My friends and I travelled to Lombok, Indonesia in Nov 2013 and just off the northwest coast of Lombok is a cluster of 3 small islands called the Gili Islands. The Gili Islands consist of Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air (pronounced as Ah-yer).
If you’re searching for a remote island experience in South-East Asia, then the Gili Islands is recommended. Gili Meno and Gili Air have a few accommodation for tourists, perhaps with a small pool and a restaurant. But Gili Trawangan, the largest of the 3 islands, is the most developed and leaning towards tourism. In the 1990s, Gili Trawangan developed a reputation as a wild party destination with cheap accommodation and no police. However, it has now matured into a thriving diving destination (still, with some mushies on the side).
The beaches are absolutely clean – pure white sand beaches (with lots of coral pieces) and bright turquoise blue waters.
Travel from Lombok to Gili Trawangan
Travellers can travel on a public ferry but I personally would not advise it because it is often overloaded with goods and passengers. It costs Rp13,000 (US$1.14) one way and the journey takes 2 hours.
Alternatively, it’s best to go on an official charter boat service which costs Rp185,000 (US$16.15) one way, and is permitted to carry a maximum of 12 people.
My friends and I (5 of us) went to Gili Trawangan for a day trip only, so we hired a private speedboat for Rp1,000,000 (US$87) and the boat guys waited for us at 4pm for our return trip to Lombok. Our journey was only 15 minutes.
Time to travel from Lombok to Gili Trawangan
The sea is calmest in the morning and all transport stops running in the late afternoon way before sunset.