I spent four days here on this island off of Bali with my French-Canadian friend Mel. A two hour boat ride takes you away to a slower kind of existence. We spent our days barefoot and free, with no plans and nowhere to be, biking dirt and sandy paths in the sun and rain through jungles and villages and all along the edges of the small island, to clear, blue and calm waters for swimming and snorkelling, to lunches in bamboo shacks in the sand, sipping Bintangs in the sea.
We hired bikes at the harbour and cycled to the Northern tip of this island, the quiet part with the prettiest beaches. We arrived with nowhere to sleep and soon found a wooden bungalow we liked for US$18/night with our own outdoor bathroom to shower in the rain and sun.
There’s no motorised transport allowed on the Gili islands, pristine as they are, so people get around by bike, electric scooter, on foot or by horse-drawn cart (which we avoided as these horses aren't treated so well in a lot of cases).
LOW | Pondok Pantai and Ardi Beltza both have good simple, clean, stylish rooms, a minute's walk from the beach. We stayed at Pondok Pantai but went to Ardi Beltza for their pool and bar scene
Eat + Drink
Harbourside Mowie’s with the most amazing water view and fresh food Ruby’s in the middle of the island for good western and asian dishes Warung Padang for good old-fashioned Padang food Coffee & Thyme for coffee and things at the harbour while you wait for your boat to depart Pachamama for amazing and creative organic food with locally-sourced ingredients in a pretty atrium garden
I went by boat with Eka Jaya from Padangbai. Their boats are big, fast, modern, safe and punctual, the ride takes 90-120 minutes and my return fare included pick up/drop off in Ubud.