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Category ArchiveThe Gili Islands

Gili Trawangan – Lombok Island- Indonesia

Gili Trawangan (Terawangan), or simply Gili T, is the largest and most visited of the three Gili Islands off Lombok. This is the largest of the three Gili Islands with an estimated permanent population of about 800.

Trawangan was the first of the three islands to attract visitors in any numbers, and it was backpackers who led the way. In the 1990s the island developed a reputation as a wild party destination with cheap accommodation, no police. Whilst that is still partially the case, Trawangan has matured into a destination that has a far wider appeal.

The thriving dive industry of the Gili Islands is centred here (although some operators have outposts on the other two islands), and since about 2005, the island has gone through a massive development boom, and a number of upscale sleeping, eating and drinking establishments have opened. Any visitor to Trawangan should be prepared for a real mish-mash of fellow travellers; some will be ensconced in US$400 per night, unashamedly Bali-style villas, while others would be quite happy to rest their crusty dreadlocks on an organic hemp pillow after a tough day on the mushies.

Orientation
Most of the accommodation and other facilities on the island are on the eastern side, sheltered from the winds and rough seas of the Lombok Strait which sometimes batter the opposite side of the island. Boats dock here as well, on the beach just north of the market. This generally means a walk in the shallow water to disembark. There is also a private concrete and wood jetty used by a few companies.

A footpath circumvents the whole island and various tracks criss-cross, nearly always leading back to this coastal path. The area set back behind the east coast beachfront establishments is where most of the locals live (and where there is a lot of budget accommodation), and is known simply as “the village”. There is a low lying hill in the southern centre of the island, which is easily reached from the tracks heading southwest from the back of the village.

Get in
The sea is calmest in the morning and all transport stops running in the late-afternoon, well before dark. During periods of southerly winds and in July and August especially, the swell can be a bit hairy and you are very likely to get wet on the crossing. It is advisable to place laptops, cameras and handphones in waterproof bags for the crossing. You will need to wade through shallow sea when disembarking, so wear either appropriate footwear, or none at all.

– From Lombok
The daily Shuttle service will take you directly from Senggigi departing 9AM to Gili Trawangan in under two hours for a flat Rp 100,000, plus optional Rp 10,000 for pickup at your lodging in Senggigi. Other operators can swing similar deals for Rp 125,000 (as low as Rp 100,000 in some homestays), but these often involve going through Bangsal – to avoid this, make sure the private boat will be used (generally departing from Teluk Nare), not the public boat from Bangsal – in the latter case doing it yourself by catching a taxi to Bangsal will be cheaper even for 2 people.

Another option is to arrange a speedboat charter or pickup with your hotel, or a dive shop on Trawangan. These speedboat services run in and out of the lovely Teluk Nare bay in Lombok, south of Bangsal and thus avoiding the thoroughly unpleasant experience of combating the touts there. A speedboat charter normally takes up to three passengers, crosses in 20-30 min, and will cost about Rp 500,000.

The drive north from Senggigi follows the coast and the road offers panoramic views and glimpses of roadside village life. It is not a lengthy trip and the road has recently been upgraded throughout almost the entire length to either Teluk Nare and Bangsal a little further to the north. It is a quite scenic trip and glimpses of the Gilis can be seen as the road rises over the headlands whilst travelling up the coastline.

– Public boats
The cheapest way to reach Gili Trawangan is on a Public boat which departs from Bangsal from 8AM-5PM (but rarely later than 4PM). The official price is Rp 13,000 since 1st August 2013. Sometimes these depart only when there are enough people, normally a minimum of 15 is enough. If numbers are insufficient you might be in for a long wait. The official maximum is 30 people but sometimes the boat is overloaded by the time it is ready to depart. In one case, 72 passengers were noted on a trip. The experience of departing from Bangsal is rarely pleasant due to the very persistent touts who infest the place, just try to ignore them and do not listen to their generally fanciful tales that involve you paying them money to solve an imaginary transportation problem. They often provide a chorus of gloomy predictions regarding the alleged unavailability of services, then if successful they just place unknowing passengers upon the normal scheduled service or a private charter at an often seriously inflated prices.

Buy your tickets direct from the official Koperasi Angkutan Laut Karya Bahari office. In Bangsal this is located inside the main building just on the waterfront left near the door at the eastern corner. The Koperasi operate the Public Boat, the Shuttle boat, the Island Hopping boat and also offer (official) Charter boats.

The Public boat office on Trawangan is right on the beach north of the unused concrete jetty, near where you are dropped off. You may need to wait until 15-20 others show up, so it’s best to be there early in the morning (7AM-8AM) if you want to get moving quickly. The last boat leaves Trawangan around 3PM.

* Public boat (ferry)
This is the standard method to reach Gili Trawangan and is used by both local residents and tourists. The maximum number of passengers is fixed at 30 persons but it is often overloaded with goods and or passengers. If it seems clearly unsafe due to either overloading or prevailing weather conditions then it is most likely best not to board it.

– Bangsal to Gili Trawangan 1 way is Rp 20,000
– Gili Trawangan to Bangsal 1 way is Rp 20,000

* Shuttle boat
This service supplements the Public boat (ferry) service and departs Gili Trawangan to Bangsal (on the main island of Lombok).

– Bangsal to Gili Trawangan departs at 5PM, the official price is Rp 35,000.
– Gili Trawangan to Bangsal departs at 8:15AM, the official price is Rp 35,000.
(This is more expensive than the standard Public boat cost officially fixed at Rp 12,500).

* Charter boat
The official charter boat service provided by Koperasi Angkutan laut Karya Bahari is permitted to carry a maximum of 12 persons.

– Bangsal to Gili Trawangan 1 way is Rp 250,000, return Rp 450,000
– Gili Trawangan to Bangsal 1 way is Rp 250,000, return Rp 450,000

Informal and unofficial charters are also available from private operators to travel from Bangsal to Gili Trawangan. If requiring one try to deal only with the boat operator, ignore the touts and ‘facilitators’ and use your time over a negotiation, any hint of haste or urgency is sure to raise the price.

The situation arising from the activities of pestering touts combined with confusing and inadequate formal services at Bangsal is the source of many disappointments and complaints.

From Gili Air and Gili Meno
To move from one island to another the formal procedure is to take the Public boat (ferry) to Bangsal and then a further similar ferry to the required island departing from Bangsal. To return the reverse is required. This can be confusing and co-ordinating the timing with the connecting boat departing from Bangsal may be either difficult or elusive. There is also a limited official inter-island Island Hopping service provided.

Ferry operators may sometimes enter into informal arrangements with passengers to journey inter-island. In this situation a passenger boards a boat that is meant to go directly to Bangsal from one of the three Gili islands but instead it detours and sets down on the beach at another island whilst en-route. The prices are a movable feast but people will normally pay a price of around Rp 25,000. Inter-island access on the public boats in this manner is dependant upon timing, weather, loading, payment and the inclination of the crew to facilitate an inter-island journey and such arrangements are not officially sanctioned. The standard procedure is to travel to Bangsal and make a separate trip to the different island or to use the very limited official service. The price for a single journey Public Boat ferry journey from Gili Air to Bangsal is Rp 8,000. The price for a Public boat from Gili Meno is Rp 9,000. The price for the subsequent Public boat to Gili Trawangan from Bangsal is Rp 10,000, this assuming the required connection was made at Bangsal.

Island Hopping boat
A limited formal Island hopping boat service is provided by Koperasi Angkutan Laut Karya Bahari, this is the same local koperasi (maritime transport co-operative) that provides the Public Boat ferry service.

– Gili Meno to Gili Trawangan departs at 8:50AM and the official price is Rp 23,000

– Gili Air to Gili Trawangan in the morning is an indirect service. Take the Island Hopping boat leaving Gili Air for Gili Meno at 8:30AM. The same boat then departs Gili Meno for Gili Trawangan at 8:50AM. The official Gili A to Gili T Island Hopping boat price is Rp 23,000. Hopefully you will only pay once.
– Gili Air to Gili Trawangan departs at 3PM and the official price is Rp 35,000
– Gili Trawangan to Gilli Meno departs at 9:30AM and the official price is Rp 30,000
– Gili Trawangan to Gilli Air departs at 4PM and the official price is Rp 30,000

Charter boat
The official charter boat service provided by Koperasi Angkutan laut Karya Bahari is permitted to carry a maximum of 12 persons.

– Gili Trawangan to Gilli Meno 1 way is Rp 250,000, return Rp 450,000
– Gilli Meno to Gili Trawangan 1 way is Rp 250,000, return Rp 450,000
– Gilli Trawangan to Gili Air 1 way is Rp 300,000, return Rp 500,000
– Gilli Air to Gili Trawangan 1 way is Rp 300,000, return Rp 500,000
—Gili Trawangan to Senggigi 1 way is Rp 490,000, return Rp 690,000

Informal private charters are also available. Prices are subject to negotiation, take your time over the process.

From Bali: Please visit our inside pages of the website : www.gilifastboat.com

Gili Meno – Lombok Island – Indonesia

Gili Meno is the meat in the sandwich of the three Gili Islands off Lombok. With a population of just 400, Gili Meno is the mellowest of the three islands, and certainly the most in-tune with a desert island ethic. The beaches are much nicer than you will find on Gili Trawangan and Gili Air.
A coastal path leads all the way around the island, and can be covered at a very leisurely pace in 90 minutes. Most of the tourist facilities, including the boat arrival and departure point, are on the southern part of the east coast.

There is a lake on the western side of the middle of the island. This is sometimes quite full, and at others very dry. It is though always very saline.

Get in
By boat
The sea is calmest in the morning and all transport stops running in the late-afternoon, well before dark. During periods of southerly winds and in July and August especially, the swell can be a bit hairy and you are very likely to get wet on the crossing. It is advisable to place laptops, cameras and handphones in waterproof bags for the crossing. You will need to wade through shallow sea when disembarking, so wear either appropriate footwear, or none at all.

From Bali
Gili Fast Boat. Twice daily high-speed boat service to Gili Meno from Amed on the East coast of Bali. Boats depart Amed at 10AM and 3:30PM with arrivals on Gili Meno at 11:30AM and 5PM. Prices are Rp 600,000 (one-way) and Rp 1,100,000 (return). Online bookings are available.

From Lombok
Public boats depart from Bangsal at 10AM, 2PM and 5PM. The voyage takes about 30 min. The official price is Rp 15,000 at 10AM and Rp 30,000 at 2PM and 5PM. Sometimes these services only depart when there are enough people, normally a minimum of 15 is enough. If numbers are insufficient you may have to endure a wait at Bangsal. The boat office at Bangsal should make sure you get dropped off by a Gili Trawangan bound boat if necessary. The official maximum is 20 people but sometimes the boat is overloaded by the time it is ready to depart.

Buy your tickets direct from the official Koperasi Angkutan Laut Karya Bahari office. In Bangsal this is located inside the main building near the door at the eastern corner. The Koperasi operate the Public Boat, the Shuttle boat, the Island Hopping boat and also offer (official) Charter boats.

There is a ticket office on Gili Meno to buy your ticket back to Bangsal, it is located adjacent to the arrival and departure point.

Public boat (ferry)
This is the standard method to reach Gili Air and is used by both local residents and tourists. The afternoon boat departs at 2PM, arrive with plenty of time prior to departure to avoid overbooking problems or last moment confusions. The maximum number of passengers is fixed at 20 persons but it is often overloaded with goods and or passengers. If it seems clearly unsafe due to either overloading or prevailing weather conditions then it is most likely best not to board it.

– Bangsal to Gili Meno 1 way is Rp 19,000 (10AM) or Rp 30,000 (2PM and 5PM)
– Gili Meno to Bangsal 1 way is Rp 19,000 (8AM and 3PM)

Shuttle boat
– This service supplements the Public boat (ferry) service.
– Bangsal to Meno Air departs at 5PM, the official price is Rp 37,000.
– (This is more expensive than the standard Public boat cost officially fixed at Rp 15,000).
– Gili Meno to Bangsal is not listed.

Charter boat
The official charter boat service provided by Koperasi Angkutan laut Karya Bahari is permitted to carry a maximum of 12 persons.

– Bangsal to Gili Meno 1 way is Rp 170,000, return Rp 450,000
– Gili Meno to Bangsal 1 way is Rp 170,000, return Rp 390,000
– Gili Meno to Senggigi 1 way is Rp 490,000, return Rp 350,000

Informal and unofficial charters are also available from private operators to travel from Bangsal to Gili Meno. If requiring one try to deal only with the boat operator, ignore the touts and ‘facilitators’ and use your time over a negotiation, any hint of haste or urgency is sure to raise the price.

Departing from Bangsal to either of the three Gili islands is rarely pleasant due to the very persistent touts who infest the place, just try to ignore them and do not listen to their generally fanciful tales that involve you paying them money to solve an imaginary transportation problem. They often provide a chorus of gloomy predictions regarding the alleged unavailability of services, then if successful they just place unknowing passengers upon the normal scheduled service or a private charter at an often seriously inflated prices.

The situation arising from the activities of pestering touts combined with confusing and inadequate formal services at Bangsal is the source of many disappointments and complaints.

From Gili Trawangan and Gili Air
To move from one island to another the formal procedure is to take the Public boat (ferry) to Bangsal and then a further similar ferry to the required island departing from Bangsal. To return the reverse is required. This can be confusing and co-ordinating the timing with the connecting boat departing from Bangsal may be either difficult or elusive. There is also a limited official inter-island Island Hopping service provided.

Ferry operators may sometimes enter into informal arrangements with passengers to journey inter-island. In this situation a passenger boards a boat that is meant to go directly to Bangsal from one of the three Gili islands but instead it detours and sets down on the beach at another island whilst en-route. The prices are a movable feast but people will normally pay a price of around Rp 25,000. Inter-island access on the public boats in this manner is dependant upon timing, weather, loading, payment and the inclination of the crew to facilitate an inter-island journey and such arrangements are not officially sanctioned. The standard procedure is to travel to Bangsal and make a separate trip to the different island or to use the very limited official service. The price for a single journey Public Boat ferry journey from Gili Trawangan is Rp 10,000 and Gili Air to Bangsal is Rp 8,000. The price for the subsequent Public boat to Gili Meno from Bangsal is Rp 9,000, this assuming the required connection was made at Bangsal.

Official tariffs and schedules
The tariff for all Koperasi Angkutan Laut Karya Bahari services was last set by decree of the Regency of West Lombok in May 2008. This koperasi now falls under the new jurisdiction of the Regency of North Lombok.
Departure and arrival times may vary due to operational conditions and other random factors such as loading times and delays arising from waiting for sufficient numbers of passengers prior to departure. Overloading may occur and caution should be exercised if considering boarding or travelling on an overloaded boat. If there are too many people requiring transport they may be left behind and a substitute service may or may not be available. Try to limit your dealings to official koperasi personel only and avoid entering into any discussions or negotiations with local touts and facilitators. Only a few of them will be of any assistance at all and most will endeavour to confuse the traveller so that they accept an inflated price for the provision of an existing service. Do not buy tickets from anyone other than an official ticket seller.
Official Koperasi services include:

Island Hopping boat
A limited formal Island hopping boat service is provided by Koperasi Angkutan Laut Karya Bahari, this is the same local koperasi (maritime transport co-operative) that provides the Public Boat ferry service.

– Gili Air to Gili Meno departs at 8:30AM and the official price is Rp 30,000
– Gili Meno to Gili Air departs at 4:20PM and the official price is Rp 30,000
– Gili Trawangan to Gilli Meno departs at 9:30AM and the official price is Rp 30,000
– Gili Meno to Gilli Trawangan departs at 8:50AM and the official price is Rp 38,000

Charter boat
The official charter boat service provided by Koperasi Angkutan laut Karya Bahari is permitted to carry a maximum of 12 persons.

– Gili Air to Gili Meno 1 way is Rp 250,000, return Rp 400,000
– Gili Meno to Gili Air 1 way is Rp 250,000, return Rp 400,000
– Gili Trawangan to Gili Meno 1 way is Rp 250,000, return Rp 400,000
– Gili Meno to Gili Trawangan 1 way is Rp 250,000, return Rp 400,000
– Gili Meno to Senggigi to 1 way is Rp500,000, return Rp 850,000

Informal private charters are also available. Prices are subject to negotiation, take your time over the process as any perception of urgency or haste will no doubt increase the price.

Get around
It is hard to imagine why anyone on Gili Meno would want to do anything other than walk. Do just that, slowly. Horse carts (cidomos) are available though, and are useful for getting you and your bags to and from the boat landing. A single trip may cost IDR 300,000

See
Snorkelling
There are several good spots for snorkelling, and gear can be hired at almost any cafe or hotel for about Rp 30,000. The beach in front of Good Heart Cafe on the north western shore is as good as any, and you have a reasonable chance of seeing turtles in shallow water here. Also on the west coast, try the area close to the disused, derelict jetty (formerly the landing point for the equally derelict Bounty Resort). The former pontoon here was sunk and has become an important dive site with a healthy reef life. If you snorkel off the east coast, be careful of boat traffic.

Walking
A gentle stroll around the coast path of Gili Meno is not to be missed, and it is probably the nicest walk anywhere on the three islands. If you do this in the morning, there is no real preferred starting point. It is a nice idea to walk in the late afternoon, starting in the northwest at about 4:30PM, taking it easy to walk all the way around the island in either direction, returning to your start point at about 5:45PM. Then get yourself set for sunset behind Gili Trawangan (6:15PM-6:45PM).

Buy
There is an ATM next to Malia’s Child, but there isn’t much to buy on Gili Meno. If you run out of cash, Blue Marlin is another option for a credit card cash advance, but they charge a 7% commission. Alternatively, head to Gili Trawangan or Gili Air where there are ATM’s. Hint: As the boat from Meno waits around 25-30 min on Trawangan before going back to Meno and Air, you have a chance to return on the same boat (there are several ATMs on the main Trawangan beachwalk now, both to the left and to the right from the harbour). Not so wise to try this with afternoon boat, however, if you don’t know where to go and want
to come back same day.

Eat
Unsurprisingly, fish is the go here and many cafes set up a seafood barbecues every evening. Just choose what you want and wait while it is cooked over an open wood grill. The other widespread option is wood-fired pizza which has become something of a Gili Meno speciality.

Most of the cafes are clustered in the southern half of the east coast and many are attached to hotels. After you have ordered, be patient as nothing happens very fast here. That is all part of the charm of the place.

– Aroma Cafe, Well prepared wood-fired pizzas are the deal here. edit

– Jali Cafe, Serves Sasak food and it is quite authentic. The chicken curry is excellent, as is the obligatory fish barbecue every evening. The old Gili Island ethic is very much still alive here. Expect the locals to be strumming a few Bob Marley tunes. edit

– Rust Warung. Probably the best known eatery on the island, and the one that attracts some sort of crowd, even when there are few visitors around. Fresh fish everyday, and as elsewhere on Meno, there is no real need to even think about eating anything else. Rp 20,000-100,000. edit

– Sentigi Café, (200m north of the boat landing). A delightful shack with three huts in front of it. Sentigi Café is marginally pricier than Yaya Warung, but the service is (relatively) fast and the food quite good. Fruit juices and milkshakes, for approx. Rp 10,000 and Rp 15,000 respectively, are an excellent choice. Breakfast choices are around Rp 10,000. Dinner can be trick according to some travelers, as it sometimes closes very early. However, it is definitely worth a try as the grilled fish is absolutely amazing! If you manage to arrive while it is open and order some food, you are free to sit at the huts all night if you want to. This place is not as well-known as Yaya Warung, and so you will be absolutely alone here after dark. Just the place if you are looking to avoid all human contact or to have a quiet (or loud!) night with your partner. You cannot see the sunset from here, though.

– Yaya Warung, (300 m north of the boat landing). If you’re really budget traveller, or just hate tourist rip-offs, this is the place on Meno for you to eat. On the beach, but modestly priced, most Indonesian food is Rp 15,000-20,000. Cheap fish in the form of fish curry can be eaten here for just Rp 10,000 (rice charged separately, Rp 6,000). Grilled fish, as a popular tourist dish, costs much more, but is still relatively cheap (especially compared to Gili Trawangan) at around Rp 40,000 per serving, including nasi goreng and vegetables. Choose your fish and let Yon cook it on the open fire. If the fish or Indonesian food all get too much, they have a small pasta menu for Rp 20,000-25,000, and make a passable job of preparing it. The spaghetti carbonara does not contain ham though,so better ask upfront what the dishes are made of. Fresh fruit juices, quality varies, but generally OK for Rp 10,000, milk shakes Rp 12,000, black/ginger tea and coffee Rp 5,000, Rp 6,500 for milk coffee, large Bintang beer Rp 35,000. Sometimes very slow service as there’s only one cook working there and the place is very popular. A chat with the owner and the view will distract you. They have 5 small huts and those get occupied first. Several tables with chairs are put outside in the evening if it isn’t rainy. Rp 7,000-40,000.

In the village, you can find a couple of food carts selling bakso for Rp 10,000.
Drink

Nightlife is very laid back here, and somedays you might not notice any at all. This is very much the anti-Trawangan.

We Be Bar on the sunset side next to Good Heart Bungalows occasionally has a bonfire and can be relatively lively in high season. Otherwise, you can usually find locals playing guitar and drinking rice wine or Palm wine around the island and they are happy for everyone to join the “party.”
Sleep

There is a range of accommodation on Gili Meno ranging from simple beach huts to villas and a new luxury Boutique resort. The prices here start from beach huts from around Rp 100,000 (less if away from the beach in the village and not during the peak season) per night up to prices in dollars for the hotels. Some places offer fresh water and A/C others just offer a fan. You can find something to suit all requirements on the island and generally most places are quiet and relaxing.
Looking back to Lombok from Gili Meno’s southeast coast.

 

Gili Air – Lombok Island – Indonesia

Gili Air is the most easterly of the three Gili Islands off Lombok.

Of the three Gilis, this is the island closest to Lombok. Traditionally, Gili Air was seen as the domain of families and couples wanting a quiet, off-the-beaten-path escape, while the rowdier hoardes had their fun on Gili Trawangan. With Trawangan now upscaling so obviously, more and more backpackers seem to be chosing Gili Air as their primary option. This island has more of a rural, established feeling than the other two, and it is no surprise that many of the local Gili Islanders seem to prefer living on Gili Air, and that it has the highest permanent population of about 1,800.

Most of the accommodation and other tourism facilities are on the south and east coasts, facing Lombok. The boat landing is in the centre of the south coast. A coastal path leads you around the perimeter of the island, and a leisurely stroll all the way around will take about 90 min. For such a small island, the maze of paths that criss-cross the island can get surprisingly confusing, but these always lead back to the coast path eventually.

Get in
By Boat
The sea is calmest in the morning and all transport stops running in the late-afternoon, well before dark. During periods of southerly winds and in July and August especially, the swell can be a bit hairy and you are very likely to get wet on the crossing. It is advisable to place laptops, cameras and handphones in waterproof bags for the crossing. You will need to wade through shallow sea when disembarking, so wear either appropriate footwear, or none at all.

From Bali
Not All fast boat operators stop at Gili Air. Here are some of the ones that do:

Gilifastboat.com offers a twice daily high-speed schedule to Gili Air from Amed on the East coast of Bali. Boats depart Amed at 10AM and 3:30PM with arrivals on Gili Air at 11:30AM and 5PM. Prices are Rp 600.000 (one-way) and Rp 1,100.000 (return) and tickets can be booked online.

Scoot Cruises also now departs from Sanur in Bali and stops in Lembongan, Lombok and Gili Air. Gili Getaway (formerly Island getaway) go directly to Gili Tawangan but offer a transfer service to Gili Air as soon as you arrive.

Also Kudahitam and Semaya one both stop at Gili Air.

To check live seat availability on a variety of trusted carriers (including many of the above) and book boat tickets online, use the recently established www.gilifastboat.com website.

From Lombok
Public boats depart from Bangsal between 8AM-5PM but often no later than 4PM and are fewer in number than go to Gili Trawangan. The voyage takes about 30 min and the official price is Rp 12,000 (from December 1st 2014). Sometimes these services only depart when there are enough people, normally a minimum of 15 is enough. If numbers are insufficient you may have to endure a wait at Bangsal. The official maximum is 20 people but sometimes the boat is overloaded by the time it is ready to depart. The best time to be sure of a crossing to Gili Air is 2PM-3:30PM in the afternoon however this can vary, especially with weather or passenger loads.

From the Lombok International Airport by taxi is about 350,000 around 2 hours if it’s a “normal” driver, there are a few taxi providers before you step out of the airport gate.

Buy your tickets direct from the official Koperasi Angkutan Laut Karya Bahari office. In Bangsal this is located inside the main building near the door at the eastern corner. The Koperasi operate the Public Boat, the Shuttle boat, the Island Hopping boat and also offer (official) Charter boats. The office lady still encourage you to buy the rest of the tickets to ensure that you depart on time, but actually it fulled within half hour with locals (by the time I took on April 15th 2014).

There is a ticket office on Gili Air to buy your ticket back to Bangsal, it is located adjacent to the arrival and departure point.

Public boat (ferry)
This is the standard method to reach Gili Air and is used by both local residents and tourists. The maximum number of passengers is fixed at 20 persons but it is often overloaded with goods and or passengers. If it seems clearly unsafe due to either overloading or prevailing weather conditions then it is most likely best not to board it.

– Bangsal to Gili Air 1 way is Rp 20,000 – (from December 1st 2015)
– Gili Air to Bangsal 1 way is Rp 20,000 – (the earliest deaprt at 7:30 am, the next around 8:30, it includes the time for slow boarding)

Shuttle boat
This service supplements the Public boat (ferry) service.

– Bangsal to Gili Air departs at 5PM, the official price is Rp 45,000.
– Gili Air to Bangsal departs at 8:15AM, the official price is Rp 35,000.
(This is more expensive than the standard Public boat cost officially fixed at Rp 18,000).

Charter boat
The official charter boat service provided by Koperasi Angkutan laut Karya Bahari is permitted to carry a maximum of 12 persons.

– Bangsal to Gili Air 1 way is Rp 155,000, return Rp 350,000
– Gili Air to Bangsal no published price
– Gili Air to Senggigi 1 way is Rp 600,000, return Rp 750,000

Informal and unofficial charters are also available from private operators to travel from Bangsal to Gili Air. If requiring one try to deal only with the boat operator, ignore the touts and ‘facilitators’ and use your time over a negotiation, any hint of haste or urgency is sure to raise the price.

There’s also a speed boat service by Koprasi Karya Bahari (phone: 081802091999 )

Gili Air to:
– Bangsal 550,000
– Gili Meno 550,000
– Oboroi 600,000
– Sira 550,000
– Teluk Nara 550,000
– Senggigi 1,700,000
– Gili Trawangan 700,000; Bangsal to Gili Trawangan 750,000

Departing from Bangsal to either of the three Gili islands is rarely pleasant due to the very persistent touts who infest the place, just try to ignore them and do not listen to their generally fanciful tales that involve you paying them money to solve an imaginary transportation problem. They often provide a chorus of gloomy predictions regarding the alleged unavailability of services, then if successful they just place unknowing passengers upon the normal scheduled service or a private charter at an often seriously inflated prices.

The situation arising from the activities of pestering touts combined with confusing and inadequate formal services at Bangsal is the source of many disappointments and complaints.

From Gili Trawangan and Gili Meno
To move from one island to another the formal procedure is to take the Public boat (ferry) to Bangsal and then a further similar ferry to the required island departing from Bangsal. To return the reverse is required. This can be confusing and co-ordinating the timing with the connecting boat departing from Bangsal may be either difficult or elusive. There is also a limited official inter-island Island Hopping service provided.

Ferry operators may sometimes enter into informal arrangements with passengers to journey inter-island. In this situation a passenger boards a boat that is meant to go directly to Bangsal from one of the three Gili islands but instead it detours and sets down on the beach at another island whilst en-route. The prices are a movable feast but people will normally pay a price of around Rp 35,000. Inter-island access on the public boats in this manner is dependant upon timing, weather, loading, payment and the inclination of the crew to facilitate an inter-island journey and such arrangements are not officially sanctioned. The standard procedure is to travel to Bangsal and make a separate trip to the different island or to use the very limited official service. The price for a single journey Public Boat ferry journey from Gili Trawangan is Rp 10,000 and Gili Meno to Bangsal is Rp 9,000. The price for the subsequent Public boat to Gili Air from Bangsal is Rp 10,000, this assuming the required connection was made at Bangsal.(there will be a cheaper price if you purchase two way – checked on April 15th 2014, but lack of detail)

Get around
Walking is the best option as you can wander around the whole of Gili Air in about 90 minutes.

Bicycles are widely available for rent for Rp 30,000-50,000 per day. Some hotels might give you one as part of your accommodation package.

There are fewer horse carts (cidomos) here than on Gili Trawangan, They have become quite predatory and will lead you to believe you need one to get to your destination. Most guest houses can be walked to if you don’t have heavy bags. Negotiating seems to have gone out the window and they now charge a flat rate of Rp50,000 for any trip regardless of distance.

Freediving
Freediving, breath-hold diving or apnea, is a form of diving where a person relies on his or her ability to hold their breath. With an abundance of dive sites and warm, clear waters, Gili Air is the perfect place to experience the amazing and fast growing sport of freediving. Although diving on a single breath of air may sound difficult, you will be amazed what an experienced team of freediving instructors can do for you in just a few days. By applying the correct techniques, together with informative theory and practical water sessions, you can experience new sensations and realise the natural ability of the human body to dive to depths you previously thought impossible, on just one breath!

Snorkelling
Any of the dive shops will also be able to organise snorkelling trips for you, including hire of gear. Alternatively, there are some good spots where you can snorkel from the beach. Try almost anywhere along the east coast where the fringing reef is fairly healthy and close offshore. Be careful walking in the shallow waters though as there are a lot of very spiny sea urchins in amongst the sea-grass. Equipment can be hired from almost any cafe or shack close to the beach for about Rp 30,000, or your hotel will be able to help you. Please note, the coral reef is a sensitive ecosystem, when snorkeling please swim rather than walk over the shallow reef; will be surprised how much is growing under you, as a rule of thumb, as soon as the water is up to your knees you are safe to swim.

Surfing
Gili Air hardly registers a blip on the global surf scene, which is somewhat surprising. There is a poorly known, barreling right hander off the south coast called Playgili. This is by no means a straightforward wave, breaks over some very sharp coral and is best left to experienced, skilled surfers. It does not always roll, but when it does this is a good wave. Best first stop for any surfer is Ozzy’s Surf Shop, where the local crew will be keen to rent you a board and chat about the conditions.

Kite Surfing
Stefano Cavallucci runs Gili Air Watersports Club @Sun Rise Hotel with Kitesurf, wakeboard, stand up paddle, surf, and kayak. info@gilikitesurf.com

Walk
The circular walk around Gili Air is very pleasant indeed. The highlight for many would be the awe-inspiring views of massive Mount Rinjani towering over Lombok.

Buy
There is an ATM outlet of CIMB Niaga bank on the island. It is located 5 min east of the ferry arrival area. There are 2 terminals inside, the one which dispenses Rp 100,000 notes allows up to Rp 3 million per transaction from any Visa/MC (no extra charges). A second ATM can be found further north on the same main beach track past the Turtle Beach hotel. These are the only two on the island but are generally reliable. The best bet for changing money is Oseana shop located in the Harbour. Oseana shop will change a lot of different currencies. Ideally, make sure you bring enough cash with you that is already converted to Rupiah.

There are a few shops selling basic necessities close to the boat landing and on the eastern coast. In the same area there are also a couple of vendors with a reasonable collection of Lombok handicrafts for sale.

In the centre of the island (in the village, on main north-south road of the island), there’s a bigger shop (they have lots of smelly dried fish), selling, besides other things, some cheap foods (try donuts for Rp 1,000 if you are not afraid). Slightly cheaper than beach shops, but some sellers try to compensate for that when see foreigners, so the same 1.5 lt bottle of water could easily cost Rp 5,000 one day and Rp 4,000 the next one depending upon where you purchase it.

Get out
– Hop over to Gili Meno for further seclusion and a real desert island experience.
– Back to Lombok and Mount Rinjani for one of the best climbs anywhere in Indonesia.
– Bali per Fastboat depending upon the weather conditions.

Be aware that they’ll ask you to pay a Passenger Service fee Rp 250,000 if you depart from the Lombok International Airport, it says doesn’t include when you purchased your flight ticket.(checked on April 15th 2015)

there are many service agents on the island, to offer you more service to leave or arrange the trip, they could arrange your trip from a pick-up service at your stay all the way to the airport or anywhere I believe.

a charter car(private car)instead of a taxi from Bangsal to the airport was Rp 350,000 on April 15th 2015.

There’s also a shuttle bus around Rp 350,000, will take you from Gili Air through Senggigi to the airport, cheaper but takes longer.