After visiting Gili Trawangan (and enjoying every moment) I wanted to explore the Gili Islands further. Next up was Gili Air. Gili Air is not as wild as it’s crazy neighbor Gili Trawangan however not quite as slow as Gili Meno. The Gili islands for those who don’t know are an archipelago in the Indian Ocean. They are a must visit for those traveling to Indonesia. Here are my seven most compelling reasons to visit Gili Air.
1. To get to Know the Locals
Getting to know the Indonesian locals is always rewarding. Out of all the countries I have been to, I find Indonesian people the friendliest. By taking a walk on the beach you will get to know the locals. You will find them working at the bars or relaxing in the shade. With one group of locals we ended up having a jam session. We enjoyed some beers and made jewellery out of shells, it was my favorite part of the trip.
2.The Stunning Sunsets
The Gili Islands are known for their beautiful sunsets. Take your bike and head to the East of the island in the early afternoon. This will ensure you get a seat. There are an abundance of bars with comfy bean bags and sun loungers to watch from. During my stay, I saw beautiful purple and golden sunsets, possibly some of the best I have ever seen. Just be careful cycling back to your hotel in the dark!
3.The Boutique Hotels
Gili Air has many beautiful unique boutique hotels. During our stay, we enjoyed Sunrise Resort pictured above. Our beautiful tree house-esque room had a stairway inside that lead up to our own rooftop terrace. Complete with bean bags and a hammock. Our own secluded outdoor area for relaxing and spending quality time as a couple.
4.The Beautiful Shallow Beaches
The beaches on Gili Air are supposedly the most beautiful of the Gili Islands. They are whiter, wider and generally more idyllic. When the tide is out the beaches turn into amazing shallow waters that stretch out to the reef. It’s such a unique experience to walk out and relax in the shallow water. Make sure you wear jelly shoes or flip flops to protect your feet.
5.The Snorkelling and Diving Trips
Many beautiful snorkelling spots can be accessed alone without a guide. Just ask a local where the best spots are located. Otherwise, you can head out with a guide on a boat trip for diving and snorkelling trips. The water is extremely clear and the Gili Islands are known worldwide for their biodiversity. You will find a wide selection of creatures here from turtles to manta rays.
6.The Easy Way of Life
The island is perfect for a stress-free, renewing getaway. The easy way of life is so relaxing. You can go from bar to bar and enjoy the reggae/beachy music and good vibes. Hiring a bike is also popular to explore the island. You can cycle to the markets and buy some fresh fruit that you can then prepare yourself. It will be hard not to feel totally refreshed after a stay here.
7.The Famous Swing
Obviously, I could not leave out the famous Gili Air swing. This swing is photographed by many travellers to the island. If you can manage to get a seat for the sunset it is a truly beautiful experience. Otherwise just join the queue to get your token snapshot. Watch your feet on the walk out to the swing – it’s pretty rocky!
What Not to Do
Since visiting the Gili Islands again, it has come to my attention that the horses used to pull the carriages are often badly neglected. I have heard stories of ponies being fed Redbull and not getting proper veterinary care. The islands are small and walking to your hotel is usually not a huge issue. In turn, you won’t create a demand for these horse-drawn carriages.
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