the Gili Islands, which created a wave of despair when tourists and locals expected the worst: a tsunami in the Gili Islands, which luckily never arrived.
Even so, the Gili Islands were evacuated, and terrifying scenes occurred. Since they suffered a lot of damage, the Gili Islands were closed after the earthquake.
I don’t intend to scare you with this information, nor stop you traveling to the Gili Islands. I simply advise you tothat covers your evacuation if you need it.
ATMs in the Gili Islands
Today there are ATMs in all the Gili Islands, so you only need your no-foreign-fee credit cards to travel.
Hospitals in the Gili Islands
There are no hospitals in the Gili Islands, although there are primary care medical clinics that are usually open 24 hours a day which are used to treat tourists’ issues. For typical problems such as diarrhea, sunstroke, stings, cuts, etc. they can assist you directly, although for more serious cases, you will have to be transferred to Lombok. Theis the most important clinic and is on all the islands.
In any case, I recommend you take goodthat covers you if you need to be transferred to the hospital in Lombok , you can find a map of Bali and Gili Islands.
Before you go, I’ll leave you with the essentials for your trip to Bali:
I hope you find everything you need to travel to the Gili Islands in our article. If you have any questions, leave us a comment.
source : https://capturetheatlas.com/gili-islands/