Saturday, 25 September 2010

The Gili islands - Tarawangan, Meno and Air

On 12.09. we went to the Gilis. A short 1h minibus ride to Bangsal and from there a 30min ride to Gili Tarawangan.
The way to the islands looked great, but arriving at Tarawangan was a shock. The place was overcrowded by tourists.
Later we found out that the paradise here probably ended 3 years ago when the speedboat connections from Bali started. That resulted in more lazy upmarket tourists who never would take the route through Lombok to reach the Gilis. Some told us it was their quiet alternative to Kuta, Bali.
Well, we simply didn't expect that. After finding a hostel, which ofcourse was more expensive than expected, we made our way around the island. There are still some good places around there. But if you want to enjoy some island feeling you go and visit Gili Meno.
But we wanted to do diving and that for Tarawangan was the best place. I have no idea what all the non-divers are doing on that strip of the Gilis. Well, Tarawangan is also supposed to be the party place of Lombok. But we saw the biggest party of the year - the first after Ramadan. And it was some slow house dance bar, no party. Whoever calls that party has never seen a real party ;)
On 13.09. Benni started his 3-day-PADI-open-water course... and as I didn't know what else to do here than diving, I chose to do my advanced for 2 days in the meantime.
Until the 16.09. (when we left Tarawangan for Meno) we somehow got used to the island and were able to enjoy some parts of it. But still, if you are not a diver, don't come here! If you like it crowded, you find more for cheaper money elsewhere. And if you like it quiet you surely are at the wrong place here.
Tarawangan - what else :)

our dive centre

Gili Meno was promoted as a Robinso Cruso island. Well, we shouldn't push it that far, but it is a great island indeed. Just a few caf├Ęs and bungalows set around the island. Sometimes 200m between them. We placed ourselves in a bungalow next to the salt lake on the island, 100m to the shore. The first day we surrounded the island during the midday heat^^
But even that quiet place is disturbed by a Muezzin :P
After simply enjoying the quiet time at the beach we left for Gili Air on 18.September.

tourist information at Meno

sunrise over the salt lake

our guesthouse

just chilling^^
leaving Meno towards Air

Gili Air is actually the place to go. It has the best beach we saw on the Gilis and is really enjoyable unlike Trawangan.
It is not as quiet as Meno. There are more locals than tourists, that made the place appear so nice to us :)
But anyways after 1 day we left Gili Air to go back to Bali.
sunset over Meno from Air

sunrise over Lombok from Gili Air

amazing :) but unluckily Gunung Rinjani hidden in clouds

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