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"The Gili Island" Bali

Monday, August 25, 2008

The three Gili Islands are a small-scale backpacker mecca and Lombok's most popular tourist destination. The islands are very relaxed and laid-back, with countless little beachside cafes playing reggae and serving up banana pancakes, and no cars or motorbikes to disturb the peace. The beaches are without a doubt better than anywhere on Bali or Lombok. The flip side of the coin is that as they exist solely to cater for travellers, they're also rather anonymous (you might as well be at anywhere) and, aside from snorkeling and diving, there's little if anything to do. Note that there are no ATMs on the islands, so bring plenty of cash with you. From west to east, the islands are:
  • Gili Trawangan, or "Gili T" is by far the most developed with plenty of backpacker options and one swanky resort. There are no dogs on the island but according to one local, there are more cats here than people. The local population is around 800. There is no police on the island and all problems are usually settled by the local "council".
  • Gili Meno, the smallest and quietest, low-key with some simple places to stay.
  • Gili Air, closest to the mainland and with the largest local population.

Strictly speaking, the name "Gili Islands" is rather redundant as gili simply means "small island" in Sasak, but the name has stuck and is universally used and understood in Lombok.

There are also some other islands off Lombok called Gili Something, eg. Gili Nanggu and Gili Gede, but these are located to the southwest near Lembar, quite a distance from the "main" Gilis.

Getting There

We highly recommend visitors to use a private transfer service to avoid hussle and bustle at Bangsal (public harbour to gili islands). Local street vendors who try to sells things with pushing and pressure, or those who grab your luggage and ask too much for a porter service could be annoying. Paying a little extra for a comfort and easy settlement for a wonderful holiday break is worth it, especially those who travel with kids. Private Transfer Service includes pick up, meeting and greeting service at the airport/seaport/hotel, land transportation with fully air-con deluxe coaches, private boat charter, and check in assistances at the hote


choices start from beach shacks, backpacker hostels and budget hotels, a large selection of mid range hotels and boutique bungalows, through to resort style hotels and luxury private villas.


Scuba diving packages from beginner to experienced, snorkeling trips, Sea Kayak experience, golf days, horse riding, wakeboarding, deep sea fishing, trekking Mt Rinjani , Komodo dive trips, dive liveaboards, and
private party nights,

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