The Gili islands are three small islands located off the northwest coast of Lombok, Indonesia. The beaches are powdery white, the water a beautiful clear blue and they are positioned perfectly for sunsets over Bali’s Mt Agung and sunrise over Lombok’s Mt Rinjani. Unique to the Gilis is that all forms of motorised transport are not allowed – this means that the only way to get around is on foot, by bicycle and by horse cart.
All three Gilis islands have their own electric generating stations which can generate power 24 hours a day, however in the peak season this can be put under strain particularly in late afternoon and early evening. Most businesses have their own generators to avoid any problems and usually power cuts only last a few hours.
There are a number of internet cafes on Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili air all charging approximately the same, (around Rp500 per minute) although all operate at different speeds. It is simple and cheap to buy SIM cards for your mobile phone.
Health and safety
Generally there is very little crime on the Gili islands, however no where is 100% free of petty crime. Like anywhere in the world, it’s advisable to leave valuables in your room or in a safe. There is a 24 hours clinic at Hotel Vila Ombak which has a doctor who can deal with minor injuries and problems. They can also provide certain prescription drugs.
There are various ATM machines available on Gili Trawangan. All the dive centers and bigger hotels accept Visa and MasterCard with an additional 3% bank charge.
Most businesses rely on well water for showers and bathrooms, though some places, including Trawangan Dive, import fresh water from Lombok. All fresh water is brought to the islands by small fishing boats from Lombok. Please use the islands water resources sparingly!
Horse Riding is a great way to see the whole of the island. The perimeter of Gili Trawangan can be walked along the beach and Stud Stables have experienced guides.
Kayaking and paddleboards
Kayaking is the perfect way to combine sports with nature. Full training and a practice session is given prior to embarking on a paddle across the channel to neighbouring Gili Meno for a picnic lunch.
Swimming and snorkeling
The best places for snorkeling and swimming are along the main beach areas. Masks, fins and snorkels can be rented from numerous kiosks in the street. Glass bottom boat trips around the three Gili islands are available and cost around 150,000rp per person. You can see all types of marine life but please be careful not to touch anything.