Gili Islands, Lombok Indonesia
All three islands
feature superb, white sandy beaches, crystal clear water, spectacular
coral reefs, and the best snorkeling and diving to be found
anywhere on Bali and Lombok. Visitors from all over the
world are attracted to the simple pleasures of sun, snorkeling, diving,
beautiful beaches, and socializing. The absence of cars, motorcycles, and
hawkers adds greatly to the leisure of staying on the Gilis – although
there is now a wide range of accommodation available, the islands have
maintained the lazy rustic charms of a tropical paradise.
We highly recommend visitors to use a
Transfer Service to avoid hussle and bustle at Bangsal
(public harbour to gili islands). Local street vendors who try to sells
things with pushing and pressure, or those who grab your luggage and ask
too much for a porter service could be annoying. Paying a little extra for
a comfort and easy settlement for a wonderful holiday break is worth it,
especially those who travel with kids.
Private Transfer Service
includes pick up, meeting and greeting service at the
airport/seaport/hotel, land transportation with fully air-con deluxe
coaches, private boat charter, and check in assistances at the hotel.
get around the isle, the
only means of transport are Cidomos, horse drawn carriages. Bicycle rentals are available too. Expect higher prices for most
things there since all food and goods must be brought over from the mainland.
Traveling between the islands requires
either catching the infrequent shuttle boats or chartering one to take
you across. The distances between the islands may seem swimmable, but do
not attempt it — the currents can be fierce and several backpackers have
The Natives & History
A few years ago, sailors from Bugis, Mandar and Makassar (Sulawesi)
occupied Gili Air and establish coconuts plantation and expand the fishing
As visitors started to visit Lombok and some came to the Gilis on day
trips and then began to stay for longer periods in local homes.
The islands have become enormously popular.
Their popularity may be a problem, as numbers sometime exceed the
available rooms and put pressure on the island environment, especially the
supply of fresh water and the capacity of septic system to cope with waste
and there is always pressure to build more and better facilities.
Big business interests are trying to cash in on the popularity of the
Gilis and the local government is keen to promote upmarket tourist
Gili Air and Gili Meno retained much of their unspoilt quality, but Gili
Trawangan has become more touristy and pricy.
The islanders are majority Muslims and visitors should respect their
sensibilities. In particular, topless or nude sunbathing is offensive to
them, even though they won't say so directly. Away from Beach, it is
polite for women to cover their shoulders and thighs. Many visitors are
appallingly insensitive to local standards and so many of them walk around
in skimpy clothing that it's easy to get impression that the local people
don't mind anymore. In fact, they do.
The development for the last
five years has change the island's look, especially Gili Trawangan. Accommodation
tariffs on today's range for a simple room with fan are from between Rp. 90,000 (equivalent to USD
9.00) to 150,000 (USD 15.00) per
night , to an air-con bungalows style with hot water, in comfortable resort-style settings at up to USD
200.00 per night and everything in between, depending on the
seasonal price fluctuations. Demand often outstrips supply, so prices tend
to be noticeably higher than on Bali or Lombok.
island is busiest from May through August, the quieter off-season from
January to April provides a better opportunity to enjoy all the islet has
Electricity and Communication
Electricity supply are now available on all the three Gilis. The
electrical voltage in Indonesia is 220 Volt, if you bring any devices
which require recharged at lower voltage (110 Volt) bring an electrical
voltage converter or ask the hotel where you stay for STAVOLT.
The islands have no supplies of fresh water and very spotty electricity
supply; it's not uncommon for power to be off for hours at a time. Most
upmarket hotels, restaurants and dive shops have generators for the back
Mobile phone towers ensure you're never out of touch, and there are
several Internet cafes on Trawangan for feeding your Internet addiction,
although connection speeds tend to be painfully slow. Printing is
possible in a few Internet cafés and you can even hook up your laptop in
There is now a Bank Mandiri ATM on Gili Trawangan, in front of the Vila
Ombak Hotel, but it's not always working so it's better to bring along
enough rupiah to tide you over. The rates offered by moneychangers are
noticeably poorer than on the mainland. Credit cards are accepted by
some of the more upmarket places and all dive shops; some will also
arrange credit card advances, but with hefty fees on the order of 7-10%.
For your own safety, deposit valuable items at the reception where
you're staying at. Carry only small cash and necessary items.
Health and Medical
Sanitation has improved on the islands.
There are two health centers on Gili Trawangan; 1) located near the soccer
fields for locals and 2) located in Villa Ombak with better facilities for
Gili Meno also now have a health centre which funded by local's businesses.
Gili Air also have a health centre located near the main village. The
health centre is known locally as "Puskesmas". To stay fit and healthy, always drink from bottled
water or boiled water and avoid eating raw foods or salads from small
non-reputable restaurants, because the water might not be sterilized.
True to the hippie vibe, magic mushrooms are widely available
and openly advertised. Their legality is questionable, as are
any physical and psychological effects.
Small but annoying jellyfish are common in the waters around the
Gilis during August only, so wearing a full-length wetsuit or
surf skin in the water is advisable.
There are no Police Station or Military Post on the islands, but
there is a small police station in Bangsal harbor. The Islands funded
non-uniformed community policing group, SATGAS, ensures visitor's security
and safety. In the rare event of someone breaking the law or disturbing
tourists, perpetrators are handed over to Police on Lombok and face
banishment from the island for up to five years.
There are many options for an enjoyable holiday on the islands. You
can rent snorkeling equipment, join a diving course, rent a kayak, go
fishing, or take a glass bottom boat to see the magnificent coral reefs
and fishes. There are no sights as such on the islands themselves, but the
snorkeling and diving all around is a major draw.
The locals living on the island are pretty interesting. If you walk
behind the main road you will see how the locals live which is much
different then the beautiful bungalows the tourists stay in.
There are lots of quality scuba diving operations on all the
islands. The coral around the islands is good for snorkeling, which can be
reach from the shore. See rays and giant clams. A must see: Turtles Point,
Meno Wall, Shark (harmless) Point. Dive Schools available on all the
islands with many dive programs to choose, from beginners to advanced
While divers are able to regularly swim with black tip, those who
prefer to just drifts in the currents with a snorkel, fins and mask are
never left disappointed by the more than 6,000 species of marine life
living just off-shore.
Fishing is one of the highlight activities on the islands. Deep/bottom
fishing remain the best on north west of Gili Trawangan. Carry your own
equipment if you're not familiar with the traditional-style of fishing.
PT. LOMBOK NETWORK HOLIDAYS
TRAVEL, LEISURE &
Intermilan 87 Puri Meninting Lombok Indonesia
Tel: +62 85 100 628 139, Fax:
+62 370 634 162, Mobile/SMS: +62 81 8369619
MEMBER OF ASITA
(ASSOCIATION OF INDONESIA TRAVEL AGENT)