Which Gili Is Right For You?

The islands of Bali and Lombok are some of the most beautiful in Indonesia but the two share three much smaller islands known as the Gilis that each has its own unique vibe. No trip to Bali or Lombok is complete without a visit to any or all of the Gilis. But, which one has the vibe you want? Here is the Gili lowdown.

Gili Air

Gili Air is the closest to the island of Lombok making it the most accessible via speed boat. This tiny island is not overrun with resorts but instead has a few guesthouses here and there which have made the move to Airbnb. This is a pretty quiet island. It attracts backpackers who have finished the banana pancake trail and are now ready to jump into the world of diving which Bali and the surrounding islands are known for. Don’t expect a party vibe on this island, that is what Gili T is known for. But it is not so laid back like Gili Meno that some travelers might find themselves bored. There is a trail that traverses the entire island and follows the coastline which takes two and a half hours to complete in a loop. So grab some water, start walking, stop for a massage or a swim and just run on island time.

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Gili Meno

Also known as the honeymoon island, Gili Meno is the smallest of the three and the least developed. It is only 2 kilometers long by 1 kilometer wide, so you can easily walk all over the island. There is a lagoon smack dab in the center of the island which is sometimes full of water depending on the season. It’s been deemed the island for the Robinson Crusoe experience, there are a few open air hostels featuring hammocks like the Gili Meno Eco Hostel which is comprised of a bamboo structure and large openings to allow the ocean breeze to cool guests off. It does have the most beautiful beaches of all the islands and some excellent snorkeling, so bring a book and just hunker down here to relax. Eat some of the local fish, there is not much else to do.

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Gili Trawangan

Now, this is the party island, as well as being the biggest of the three Gilis. Most travelers end up here wanting to live the hippy-dippy party life for a few days or a week or however long they end up staying. The beaches are a bit on the rockier side, and the island has loud pumping music each night that can be heard by the other Gilis. There are also quite a few luxury villas to rent, which appeals to the more upscale traveler. If you are looking for a laidback experience this island is less than and more like the Ibiza of Indonesia.