Gili Air island is one of the three famous islands of Gili in Lombok, the other two being Gili Trawangan and Gili Meno. The three island are famous for its beautiful beaches, so it is no wonder if Gili Air became one of the most favorite tourist destinations in Lombok.
Gili Air, Gili Meno, and Gili Trawangan is located in the western coast of Lombok and Gili Air island is the closest island to Lombok. Compared to Gili Meno, Gili Air is the more lively. The journey to Gili Air island can be done by foot in around two and a half hours but be sure to pack some supplies because you’re heading to a well off the beaten track.
There are a lot of things you can do and enjoy while you’re visiting Gili Air island. The pace of life in the island is pretty slow than any other island. Very suitable for those who really want to escape the hustle and bustle of the crowded city. Meanwhile, this is all the things to do in Gili Air Island Indonesia.
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Scuba & Snorkeling
Gili Air island offers many activity, especially the outdoor one. Here is the list of things Gili Air island offers for your outdoor activities amusement:
[toggle title=”1. Manta Dive Gili Air” state=”opened”]
Manta Dive Gili Air is a new dive center and bungalows in Gili Air, opened in August 2008. Manta Gili Air is run by Jon and Alex, both highly experienced dive instructors, therefore, there is nothing to worry about.
Manta Dive Gili Air has grown to be one of the most popular Dive Resorts in the Gili Islands after 8 years since its opening. This is proven by receiving the Winner of the TripAdvsior 2015 traveller’s choice award.
Beside enjoying a good resort to rest at the end of the day, you can also learn how to dive. Visiting Gili Air will be worthless if you didn’t dive its ocean. Manta Dive Gili Air also offers SSI Scuba Diving Courses along with SSI Freediving Courses.
[toggle title=”2. 3W Dive Gili Air“]
3W Dive Gili Air is known for its location around pristine white sandy beaches and vibrant clear waters. The 3W Dive Gili Air itself, is located on the South East beach of Gili Air. It is a paradise island North West of Lombok and East of Bali, Indonesia.
3W Dive Gili Air offers many diving courses, such as, Discover Scuba Diver, Open Water, Advanced Open Water, Rescue Diver and Divemaster. It also provides Freediving courses ranging from beginners to SSI level 2. Beside the diving courses, 3W Dive Gili Air offers you a chance to see turtles, lots of exotic fish, reef sharks, rays and the majestic manta ray. There are also many good spot underwater for the photography lovers to enjoy.
[toggle title=”3. Blue Marine Dive Gili Air“]
Blue Marine Dive has been around since 1999. Blue Marine Dive can offers you many things, not only diving courses but also a cozy accommodation, a yoga program and a cafe of their own, Blue Marine Cafe.
Blue Marine Dive is offering courses, recreational diving, enriched air diving or snorkeling trips and a full range of PADI dive courses from beginner to Divemaster and professional levels. The diving that planned by Blue Marine Dive usually in small groups to give their costumers a more relaxed, fun and safe experiences.
[toggle title=”4. Ocean 5 Gili Air Indonesia“]
Ocean 5 is a PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Dive (PADI IDC) Resort, Career Development Center (with 4 Course Directors in house), DDI (Disabled Divers International) Instructor training Center, Shark Conservation partner, Reef Check facility and Shark Guardian Dive Center.
Ocean 5 is also a multi-award winning PADI IDC dive resort. There are huge swimming pools where those who want to learn the diving basics is in a safe and comfortable environment. Ocean 5 provide 4 boats right in front of the dive center if you wish to go sailing.
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Stand Up Paddeling & Kite Surfing
With so many beaches around the island, the activity of stand up paddeling and kite surfing should not be missed. In Gili Air, there is not many option of places you should go when you wish to do stand up paddeling or kite surfing. Even so, the most trusted one is Gili Air Kite. Gili Air Kite offers both stand up paddeling and kite surfing through many part ocean of the island. Beside the obvious one, Gili Air Kite also offers Kite Boarding.
Boat Tours in Gili Air Indonesia
1. Pirates’ Bay Cruising
Pirates’ Bay Cruising is an agency dedicated to exquisite sailing cruises in Gili island. Pirates’ Bay Cruising has plan customized itineraries for professionals or amateurs conducting expeditions in various remote parts of Indonesia. There are various types of trip that convenient both for children and adults so you can take your whole family with you.
There are total ten boats of Pirates’ Bay Cruising that were built according to the Indonesian boat building traditions and methods. Pirates’ Bay Cruising is laboard from Gilis to Raja Ampat (Papua), passing by Komodo National Park and The Moluccas Islands in Indonesia.
2. Lambo Dive and Cruise
Lambo Dive and Cruise is an agency that offer charter all around Indonesia. Its flagship boat is The Lambo Liveaboard, which was built in 2009 in the village of Tanah Beru by the french marine architect Xavier and his best Konjo carpinters. The name of the boat itself is taken from the traditional Indonesian woodensailing cargo boat originally from Button, South Sulawesi.
Usually from May until the end of October, the Lambo Liveaboard is operating in Nusa Tengara, around the Sunda islands and focuses in Lombok, Sumbawa and Flores (Komodo National Park). Meanwhile, in April-May and October-November, the Lambo Liveaboard will be around Sumba, Rote or Sawu.
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Best Gili Air Places to Stay
Like any other island, resort is something you just can’t live without. Gili Air island has a unusual and beautiful resort for every visitors. Here is the list of things to do in Gili Air island offers for your resort:
1. Gili Air Lagoon Resort
Gili Air Lagoon resort is a resort with an ethnic tropical style and is appointed and finished in fine quality. Gili Air Lagoon resort is famous for the shape of its resort and the glass-bottomed kayak they provided.
The compound of Gili Air Lagoon resort is uniquely shaped like a circle, with little wooden cabins surrounding a clear blue lagoon. The lagoon is not a salt water, therefore it’s suitable for those who hate salt water but want to take a dip.
Their infamous glass-bottomed kayak is literally a kayak that has a clear glass bottom. It’s give you the ability to peer through and conveniently explore the ocean from above without diving.
2. Unzipp Bungalows Gili Air
Things to do in Gili Air Indonesia? Unzipp Bungalows Gili Air is a beach bungalows in Gili Air which provides both the modern and the traditional amenities of life to their costumers. The bungalows provided by Unzipp Bungalows is made out of woods and located near Gili air beach. This gives the costumers an exotic view from their bungalows.
Unzipp Bungalows is unique for its Lumbung. Lumbung are old traditional wood houses with teak wood walls and floors. The lumbung of Unzipp Bungalows are located overlooking the garden and the pool. Small with the size of 15 m² but charming. There are also an outside (but covered) bathroom and toilet (hot and cool water). Aircon and moskito net are also provided.
Fine Dining in Gili Air Indonesia
Gili Air has many kind of restaurant offering every tourist a unique taste of their culinary. Each of restaurant of Gili Air will give you the vibe of coming home as you eat it while looking straight to the blue sky. Most of the bars and restaurants are right by the sea where you can drink and chat till late at night.
Here is the list of things Gili Air island offers for your dining:
[toggle title=”1. Chill Out Bar and Restaurant” state=”opened”]
Chill Out Bar and Restaurant offer a large varied menu from fresh salads to appetizers, burgers, sandwiches, baguettes, pizzas, pasta dishes, oriental and local dishes.
[toggle title=”2. Gili Air Santay Restaurant“]
Gili Air Santay Restaurant is one of the popular restaurant in the island. Gili Air Santay Restaurant is famous for its delicious Indonesian, Sasak, Thai and European food. You can actually see the whole process of cooking by yourself, since Gili Air Santay Restaurant use an open kitchen. Every menu here is cooked fresh from the ocean.
Gili Air Santay Restaurant is located directly at the beautiful sandy beach. Lucky you, from this beach, you have a stunning view to Lombok and the volcano mountain of Rinjani Lombok. Also visit: Mountain in Indonesia
[toggle title=”3. The Beach Club Restaurant & Bar“]
The Beach Club Restaurant & Bar is located in one of the most popular beachfronts on Gili Air. Unlike any other, The Beach Club Restaurant & Bar offers bean bags under the shade trees, sunbake on a sunlounge and enjoy the aquamarine waters of the Lombok strait for all of its costumers.
The Beach Club Restaurant & Bar ready to serves all day from breakfasts, lunch until dinner. A menu of local and international dishes, also pizza’s and gourmet burgers, all prepared with the freshest ingredients.
Nightlife in Gili Air
Unlike Gili Trawangan, Gili Air doesn’t offers much when it come to nightlife, but it still has enough entertainment to keep the average traveler smiling. `Goa style’ beach party with raging techno beats sometimes happen around the high season and last more than two days. Most of the bars and restaurants are right by the sea where you can drink and chat till late at night.
Here is the list of things Gili Air island offers for your nightlife amusement:
[toggle title=”1. Pachamama” state=”opened”]
Pachamama is a bar that offers a delicious range of smoothies and cold pressed juices, as well as beers and ciders. Pachamama is a great place to lounge or swim during the day, eat and drink in between dives, or enjoy a cold one at the end of the day. Pachamama is a part of Blue Marine Dive Resort. It is a quaint beachside café and bar set on the north-eastern side of Gili Air.
In Pachamama, you can enjoy many things, from simply watching the scenery as you drink, until dancing with other tourist as the music play.
[toggle title=”2. Coffee & Thyme“]
[toggle title=”3. Matahari Restaurant & Bar“]
Matahari Restaurant & Bar is a bar that offers local and western food and drinks in a chilled atmosphere. Matahari Restaurant & Bar is located on the more quiet west coast of Gili Air.
[toggle title=”4. Lucky’s Bar“]
Lucky’s Bar is a beach bar at sunset point of Gili Air owned by a local Gili family. Lucky’s Bar offers a lot of things to enjoy, such as a great sunset view with happy hour everyday. Lucky’s Bar is also usually hosting a trance party twice a month. Beside enjoy your small party in this bar, the Lucky’s Bar also providing accommodation, called Lucky’s Cottages.
[toggle title=”5. Paradiso 1 Beach Bar & Restaurant“]
Paradiso 1 Beach Bar & Restaurant is a bar that offers party every week for the tourist. Paradiso 1 Beach Bar & Restaurant hosting a big party night every Monday night. It is also offers a lot kind of Indonesian and Western food. Paradiso 1 Beach Bar and Restaurant is located on the main strip of Gili Air.
H2O Yoga & Meditation Gili Air
H2O Yoga & Meditation is a yoga place that offer twice daily Yoga classes. H2O Yoga & Meditation also offers introductory meditation sessions, workshops, massage and a variety of holistic healing treatments. As a bonus, H2O Yoga & Meditation also host Yoga Alliance Certified Teacher Trainings as well as yoga and meditation retreats. H2O Yoga & Meditation is located on the idyllic Island of Gili Air, Indonesia.
Tips of Staying on Gili Air Island
Every regions and island has the quirks of their own. Is it recommend for anyone who want to go to a place to know few things to prepare in order to survive there. Here is the list of useful tips for staying on Gili Air Island:
1. Withdrawing Money
This is very important and should not be taken slightly ever. There are total only two ATMs on Gili Air and both are stocked irregularly. So unlike when you’re in Bali, you can’t withdrawing money all the time or whenever you feels like it. This kind of act is not recommended because it might result in you unable to enjoy the island of Gili Air due to the sort cash.
Occasionally, there is also power outs. Not the usual power outs sometimes it can happen more than twice in a day you can’t have the ATMs on all the time. Most of transportation in Gili Air required cash so you better prepare and take as much as cash you can, just in case.
There are really not much you can get from internet when you’re on Gili Air island. This is why Gili Air island is a perfect place to runaway from anything including the internet. The internet in this island is unstable, even though sometimes it’s work and few bars and restaurant offers it for free after you eat something there. But, if you happen to take your work with you to this island and it require so much internet then you’re bound to doom. So, make sure you didn’t necessarily need internet when you go for a stay in this island.
3. Power Supply
Many say that it’s almost feels as if one was at the other end of the world where civilization has not made it yet when they’re in Gili Air island. This happen for a reason. The frequency of power outs is very often and the duration of it cannot be predicted. Sometimes, it will last only for an hour or two. Many times it take longer and in fact, can last the entire evening.
Those whose cannot live without power supply may think this island is a torture, but those who love the calmness and the freedom of anything modern may really like it. It is suggested to always put your phone on charge when it’s low before the power out happens.
4. Renting a Bike
Gili Air, overall, is really beautiful to be enjoyed on a lazy walk in the afternoon. Even so, some people doesn’t really like walking and wishing something more effective such as by biking. You can rent a bike almost on every corner of the island. Beside using it to enjoy the island, it will make it easier for you to going back and forth between your accommodation and the beach or a restaurant in the evening.
Route to Gili Air
To reach Gili Air, first you have to come to the Bangsal port. The Bangsal port can be reached from Mataram by riding public transport and private transport with two route options, namely Mataram – Rembiga – Gunung Sari – Kekait – Pusuk – Pemenang – Bangsal or through ataram – Meninting – Batu Bolong – Senggigi – Kerandangan – Melimbu – Pemenang and Bangsal. The route to Gili Air is by traveling using motor boat (or boat) from the Bangsal port. It takes about 25 minutes. The boat from Gili Trawangan departs at 9:30 am. In the afternoon, though, it goes from Gili Air to Meno and back.
Meanwhile, there are many great things to do in Gili Air Island Indonesia. The beautiful nature will surely bring you feel like in heaven. Also, you can enjoy many of Gili Air attractions such as diving, snorkeling, kite surfing, trying the local food, and more fun here. So, happy holiday and let’s go to Gili Air.
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