Do you ever daze out and find yourself dreaming of beautiful, tropical paradise? Is the paradise located on a small island with white, sandy beaches? Are there fruity drinks, palm trees, great surf, and snorkeling and diving galore? Does your paradise consist of three of these islands? If so, you may be dreaming of the Gili Islands in Indonesia.
Located off of the northwest coast of the island of Lombok, the Gilis are a group of three small islands that are becoming some of the most popular pieces of paradise to visit while in Indonesia. Travelers typically get to the Gilis from Bali (fast boats take two hours and cost around $25, slow boats cost $10 but take a full day), but can also fly directly into the Lombok International Airport, and take a boat from any number of cities.
What makes the Gilis so great, besides being amazingly beautiful islands, is that each island offers something different. For those looking to party, the largest island, Gili Trawangan, is packed with backpackers and resort dwellers, and each night of the week offers a different bar jamming out to live music with cheap drink specials. This island offers the cheapest accommodation, the most amounts of bars, restaurants and western amenities, as well as the most tourists. The bummer is that the local culture is quickly dwindling at the hands of tourists wanting to smoke weed and do mushrooms.
For those looking for a more romantic setting, the middle and smallest island, Gili Meno, has the most beautiful beaches and the least amount of travelers. Bungalows on the beach can be procured for cheap (not at cheap as Gili T), and honeymooners can get their alone time.
The island is one massive oval of stunning beach, and when you are done spending time being couply, it also offers great food and decent snorkeling. Gili Air is almost as laid back as Meno, but gets a bit of a bigger crowd because it has a few bars, decent surf, and great scuba diving and snorkeling.
While the islands may boast many differences, two things all three share are incredible sunsets and sunrises. At the same point of the day in the morning and the evening, locals and tourists alike flock to the beach to watch the sun going about its daily duties. While on Trawagan you can watch the sunset at a hip bar, you can’t go wrong watching the wake and sleep of the sun on any of these islands.
If you are in need of some time in paradise, make sure to take a trip to the Gili Islands. Each one offers something great, and navigating between the three is simple. Don’t forget your sunscreen!