Going Remote – The Harbour – Gili Air, Indonesia

Hello Gili Islands! We first heard about this place from Eli, the last hitchhiker we picked up in New Zealand. We were discussing where we could go, and he suggested the Gili Islands. He said they were popular with backpackers because of the awesome beaches, lack of cars or police, and the laid back island life vibe. We took note, confirmed what Eli said with a little bit of research, and two months later, here we are.

The Gili Islands are comprised of three very small islands just off the coast of Lombok, Bali’s next-door neighbor. There’s Gili T, the well-developed party island. Gili Air, the laid back, less-developed chill island that has the most local residents. And Gili Meno, the even-less-developed, honeymoon destination with not much else aside from beaches. All three islands are reachable by a two hour fast boat from Bali, so the choice was ours. We decided on Gili Air because it seemed like it would be the best fit for us.

We’ve only been here about 24 hours and we’ve noticed one thing: this place is awesome in every possible way. It’s so tiny. A jog on the one lane sand road that wraps around the perimeter is a whopping 3 miles. That road is dotted with bungalows, bars and restaurants right on the beach. The transportation options are horse and carriage, bicycle, or hoofing it. Even with a bike, you’d have to push it half the time because the road turns into just a sandy path carved out between coconut trees. Speaking of coconuts…they’re everywhere, just waiting to be drank. And the people are so laid back. It’s the kind of place where you grab a Bintang (the beer of choice) and alternate between napping on a bean bag chair in the sun, and swimming in the turquoise waters to cool off. If there was a soundtrack to Gili Air, it would be Bob Marley.

We’ve been looking forward to this part of our trip ever since we added it to our itinerary. Back in December, we were planning to spend some time on Little Corn Island in Nicaragua, but we unfortunately didn’t make it there. This place is probably the most similar experience that we’ll have to that.

For the next week, our only plan is to adjust to the island life and see what happens. There will most likely be a lot of beach time and Bintangs.