Thanks to the technological age, not only the big cities but also the relatively tiny towns and villages are connected to the rest of the world and offer pretty much the same level of comfort. However, if you’re looking for that raw, “primal” experience, make sure to visit Gili Gede.
A couple of decades ago, this tiny spot wasn’t on the map, and the locals had to survive without any electricity and/or internet, relying solely on fishing. These days, due to the rise of tourism in the region, this island is now well-packed with generators, so, don’t even worry about that part. As they say in the West, capitalism is a great tool when it is in the right hands J.
At the same time, please keep in mind that this place still looks almost exactly the same as centuries ago, simply because the concrete jungle hasn’t taken over yet. Every year, Gili Gede welcomes four-five thousand foreigners, and that is enough to give its economy a nice boost.
Sadly, as the main population of Lombok is Muslim, and the locals speak Sasak, you’ll have a hard time finding men/women who can speak English. In fact, they won’t even understand the most basic phrases, which is why a tour guide might be a good option. Watch out for the greedy fraudsters that lurk in pretty much every single shadow in Indonesia, though. Might want to book a guide in advance from a trusted website.
Getting To Know Gili Gede
Gili Gede is one of the narrowest islands on the planet. You’ll be able to walk around it in about an hour, give or take. The fishermen boats are a must-have in this area, as they’re very “flexible” and will get you to all the “secret spots”. For the fans of surfing, diving, swimming, and many other water activities, this island is a God-sent.
Desert Point is right around the corner, and it’s one of the finest surf breaks out there. Gili Gede is where the action is, but it’s also very peaceful and tranquil, perfect for a nice and quiet getaway trip with your romantic partner. Just sitting there, enjoying a drink and watching other folks surf is quite an exciting activity as well!
The nature in this region is all kinds of amazing, and if you hop on a cruising boat, you’ll get to enjoy the jaw-dropping scenery of not only Gili Gede but also of all the other islands in the vicinity. The climate is great. With only 4 months of rainfall, the temperature around here is always high and comfortable.
And what about the water? Is it “swimmable”? Of course, it is, and it’s got a temp. of 28 degrees 90% of the time. So, put your favorite summer clothes on, get your best friends together, and let this place take away all the problems that you might have back home. For a week-long trip to clear your mind and gather your strength, Gili Gede is just the right pick.
The Main Attractions Of The Island
Did you know that on a clear day, you’ll be able to see two gigantic mounts – mount Rinjani and mount Agung? That’s right! Pick a day when the sky is nice and clear and grab your camera, because the view will be truly astonishing. Agung is located in Bali and the locals consider it to be a sacred mountain. Furthermore, it’s the highest spot on the island, which is exactly why you can see it from afar.
As for Rinjani, it’s active right now, so, be careful not to be burned by it J. The latest eruption took place back in 2015. This mountain is located in Lombok and plays an important role in its history and ancient legends. Indonesia is home to many mounts, that’s for sure.
As you’ve probably already gathered from this review, Gili Gede is a fine place for unwinding, relaxing, and catching your breath. Now, since the island is only four kilometers long, there are no cars, taxis, motorcycles, or any motorized vehicles available. So, rely on your own legs to get around.
Again, boats are in high demand in this region, as they allow you to do sightseeing in places you won’t be able to get to on foot. If you want a motorbike all to yourself, you’ll need to go to Lombok, AKA the mainland. Use it to drive all the way up to Desert Point that I mentioned earlier. For many tourists, it’s an essential part of a trip to Gili Gede.
Renting A Guest/Hotel Room In Gili Gede
Generally-speaking, Indonesia is a very friendly country, and Gili Gede is a great example of that. The citizens of this island are very helpful and nice to talk to (if you find a way to communicate with them, of course). The wild and free sandy beaches feel like the Heavens, and the ocean surrounding you from every corner sets just the right mood for a memorable holiday.
There are many resorts in Gili Gede and several options when it comes to accommodations. Just like everything else in Lombok, it’s all very much affordable, especially if you hail from America, Europe, or other well-developed regions with strong economies.
Furthermore, pretty much every hotel comes with its own beautiful restaurant that is open to visitors on a daily basis. The only downside is that it might be hard to find some alcohol around here. That’s because the island is almost entirely occupied by Muslim people, and they are the owners of all the small shops.
Thankfully, some of the restaurants will let you have a drink and then some. The guest houses are especially cute and add to the overall atmosphere of a getaway trip. The food is tasty, the drinks are exotic, and the service is top-notch. What else do we need to feel blessed, right? That’s exactly what I was thinking while on my trip!
Searching For The Best Gili In The Area
This might come as a shock to you, but Gede isn’t the only Gili out there. In fact, there are 26 in total, and they all surround Lombok, the big island. It goes without saying that the ones located just off of northwest Lombok (yes, I’m talking about Air, Meno, and “T”, AKA Trawangan) are the leaders among tourists, but the less noisy and quieter Gilis are rapidly growing in popularity.
We call them the “Secret Gilis” and they are perfect if you want to escape from your daily routine and find something new and exciting. Don’t miss this moment: enjoy Gili Gede and the neighboring islands while they’re still largely unknown to the general public.
I had a fantastic time there with my good buddies, and every single foreigner I met had nice words to say about it. Bali and Lombok are amazing, but Gede offers a more “native”, or, rather, “local” experience. The white beaches are life-defining, and the birds make the most beautiful sounds you’ve ever heard.
The prices are cheap – the food, the drinks, the rooms, and transportation are more than affordable. By the way, Gili Gede is the biggest Sekotong island, and it’s home to approximately 1000 citizens. They live in five lovely villages and rarely leave their homes. Once you end up right in the center of it all, you’ll feel like you’re lost somewhere in the middle of nowhere.
How To Find Gili Gede
Ok, now let’s see how we can get ourselves to this magical place. This tiny, isolated island is located in Sekotong, +/- 500 meters away from the famous port of Tembowong. Take a good look at the map you see at the bottom of this article: it looks like Gede is hiding in the bottom left corner of Lombok, right? On a fast boast, it will take you minutes to get from Lombok to Gili Gede.
From the one and only airport, the ride to the south wing of Lombok where the tiny island is located will take you about 1, 5/2 hours. So, get ready for a nice ride through the picturesque nature of Indonesia. Renting a car/bike is the best option, if you ask me, as it’s both fast and fun.
If you want to sit back and relax, hop on a taxi, but it will cost you considerably more. It all goes down to the thickness of your wallet and how much you’re willing to spend on this trip. Public transportation is also an option, but personally, I wouldn’t recommend that, because you’ll end up losing a lot of time and nerves, not to mention “self-driving” will still be required in certain areas.
Fast boats from Bali and Trawangan are available 3 times a week. From Bali, the ride will take about 1, 5 hours.