The Gili Islands are three separate, small islands which are located just off the coast of Lombok, Indonesia. They are stunning little pieces of paradise which I was so lucky to be whisked away to as a birthday treat. If they aren’t on your Asia travel itinerary you’ll want to make amendments as soon as possible because I am sure you will fall in love with them as much as I did.
We arrived at Gili Trawangan, which is the main island, by speedboat from Bali which took around an hour and a half. Thankfully the weather was good so it was a smooth cross over and once we arrived (after all the “oohing” and “aahing” at the crystal clear waters) we jumped straight on to a horse and cart to the Aston Sunset Resort. Horses and push bikes are the only methods of transport on the islands as motor cycles are banned which I think makes the Gili’s even more authentic – a true escape from reality.
The resort my boyfriend had booked for us was right on the bay where the sun set (and where the famous swings can be found) and we never failed to miss it each evening. The hotel bar’s happy hour made for an even better experience. We would always bike into the main part of the island for dinner and more drinks.
There are many restaurants to choose from, high end and low end but I highly recommend the night time food market where there are stalls of local BBQ food to choose from. The lively Irish Bar for after dinner drinks would be another recommendation of mine – we went on a Sunday where they were doing buy one get one free on drinks so two mojitos cost £1.70… yes, we had many.
Take a short boat trip across to Gili Meno for the day to really get that paradise island feel. It’s considerably more under developed than the main island but equally as gorgeous. After trekking through the mud paths to get to the “harbour” we stopped for lunch and found ourselves walking along the shore line for the rest of the day and relaxing in the tiny huts that overlooked the water.
There is nothing I didn’t like about these islands. Surrounded by turquoise waters and incredible scenery it is simply beautiful. A traveller’s haven for all those jealousy provoking Facebook pictures that make you want to quit your job and pack up your life for the road!
Speed boat from Bali (return) – £27/€37.50/$43p/p (please note I have heard a rumour they are stopping direct route speed boats from Bali to The Gili Islands, you may only be able to go from Bali to Lombok then on to the Gili’s – so do some research)
Horse and Cart – £4.70/€6.50/$7
Boat to Gili Meno (return)- £3.20/€4.60/$5p/p
Dinner at the Night Food Market – £1.70/€2.40/$2.70p/p
Small beer – £1.15/€1.55/$1.80