The Gili Islands are some of the most popular tourist destinations for tourists looking for an isolated experience with a peaceful sense of getaway. Gili, meaning small islands, is composed of three small islands that stretch as three dots from the mainland of Lombok. These are Gili Trawangan, Gili Air and Gili Meno. Life on the island is quite laid back, with most locals occupying Trawangan which is the furthest from the mainland. It is also known as Party Island, and the name says it all. The islands are surrounded with crystal clear waters and filled with an endless variety of marine life stretching out into the deep sea. The water is edged out by white sandy beaches that provide the best sun bathing spots during the day, and the best sunset spots during the evenings.
The island of Gili Air was the first to have inhabitant settlement due to its close proximity to the Lombok mainland. It is the smallest of the three and lies between the Lombok mainland and the Gili Meno Island. The latter is the second biggest in size and lies in between the island of Gili Air and Party Island. The atmosphere in Meno is quite mellow with a rich sense of appreciation for tourism, traditions and cultures of the natives. The islands and automobile-free and the serenity of limited modernity is quite splendid. They are characterized by small tents acting as hotels, restaurants and beach resorts. Trawangan has a faster pace of development as compared to Meno and Air. All in all, the Gili Islands are blessed with their own sense of charm and charisma. Accommodation varies, from back-packer one night rooms, chic boutique rooms and bungalows, hotels and villas. There are zero high rise hotels and zero tour buses as well.
Transportation to and from the islands is limited to fast boat rides along the sea and travelers have plenty to choose from. Local charter boats are available for hire. Tourists and travelers in general can also go for the twice-daily boat ride that goes for around Rp 20,000 per person. The temptation to swim across the islands may at times be quite high, but this should be the last thing in mind. The unpredictable tides and currents may land a person in a very deep sea situation, and cases on dead swimmers have been reported in the past.
There is plenty to see, share, take away and keep when at the Gili Islands. The Gili Island package may be a good idea for a two or three-day tour of the tourist haven on the Bali-Lombok Sea.