The middle Gilli Island
Situated in the middle of the 3 islands and only 1 km away, Gilli Meno is a perfect day trip escape to a place that is much quieter than its bigger brother Gilli Trawangan. Having a few shops, dive centers and restaurants to be comfortable, the main appeal of the island is that there isn’t actually much to do. Diving, swimming or a walk round the island are the usual favorite past times but sometimes it’s best to just simply kick back and soak up the hot Indonesian sun............
Sat at the Gilli Trawangan harbor waiting for the island hopping boat (costing 15,000rp each), I was surrounded by way more people than I thought possible to fit on the small vessel that was bobbing in front of us . I was pleasantly surprised to see us all fit aboard though, albeit with some people having to stand at the bag and sit a little wonky in the water. One thought that constantly entered my head on the way was just how clear the sea is, with it only being broken up by the different variations of blue. No wonder these conditions are a divers dream then !
It’s not too difficult to find accommodation because once again the accommodation finds you by plenty of people looking to fill their beds. The best value places are a short walk inland and although you don’t have the beach on your door step the prices are 1/4 of what you pay for a beachfront place. So for 150,000 we got a new super clean thatched style "hut" (aptly named "my bungalows" because the 2 "huts" formed a McDonalds shaped M) and some killer banana pancakes for breakfast.
Bags dropped we decided to explore what the island had to offer and what better way to do it than to walk around the whole island. A 2 hour casual walk is the time it should take to do the island loop, but with camera in hand there always seemed to be a photo opportunity, a friendly local or someone selling something. So a 2 hour walk took us 3 hours, but time doesn’t exist on a tropical paradise like the Gillis.
With a dramatically smaller tourist population living on Gilli Meno the opportunities for the sellers are much smaller so they seemed to push a bit harder to make a sale. On our island walk we kept on bumping into one guy who was selling hammocks and with each of our polite declines the prices continued to drop. We eventually agreed to look at a purple one a bit later on at the harbor and it was actually really nice, so we snapped it up for 200,000. We might have been able to get it cheaper elsewhere, but every time I climb into it back in cloudy England I will be able to imagine im in Gilli Meno!
Just the same as Gilli T the best food is Indonesian style with fresh fish ready to be cooked in front of you on the bbqs. After eyeing up the options one night I paid 50,000rp and received the best tuna steak I’ve ever put in my mouth. Tender as you like, with more flavor than you could shake a stick at! Most of the restaurants add 10% tax on but it’s well worth a treat like that now and again!!!!
The Meno wall is a popular dive site location but also offers good snorkeling as well. Unfortunately the coral isn’t in the best condition but there are still parts that are thriving with plenty of fish to keep your eyes busy. I even saw a group of lion fish. Result!
Our final night was a walk through the middle of the island where a perfect view of the Lombok mountains reflected in the salt lake and while we kicked back with some dinner and a beer, we watch the sun set over the ocean ending our Gilli Meno experience in perfect chilled out island fashion.......