Monday, January 14, 2013

Gili Trawangan

For the next part of our "premoon" we took a short hop over to Lombok in order to visit the Gili Islands. The Gili's are three tiny islands off the western cost of Lombok. They are world renown diving destinations and so small that they are car free.  The only way to get around is by foot, bicycle, or horse-drawn carriage. We booked a hotel over at the furthest island, Gili Trawangan, where we spent four fabulous nights.

There are a couple ways to get to the Gili's.
1. You can take a boat directly to one of the islands from Bali. There are several operators and this is the fastest and most direct option.

2. If you are like me and afraid of a potentially wild ride 2 hour in the open ocean in a small rickety boat, (lets just say I had a couple of bad ferry experiences), you can fly to fly to Lombok, take a car, and then a short boat trip to the island. I chose this route because I was afraid of the boat ride but if I where to do it again I think I would just try my luck with the boat since option 2 takes sooo long.  Once you have flown flown from Denpasar to Lombok via a commercial domestic flight you must then take a two hour taxi ride to the dock in the northwest. Even though the trip is so long, tax's are mega cheap so it't as bad as you think. To make it easier on yourself you can ask your hotel to arrange private transport for about double to triple the price. From there you can take the local ferry to the island (also very cheap) or have your hotel arrange a speedboat transfer which takes about 20 minutes.  

We chose the speed boat.

Upon arriving on the island our carriage awaited to bring us to the hotel. Cute right?

The horse sped through the dirt roads and within minutes we arrived at our hotel near the center of the island. There we found yet another "honeymoon" cake waiting for us in the room.

We stayed at Luce de Alma resort. It was a bit different from the other resorts on the island because it was not directly on the beach, but since the ocean was within walking distance, that didn't bother us too much. The hotel provided us with bicycles so we could get to anywhere on the island pretty easily.  

My reasons for choosing this particular resort were the good reviews, the decent price, and the enormous swimming pool right outside our door.

 The pool was totally necessary because boy, was it hot!

We spent most of our time roaming the island, bumming around on the gorgeous beaches, and exploring the under water world with our snorkel gear. The island is pretty much surrounded by an insanely beautiful coral reef, brimming with sealife. I've never seen so many beautiful corals and topical fish. It was truly like a "whole new world" under there. Haha.

One of my favorite things about Indonesia, was the quality of the fresh fruit.  It's so hot there all year round, which means it's the perfect environment for those tropical fruits to flourish.  I had a fresh juice or 2 every day.  My favorite were the watermelon juice and the kiwi with a bit of fresh ginger.


Since we were in a paradise for diving, the soon-to-be hubby convinced me to try it out. I had never been diving before., or even thought about it. In all honesty, that breathing underwater thing sort of freaks me out. I really was not sure if I would like it, and was hesitant to try because I didn't want to find out I was claustrophobic 15 meters down.

 The island is spotted with dives shops and we chose a great one on the quieter side of the island where we were able to take a Try-Dive course. Since we were able to try it out first in a swimming pool instead of going straight into the ocean, it made me feel a bit less nervous.  Our instructor was really great though and he made me feel so comfortable.  This really helped the situation. 

In the morning we were taught all the basics, and in the afternoon, once I knew I was comfortable with it, we did a real dive. We walked in from shore and dove to about 12 meters along the reef drop-off. It was amazing! We saw sea turtles, eels, huge parrot fish, and even some Nemo's. I loved it. We decided to go back the next day for another dive and this time we went out in a boat.

I definitely recommend the Gili's if you are into diving.

And horses.

It was definitely a unique experience, and I'm so glad that we took the time out of our Bali trip to spend some quality time on the tiny island.

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