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Gili Islands Facts

Located just off the coast of Lombok Barat, these three islands are ideal for snorkeling, scuba diving, and fishing. Gili Meno and Gili Trawangan are famous for their blue coral. All three islands have pristine, white sandy beaches and can be easily reached by sea from the harbor of Bangsal Pemenang on Lombok.

The trip to Gili Air takes 20 minutes while journeys to Gili Meno and Gili Trawangan tke 30 minutes and 45 minutes, respectively. Accommodation is simple and in keeping with the natural surrounding. Local transport is equally simple, but nevertheless the Cidomo (cikar-dokar-motor) – a horse-drawn, two wheeled, wooden cart – is a unique way to tour these islands.

The Gili's (this means "island" in Lombok) located off Lombok offer all this and are a fantastic alternative if you want seclusion and a tropical island getaway.

While there are many islands dotted off the coast, only a few have any rooms available for visitors, and these have only sprung up quite recently so the islands are still quite simple and offer few facilities.

Besides Gili Nanggu in the south, it is Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air that are attracting travellers and offer a choice of styles of holiday depending on what you are looking for.

The islands are small (Gili Meno takes about one hour to stroll around) and the only transport is by Cidomo, so the pace is slow and relaxed.

You don't need to take much more than your bathers and a sarong (but mosquito repellent is worth packing). The only shopping is the occasional tee-shirt, hammock, or basic necessities. Most hotels on all the islands have restaurants, so there is a reasonable choice of places to eat and a good variety of meals to suit most tastes.

Gili Terawangan

This was the first island to attract visitors, with very simple rooms being built to cater for the demand mainly from divers. The coral around these islands offers some great snorkelling and dive trips to some excellent sites in deeper water are popular. Today, Trawangan has a range of small "losmens" or basic rooms with restaurant attached offering cheap, very simple lodgings, dotted along the east coast. Trawangan also has a number of good dive shops, some run by expatriates living on the island, so this is still the favoured island of divers, although the best snorkelling is found off the other islands. At night, Trawangan always has a party happening at one of the restaurant / bars to disrupt the tranquillity. Generally this island attracts younger travellers and divers content with basic accommodation but still wanting some life.

This island has a beautiful white beach, excellent coral including rare blue coral just offshore, and is very peaceful. Recently a few good little hotels have sprung up alongside the original basic losmens, most looking out over the water towards the mainland, so now hot water, air-con and even.

Gili Meno

A swimming pool are available if desired. Gili Meno has little to offer besides the accommodation, snorkelling and diving, but that's what's so nice about it.

Whereas the accommodation on Gili Trawangan tends to be built behind the restaurants and away from the beach, some on Gili Meno have magnificent water views and are generally of superior standard, though some budget and basic bungalows are also available.

Gili Air

The closest island to Lombok and the smallest of the three, Gili Air is possibly the quietest and most undeveloped. Gili Air has some very good small hotels, similar to those on Gili Meno, andcan cater to travellers still wanting comfort without being surrounded by other travellers.

The white beach around Gili Air is quiet and deserted, and a romantic stroll round the island will take less than 45 minutes.

If you really want to find peace, seclusion, and relaxation, this is the island for you.

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