Indonesia is the world’s largest island country, and lies between the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Amongst it’s more than seventeen thousand islands is the beautiful archipelago of three small islands — Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air – just off the northwest coast of Lombok. Travellers from across the world all agree that these islands are a most impressive and romantic attraction.
The flight from Thailand to Bali, catching a ferry across to Lombok Island and then a quick speedboat ride to the Gili Islands is quite an adventure, and it’s well worth travelling this distance to get to such a romantic paradise that lies across the clear glass-like waters of the blue sea.
Gili Meno is the smallest of the three Gili Islands and is between the other two Islands. It has beautiful white sandy beaches lined with she-oaks. Gili Air Island is to the east of Gili Meno. It is slightly larger than Meno and is not visited by as many travellers. The largest island, Trawangan, is to the west of Gili Meno and is the most-commercialised and busiest of the Islands, geared up for the tourist trade with all its noise and excitement, in contrast to the quieter vibe of the other two islands.
On all three islands, the main form of transport is bicycle or horse-drawn cart, as motorised vehicles are banned. This means a stress-free and peaceful pace of travel when on the islands, quite unlike that of the hectic pace of busy holiday resort locations or bustling cities on the larger island destinations across Indonesia.
In addition to relaxing and enjoying the many accommodation facilities and attractions on these islands, there is opportunity during the afternoon to experience the trip of a lifetime cruising on a Bangka. This is the local outrigger boat whose poles connecting the two side pontoons to the main hull look like spiders’ legs. This unique trip around the three islands also includes the exciting chance to swim and dive with the turtles in the quiet turquoise sea that is so cool and refreshing, with many fish swimming in the sun-drenched waters that sparkle like crystal.
For those who love to dive, drifting over the surrounding waters provides an unforgettable experience. The clear waters of the underwater paradise display magnificent formations of a wide variety of coral including staghorn, plate and brain, accompanied by giant clams, anemones, clown fish and the many other multi-coloured fishes of all sizes that inhabit the reef.
As the sun sets and the cool of evening comes, travellers return to their resorts to enjoy delightful evenings with the balmy breezes that welcome people to this natural haven, allowing them to experience the most delightful romantic holiday. It’s the perfect paradise for the perfect honeymoon.
- The best season is from April to October, because these are the months of lower rainfall and calmer winds.
- To get to the islands, fly from Thailand to Bali. Take a ferry from Padang Bai port over to Lombok Island. This trip takes about four hours, and once on Lombok Island hop on a van for the one-hour trip up to the northern part of the island. A short speedboat trip will bring travellers to the islands in about thirty minutes.
- On all three islands there is a variety of accommodation options to suit all budgets and a wide range of hotels, units and bungalows to suit various traveller requirements.
For more Information: www.gili-paradise.com