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The Gili Islands at the Pacific Ocean have already earned the post of one of the most paradisiacal touristic destiny points in Indonesia!

Gili Islands in Indonesia

Gili Air

They are three little islands which suit all tastes:

Gili Meno, the smallest one as well as the quietest too. There are fewer people than the others, fewer noise and is said to be perfect for honeymoon couples.

Gili Trawangan (or Gili T) is party! It is the biggest of the islands with bars, bars and more bars. Also, it is where you find the greatest number of tourists.

– And last but not least, the Gili Air, the Monday Feelings favourite. It is a perfect mix of the other both islands.

Gili Islands in Indonesia

The sunset at Gili T

*If you want to know how to get to the Gili Islands, read this article here 😉

The Islands

The Gili, as they are famously known, means “island” in Indonesian. For this reason, it is common to find other islands with “Gili” in its name, such as Gilimanuk where there is the port at Bali Island to cross to Java Island. Therefore, Gili Islands is actually a redundant expression meaning literally Island islands. But anyway…

Gili Islands in Indonesia

The sunset at Gili Air

At Gili Islands, the sea water is transparent, the food is fresh and there are no motorised vehicles, only bicycles and carriages. The atmosphere is like a tropical paradise and it is impossible not to receive a big smile in return when saying hi to people passing you by while you walk. At the Gili Islands, there is no prohibition. According to the locals, the “the Gilis are free” and you can even buy hallucinogens mushroom shakes at the bars. Everyone does whatever one wants and no one seems to judge anyone.

Gili Islands in Indonesia

The local inhabitants was one of the highlights of our visit in the two of the Islands (Gili Air and Gili T). They seemed to be extremely conscious with everything and really receptive. They were not some people who stopped in time such as we sometimes see in smaller towns elsewhere in the world. Quite the opposite, they are youths who the majority have attended a university, they are on social network, make use of technology, although they simply chose to live a simpler life.

Gili Islands in Indonesia

Gili Air

Each of the islands

Gili Air was our favourite because it suited our interests perfectly. Firstly, the size of the island allows you to walk literally everywhere (actually in 40 min you go around the island). Moreover, everyone seems to know everyone and they are all nice people. Because it was low season, the bars weren’t so crowded, though they were there. Some say it is the perfect place to try their famous mushroom shake and find your spot anywhere to enjoy your high. We did see some people going crazy with the music at night!

Gili Islands in Indonesia

With our friends Rayssa and Sérgio at Gili Air

The Gili T can be a little more conflictual (even by having more alcohol), but it is most of the time caused by tourist who do not respect locals and travel with the intent to cause troubles. Overall, to witness a fight seems unimaginable. Just to give you an idea of the place’s tranquillity, we did not even see any police over there, neither a problem at all.

Gili Islands in Indonesia

Every night the party is at an specific bar of Gili T and so everyone meets up in one location

Water activities

The transparency of the water makes it perfect for diving and snorkelling to see the corals, the immense variety of fishes as well as turtles. The Snorkelling tour can be taken from any of the islands as the boat goes to all of them. Each island has a specific spot for corals, turtles and fishes. The price goes from 100.000 to 150.000 Rupiahs – 8US$ to 12US$ – (again, bargain skills on you) and take up to 5 hours. It is really amazing and we really recommend it. There are many different diving schools as well as free diving – you can go up to 22 meters in two days with no air galloon. The prices are a lot more accessible than other parts of the world.

Gili Islands in Indonesia

Finding Nemo! Can you see him?

From one Gili to the others

Travel amongst the three islands is super easy and it can be done by public boats which departure at some determined schedule. They go twice a day, one in the morning – around 10am – and one in the afternoon – around 2pm – and costs 40.000 Rupiahs (about US$3). You can also take a private boat at any time. The price varies from 200.000 Rupiahs to whenever your bargain skills goes.

Gili Islands in Indonesia

The public boat from Gili Air to Gili T

Where to stay

What does not lack in the Gilis are options for hotels, resorts, bungalows and one or another hostel. In Gili Air, we strongly recommend The Grand Sunset Hotel, a higher standard hotel with a swimming pool facing the sea! The rooms have roofless bathroom with view to palm trees and rocks flooring it. The staff is extremely nice too! For further information about the hotel, read our Staying like a boss at the remote Gili Air island.

Gili Islands in Indonesia

The swimming pool at The Grand Sunset Gili Air

For the low-budget travellers, it is possible to find accommodation for about 250.000 Rupiahs (US$20). We went on low season and managed to lower the price of a simple room for 150.000 Rupiahs with breakfast included.