The Gili Islands


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October 9th 2012
Published: October 9th 2012
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THE GILI ISLANDS

The next stage of our journey was one I’d been looking forward to. The Gili Islands – Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno & Gili Air – are just north-west of Lombok, a 1.5 hour speedboat journey from Bali. These three small islands (Gili literally means “small island”) are where people go to get a taste of the Robinson Crusoe experience.

Traveller’s tip: there are a few companies who offer transport to the Gilis. Do not book directly on their website as you’ll end up paying much more - up to 1.4m rupiah for a return ticket. We paid 500k for a return, including transfers to and from Ubud. Check around lots of travel agents in Bali as they offer big discounts. We did a lot of haggling, but I have heard of people getting even cheaper deals.

Gili Trawangan

This is the largest and most developed of the three islands. More developed than I’d expected actually. Originally a mecca for party-loving backpackers, Gili T has matured to attract a variety of travellers, but there’s still plenty of party to be had if you’re interested. There’s an excellent choice of accommodation - we found a great place called Touring Villa, which is on the north-east side of the island. The beach is across the road and is beautiful!

Unfortunately for me, due to my sunburn (a.k.a. the tandoori incident) I had to keep myself in the shade for the first few days whilst, thankfully, most of my skin was falling off my body. Not a big problem – plenty of time to get some sun. I’ve been making up for it since, and with the aid of a wondrous invention called ‘sun tan lotion’, I have started to gently toast my new layer of skin, just to show it who’s boss.

We spent a few days being pretty damn lazy. We hired bikes and rode around the island, but apart from this not much happened. A typical day consists of: Breakfast; sunbathe & swim; shower; lunch; read a book/go for a walk/beach again; shower; drinks & dinner; read book; bed. Then rinse & repeat. It’s a tough life. We did enter a pub quiz, and won! I’ll let Lou expand on this below.

The local mosque has been the only interruption to our relaxation. The first call to prayer is blasted through a speaker at 5:30am, and no one on the island can escape its waking call. I really don’t mind as it’s usually pee-time for me.

There’s plenty of choice regarding food here and the standard’s pretty decent. It’s marginally pricier than Bali, but you have to expect that. Overall I really like Gili T, it has enough happening to keep you interested, combined with a hassle-free, chilled-out vibe.

Gili Menoooooooooooo!!!

Now this is much more like the Robinson Crusoe experience. Meno is the smallest and least developed of the three islands. There are about three restaurants and a handful of guesthouses. Specialities of the island are the fresh fish barbeques and stone baked pizza. Nice. The beach surrounds the whole island with beautiful white (mostly unoccupied) sand. The sea is turquoise-perfection! We loved Meno. Not much to do but laze and swim. So chilled out. We spent three days here and hopefully the pictures do it justice. We’ve just made our way back to Bali. Gill is with us for another 4 days, after which it’ll just be me and Lou.

Lou's Bit

Not much to report again as Chris has covered most of it.

We had a fun night on Glli T when we won the pub quiz. We beat a team of about 10 to win 250,000 rupiah off our bill. It came to a tie break and we had to nominate a team member, up gets Chris owing to mine and Gills food coming out and lo and behold the tie breaker is the best karaoke singer doing Bryan Adams ‘Everything I do’. Thought Chris had lost it when the other guy changed the lyrics and was quite crude but Chris snatched it with the dance moves and serenading the quiz masters from bended knee and caressing the blokes chest. Another win for Team GB.

Panic ensued last night on Gili Meno owing to an earth tremor. Chris and Gill were quite calm. I freaked out thinking it was a warning one and more were to come - there could be a Tsunami and there are no hills on the island, so my night was spent between power cuts panicking, wearing my specs in bed, holding my torch and ready at a minute to grab what I could and climb on the roof. Turns out we would all end up fine!


Additional photos below
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9th October 2012
Boat to Meno

Scarf
Ha ha ha, the head scarf that Chris hates!! ;O)
9th October 2012
Gili T

These can't be your feet babes, your toes are painted!! xx
10th October 2012
Gili T

they actually have been painted since i left and still are now dear :)
9th October 2012

naked gill
Why is gill naked on boat?

Tot: 1.109s; Tpl: 0.052s; cc: 21; qc: 52; dbt: 0.0309s; 1; m:saturn w:www (104.131.125.221); sld: 1; ; mem: 1.4mb