The Gili Islands, Lombok, Indonesia
Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air
The beautiful islands to getaway, Gili Islands is located near Lombok, Indonesia, Bali. The Gili Islands consist of three main islands, Gili Trawangan, Gili Air and Gili Meno.
The Gili Islands History
The Gili Islands consist of three small, beautiful tropical paradise islands: Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air. These islands are located a few miles off the northwest coast of Lombok, Bali – Indonesia. In recent years, Gili Islands have become a favourite island paradise escape for travellers to both Bali and Lombok. They are also a rapidly devolving holiday destination in their own right.
The Gili Islands were first settled by Bugis fisherman from Sulawesi, who used them as a stopping off point on long range fishing trips throughout the Indonesian archipelago. They first became popular with travellers back in the 1980’s, when back-packers discovered the picture perfect white sand beaches and beautifully clear waters rich with a variety of marine life.
Today the Gili islands are the most popular attraction of Lombok. Lombok is often considered the “sister island” of Bali, and many people choose to visit both islands on their holiday to the famous tropical paradise of Bali, Indonesia. It is now very easy to travel from either Bali or Lombok to the Gili islands.
Visitors are attracted by the laid back nature of the islands and their friendly local inhabitants, who are a mixture of original Bugis settlers and local Lombok people who have moved to the Gili islands in search of work in the tourism industry. One of the most appealing features of the islands is that cars, motorbikes, and other forms of motorized transport are banned from the islands. This gives then a real “Robinson Crusoe” feel, where man, woman and nature exist in perfect harmony.
Gili Air is the island closest to Lombok, and was the first to be visited by tourists. Travellers to Lombok first started visiting the island for day trips, but soon the local people realized that there was a business in giving accommodation and simple food to tourists so that they could stay overnight rather than just going on day trips. Gili Air is only a few miles from the coast of Lombok, so it is very easy to access from the mainland.
The second of the three islands is Gili Meno, which is the only island to have any kind of water feature on it (a saline lake). Gili Meno is the island that was visited by the main character of the film and book “Eat, Pray, Love” towards the end of the story. Until today it remains the least developed of the islands, and is very popular with travellers who desire total peace and tranquility.
Farthest from the mainland of Lombok is Gili Trawangan, which is also the most popular island for visitors. Gili Trawangan has developed a reputation as the “party island”, as back in the early days many people went there to enjoy the nightlife and local herbal delights, free from any police, closing time or other regulations. These days the island has become far more sophisticated, catering to young back-packers on a budget and travellers with families staying in luxury private villas.