INDONESIA’S GILI AIR VS. GILI TRAWANGAN: WHICH ISLAND IS BETTER?

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INDONESIA’S GILI AIR VS. GILI TRAWANGAN: WHICH ISLAND IS BETTER?

The powdery white sand and the turquoise waters are a given for the Gili Islands of Indonesia.  For time constraints, we were able to explore only two of the three famed Gili Islands, leaving Gili Meno in the list.

Gili Air and Gili Trawangan have certain characteristics solely attributed to each.  Our main gateway was Bali and off we went to Serangan port upon arrival and for convenience of transport we opted for the Marina Srikandi ferry on our way to Gili Air and from Lombok back to Bali.  The ferry schedule from Serangan Port to the Gili Islands is daily at 8AM and 1PM. 

Marina Srikandi ferry at Gili Air
Photo grab from thetreasuretracker
GILI AIR

A bottle of beer, a hammock and the sea shore – these are the elements of the nights in Gili Air.  Our accommodations being at the middle of the island, we walked for meters to find that perfect night life spot like what we envision beach life should be.  Notwithstanding a path of darkness at times, the island seems safe and secure, if only our minds don’t entertain morbid and paranormal scenarios.

Under a constellation and hammocks set-up with huts by a number along the sea shore, we were lead to the perfect bar for the group.  We could have stayed longer if not for the following days’ itinerary.

A number of Australians likewise lounge in the area.  Some danced with the beat of the background music.  Others slept on the sand with bare feet touched by the wave’s movements.  One came to our group to showcase what he calls “magic” in high spirits (if you know what I mean).  There were different nationalities and persona yet peacefully converging and to each his own, enjoying the night.

No loud music at nights.  A jam with the locals and tourists on acoustics was part of our Gili Air sojourn.

We had a slow-paced life while at the island.  Wake up according to our respective body clocks, breakfast at the resort, lunch and dinners at restaurants near the shores.  The view was just amazing to stand still, sit back and people watch.


INDONESIA’S GILI AIR VS. GILI TRAWANGAN: WHICH ISLAND IS BETTER?
Photo by: Marxtermind.com
INDONESIA’S GILI AIR VS. GILI TRAWANGAN: WHICH ISLAND IS BETTER?

INDONESIA’S GILI AIR VS. GILI TRAWANGAN: WHICH ISLAND IS BETTER?

Notwithstanding the unbearable heat, the cold and clear turquoise water is a relief.  The panoramic view of docked canoes and a mountain was a perfect backdrop as we plunged into the clear waters even on a midday.

GILI TRAWANGAN

INDONESIA’S GILI AIR VS. GILI TRAWANGAN: WHICH ISLAND IS BETTER?


The party island of Gili Trawangan is in complete contrast to Gili Air.  Booked in quite a distant from the islands’ center of activities and night life, the horse-drawn carriage almost became a determining factor of whether we will wander at night or just stay at the resort.  The fare is after all so expensive (approximate PhP400.00 per way and good for two).  And there’s no other means of transport apart from rented bicycles which should have been done earlier as most shops are located at the port area.


INDONESIA’S GILI AIR VS. GILI TRAWANGAN: WHICH ISLAND IS BETTER?


INDONESIA’S GILI AIR VS. GILI TRAWANGAN: WHICH ISLAND IS BETTER?

INDONESIA’S GILI AIR VS. GILI TRAWANGAN: WHICH ISLAND IS BETTER?
Photo by: marxtermind.com
Negotiating and haggling being innate, we managed to get a relatively good deal even on our intoxicated state when nearly no means of transport came in the wee hours after a series of bar hops.

For dinner, there is a common space situated at the center of Gili Trawangan that serves as a night market and bazaar.  Food is relatively expensive in this island since the target market is Australians and seldom are there Asians or other westerners in the area.


INDONESIA’S GILI AIR VS. GILI TRAWANGAN: WHICH ISLAND IS BETTER?

INDONESIA’S GILI AIR VS. GILI TRAWANGAN: WHICH ISLAND IS BETTER?INDONESIA’S GILI AIR VS. GILI TRAWANGAN: WHICH ISLAND IS BETTER?

INDONESIA’S GILI AIR VS. GILI TRAWANGAN: WHICH ISLAND IS BETTER?

INDONESIA’S GILI AIR VS. GILI TRAWANGAN: WHICH ISLAND IS BETTER?

INDONESIA’S GILI AIR VS. GILI TRAWANGAN: WHICH ISLAND IS BETTER?

And though, vices during the nights are within reach and accessible, it was clean fun for the group.  Intoxication that comes with merrymaking at famed bars in the island lingers as part of my memories of Gili Trawangan.


INDONESIA’S GILI AIR VS. GILI TRAWANGAN: WHICH ISLAND IS BETTER?


Given only one island to explore, which one suits your preference?

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