Gili islands in Lombok are one of the popular destinations close to Bali, located in the northwest of Lombok and can be reached by regular boats or ferry from Bali or Lombok. You might be wondering which Gili island is best for you among Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, and Gili Air. Here is the information about which islands to choose and things to do on each island.
Overview of Gili Islands
On the three Gili Islands, there are accommodations, dive centers, restaurants and café, and some other places like spas. Therefore, basically, you can stay on any islands without problems as long as you have the cash. You can also get into the public boats to another island, or charter a private boat to get around the islands. There are no motorized transportations allowed so that you can explore the islands by foot, bicycle, or pony carts are known locally as cidomo.
Gili Trawangan, or commonly known as Gili T, is the largest island among the three. It is packed with a wide range of accommodations, vibrant nightlife, numerous foods, and cuisines to choose from among many restaurants and café, and dive centers. Most visitors come and stay in Gili Trawangan to get the most of the accommodations and facilities and make a short trip to the other two islands.
If you are young people who like to mingle with friends, or just simply look for some distractions among the crowd, or do something adventurous in the daytime, and look to party during the nights – you don't have to wonder which Gili island is best – Gili Trawangan is a perfect choice. Each night of the week, different clubs host a party, so everyone would probably end up in the same venue. So if you look for the best nightlife and party places in Gili Trawangan, you are coming to the right island.
Gili Trawangan also has plenty of reputable dive schools and operators to choose, if you are planning to walk away with a diving license. For certified divers, you won't have time to be bored as there are approximately 25 dive sites around the islands waiting to be explored.
Gili Meno is the quietest and smallest island among the three, so it is a good place to set a romantic mood with a stunning white sandy beach and a few diving and snorkeling spots around the island, including the 48 life-sized human figures underwater sculptures by a British artist. Known as the Honeymoon Island, Gili Meno has some other activities available, such as, yoga, SUP, but definitely not the nightlife.
In Gili Meno, you can also visit the turtle sanctuary, which is basically a few pools with baby turtles; here, they release some baby turtles into the sea on certain nights, and you can absolutely join them if the schedule fits. There is also a large salt-water lake surrounded by the mangrove forests you can visit, where several huts are built around the lake, but since the mosquitoes can be quite fierce here, make sure to bring a mosquito repellent when coming here.
If you wonder which Gili island is best while you are looking for somewhere laid-back to switch off without any tourist crowds and distractions, Gili Meno is definitely the answer.
Gili Air has all the balance between Gili Trawangan and Gili Meno, it has more facilities than Gili Meno but more relaxed than Gili Trawangan. Most people agree that it is a perfect island for a family getaway where you can enjoy the most of Gili Islands Lombok with kids – though it is also also the favorite for all other travelers.
For families, Gili Air has plenty of accommodations with pool to splash the whole day with kids, a beach club entertaining family with movie night, and tons of activities you can do together, including the kite surfing, SUP, yoga, etc.
But if you are not coming with a family, you can also definitely enjoy this island. With some beach bars and clubs when you want them, hippie songs and acoustic around the corners, some nightlife and dive schools, Gili Air definitely has everything you could ask for the island life.
So if you are still confused about which Gili island is best and cannot decide, Gili Air might be the safe option for you – everything on this island is just right and more likely perfect for anyone.