The Gili islands…a group of 3 paradisiacal islands in Indonesia that have been welcoming travellers for years to enjoy their crystal clear waters & white sand beaches. Gili Trawangan, Gili Air and Gili Meno are 3 places that should definitely be on your bucket list, and any trip to Indonesia definitely isn’t complete without them.
Before you go to the Gili Islands…
Knowing where to go
The three islands are all equally as beautiful as each other. The main and most popular island is Gili Trawangan, this is the busiest island with the most going on and where all the parties happen. Gili Air is a little more relaxed and peaceful, there are still restaurants and bars but not as many, as there’s not as much going on into the early hours. Gili Meno is a little more minimalistic with little going on, and perfect for those wanting to get away from it all. Someone I met on the sleeper boat from the Gilis down to Komodo told me to think of Gili T as the party island, Gili Air as the chilled island and Gili Meno as the honeymoon island…and that is a great description.
Knowing what to do
People mainly eat, swim, sunbathe, explore, sip cocktails and socialise on the Gili islands, but there are other cool things to do too. You can expect to snorkel, scuba dive, shop, horse ride, wander the night markets, watch incredible sunsets and sample magic mushroom shakes ;). Make sure you rent bicycles and do a loop of the islands (take ya camera, its gorgeous!) also, don’t forget the classic swing pic on Gili T. Ombak Sunset Resort is the perfect hotel to stay at if you want sunset views every night – you can also head here for sunset cocktails plus it’s right by the swing.
Knowing how to get around
There are ferries that regularly nip between each of the islands. You need tickets in advance to board the ferries – these are cheap and can be booked the night before from one of the travel agencies dotted around the island, or alternatively speak to your hotel / hostel who will be able to help sort it out for you.
Knowing how long to spend on each island
This depends entirely on you and what your priorities are. If you’re not really into lots of people and parties, then you would probably want to spend more time on on Gili Air than Gili T. If you love partying and socialising then stay longer on Gili T. If you have time, it’s definitely worth seeing all the islands. I would say spend a minimum of 3 nights on Gili T, 2 on Gili Air & 1 on Meno. If you can double this then even better! If it helps, Gili T was my fave.
Knowing where to eat
Gili T & Gili Air have loads of cute restaurants with tasty Indonesian food dotted all around, often accompanied by live music. The food is a mix of Indonesian & Asian in general, with lots of pad thai, curries and tofu around too. The night market on Gili T is a good place to grab a bite to eat if you don’t fancy sitting down in a restaurant.
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