The Gili Islands.
The Gili Islands.
The infamous Gili islands are situated just off the north western shores of Lombok. These 3 islands are definitely a sight for sore eyes! The islands being surrounded by crystal blue water is a view that only speaks to deeper parts of you.
There are 3 islands, namely Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno & Gili Air.
Gili Trawangan, (Gili T) is the largest of the 3 islands. This island is also the main island of the 3. When heading to the Gili’s you will find that you will arrive at this island and depart back to Bali from this island. If you need to get to Gili Meno or Air, you will need to catch another 10 minute boat ride.
Gili Trawangan is 3km long and 2km wide, and is the only island of the 3 to rise 30m above sea level. The name Trawangan originated from the Indonesian word Terowangan, which means ‘cave tunnels.’ During World War 2, a ‘cave tunnel’ was built under the Japanese precinct, where anti-aircraft guns were housed. Today only the base of the anti aircraft guns remain at the end of the tunnel stated by Wikipedia.
Gili Trawangan was 1st inhabited by fisherman and farmers. Even though they say Gili Trawangan is the most developed, it is still very primitive and has a long way to go. The only form of transport is either Horse and Cart, bicycle or by foot. The roads are barely bricked let alone tarred, mostly covered by mud and sand.
Gili Trawangan is reliant on tourism as the island is too small to support broad scale of agriculture and too far away to allow economically viable industry to commerce says Wikipedia.
Gili Trawangan is known as more of the party island of the 3, with pubs and restaurants lining the beach front. From the other islands, the restaurant and pubs light up the night sky and you can hear the latest hits from afar. Definitely the Island to let loose and have a wild night out.
Gili Meno, the middle island of the two with a population of about 500 people. Gili Meno is definitely the quieter island of the 3. They say this is the perfect island for newlyweds wanting to enjoy their honeymoon.
Gili Meno has a few resorts, but not many with lots of greenery and plantation separating the resorts from each other. Gili Meno is reliant on tourism, it’s coconut plantation and fishing for its income.
Gili Meno has the famous “Circle of Life” statue created by Jason deCaires Taylor, which is said to have ‘set up home’ for some coral and sea life in the near future. This is one of the sites you are taken to on your snorkeling trips, and it is definitely something special and a must see.
As you continue on your snorkeling trip, just a little further to the right is the sunken Japanese ship wreck about 45m deep from World War 2. The Gili’s were part of the Japanese look out post and a war camp for prisoners during World War 2, and this patrol ship has been under water for about 70years making it not only great for snorkeling trips but for divers.
Gili Air, is the smallest of the 3 islands and is closest to Lombok. With a population of about 1800 people, it has taken on characteristics from both Gili T and Gili M. Meaning parts of the island are super quiet, and yet other parts haven taken on the night life which means you are blessed with the best of both worlds on the island.
Gili Air offers diving courses as well as paddle boarding, kite surfing and snorkeling. Just off the coast of Gili is Air, in the deep blue is Turtle Sanctuary. Large Turtles swimming and eating from and off the coral reefs is quite a sight.
The Gili’s are one for the books and is definitely a trip worth making. I believe that there is a lot of opportunity on the islands as well. Yes, we have established it isn’t as developed as other parts of Indonesia, yet, but for investment purposes whether it be small businesses or looking at buying property – I believe you will make the returns you are looking for in just a few short years.
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