5 awesome things to do in the Gili Islands
The Gilis are a group of 3 small islands that can be easily reached by boat from Lombok (check out things to do in Lombok here) and Bali too. The most popular of them is Gili Trawangan. It’s known as a party island attracting backpackers of all kinds. But of course, it still has amazing beaches, a variety of outdoor activity options and fantastic places to eat. There are lots of things to do in the Gili Islands, but make sure to try these 5 first.
The Gilis appear as a perfect destination for all types of travelers! It’s a great spot to relax in if you’ve been having hard-core adventures in South East Asia, whether you’ve been trekking Mount Rinjani, or climbing Mt Kinabalu in Borneo, or scooting around on your Bali Itinerary. The Gili islands will chill you right out. Should you decide to visit this piece of paradise, here we give you some ideas on things to do in the Gili Islands!
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Snorkeling and Diving
Probably the most famous of all the things to do in the Gili Islands. Snorkeling amidst the Gili water statues.
The waters surrounding the Gilis are famous for the vibrant reefs, superb visibility and rich marine life. So you should not miss out going underwater to discover the beauty under the sea. The Gilis are one of the best places in the world to learn diving. But if you don’t feel like carrying a tank or freediving. You can go snorkeling too! This is the easiest, cheapest way of exploring the sea life.
The most interesting snorkel spot is the Gili Meno Underwater statues (often referred to as the ‘Snorkel Around The World)’. But the reef along Gili Trawangan’s main beach is also spectacular where you’re almost guaranteed to spot turtles!
Yoga and meditation
Those who wish to maintain their yoga practice while traveling have a wide variety of options to get a bit of exercise on every Gili Islands.
There are beach and treehouse yoga studios with hatha and vinyasa classes available. Also paddleboard yoga, meditative breathing exercises and whole retreats. You can even sign up for yoga teacher training too if you really want to deepen your knowledge.
The most popular yoga centres are Gili Yoga on Gili Trawangan, H20 Yoga on Gili Air and the Seri Resort Yoga Center on Gili Meno. No matter your level of experience, the Gilis are certainly among the best places to deepen your yoga practice in a peaceful and natural surrounding.
Please avoid using the horse-pulled carts as transportation when on the Gili Islands to prevent animal abuse. But if you choose to go for an organized horse riding tour your can be sure that the animals are treated humanely and trained appropriately.
A sunrise or sunset horse riding along the picturesque shoreline and through the coconut plantations is the best way to to take in the islands’ beauty. Alone or with your partner, horse riding in the Gili Islands is the most romantic experience to do on the Gilis!
Visiting the Night Market
If you’ve ever been to Asia, you’ll know all about the street food! So, Gili Trawangan night market is waiting for you.
Every day around 6pm, locals set up their little stands near the boat pier offering freshly prepared dishes such as Nasi Campur, grilled fish and other seafood specialties. There is a wide range of vegan options as well as desserts available.
And the best is that everything is very cheap. For about $8USD you will get a full meal for 2 people!
Cycling the whole island
The main reason why the Gili Islands are so nature-friendly and pollution-free is that there are no motorized vehicles on them. The islands are so small that each can be covered in a few hours by bike. This is not only a great outdoor activity, but also provides you with the chance to see the places more clearly and experience the real side of the islands. Bikes can be rented for about $2 per hour (some accommodation options offer them for free). Try not to do it when you’re drinking, I’ve heard many a horror story! Or at least make sure you have some great travel insurance at least, I recommend these guys. $9 a week and trustworthy. You can check my safetywing review here.
Since it can get really hot during the day, organize your bike trip for late afternoon. Start the tour on the east side and finish it on the west. This way, you can enjoy the famous Gili T sunset while having an icy cocktail in a beach bar.
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