Why Visit Gili Islands?

I’m not a huge fan of Bali. I mean don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty to see and there’s a lot of culture, but compared to the rest of Indonesia it’s just so touristy.

The Gili Islands are a welcome break from Bali’s in-your-face-ness. The Gili Islands are like a low key version of Bali. The Gili Islands are where Bali-ites go to chill out after too much Bali-style partying.

Gili Trawangan

But the Gili Islands are more than just a quieter beach option to Bali. The Gili Islands have their own visitors: divers and people who want to listen to No Woman No Cry in every bar they go to. (Yes, they are very into reggae on the Gili Islands and they only seem to have record collections consisting of about five songs.)

There are dive centres every 20 metres on Gili Trawangan, the largest of the Gili Islands. The hotels are essentially dive centres and the restaurants also double as dive centres. There’s a lot of equipment jargon being thrown around and a lot of bragging about sightings of rare fish.

Snorkelling off Gili Meno

Snorkelling off Gili Meno

As well as diving, Gili has some fantastic fish restaurants offering barbecues with the day’s catch. And there is an interesting night market which has a big outdoor dining area also serving fresh fish.

Read here where to eat in Gili Trawangan.

Other than scuba diving the most obvious reason to visit the Gili Islands is because they are beautiful, especially the smaller ones: Gili Meno and Gili Air. The smaller Gilis tend to be a bit less expensive than Gili Trawangan.

There’s something you should remember though: The Gili Islands are expensive. If you think Bali is expensive after Java, the Gilis are expensive again after Bali.

But for a few days on this gorgeous sub-archipelago it’s worth the prices.

Pearl Beach Lounge, Gili Trawangan

Living the life on Gili Trawangan

How to get the Gili Islands

There are two ways to get to the Gili Islands: you can take the ferry from Bali or you can take the ferry from Lombok.

If you are going from Bali there are many ferry companies going to the Gili Islands and most offer similar prices. Make sure that the price includes transfer from your accommodation in Bali to the ferry port. If you are returning to Bali after your visit to the Gili Islands they will also normally take you to your accommodation in Bali even if it’s a different place. For example, we left from Ubud to go to Gili and when we went back to Bali we went to Kuta.

For up to date ferry information check here.

Another option after the Gili Islands is to join one of the Perama Tours cruise itineraries. Careful though because they don’t operate every day and you have to book in advance.

When you arrive on Gili Trawangan from Bali or Lombok you can go to Gili Meno and Gili Air by public ferry costing 50,000rp return. It only takes 20-30 minutes but they only run two or three times a day.

I would like to remind you that all the photos used on InMyShoesTravel.com are my own unless otherwise stated.
You can see my whole collection of Travel Photos here.

Filed Under: asiafeaturedIndonesiaNusa Tenggara

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About the Author: Based in Mallorca, obsessed with the world and have a lot to say about both... Step into my shoes and join me on a journey...

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