de-DEen-US

Lombok

Gili Islands

One of my highlights during my trip to Bali was my excursion to Gili Meno. However, the Gili Islands do not belong to Bali, but to Lombok. There are actually several Gili Islands, but the best known are the three islands in the northwest of Lombok: Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air.

The islands are all car-free. You can therefore get around on bicycles and horse-drawn carts. There are now only a few electric scooters on the islands. Because there are no cars, it was so quiet on Gili Meno - perfect for relaxing! In general, I had real Maldives vibes on the island (at least the way I imagine the Maldives to be, as I haven't been there yet haha). But the white sandy beaches with their large palm trees and the bright blue water, where you can explore beautiful coral reefs alongside turtles, awakened this feeling in me. The islands are also sparsely populated, with only tiny villages, if any.

You can only reach the Gili Islands by boat. That's why food and drinks are a bit more expensive here, because everything has to be imported from the mainland and the garbage has to be taken there for disposal. From Bali, you can take the speedboat from Sanur, Padang Bai and Nusa Lembongan to Gili Meno. Caution: I had read the incorrect information that there are also boats from Amed. However, these are now banned and tours from here are illegal! We started from Padang Bai, which took a little less than 2 hours and cost us IDR 780K per person including return.

Gili Meno

Gili Meno is the least developed and quietest of the three Gili islands. It is also the smallest of the three islands. You can walk around it in less than an hour. The island is therefore the destination for absolute relaxation and for a honeymoon! I, on the other hand, came here with two friends, Maxi really wanted to go to Gili Meno because of the turtles and I wanted to see the famous underwater statues. But the salt lake in the west of the island is also worth seeing.

Gili Meno is known for Turtle Heaven, where you can see many turtles in the wild and swim with them. All you need to do is put on your diving goggles and snorkel and jump into the water. After a short time, you'll come across a turtle floating leisurely through the water. I found it incredibly relaxing to watch the turtles swimming, somehow they radiated a certain calm.

By the way: in summer, you even have the opportunity to see turtles hatch. Between May and August, the females lay their eggs in holes up to 30 cm deep. Around 6-8 weeks later, the babies hatch and make their way into the sea.

Snorkeling, we went straight on to the underwater statues (“Bast Nest”) of Gili Meno. Only about 50 meters from the beach, in the west of the island, there are several human statues arranged in a circle in the water. More and more coral is now accumulating on them. I found it incredibly exciting to look at. Although boat tours to the statues are offered from all three islands, there are often lots of people in the water at the same time. That's why we thought it was cooler to just jump into the water on Gili Meno and look for the statues ourselves.

By the way: you can dive well at Gili Meno. The Gili Meno Wall is a popular diving spot. The wall starts at 5m and drops down to 30m. There are corals hanging on the wall. But you will also see lionfish and clownfish, lobsters, moray eels, scorpion fish and crabs.


GILI TRAWANGAN

Gili Trawangan (Gili T) is the largest of the three islands. Although you can also relax there, Gili T is better known for its wild party nights. Especially on the east beach you will be able to party without end. There you will find everything a good party needs, from beer buckets to beer pong.

Of course, you can also relax on Gili T or go snorkeling and diving. For a small sports program, you can also climb the 72m high Bukit Trawangan and enjoy a wonderful view from the top. There is also a special attraction for diving enthusiasts in the form of an underwater motorcycle in the sea off Gili T. Or you can try something really unusual and attend a silversmithing course at Yin Jewelry for the Soul.

With its reputation as a party island, it is not surprising that Gili T has a night market (Pasar Seni). A visit to the night market is simply part of a stay on Gili T. There you can fill your belly with delicious, traditional dishes before, during or after the party. If you're looking for somewhere to eat during the day, then the Hellocapitano Lifestyle Café is the place for you!

By the way: Gili T is also home to the Gili Eco Trust organization. They plant artificial coral reefs to preserve the reefs of the Gili Islands.


GILI AIR

The last of the three islands - Gili Air - is known as an island for families. You won't find a party here, but you will find restaurants with live music. Despite the lack of a party, Gili Air is livelier than Gili Meno, as the island is more densely populated. There are therefore more nightlife options and more entertainment programs for children.

As on all Gili islands, you can snorkel well on Gili Air and will come across one or two turtles. Then it's off to the beach to sunbathe! The best beach is in the east of the island, near the Scallywags Beach Club.


ACCOMMODATION & FOOD

Maxi and I stayed together at Pravasa Gili Resort by Kaja, while Helena stayed in a hostel around the corner. We really liked the Pravasa Gili Resort. The rooms were in small houses surrounded by ponds and accessible via a bridge. We had a large terrace with an outdoor kitchen, a beautiful bedroom and a well-equipped bathroom. In addition, the communal pool was beautifully integrated into the overall landscape and you could lie there and relax. The Pravasa team also offered activities in the garden such as a zip line ride. However, I particularly liked the service. All the staff were very friendly and courteous. When we asked for another (delicious) pancake at breakfast, we were quickly served one at no extra charge.

Alternatively, we had considered staying at Le Pirate Gili Meno. Instead, we went there for dinner. The whole resort also looked very nice. There was even an outdoor movie theater on the beach. The food was also very tasty. Speaking of delicious food: I have two more restaurant tips: Mahamaya Restaurant & Bar and Bubbles Bar & Restaurant. We had a very tasty meal at both and, above all, had a lovely time. The waiters were also really nice.