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Gili Islands

  • aerial view of the 3 Gilis, Lombok, Indonesia
The 3 Gilis (from bottom to top): Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, Gili Air
© photo: Kok Leng Yeo     original photo
also known as:
Tiga Gili, Kepulauan Gili
Priority: Midd
Location Type: Destination
The Gilis are three small, flat islands located off the northwest coast of Lombok. They are popular for their white sand beaches, clear waters, and abundant sea life. The largest island, Gili Trawangan, is known as the 'party' island, Meno is the quietest, and Air is a popular backpacker destination.

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Wikipedia - Gili Islands

Gunung Rinjani seen from Gili Air
Gunung Rinjani seen from Gili Air

The Gili Islands (Indonesian: Tiga Gili [Three Gilis], Kepulauan Gili [Gili Islands]) are an archipelago of three small islands — Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air — just off the northwest coast of Lombok, Indonesia.

The islands are a popular destination for Western tourists looking for a remote island experience. Each island has several very small resorts, usually consisting of a small collection of huts for tourists, and a restaurant. Most local inhabitants live on Trawangan in a township stretching along its east side just inland (which is also where most recent development is taking place). Automobiles and motorized traffic are prohibited on the islands by local ordinance, so the preferred method of transportation is bicycle or the horse-drawn carriage called a cidomo. Diving in and around the Gilis is also popular due to the abundance of fish life and attractive coral formations.

The name "Gili Islands" is a misnomer, because Gili simply means "small island" in Sasak. As a result most of the islands around the coast of Lombok have Gili in their names, although confusion is averted by referring (in English) to the other Gilis around the Lombok coast by their proper names only. ... read more

Wikitravel - Gili Islands

Map of the Gili Islands
Map of the Gili Islands

Lombok's most popular tourist destination, the Gili Islands (or just the Gilis) came to the attention of the wider world as a backpacker mecca in the 1980s and 1990s. This is still true to some extent, and the islands are still a fixture on the Banana Pancake Trail. But the times they are a changing, and there is now a rash of glamour options on the islands, especially so on Gili Trawangan. The islands are very relaxed and laid-back, with countless little beachside cafes still playing reggae and serving up questionable "energy" drinks, but also at the other end of the scale, elaborate seafood buffets, fresh salads and good quality western and Asian food. Best of all, there are no cars or motorbikes to disturb the peace.

There are increasing numbers of westerners living on the Gilis, and operating businesses ranging from dive companies to resorts. There is a strong environmental focus here as the reefs have been very damaged in the past. While once people came to dive, snorkel and party, a more upmarket tourist is showing up now. It is still all about the beach, there are many more options to wine and dine or hang out and meet new friends.

Strictly speaking, the name "Gili Islands" is rather redundant as gili simply means "small island" in Sasak, but the name has stuck and is universally used and understood in Lombok.

Gili Trawangan The largest and most visited of the three islands. Known as the party island.
Gili Air The closest of the three islands to Lombok, and the one with a well developed local community.
Gili Meno Sandwiched between the other two better known islands, Gili Meno is very laid back indeed.

... read more

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