STYLISHguide: GILI ISLANDS/Indonesia
This is exactly how I imagine my holiday’s paradise. White sand, slightly changing shades of blue water, big turtles and colourful fishes which can be observed while going from the beach into the sea. Gili Islands: Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air offer the paradise for backpackers, loners, party goers or divers.
The flight from Warsaw to Dubai and later on to Denpasar. We set the transport from the hotel at 6 am, but when quarter past six there was still nobody there, I went to the reception to ask for a contact with our agency. 6 am turned out to be a bit exaggerated- the driver, who had to pick the passengers up from other hotels wanted us to wait patiently.
He came with no stress after 7 am so we jumped into an air- conditioned bus gladly. While driving we were enjoying the view- it was my second stay on the island and I was still delighted by the variety of plants and intensive green colour. The diversified land, sea in the distance, villages where local craft was made. The driver stops by the temple without any words to pray. No explanation, just routine. He comes back with a smouldering incense and rice on a forehead- that’s a symbol that he was praying and already confessed his faith.
Around 9 we get to the port where we pick the ticket on a sticker. We also leave our luggage which is transported into the boat in a second. The voyage lasts around an hour. First, we stay in Gili Air- it looks amazing from the coast. Some plan to spend here some relaxing days in paradise, when others treat the island as a perfect place for diving. There are also those who plan to find peace through yoga retreat.
From Gili Air we go to the biggest island- Gili Trawangan, passing Gili Meno (known from the author of Eat Pray Love book). Our boat doesn’t stop on Gili Meno, where for a couple of dollars you can go to from the Gili Trawangan port.
Finally, we reach the island which welcomes us with a white sand, turquoise water and beach bars.
The port neighbourhood is the island’s centre with numerous cafés, restaurants and bars. Some just chill the whole days on the hammocks, the others go diving on the very morning.
Those who don’t dream on parties on Gili Trawangan go to the other part of the island that we also recommend- Sunset side. The crowds come here to see the sunsets, but during the day it’s much more peaceful.
– at 6 there is a free wake up call – in the morning Muslims, who mostly live in the island (in opposite to Bali where more Buddhist live), call to pray
– in the evenings the restaurants are full of treats in the buffets like fish, sea food, veggie skewers- thanks to that the tourists can choose the food which they like the most
– in many bars and restaurants a typical food for Western World is served like: pizza, sandwiches or salads
– the Villa Almarik area is the perfect place for diving from the coast- shallow water enables you to discover the colourful fishes or big tortoises
– if we want to have a perfect picture from the paradise we have to stay in a queue to the Ombak Sunset hotel’s swing
– there are cars forbidden on the island, and the only transport is a kind of a carriage (britzka)
– you can spend your time in many ways in the island- beside a popular diving and snorkelling, horse riding on the beach and yoga exercises are also popular
– in numerous bars, especially by the sunset, we can listen to the live music – reggae is popular on the island
– it’s worth to remember about the ebbs and flows- around 6 pm we can see boats on the sand instead of being in water
Where to sleep:
We stopped in Gili Trawangan and we recommend our STYLISHhotels:
Water swings and amazing sunset. What’s more the Indonesian set made of 11 dishes and a beautiful pool with a bar inside.
Vast villas nestled in the water, great dishes served in the beach restaurants and one of the most beautiful parts of the beach, perfect for snorkelling and admiring colourful fishes and sea tortoises.
Where to eat:
As fans of fresh-caught fishes and sea food we recommend:
Kilka osób na pytanie, gdzie można zjeść najlepsze ryby i owoce morza na wyspie, bez wahania wskazało właśnie restaurację Scallywags. Poza daniami głównymi w menu znajdziemy świetne przystawki i tapas.
Asking some people where to eat the best fish and seafood on the island pointed the Scallywags restaurant without any doubt. Beside main dishes, the menu also has some great appetizers and tapas.
An impressive restaurant’s bamboo ceiling construction and great tastes. We were thrilled by a curry fish in banana tree leaves or a chicken in a sweet-sour terryiaki sauce.
Pretty good lunches, but primarily a very tasty sea food plate for two: soft squids, big and tasty prawns with fish which we pick ourselves. Kind service and very pleasant atmosphere.
Hotel’s restaurant by the beach. A variety of local tastes and multinational dishes you can find in the menu. Our favourite are local tastes as Gado Gado vegetables or fresh Mahi Mahi fish.
2 restaurants: one serving local food, the second an exquisite Mediterranean food and Asian delicasies. We recommend an Indonesian set with fried squids, marinated baby chicken and beef satay.
We bought the return tickets for 27 dollars on the website: www.komodowisata.com.
The tickets can be also purchased in Gili – one way ticket costs 12 dollars.