The Gili islands is a popular destination in Indonesia among tourists, especially young Europeans traveler’s. They are attracted to the simple pleasures of sun, snorkeling and partying.
Most people have heard of the “Gili islands” but it is not the local name. Gili actually means small island and there are lots of other gili’s around Lombok. Early island visitors might remember crudely constructed bamboo huts and open roofed, Indonesian style of bathroom (Kamar Mandi).
The development for the last five years has change the island’s look. Local businesses once get a soft loan from the local government to improve the tourist infrastructure to meet the today’s standard of simple accommodation. Additionally, there are numbers of join venture between locals and European businessmen to develop the island. Gili Island’s accommodation tarrifs on today’s range from are between Rp. 45,000 to 100,000 per night for a simple room with fan, to an air-con bungalows style with hot water, in comfortable resort-style settings at up to Rp. 750,000 per night and everything in between, depending on the seasonal price fluctuations…
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, with accommodation prices at their lowest level.
To get around the isle, you will not find any cars or motorcycles on any of the islands because they are prohibited by the locals living there. The only means of transport are Cidomos, horse drawn carriages. Bicycle rentals are available too. Expect higher prices for most things there since all food and goods must be brought over from the mainland.
Electricity and Communication
Electricity supply is only available on Gili Air and Gili Trawangan, but a few places in Gili Meno have their own generators. The electrical voltage in Indonesia is 220 Volt, if you bring any devices which require recharged at lower voltage (110 Volt) bring an electrical voltage converter or ask the hotel where you stay for STAVOLT. Money changers are available in most Tourist Information, but usually give you a lower rate than changing on the mainland of Lombok. Internet rental are available in all the islands. Possible to make int’l phone calls on all islands.
Health and Medical
Sanitation has improved on the islands. A Health center is also available with very simple facilities. However, always drink from bottled water or boiled water and avoid eating raw foods or salads from small non-reputable restaurants, because the water might not be sterilized.
There are no Police Station or Military Post on the islands, but there is a small police station in Bangsal harbor. The Islands funded non-uniformed community policing group, SATGAS, ensures visitor’s security and safety. In the rare event of someone breaking the law or disturbing tourists, prepetrators are handed over to Police on Lombok and face banishment from the island for up to five years. For your own safety, deposit valuable items at the reception where you’re staying at. Carry only small cash and necessary items.
There are many options for an enjoyable holiday on the islands. You can rent snorkeling equipment, join a diving course, rent a kayak, go fishing, or take a glass bottom boat to see the magnificent coral reefs and fishes.
There are lots of quality scuba diving operations on all the islands. The coral around the islands is good for snorkeling, which can be reach from the shore. See rays and giant clams. A must see: Turtles Point, Meno Wall, Shark (harmless) Point. Dive Schools available on all the islands with many dive programs to choose, from beginners to advanced technical dives.
While divers are able to regularly swim with black tip, those who prefer to just drifts in the currents with a snorkel, fins and mask are never left disappointed by the more than 6,000 species of marine life living just off-shore.
Fishing is one of the highlight activities on the islands. Deep fishing remain the best on north west of Gili Trawangan. Carry your own equipment if you’re not familiar with the traditional-style of fishing.
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