Outside Bali – Gili Islands

Few visitors venture outside Bali or even southern Bali for that matter. Accommodation is definitely high standard and you can get pretty much all the amenities you are used to in Europe/US. Also in Bali, there a still a few places that managed to keep their pristine beauty but they are getting less and less as big hotel chains advance toward the center of the island. East of Bali is Lombok. Somewhat less traveled than Bali but still firmly established on the tourist map. The north of Lombok holds a few treasures in the form of the Gili Islands. We have travelled to Gili Ayer and spent a few days in the sun. The atmosphere is very laid back. You can go about your business around the island without any shoes.

There are also very nice diving schools offering trips to see manta rays and sharks. For eating, Scallywags offers the best options in my view. The fish was always great and they had an array of tasty sandwiches to be enjoyed the entire day, even on the beach. Tuna sashimi was the best I tried in Indonesia. If you want more of a party atmosphere, Gili Trawangan is your best bet. What you lose in authenticity you will probably win in comfort. Gili Ayer has a lot of options to offer but most do not have hot water or Aircon. Gili Meno, the third island in the group is more basic than Gili Ayer. That is as close to nature as you’ll get. A photo of Gili Ayer’s beach is below. Water is very shallow with almost none swimming depth close to shore. You really have to get out a bit to be able to swim properly. Snorkeling enthusiasts should join a boat going out with divers to get the opportunity to admire some of the marine life. Gili Beach  

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