After being let down by the high-season crowds and sky-high prices in neighboring Gili Trawangan, we boarded the public ferry for the quick trip over to smaller, more-relaxed, Gili Air.
It was still fairly early in the morning, and we were hoping to beat out the other accommodation-seeking travelers arriving on the first speedboat from Bali that day. Still, it was hot, and we were covered in sweat after just a few seconds of hauling our bags around, searching for a place to hang our hats for a couple of nights.
We eventually settled on a small, simple bungalow in a fairly-central location. At 250,000 Rupiah (US $27) per night, it was still expensive by Indonesian standards, especially considering the fact that it was fairly run down and had a salt-water shower! Still, it did the trick for the short time we were on the island.
There really wasn’t much to do on Gili Air besides relaxing, and we got straight to it! The pace here was much more easy-going than neighboring Gili T, with far fewer crowds, noise, and annoyances, making it easy to enjoy everything the island had to offer.
By day, we were hitting the beach – sometimes even finding deserted sections where we were the only ones around.
Some excellent snorkeling can be found all around the island, and we particularly enjoyed snorkeling with more turtles. The island’s predominant currents run in a clockwise direction, so we often jumped in, caught the current “conveyor belt” partway around the island, then jumped out and walked around to do it all over again!
As sunset approach, we would head to the North or West sections of Gili Air, where a number of bars are set up on the beach to best enjoy the view with a cocktail in hand.
In the evening, there were a ton of chilled-out beachfront bars and restaurants. As opposed to the loud, packed clubs on Gili T, nightlife here was more like a quiet drink in a private bamboo hut listening to the waves lap the sand.
Yes, life on Gili Air was good, and we were happy we found this real island paradise after such a disappointment on neighboring Gili Trawangan. While we were only there two nights, we could have easily made it many more…