Wednesday, October 24, 2007
The 3 Gili Islands are a the mini backpacker temple and Lombok's most famous tourist destination.
The islands are very relaxed and laid-back, with countless little beachside cafes playing reggae and serving up banana pancakes, and no cars or motorbikes to disturb the peace. The beaches are without a doubt better than anywhere on Bali or Lombok. The flip side of the coin is that as they exist solely to cater for travellers, they're also rather anonymous (you might as well be at anywhere) and, aside from snorkeling and diving, there's little if anything to do. Note that there are no ATMs on the islands, so bring plenty of cash with you. From west to east, the islands are:Gili Trawangan, or "Gili T" is by far the most developed with plenty of backpacker options and one swanky resort. There are no dogs on the island but according to one local, there are more cats here than people. The local population is around 800. There is no police on the island and all problems are usually settled by the local "council".Gili Meno, the smallest and quietest, low-key with some simple places to stay.Gili Air, closest to the mainland and with the largest local population.
Strictly speaking, the name "Gili Islands" is rather redundant as gili simply means "small island" in Sasak, but the name has stuck and is universally used and understood in Lombok.