The Three Gilis

The top of to do list for visitors coming to Lombok is going snorkeling or scuba diving in the Gilis. The three Gilis are three small islands just off to the west coast of Lombok island. They are the main destination for tourists coming to Lombok and the three Gilis is now more visited than other parts of Lombok. The biggest one is Gili Trawangan or also known as Gili T, which is also by far the more lively and more visited among the three. The next one is Gili Meno which is less visited but offer some very nice hotels and cottages for more quiet hideaways. And the last one is Gili Air which is less developed although it is actually the one nearest to the main island.

From left to right: Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, Gili Air and main island of Lombok
Boat trip to Gili Trawangan from Lombok takes around 40 minutes

To reach Gili Trawangan or the neighbouring Gilis, we can take a forty minutes motor boat ride from Bangsal Harbour in the west of Lombok. Or for quicker alternatives, we can also take the speed boat for less than 10 minutes journey. The air on the Gilis is fresh, and this is to the fact that no motor vehicles are allowed on the islands. Besides on foot or on bicycle, the only mean of transportation here is horse-drawn carriage called Cidomo. But price for Cidomo ride can be a bit steep so it is better to walk instead if you do not have too many luggage to bring, as the island is not so big anyway. The east side of Gili T is the more crowded one, with various hotels, restaurants and bars can be found here.

Motor vehicles are not allowed in the Gilis!
The main island of Lombok is three kilometers away from Gili Trawangan

From Gili Trawangan we can also join a group snorkeling or scuba diving to some diving spots around the three Gilis. For those not too excited with getting wet, there is also glass bottom boat services so you can still get to see the coral reefs without having to plunge into the sea. There is also a shipwreck near Gili Meno which you also better see. At night, the bars and restaurants come to life with live music performances. For cheaper and quite traditional food especially sea food barbeque, there is a night market selling various kinds of food near the boat terminal.

Done with soaking up the sun? We can go snorkeling or scuba diving
Taking a stroll in the beach with low waves and white sand is very relaxing

For less crowd and more peaceful leisure time, the neigbouring Gili Meno is a perfect alternative. The island offers several nice hotels and cottages but with less bars and loud musics as found in Gili Trawangan. The atmosphere is considerably quiet in Gili Meno especially at night. For idyllic and secluded retreat, this is the perfect spot to be. So serene that this island widely preferred by honeymoon couples! From having candlelit dinner next to the ocean or waking up the the sunrise over Mount Rinjani on the horizon, it surely a nice place to spend with your loved ones.

Things are less crowded and more peaceful in Gili Meno
From Gili Meno, we can see the sun rises over Mount Rinjani

Meanwhile the Gili Air is still less developed although lately there has been some constructions to catch up with the two other Gilis. Overall, each of the three Gilis has something to offer for visitor. For those looking for entertainment and lively environment, Gili Trawangan is the best alternative. For those looking for quiet and peaceful escape, Gili Meno is the ideal spot. While for adventurous souls looking for off the beaten track, Gili Air would be the one for you. Either way, the three Gilis is calling!


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