Take Lombok Local Ferry for a Gili Island Getaway
For a beach getaway to Indonesia’s most idyllic, small islands, your clients need only venture by boat to Bali’s eastern neighbor, Lombok, and take a short ride by local ferry.
About 50 miles from Bali off the coast of Lombok lay three small, beautiful islands known as the Gilis or “small islands” in Bahasa Indonesia. Named Air (Indonesia word for water), Meno, and Trawangan, all three possess a laid back, slower pace of life. Each island is fringed by powdery white sand and immaculately clear water.
From Bangsal Harbor in the northwest corner of Lombok Island, travelers can jump on a very inexpensive local boat. There is no set time for departure, but do relax, as this busy local ferry will leave when passenger capacity is reached. Don’t be surprised to see some locals hauling sacks of various goods on board from the market in Lombok since this ferry is also the supply boat for all the resorts on the Gilis.
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 second largest volcano, Mt. Rinjani, loom large behind while Bali and Mt. Agung line the horizon and the Gilis appear in the near distance. Below the boat, the clear water reveals a marine world with schools of fish and vibrant coral reefs.
It would be impossible for these islands not to have a laid back atmosphere being such a small size and in the tropical latitudes. Also, local ordinance has outlawed all motorized vehicles. Visitor’s means to get around are the slower pace options 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 four people. While the slow pace of these traditional horse carts can cause traffic congestion on some of Indonesia’s urban places, they fit in well circling the coastline of the Gilis.
If your 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 beer while watching the sun set over a Balinese volcano. Not a bad way to spend a relaxing holiday.
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