Lombok Travel Blog› entry 1 of 4 › view all entries
Reaching Gili Islands
There are many ways to reach Gili islands from Jakarta, I chose to fly to Mataram in Lombok via Bali. The flight takes a small break at Bali and then a short flight to Lombok, which lamost feels like the plane just took off and landed. Also, little scary as it doesn't really get to the cruising altitude before it must already start desceding to Lombok.
Airport to Hotel and the journey to Gili Islands
Reached Lombok in night and hired a taxi from outside to reach our hotel Sentosa in Sengigi.
Reached the ferry spot. There are two options, either you pay $35 and sort of charter a boat, which means that boat will not wait for any more passengers and will start immediatly with you as the main passenger and whatever couple more passngers are around. Don't expect an exclusive boat. Or, pay $5 and wait till the boat is fully loaded with passengers. We opted for option one and so did another couple from Europe.
Finally The Gili Islands
Reached Gili tranwangan, the harbour and the dockyard are both in the same place, which makes it a little bit of an unplesant welcome, but what more can you expect from a small island. Had to take a Chidomo or a horse cart to our hotel - Villa Ombok. We could only see bicycles or chidomos on the streets, which is good as it is almost pollution free in that sense. The Villa was a real treat, very nice and spacious rooms and cool swimming pool.
Few words on the island and the FOOD
Gili Tranwangan is a very small island with a very thin shore line, which means very small beaches. there is one main street which has all the eateries, which are also boarding houses and by the night turn into party spots. As you move away from that main street we saw many small hotels and lodging houses, but they are actually quite far, still, we saw a few people staying there.
We found that the food is preety good at all places we ate. its not so economical as everything gets costlier on the island, but pretty offordable, safe and tasty. There are also many options, right from irish coffee to Italian pizza and Japanese Fried prawns. In-fact, as the night falls, the main street turns into a strange Barbeque Extravaganza with almost all eateries burning up the wood charcoal, with a huge display of marinated fish, prawns, chicken, kalamari and veggies. We ate at different places all nights and almost all were equally good. You can go around and take your pick. what you get is a freshly grilled stick of your choice of meat and some rice and salad to go along. Drinks are available in plenty as most of these places are also bars, I was never really sure of the authenticity.
Party on Gili
Gili follows this unique concept, every alternate night there is a party on the island, but only one party on the island and the venue keeps rotating every second day.
I must mention a downside of Gili trawnagan and it is some of the local boys, who tend to get really pushy sometimes trying to sell sex and drugs to women. In fact, in most of these night parties, by about 10 pm, it is full of local boys, trying to seduce a white tourist to sell drugs or just sex. kinda unplesant, but that's how the place has grown i guess over the years, but good for people to understand. A precaution - don't even try and mess up with anybody local there, you could be in grave danger. Though locals are very nice and polite people and there is no eve teasing or pick poicketing or other crimes there, but don't mess with their system or try to challenge their beliefs, if you want to stay out of trouble.
the beach is a tiny shore line and very difficult to walk on as its all covered with the washed off or dying corals. You need to walk with shoes and that's no fun, so better avoid. Skinny dip is possible if you chose the right time and place. Ocean dip is possible almost everywhere.
What more....I am still thinking and may update later. Hope you liked reading !
Important thing to note - Water
Yeah, forgot to mention a very important thing. None of the hotels in Gili Island have fresh water in plenty, hence you will have to bathe and brush with the sea water supplied through pipelines and pumps top your room. No matter how good the hotel is, this is the case for all. However, a few good hotels provide you with about 10-15 ltrs of fresh water in a small storage tank.
It was kind off difficult to adjust with this for the first time, like brushing teeth was really horrible. So, I actually loaded my room with big bottled water to atleast brush my teeth and used the rinsing concept for bathing. Sounds difficult, but that's what it is.