I know what you’re thinking, you’re currently stuck on which island to choose from OR you don’t fully understand how many islands does Gili have. Yeap! Just like most of us we’re all confused at first too. But in this travel guide, lemme help you decide and pick on the best island that will fit your personal interests and needs! (Understanding Gili Islands)
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Understand Gili Islands
Gili Islands consists of 3 main islands: (1) Gili Air, (2) Gili Meno and (3) Gili Trawangan. And the first thing you probably have to know about Gili Islands is that there are no motorized vehicles on the island. Hence, the only mode of transportations are (1) Horse cart, (2) bicycles and (3) by walking.
Most of you may be wondering where to stay for a night or two. You’ve come to the right blog! Let’s get you deciding on where might be the best island to stay. If you’ve been to Boracay Island in the Philippines, the 3 islands of Gili are like the 3 stations of Boracay. They are neighbors but they offer completely different vibe.
This is the smallest island of all 3 which is why you can guess that there are fewer crowds in Gili Meno. That same reason is why this island is also known as the “Honeymoon Island.” Couples and newly married couples choose this island but for youngsters looking for ngihtlife, this place might not be for you.
Moreover, Gili Meno is known for its world famous underwater Gili Meno Statues which you can swim from the shore and snorkel to it. It is located at a very shallow 4 meters depth that’s why it’s a famous spot for snorkelers and swimmers alike.
Whether it’s amazing or haunting, the underwater Gili Meno Statues should never go unchecked on your list of things to do in Gili Islands. The underwater 48 life-sized statues sits in front of the eco-resort BASK, who also named this project the “Nest.” Moreover, each embracing statue was replicated from real people. Thus, making it look scary and haunting to some tourists.
These statues will eventually become a home for marine life as soft corals will start to grow on these sculptures. Making it a foundation for more marine life to flourish here. In fact, there are already lots of colorful fishes here. Even a huge green sea turtle passed by while we were snorkeling around the Gili Meno Statues.
Important note: generally speaking Joiner tours starts at 10AM which you expect massive influx of tourists. So if you want to avoid this, I highly recommend booking a private island hopping tour so you can start as early at 6AM.
The closest island to Lombok is Gili Air. It is not as vibrant as the streets of Gili T but not as quiet as Gili Meno either. Which is safe to say that if you are in between of those choices, Gili Air can be the island of choice for you. But then again just like Gili Meno, there are not much choices when it comes to accommodation preferences, food establishments and bars. Overall, Gili Air has laid back beaches and colorful reefs if you want to dive or snorkel.
Gili Trawangan (Gili T)
Also known as the party island! This island is famous for youngsters looking for a vibrant nightlife. Loud music, beers, flashing colorful lights, magic mushrooms and more! Gili T is also the largest island of all 3 which makes it the main island. As a result, there are more accommodations you can choose from whether you are a budget traveler or looking for a fancy resort.
My partner and I stayed in Gili T for 2 days and all I can say is it resembles so much of Boracay’s vibe. Especially when it comes to the seafood galore and nightlife. Gili T is my top recommended island to stay if you want a complete package experience of Gili Islands. Additionally, Gili T is more developed compared to the other 2 islands because it is complete with establishments where you can do shopping, binge eating, party life and more.
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Drone shots by Milo Quinantoto.
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