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
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
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.
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.
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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