The Gili islands were on my list from two years ago when we went to Bali and didn’t have enough time to visit these three islands. Everyone that I met and who had been to the Gili islands said that it is a magical place with white sand, turquoise water, and green jungles. The place you think paradise looks like. So, you can imagine my expectations of this trip. I have read tons of reviews about what to do there and how to get most of your trip. Most of the bloggers said the same stuff, like: ride a bicycle around the island or ride a horse on the beach, play on the beach swing. And if most of them are alright, the others are not entirely true or some problems were not mentioned. Therefore, in this article I want to explain some myths about these three islands.
This is actually a good idea if you are not going around the island. In the middle of it there is an asphalt road that starts at the harbor and covers the center of Gili Air. However, this is not the case with the road around the island. Just around half of the island you can ride the bike and around the second half, you will have to push the bike. Why is that? Because there is no road, I mean there is a road, but it is sand, really soft and deep sand that makes it impossible to ride a bike on it. Therefore, you cannot rent a bike and go explore the whole island as everyone says unless you don’t mind pushing/carrying your bike halfway.
You can usually rent a bike at your hotel or at the bike rental places that are everywhere in the center. The vendor will ask you to pay 50,000 IDR but try to negotiate to pay less. The price will depend on how good of a haggler you are or how much you care about the price.
Almost all the articles I have read said “Don’t hire a carriage”, since the horses are treated poorly. But then all of them said “You should ride a horse”. And I know that it is normal to ride horses. Not to mention I like horse-riding. It is a very beautiful and graceful sport. Even watching these majestic animals will give you a feeling of power, strength, and freedom.
But if you see that the horse looks bad, and foam is coming from its mouth then why would you ride this poor animal? It is obvious that the horse is poorly treated, so how big of a hypocrite are you to get on the poor animal’s back and make it carry you.
Not as easy as you think. No one will come to you on the street and offer you a cocktail with magic mushrooms. If you have never had an experience with the mushrooms on Gili Trawangan, then you will be at a loss, not knowing where to go and how to ask for it.
And when you will ask for such a cocktail the waiter will not offer it right away. Sometimes they take you outside, so no one would hear and then explain how much it costs and how its done.
Especially if you came to Gili T during off season and the bars do not have lots of people or big parties.
Before we went to Gili T I looked up what to do there and of course places to eat. After reading reviews about how great and cheap the food at the night market is, we decided to try it out.
Night Market on Gili T is a small square with shared tables in the middle of it and around 20 stalls around it.
Comparing to the restaurant’s prices, prices at the night market are cheaper and the food is actually really nice. But if you have ever visited a real Indonesian night market for locals, then you must know how different it is. I don’t mean that it is different in a bad way, but it is not the same as a traditional night market.
It is true technically that the beaches on Gili islands are amazingly pretty. But one thing that no one says is that you can’t really spend a lot of time just laying on the beach and sometimes swimming in a cool clear water. Why? It is simply because around all three islands there are lots of dead corals that will make you suffer every time you are going for a swim.
The dead sharp corals are the main reason of not naming the Gili beaches “the best”, but also the water around the island is very shallow and it makes it impossible to go for a good swim. So people mainly spend their whole day by the pool and going to the beach to get a glimpse of one of the best sunsets and enjoy drinking on the beach.
However, if you are looking for amazing snorkeling or SCUBA diving, then the reefs further out can be beautiful.
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