The Gili Islands, Indonesia - Travel guide

Sunday, September 03, 2017

The most famous destination in Indonesia is without a doubt Bali, but what most people don’t know is that a short ferry ride from Bali you will find an incredible small island archipelago called the Gili Islands.

The three beautiful islands that comprise the archipelago are: Gili Trawangan (the party island and the biggest of the three), Gili Air and Gili Meno (the smallest and yet the most beautiful one).

Gili Trawangan

We ended up staying in Trawangan, mostly because we booked only two days before and it was the only island of the three that still had accommodations available.
To get to the island we took the ferry from Padang Bai in Bali for 425.000 IDR return ticket/person. There are a lot of ferry companies, but don't worry as they all provide the same thing. We went with Gili Smile and it was very convenient as they picked us up at our guesthouse in Ubud and dropped us at the port from where we took the ferry. Everything was included in the price. Is this best that you buy the return ticket as they will wait for you at the port when you come back from Gili and take you to the resort of your choice.

When night falls, Gili Trawangan comes to life! Even though it is a Muslim island the party scene is quite nice. On the west side of the island there are some cool bars and clubs where you can enjoy the sunset from and party till the sun comes up.

On the east side in the main town the night market offers a great variety of local dishes, fresh fish, grilled meats and lots of sweets.
As for daytime activities there is a lot to do on this island. The reef around the island is thriving and there are a lot of fish and turtles you can see just a small swim off the beach. Make sure you bring water shoes though since the rocks and corals can hurt your feet.
You can also get your scuba diving licence here as there are many diving schools offering a good price.
Paddle-board yoga in the morning is definitely a hit on the island.

Making new friends: Billy 

Motorized vehicles are not allowed on any of the islands, so the main means of transportation are bicycles and horse drawn carriages. Yes, you read that right…horse drawn carriages!  
Bike renting is very cheap and there is a path that goes all along the island and you can do a complete tour in around 1 hour or maybe more. You can find a lot of secluded beaches along the way that you can have all to yourself.

Gili Meno 

We've asked around and we've been told that Gili Air is pretty much the same as Trawangan, only smaller and maybe a bit quieter, so we ended up not going there. Instead we went on a day trip to Gili Meno and oh boy... 
A short and cheap ride with the local public boat from Gili T will get you to paradise.
Gili Meno is without a doubt one of the best islands we've been to. It is very small and it has somewhat of a deserted island vibe. There are very few accommodations, mostly cute little beach huts and there is not much to do on it besides enjoying the perfect blue water. Need I say more?

Rain is pouring outside my window as I'm writing this post and I wish was there, back on the island, with sand tickling my toes, while I eat a freshly cut pineapple...

P.S: For more photos from our trips, don't forget to follow us on instagram ;)


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