I had no idea Bali wasn’t known for its beaches. I don’t know where we get that idea from but Bali is better for green spaces, surfing, and temples. I heard and read about better beaches in the Gili islands. I stayed on Gili Trawangan because being a solo traveller, I wanted the island with the most people. I didn’t want to be too secluded and alone. It’s easy to chnage your mind if you find yourself wanting to be on anothet island. Gili Meno is just 15 mins by boat.
The island’s main industries are tourism and fishing. I spoke to a local about the tourism industry to find out perceptions about tourism. He said locals generally appreciate the money tourists bring in yet it does get too crowded. The last time the island was counted the population was 1083, with tourists that number jumped to over 2000. I can see what he means by the island being crowded.
I’m taking a moment to call people out who bring massive suitcases to a place like Gili T. Maybe they are unaware of how the ferry system works and if that’s the case please look into this before choosing the weight of your luggage. Like in many parts of Asia the ferry doesn’t stop at a dock. You climb down a ladder into the water then onto the beach. There were a handful of people with massive heavy suitcases that boat crew had to lug around and carry onto the beach. Be considerate that if you can’t carry your own luggage, don’t expect others to.
My plan for the island was to read, that’s it. I wanted a low key time to relax and enjoy the island. A woman in my hostel in Ubud also stayed at my hostel in Gili T. Travelling alone is mostly fun but it was refreshing to have someone to explore Ubud and Gili T with. She convinced me to go on a snorkel trip. I thought I had enough of snorkelling in Australia with just two trips done. The price of a 4 hour snorkle trip was just under $10 whereas Australian company would charge $100. How can you not give it a go for that price.
The night market on the island is the best place to find dinner. It’s small, easy, and very inexpensive. For under $2 you get a full plate of 5 vegetarian options. A $2 meal may not seem like a good deal in Asia, remember this is a small island with limited options. Other places will charge $4-$5. There were mostly locals at the market which is always a good sign.
I wouldn’t say the Gilis are a must see in Indonesia if you’re limited on time. Head there if you have the time to see a small peaceful island with great snorkelling.