Gili Islands, Indonesia

I recently visited Gili Air, one of the three Gili Islands (the others being Gili Meno and Gili Trawangan) close to the larger island of Lombok. Gili Air is a small island with a circumference of approximately five kilometres.

To get there I flew from Perth to Denpasar, Bali and then caught the Bluewater Express fast boat for the approximately 3 hours journey to Gili Air.

I had originally hoped to meet a friend who was giving yoga classes on the Gilis. Unfortunately, timing did not work out so we did not meet but I am very grateful to her for inspiring my trip. Thank you Emel!

I had a fabulous time on the island. My typical daily routine consisted of:

Morning:
Wake up before sunrise; go for a run around the island coast, admiring the stunning early morning light and reflections; return to Omah Gili Hotel for breakfast and shower; walk to H2O Yoga for a 90 minute yoga session.

Afternoon:
Visit restaurant Warung Lalapan, spend 20,000-30,000 IDR (a few dollars) on a delicious lunch and enjoy million dollar views; go to a cafe or my bungalow to read and think; return to H20 Yoga for another tough yoga class.

Evening
Enjoy dinner at a restaurant with other yoga participants or tourists I’d met; go to bed around 9pm.

On my final morning I hired mask, snorkel and fins and snorkelled just off the beach. Amazingly, there were thousands of fish across dozens of species swimming around the coral reefs. There were leather jackets, long and narrow fish, brightly coloured fish and various other combinations of shapes and colours. For several minutes a large school of small fish appeared to swarm all around me.

It was a fabulous trip and for anyone wanting a relaxing trip I can highly recommend Gili Air. Gili Meno is meant to be even quieter while Gili Trawangan has the most night life.

Gili Air is a very photogenic place and following is a taste of the island:

Meal: fried fish with salad and rice: AUD2.50; view: priceless

Meal: fried fish with salad and rice: AUD2.50; view: priceless; Warung Lalapan.

Paradiso outrigger boat in foreground, fisherman in background, Gili Air

‘Paradiso’ is an apt name for the outrigger boat framing the fisherman trying to net the morning’s catch. Lombok is the island visible in the distance.

Coconut palm trees at dusk, Gili Air, Indonesia

Coconut palm trees at dusk.

The view of the moon and stars from my bungalow's outdoor bathroom, Omah Gili Hotel.

The view of the moon and stars from my bungalow’s outdoor bathroom, Omah Gili Hotel.

Early morning reflection of Lombok from Gili Air

Early morning reflection of Lombok from Gili Air.

No auto-mobiles except for the odd electric bike are allowed on the islands so horse and cart is the main form of carriage. Early every morning, horse and carts go around the island to collect the rubbish.

No auto-mobiles except for the odd electric bike are allowed on the islands so horse and cart is the main form of carriage. Early every morning, horse and carts go around the island to collect the rubbish.

Lombok in the distance with a dining shelter in the foreground.

Lombok in the distance with dining shelters in the foreground.

The locals enlisted my help to push their outrigger boat onto the beach.

The locals enlisted my help to push their outrigger boat onto the beach.

While enjoying a wonderful Scooperific gelato, a boat arrived nearby and ladies started unloading what appeared to be heavy bags, possibly building material. I expect the boat came from Lombok, the Gili Island's major supply base. Most Gili Air women did not wear head scarves.

While enjoying a wonderful Scooperific gelato, a boat arrived nearby and ladies started unloading what appeared to be heavy bags, possibly building material. I expect the boat came from Lombok, the Gili Island’s major supply base. Most Gili Air women did not wear head scarves.

The wave approaching a sea urchin shell on the Gili Air shore. Note the coral pieces on the beach.

The wave approaching a sea urchin shell on the Gili Air shore. Note the coral pieces on the beach.

Many of the cafe and restaurant signs were humorous: "Free wifi fast like Ferrary but sometime slow like ferry".

Many of the cafe and restaurant signs were humorous: Free wifi fast like Ferrary but sometime slow like ferry.

Gili Air sunset over Gili Meno.

Gili Air sunset over Gili Meno.

Another fantastic sunrise to begin my final day on Gili Air.

Another fantastic sunrise to begin my final day on Gili Air.

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