Gili Islands- 3 little gems near Lombok
The Gili Islands are a group of three small islands located off the north-western shore of Bali’s neighbour, Lombok. Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air are technically part of Lombok, but have become a popular place for people visiting Bali. Gili Trawangan is a popular party island and is a good option for couples. Its a car free island , so only mode of trasport is bicycle, horse cart or walking.
HOW TO GET HERE ?
Gili islands can be reached from Bali or Lombok. It takes around 3 hours by fast boat from Bali and around 15 mins from Lombok's Bangsal Harbour. Proximity to Lombok made me visit Gili Islands from Lombok rather than Bali.
Out of the three Gili's , Gili Trawangan or Gili T as it is called, is more famous and crowded mainly because it is a party island. Gili Meno and Air are more on the quieter side and for families. As seen in my Lombok blog, my local friends dropped me till the public ferry which goes to Gili T and it took about 15-20 mins to reach Gili T. Gili T is the biggest of the three Gili's yet it measures just 3-4 km from one end to the other. On reaching Gili T, i could see so many people on this island, totally opposite of Lombok. My hotel was around 2 kms away from the harbour, on the other side of the island. Since i dint want to take the horse cart option, i decided to walk just like majority of the people on this island do. It was really sunny and the road was full of sand and uneven making it difficult to walk with bags, however the road was in parellel with the sea and water was so blue <3
THINGS TO DO IN GILI T:
1) ISLAND HOPPING
Glass bottom boat ride with snorkeling is the most popular thing to do on this island. They take you to the famous snorkeling spots around the three gili islands. Price is the same on the whole island, however you will find many shops promoting different schemes. Like morning trips for snorkeling were cheaper and had more people in the boat, and afternoon trips had lesser people. Obviously i chose the second option, it was for 150k IDR ( aroud 750 Rs)
The first spot is near Gili Meno island and the underwater statues are the best thing you will ever see.
I dint have a gopro camera so here is the pic from the internet. It looks stunning. The next spot was turtle point. You just have to swim and follow the tour guide and he will show you exactly where turtles are. Gili T is famous for turtle watching. The third spot was kind of fish sanctuary but after snorkeling in Secret Gili's in Lombok , this felt very common.
This is the most exciting thing to do in Gili T. The SUBWING board is built from two separate wings which are connected with a rotatable swivel. By holding on to the front edge of each wing with one hand, it can easily be controlled in all directions. Steering is done by pulling or pushing the wings up or down. Push both wings downwards to dive, and pull both upwards to resurface. If you want to spin, simply pull one wing up and push the other one down. A single hand grip is mounted between the wings at the rear and is designed to be used when equalizing ear pressure and when one hand is needed. The SUBWING board is pulled by a boat to give a thrilling experience.
The cost for doing subwing is around 2500 INR and each person is pulled for 25 mins for 2 times. Because of my tight schedule i couldnt do this activity.
3) HORSE RIDING
STUD stables provides nice healthy horses for horse riding near the famous water swings providing a perfect picture. These horses can take a dip in the water too while riding.
The cost for horse riding is pretty expensive for Indian standards, it is around 1500-2000 INR for 30-40 min ride. But you can hire the horse just for pictures and ride on it till the spot for 500 INR. Stud stable is around 15-20 mins walk from the habour. I went in the morning to avoid the crowd and the horse was really calm and stable all the time and allowed to click loads of pictures.
Just kidding :P the horse was not stable at all, i wonder how the guide took so many stable pictures. Maybe because he worked in a stable xD
4) TAKE PICTURES ON THE FAMOUS WATER SWINGS AND HAMMOCKS IN GILI T:
Off lately there have been many places following this concept of having swings in water. You will find atleast 5-6 places having water swings. The Exile has the famous swing and hammock combo.
5) TRY THE NIGHT MARKET IN GILI T
To be honest i had read really good reviews about the night market saying that it has fresh sea food and chicken items at cheap price. The variety was really good but i dint find it cheap at all or maybe i was overcharged.
We have the choice to pick any of these items along with rice and they will charge accordingly. I chose to have Chicken Satay sticks along with rice and the price was 55k IDR (around 300 INR). Which was expensive for indonesian standards because the place i was staying had it for the same price with much better atmosphere and hygiene. However this place has amazing desserts for cheap price.
6) ROAM AROUND GILI ISLAND ON A BIKE
Since cars are banned in Gili's, renting a bicycle is the best option.
You can spot the locals riding these cute electric bikes as well.
Or you can walk around the beautiful white sand beaches and watch sunset.