Local transport + Idyllic Gili Islands = Slow Pace of Life

For your clients traveling to the bustling island of Bali, it may be worthwhile to venture a bit east. About 50 miles from Bali off the coast of Lombok lay three beautiful islands known as the Gilis, meaning small island in Bahasa Indonesia. Called Air, Meno, and Trawangan, all welcome a much slower pace and way of life. Each island is fringed with powdery white sand and immaculately clear water.


From Bangsal Harbour in the northwest corner of Lombok, travelers can jump on a local boat for about 13,000 Indonesian Rupiah (1.15 USD). There is no set time for departure as it leaves whenever the 30-person capacity is filled. There will also be some locals hauling sacks of various goods on board from the market in Lombok. It is about a 30-minute boat ride to the biggest and farthest of the three islands, Trawangan. The boat ride is stunning with beautiful vistas on all sides as your traveling clients depart the harbor: Lombok’s beautiful coast and Indonesia’s largest volcano, Mt. Rinjani, loom large behind, Bali and another immense volcano Mt. Agung in the distant foreground and the Gilis in the near distance. Below the boat the clear water reveals a view of vibrant coral reefs.

Local Boat

Local boat in Indonesia

It would be impossible for these islands not to have a laid back atmosphere being so deep in the southern tropics, especially since local ordinance has outlawed all motorized vehicles. Visitor’s only options for getting around are to walk, bicycle or hire a horse drawn cart known as a cidomo. The two-wheeled cidomos are typically brightly colored and can seat up to 4 people. While the slow pace of these horse carts can cause traffic congestion on some of Indonesia’s bigger islands, they fit in well circling the coastline of the Gilis.


If travelers are looking for a place to “get away from it all,” a great place to start is the harbor in Lombok. A refreshing boat ride on the open sea, followed by a charming horse-cart ride to a beachside resort hotel will have guests sipping a bintang while watching the sunset over a Balinese volcano. Not a bad way to spend a relaxing holiday.

Local transport in Indonesia

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