Tenth must see destination of the year 2011
Bali’s sister island of Lombok‘s most popular tourist destination is the Gili Islands (or just the Gilis), they came to the attention of the wider world as a backpacker mecca in the 1980s and 1990s. They have now however been acclaimed to be the tenth must see destination in 2011 by the Lonely Planet.
This is still true to some extent and backpackers do still go to the Gilis, and the islands are still a fixture on the Banana Pancake Trail. But the times are changing, and there is now a tint of more glamourous options on the Gili islands, especially so on the largets of the three, Gili Trawangan.
The islands are very relaxed and laid-back, with countless little beachside cafes still playing reggae and serving up questionable “energy” drinks, but also at the other end of the scale, elaborate seafood buffets, fresh salads and good quality western and Asian food is also on offer.
But best of all, one of the rarest things and maybe the biggest attraction is that there are still no cars or motorbikes to disturb the peace.
There are an increasing number of westerners living on the Gilis, and operating businesses ranging from dive companies to villa resorts. There is a strong environmental focus here as the reefs sufferred in El Nino and from a limited amount of dynamite fishing that damaged small parts of the reef in the past.
When once people came to dive, snorkel and ‘ party ‘, a more upmarket tourist scene is showing up now. With cheap flights from Australia, families are flocking to the islands, many even skipping Bali entirely and traveling straight through with connecting domestic flights. However the Gilis are still very much still all about beachlife, just that now there are many more options to wine and dine or to hang out and meet new friends.
Strictly speaking, the name “Gili Islands” is rather redundant, as gili simply means “small island” in Sasak, the local Lombok dialect, but the name has stuck and is universally used and understood in travel and guide books denoting a holiday destination.
There are also many other Gili islands off Lombok, on the north east coast, and the south west coast, with names such as Gili Nanggu, Gili Gede, and Gili Poh, to mention a few as there are maybe nearly another 20 islands, and some of these are still uninhabited.
With the new international airport opening at some point in the next couple of years in Lombok, tourism is only doing to grow and grow, we will see how the Gili islands cope over the next few years but as the Lonely Planet suggests, if you don’t go soon, you will miss out on a very unique tourist destination.
For more information about the Gili islands these websites listed below are all very useful and have a personalized service run by Island Promotions Travel, the original and longest operating Gili island tour and travel specialists.
If you would like to know more about the three Gili islands of Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air, or would like to book a hotel or transportation, please feel free to contact our friendly team on any of the ways listed below.
Island Promotions Travel
Shop 1 –
The Gili Paradise Shop,
No. 12, Poppies Lane 1,
Kuta, Bali. Tel – 0361 753241
Shop 2 –
CV. Island Promotions,
Suka Beach, JL. Benesari,
Poppies Lane 2, Kuta, Bali.
Tel / Fax – 0361 766220
SMS bookings – +62 81 805 305 632
SKYPE – VIPSKYPE7
Yahoo messenger – gili.paradise
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