Indonesia is a country rich in diversity and natural wonders. Indonesia is the largest archipelago in the world. It has many magnificent islands waiting to be explored and promises an experience filled with adventure, relaxation, culinary delights, and beautiful memories. Among the top tourist attractions in Indonesia, there are several places to observe Indonesia’s natural beauty.
Lombok is the most famous place in Indonesia for sunbathing, diving, and snorkeling. It has superb, white sandy beaches, crystal clear water, spectacular coral reefs, and the best snorkeling and diving.
The absence of cars, motorcycles, and hawkers adds greatly to the leisure of staying on the Gilis – although there is now a wide range of accommodation available, the islands have maintained the lazy rustic charms of a tropical paradise.
It has villas with such a romantic panorama, that there is no way to forget them while making a list of the most wonderful places in Indonesia.
Lombok has the stunning beaches of Indonesia. Fringed by white sand beaches and blue water, the complex of three small and isolated islands named Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, and Gili Air bears have unique scenic appeal.
There are a few ways to get to the Gili Islands, either from Bali or Lombok; the vast majority of people will get there either by a public ferry or on one of the many fast boat services.
Public ferry to the Gili Islands
Before 11 am, you can catch a public boat to all three of the Gili Islands; after that, you will probably only be able to go to Gili Trawangan or Gili Air on the public ferry. The public ferry is by far the cheapest way to get to the Gilis from Lombok.
Ferries depart from Bangsal, around 25km north of Senggigi. They depart at irregular intervals throughout the day, between around 7.30 am and 4.30 pm.
Some public ferries do go to Gili Air, but not all; you may have to get off at Gili Trawangan and charter a boat or jump on the twice-daily island-hopping’ boat for the short trip between the Gilis. If you are heading to Gili Meno and you manage to get to Gili T before around 4 pm you can get the ‘island hopper’ boat to Gili Meno.
The island hopper makes a loop of all three islands twice a day, at 9.30 am and 4 pm.
Fast boats to the Gili Islands
The Gili Islands’ increasing popularity has seen a surge in the number of companies offering ‘fast boat’ services from Bali and Lombok to the Gilis and back. Many of these companies are perfectly reputable and this can be the best way to get to the Gilis. It’s also often more comfortable than the public ferry, and certainly quicker; from Lombok, the journey takes around half an hour.
Getting to the Gili Islands from Bali
There are many international visitors who fly into Bali or visit the Gilis after staying in Bali. It’s easy to get to the Gili Islands direct from Bali using the fast boat services.
Gili Air and Gili Meno retained much of their unspoilt quality, but Gili Trawangan has become more touristy and pricy. The islanders are majority Muslims and visitors should respect their sensibilities. In particular, topless or nude sunbathing is offensive to them, even though they won’t say so directly. Away from Beach, it is polite for women to cover their shoulders and thighs. Many visitors are appallingly insensitive to local standards and so many of them walk around in skimpy clothing that it’s easy to get the impression that the local people don’t mind anymore. In fact, they do.
The development for the last five years has changed the island’s look, especially Gili Trawangan. Accommodation tariffs on today’s range for a simple room with a fan are from between IDR 150,000.00 (equivalent to USD $12.00) to IDR 250,000.00 (USD $22.00) per night, to an air-con bungalows style with hot water, in comfortable resort-style settings at up to USD $350.00 per night and everything in between, depending on the seasonal price fluctuations. Demand often outstrips supply, so prices tend to be noticeably higher than on Bali or Lombok.
While the island is busiest from May through August, the quieter off-season from January to April provides a better opportunity to enjoy all the islet has to offer.