Eat Travel By: Bibi Ramli January 18, 2019 @ 5:00pm

Hoping to visit an Indonesian reef that’s less-travelled than Bali and Lombok? Try Gili Islands!

Although they’re known for their own unique sights and sounds, Bali and Lombok are undoubtedly too commercialised now.

If you are looking for a less-crowded island paradise in Indonesia to spend your holidays at, not to worry!

There’s the Gili Islands, a booming destination located off the north-western shore of Lombok itself. Well, they are technically part of Lombok but they have become a popular optional addition to Bali visitors’ itinerary.

Potentially it will soon become more hectic when more and more holiday-makers come to visit. That will certainly result in a rise for commercialisation.

But for now, it retains its laid-back ambience and culture, partly thanks to efforts to exclude dogs and motorbikes from the islands. So you better grab the chance quickly!

One island for everyone

The Gili Islands are surrounded by stunning turquoise waters, pristine white sand as well as coconut palm trees. The waters there boast rich tropical marine biodiversity and with visibility all year round for divers.

Turtle-spotting at Meno. Credit: giliislandfastboats.com

Gili comes in a set of three small islands – Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air – and each has its own unique appeal. So before heading to Gili, find out which one suits you best.

Credit: Villa Almarik

Trawangan is a mix of both tranquillity and fun, with serene and quiet beaches in the north and west sides, and a plethora of restaurants and bars on the south. Gili Air is similar to Trawangan but only smaller.

If you wish to run away from noise (and noisy people), Meno is the island for you. It has discreet and empty beaches as well as a local village ban on late-night partying. Bonus!

Sunbathing in Meno. Credit: Sarahtz

Still not sure where to go? Watch the video below for a visual preview of what it’s like there.

Getting there

Fly to Lombok, take a 2.5-hour overland transfer to Bangsal Harbour, hop on a boat to one of the three islands.

Alternatively, take a two-hour boat ride straight from either one of Bali’s two main ports, Serangan and Padangbai.

Source: Lonely Planet, Bali by Hotels.com

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