When it comes to the Gili Islands near Lombok, most of us automatically think about Trawangan, the party capital, as the locals like to call it. Meno and Air are also quite popular, as they offer a great balance of peace and quiet. However, there are many other Gilis in the area, and today we’ll talk about Gili Tangkong, one of the least known tiny wonders of Lombok.
If peace and tranquility are #1 on your list, then I guarantee that you’ll fall in love with this place. It’s isolated from the rest of the world, a secluded piece of Heaven that you can enjoy fully without having to worry about noisy crowds, trashy shores, and kids that try to sell you something worthless.
Far from where the action is, Gili Tangkong offers something entirely different: privacy. There aren’t that many facilities there and you’ll need to rent a boat to get there. But this place is known to amaze. I personally know dozens of foreigners that couldn’t find the same level of tranquility and serenity anywhere else.
It feels like T is your own private island, a place where you can do whatever the hell you want and relax like never before. Technically, a Gili is a small island that’s completely separated from Lombok. This is a Sasak word, by the way. So, what can you do on this paradise island? What does it have to offer to the regular tourists?
Learning Your Way Around Gili Tangkong
Ok, we already established that this is one of those “shady” islands that are only appreciated by a small number of foreigners. If you know exactly what you need from a getaway trip and are looking for a nice and quiet place to be alone with your thoughts and change the scenery, make sure to put Gili Tangkong on your list of must-sees.
As a friend of mine likes to say, this spot is still a virgin, as it’s never been a major tourist magnet. That’s exactly why it’s quiet and peaceful there. People usually like to visit landmarks and tourist spots that are well-advertised, forgetting about the beauty of discovering new territories and feeling like a legendary adventurer.
The shore is almost always empty and you won’t find any footprints there. And, as mentioned earlier, there isn’t any plastic garbage on the island, only stuff that the ocean waves bring from the neighboring islands. So, don’t be afraid to take off your shoes and walk around the beach barefoot: no can/bottle will be there to hurt your feet.
If you’ve got a significant other in your life, it would be best to enjoy the solitude of this island together. Even if you’re both fans of crazy, noisy, up-till-6-in-the-morning parties, you can still visit Gili Tangkong after you have your fair share of fun on Trawangan, Senggigi, or any other popular and crowded spot in Lombok.
What Is There To Do In Gili Tangkong
Now, despite the fact that you might just be the only person in Tangkong when you arrive there, that doesn’t mean the visitors won’t get to have some fun. Almost every little thing that you thought about doing while on the plain is doable. Walking, jogging, snorkeling, and diving are at your disposal. However, since there are almost no facilities, don’t forget to bring your own equipment and supplies.
The coral reefs are beautiful, and the water is home to tigerfish, clownfish, and other peculiar marine creatures. If diving is your passion, then Gili Tangkong will soon become one of your favorite places to be. Unfortunately, the lack of an infrastructure can be a huge turn-off for some foreigners.
There are no hotels, guest houses, bungalows, or anything remotely looking like a place to crash in. Same goes for the restaurants, cafes, and food stalls. Yes, you’ll pretty much have to starve without a roof over your head if you decide to stay in Gili Tangkong for more than a couple of hours.
At the same time, if this kind of wild lifestyle is exactly what you’re looking for, then make sure to get ready for it. A tent will keep you warm and protect from the wind, the rain, and everything else in between. And, since food and drinks are super cheap in Lombok, I’d recommend packing the boat with as much of both as humanly possible.
The Best Way To Enjoy This Island
I didn’t really know about this place until one of my American friends told me and a bunch of our mutual friends about it. We decided to create a small group of five and travel to Gili Tangkong together. Admission is free, and, according to the locals, the best time to visit is during the June-October period, as that’s when the water is usually calm and the climate is lovely.
The mornings are nice and chilly, perfect for doing some exercises, walking around, or just enjoying the beach and not worrying about the sun burning you up. The island is located in the Sekotong sub-district, and you’ll definitely be able to find some hotels and restaurants if you sail back to Lombok.
Or, just follow our example and go old-school with a tent, some warm clothes (might get colder at night), and equipment for diving. During our stay there, we saw about a dozen of tourists arrive in Gili Tangkong, and that’s when things got even more exciting. That initial camping atmosphere was gone, but we became friends that same day and decided to explore the tiny island together.
It’s meetings and friendships like this one that turn a regular trip to a foreign country into an adventure to remember. So, get out there, walk towards new discoveries and new experiences!
More Interesting Facts About Gili T
The 100% white beach is a sight for sore eyes. The white sand feels amazing under one’s feet and sends some powerful signals to your mind (that always happens when you connect with Mother Nature). The water is crystal-clear and makes all the visitors want to take a dip. The blue sky and the enchanting water create some of the finest sceneries, ideal for taking awesome selfies.
Twenty-eight acres are more than enough for romantic walks under the moonlight. Gili Tangkong is surrounded by two siblings: Nanggu and Sudak. If you rented the boat for more than a ride, don’t be shy to visit these islands. They are pretty much the same, but will still be fun to explore.
It will take you approximately 10 minutes to get from one island to another. The only significant difference is that in Nanggu, you’ll see a lot more people. That gives you an amazing opportunity to socialize in Nanggu and then go back to Tangkong to be alone with yourself and your closest friends again.
And if you get bored at the end of the trip, Lombok will be happy to welcome you with restaurants, cafes, hotels, and all kinds of ceremonies and festivals that always take place all over Indonesia. Alright, that’s everything I wanted to share with you. Finally, let’s take a look at the best way to get to Gili Tangkong.
How To Find Gili Tangkong
Take a good look at the map again: the island is located in the lower left corner and is incredibly small compared to Lombok. The Lembar harbor is where we hopped on the rented boat – I encourage you to do the same. Now, if you decided to hire a boat crew, ask the fellas to slow down near Kedis and Sudak so that you can admire them from afar.
If you’re in Mataram, you can hop in a public bus that reaches the harbor. However, public transportation is not really Lombok’s strongest suit and you’ll be better off renting a vehicle and driving yourself to the spot. The boats can usually take in as much as six people.
By the way, Gili Kedis is the smallest Gili island and is home to a huge number of seagulls. Ever heard about Makam Keramat, the sacred grave? It’s “sitting” right in the middle of the sea and definitely deserves a visit. As for Gili Tangkong, I bet you’ll find it equally intriguing and exciting to stay for more than one day.
Just don’t forget to bring your own supplies and equipment, like I mentioned earlier. On the other hand, if camping and diving aren’t really your favorite things, then 2-3 hours will be more than enough to do some sightseeing.