Top tips for visiting the Gili Islands.
Thinking of hopping over to the islands and escaping the mainland? FIRST – learn a few things through our top tips BEFORE getting on that boat.
The Gili islands are 3 little islands off the North West coast of Lombok. They are a popular location for those visiting both Bali and Lombok.
Each island has its own vibe, Gili T being the most liveliest and known for its parties. Gili T is also the biggest and furthest away island from Lombok.
The next island, Gili Meno, is the smallest and most remote, with the best white sand beaches.. The vibe on Meno is chilled out – this is where you’ll probably find the honeymooners.
Gili Air is the island closest to Lombok, it has a mixed vibe of both T and Meno, it can be chilled out if you want it to be or there is always a party you can seek out.
When visiting any of the islands, there are always things to think about and things that I had wished I had thought about before leaving the main land! So, here are my top tips for visiting the Gili Islands;
1. Stock up on supplies.
By this I mean, your shampoo/conditioner (they don’t sell conditioner) and any toiletries you may be running out of. Also when I say supplies I mean snacks too, like crisps (chips) and chocolate etc.
Why? – it’s an island and like every island, everything has to be imported/shipped over so things cost more, some times a lot more than on the mainland.
2. Make sure you check where your hotel is situated on the island.
The islands and Lombok are predominantly Muslim, therefore there are the calls to prayer to think about.
Why? – I personally don’t mind the calls to prayer and respect the religion, but I do always make sure that when booking my hotel I check that it’s not right next to a mosque, as a cheeky wake up call at 5am in the morning, every morning is not desirable.
3. Make sure you have more than enough cash on you to cover your stay.
Why? – The restaurants and shops on Gili don’t take card, so everything must be paid with by cash only.
There are a few ATMs now on the island, but they can be a bit dodgy and are not always working. It’s better to be safe than sorry and draw out your money on the mainland from a trusted bank or ATM before making your way over to the islands.
4. Bring sea shoes with you.
Why? – The Gili Islands are surrounded by coral and reefs, which makes them ideal for snorkelling. But hellish on the feet when walking down the beach and into the sea! If you’re hard you can certainly give it a try barefooted, it’s not impossible just uncomfortable. So I’d highly recommend investing in a pair of sea shoes! They don’t have to be expensive, cheap ones from eBay will do!
5. Make sure you are aware as to how far away your hotel is from the boat drop off point.
Why? – Although the islands are only small, the only forms of transport is to either hire a bike or walk, which can be quite difficult with all of your luggage in the midday heat.
There is the option for a horse and cart, but I cannot condone this option. The horses are very small and frail and not only do they have to pull the driver along in his cart, but however many of you there are and all of your luggage too, which is simply cruel.
6. Pack your backpack, not your suitcase!
Why? – not only have you got to jump off the boat into the water to get onto the island, all of the islands “roads” are either dirt tracks or sand, so good luck trying to drag your suitcases round the island!
An extra tip with regards to Gili Meno, if you have decided to visit Gili Meno for peace and quiet, check where your hotel is. Although we stayed in such a beautiful hotel, it was located on the South West of the island, which faces Gili T and at night you can hear the music in the distance coming from Gili T. This lasts until about 1am!
If you’ve managed to check all of those off the list, then I can’t see why you won’t have an absolutely amazing time! The Gili Islands really are beautiful and can cater to all needs. Beautiful snorkelling spots, beautiful,beaches and amazing vibes! Enjoy!
Use Booking.com and get a £15 refund after your stay.
Book here for the £15 refund – https://booking.com/s/38_0/9289f032