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Ahhhhh, The Gilis, as they are fondly called. The mere mention of this small group of islets off the northwest coast of Lombok wafts up memories of beer drinking, magic mushroom-eating, pot-smoking backpackers of the 70s, the only folk foolhardy enough to travel this far to sleep in basic accommodations in a place with no natural water resources and eat rice three times a day for the sake of great diving and snorkeling. But times have changed, as they are wont to do, and while budget digs still prevail there are also resorts catering to the well-heeled. Gili Meno remains much as it always was: basic and cheap with a great wall for diving off ...

Ahhhhh, The Gilis, as they are fondly called. The mere mention of this small group of islets off the northwest coast of Lombok wafts up memories of beer drinking, magic mushroom-eating, pot-smoking backpackers of the 70s, the only folk foolhardy enough to travel this far to sleep in basic accommodations in a place with no natural water resources and eat rice three times a day for the sake of great diving and snorkeling. But times have changed, as they are wont to do, and while budget digs still prevail there are also resorts catering to the well-heeled. Gili Meno remains much as it always was: basic and cheap with a great wall for diving off the west coast. Gili Air is the medium-range island catering to a slightly more sophisticated crowd with wall-to-wall dive shops accommodating all sorts of divers from beginners to extreme. On Gili Trawangan (“Gili T”), the partygoers and beautiful people hug the shores in the southwest, while the peace and tranquility set perch on the north coast. It’s easy to travel from one island to another: just hire a fishing boat.

Linda Hoffman
About the Expert

Linda Hoffman is a contributing editor for five Periplus guides, including Bali (two editions), Papua, Java, Nusa Tenggara, and eight editions of Insight Guides Indonesia and the Indonesia section of their Southeast Asia guidebook.

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Linda Hoffman for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Nusa Tenggara is a province in south-central Indonesia. The province encompasses the western portion of the Lesser Sunda Islands, except for Bali as the Wallace line running the length of the Lombok Strait forms the western boundary of the province.
  • Language: Indonesian
  • Currency: Indonesian Rupiah
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Rainfall | Rainfall

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Dry season (April-October)