Like we said, Lombok will always have a place in our heart,especially the Gilis, tiny but never fail too amaze us with it’s tranquil waters and white sands. Everything is just complete with a corona, your favourite book and a beach towel. Oh, and if you’re also craving for some entertainment, Gili have a lot to offer too. Here’s a list of what to do when you are on your trip to Lombok:
DIVING AND SNORKELING (LEARNING)
It’s probably the classic at the Gilis. No wonder, because the islands have a very interesting underwater world. There are diving schools on each of the 3 islands, although most of them are on Gili Trawangan. You can borrow snorkel equipment almost on every corner.
CIRCUMNAVIGATE THE ISLANDS
You can walk around the Gilis in about 1-2 hours. On Gili Trawangan you should rent a bike, which you can get almost anywhere (prices are negotiable). Often, however, the accommodations have their private bike rental. Be sure to bring a lock and use it when you want to stop somewhere! If no lock exists, never leave your bike unobserved. Gili Meno you can perfectly circumnavigate on foot, because the majority of the paths run along some lonely dream beaches.
2 times each day the public boats leave to the other two islands. Around 9:30 a.m. the boat leaves Gili Trawangan to the other islands. Later in the afternoon it will return from Gili Air over Gili Meno back to Trawangan. Depending on where it goes, the prices range from 20,000 – 23,000 rupiah (one way). You can buy the tickets directly at the harbor (where the boats leave), otherwise in any travel agency and ticket booth on the islands (but probably you will pay more because of the commission).
Alternatively, you can also charter a boat, which will cost about 190,000 (one way) or 350,000 rupiah (return). This may be worthwhile if you’re traveling with a group of about 10 people or more. Then you definitely travel more effective and convenient than with the public boats.
Very popular is the standing paddling, also known as “Stand Up Paddling” (SUP), which lets you comfortably paddle along the island. Or you can rent a canoe/kayak for one or two people. Karma Kayak for example, offers a day trip to the islands (including food and guide) for around Rp. 300.000,- . Also kite surfing or wakeboarding is offered on the Gilis. During all activities in the water it is very important to never underestimate the sometimes very strong currents.
FISHING AND BBQ
Often fishing tours are offered, where you will be driven out by boat and can catch the fish yourself and then grill it. It doesn’t get any fresher and tastier! Even spear fishing is possible.
ON TOUR WITH THE GLASS BOTTOM BOAT
Another way to explore the underwater world. It’s usually offered together with island hopping, snorkeling or diving.
GOING OUT AND PARTY
Gili Trawangan is clearly most suitable and best known for partying! Mondays (Blue Marlin), Wednesdays (Tir Na Nog or simply known as the Irish Pub) and Fridays (Rudy’s) are always having the big parties. You cannot overlook or miss it, simply follow the crowd ;). Or you can go to my favorite bar, the Sama-Sama, where every now and then well-known Indonesian bands like Steven & Coconut Treez perform with brilliant live Reggae music.
South Sea Nomads also got a party boat and offers for Rp. 300.000,- a trip from noon/afternoon to sunset around the Gili islands, snorkeling equipment and food included.
You will even find a Full Moon Party celebration on Gili Trawangan. Of course with its size it doesn’t come close to the infamous Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan/Thailand (so many people probably don’t even fit on Trawangan ;)), but its still worth a visit.
On Gili Air people are celebrating as well, for example in the Legend Bar (Reggae, House, etc.). Who is into psychedelic stuff may party like an alien in the Space Bar :D.
HORSEBACK RIDE ALONG THE BEACH
Maybe not the most classic activity for us guys, but suitable for families or couples. It is a nice break to ride along the beach at sunset and partly in the water ;). Available at Stud Horse Riding Adventures or Sunset Stables.
There are also some Yoga courses offered on the islands, either once as a trial or for more days and weeks. Whole retreats are offered, too.
and finally of course
RELAXING OR EATING AT THE BEACH
Most bars and restaurants offer sun protected loungers or giant cushions on the beach where you can simply enjoy a delicious, cool Bintang or a fresh fruit juice and of course eat something while marveling at the wonderful view. Prices for Western Food start mostly at 40,000 rupiah while local food such as Nasi Goreng is slightly cheaper.
Or for less than one Euro you can buy fresh fruits, grilled Satay skewers or Tempeh/Bakwan (fried vegetables, highly recommended!) as a snack at the small Warungs (stalls). Get it wrapped up and off to the beach!