Trip Start Oct 09, 2007
Trip End Aug 01, 2008

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Flag of Indonesia  ,
Wednesday, November 7, 2007

There are 3 Gili Islands North-West off the coast of Lombok: Gili Air, Gili Meno and Gili Trawangan. They are all quite small, The largest being Gili Trawangan, at about 9 km around. They are quite close to the nearest Lombok shore, Gili Trawangan being the farthest island, about 40 min away on a slow boat.
These islands are ideal for snorkeling, scuba diving, and fishing. Gili Meno and Gili Trawangan are famous for their blue coral. All three islands have pristine, white sandy beaches.

There are some major points to talk about when refering to the Gili Islands:

1.)There are no natural basins for catching rain water on any of the three islands, so fresh water has to be delivered from Lombok daily for cooking and drinking. This also means that swimming pools and showers use salt water - kind of sticky the first day but everyone adjusts after a day or two. Note: a real advantage of the salt water is that the islands are, for the most part, mosquito-free since mosquitos do not breed in salt water. (It is such a relief to not have to worry about mosquitos!)

2.)There are no motorized vehicles allowed on the islands! This means, transport is either by foot, bicycle or by a horse-drawn, two wheeled, wooden cart (a very popular and fun way to get around). It's perfect!

3.) Rumor has it (told to us by locals and travelers alike), there are no formal laws on the islands.They say that the Indonesian government does not step foot onto these islands. What they explained is that there is a "head council" in the village who says what is and what is not allowed. So far, what we heard is that the only thing banned on these islands (besides the rule to not harm others or their belongings), is having a pool table. Apparently, about 15 years ago, they had a pool table on the island and this started many arguments; because everyone was gambling over the games. Enough was enough, and the head council banned pool tables. :D There are also no dogs on the island. Everything else, we soon would learn, is quite acceptable.

4.) When choosing an island, you should know these basic facts: Gili Air is known as the "family island": very slow, with a few accomodations and a rumor of a bar. Gili Meno is the slowest of the islands: think, "Robinson Corusoe", and is highly recommended to honeymooners becuase of the complete privacy. Gili Trawangan is known as the "party island" and is also known as Gili T. and Gili Tra La La. It is known as the party island because it has many dive shops, more accomodation options than the other Gili islands, and bars that rotate "parties" during the week, as not to steal costumers away from each other. Its a very "communal" island. Mind you, the island is very small, with only the east side concidered "town"; so if you would prefer complete privacy, you can easily find it on the North and West shores of the island. The South shore is conciderably quiet as well.

So, anyways! We get get up early in Senggigi for our boat ride to Gili Trawangan. We see one really big boat anchored off shore and one really tiny boat attached to the back of it, called a "long boat" or slow-boat. Of course, what comes to get us? The long boat! haaaahaaaaa. Well, it ended up being a great ride and we were able to see the beautiful coastline of Lombok.

Arriving at Gili T, the water was super warm and crystal clear with red coral washing up on shore. We spent the day scouring the one road on the island for a place to stay. The original place we desired was booked that night, but we found a beautiful room with a private lanai at Tir Na Nog (an nice Irish Bar with private bungalows in the back). Hmm, I wonder if THIS was the place that had the pool table? Probably! We learn quickly to buy bottled water for a quick rinse after a shower. This place looks amazing! - cant wait to explore it the next day :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D
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