The Gili Islands (Indonesian: Tiga Gili [Three Gilis], Kepulauan Gili [Gili Islands]) are an archipelago of three small islands or Gili island triplets — Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air — just off the northwest coast of Lombok, Indonesia.
The islands are a popular destination for tourists. Each island has several small resorts, usually consisting of a collection of huts for tourists, a small pool and restaurant. Most local inhabitants live on Trawangan in a township stretching along its east side just inland (which is also where most recent development is taking place). Automobiles and motorized traffic are prohibited on the islands by local ordinance, so the preferred method of transportation is by foot and bicycle or the horse-drawn carriage called a cidomo. Scuba diving and free diving in and around the Gilis is also popular due to the abundance of marine life and attractive coral formations.
Gili Trawangan is the largest and most popular of the 3 ‘Gilis’ or Gili Islands, thanks to its well-established infrastructure that preceded the other 2 islands: Meno and Air. So, if you’re a first-timer, you can opt for Trawangan as your first ‘landing point’, where you can enjoy most of the action. Trawangan has the best range of facilities among the 3 islands, with a larger land size and a good mixture of hotels, bars and restaurants that cater to different styles and preferences. The main southern coast near the boat dock gets you closer to the ‘castaway’ style-like nightlife scenes, while those on the secluded western shore offers peace and tranquillity, ideal for honeymooners and couples.
What to do in Gili Trawangan Take a stroll down most of the beaches around Gili Trawangan, and the vast blue waters can be all yours. As a premier diving destination, Gili Trawangan is home to some of the Gilis’ pioneering dive shops where you can get your PADI Open Water or Advanced diver’s certification, or just roll up, ask and take part in a fun dive. In turn, the easiest way to enjoy the underwater beauty of the Gilis is by snorkel and fin, widely available for rent from local seaside stalls. The waters around the islands are shallow, with abundant coral reefs and regular sightings of sea turtles roaming freely.