Every single Gili Island out there is incredibly tiny; at the same time, they all offer something unique to the tourists, something that Lombok doesn’t offer. In the 20th century, they were only known to the locals. However, these days, more and more foreigners are learning about these paradise islands, as I like to call them.
Today we’ll talk about Gili Sudak, one of the least known yet wonderful places that you simply have to visit on your trip to Lombok. Located in Central Sekotong, West Lombok Regency, it offers some fantastic views of the ocean, a heavenly climate, and an opportunity to try your luck in swimming, diving, and snorkeling.
Fact: on planet Earth, you won’t find many islands that “ban” motorized cars/bikes; but they do that in the Gilis. Motors aren’t allowed there, which means you can only rely on your own feet. That’s ok, though, as it won’t take more than two hours to get from one end of Gili Sudak to the other one.
Trawangan, Air, and Meno are the stars of the show, and most tourists know and love them. As for Sudak and its neighbors, they offer pretty much the same awesome experience but are more tranquil, serene, and you’ll be able to enjoy them to the fullest. Alright, now let’s dig deeper and learn more about this island.
What Is Gili Sudak All About?
As you might already know, in Sasak, “Gili” means “a tiny island”, which partially justifies the law against motorized vehicles. During the low season, the foreigners will be totally alone in Gili Sudak, and for some big events like birthdays or weddings, that’s just perfect. It’s like getting an entire island all to yourselves without spending a fortune on the “rent” – sounds pretty cool, doesn’t it?
The south-west coast of Lombok, the big island, is a lovely place. Now, even though most Gilis are pretty much uninhabited and there are usually no public places whatsoever, you will find one or two lodges in Gili Sudak. Believe me: life is so much better when there is food along with a warm bed!
Please keep in mind that most accommodations are closed during the low season, which means you should always check and double-check before you set out on a journey. From the Lembar port, it will take you approximately 40 minutes to get to the destination. The boat usually goes nice and slow, giving you enough time to do some sightseeing while in the middle of the ocean.
They don’t charge much, but it might be a good idea to bargain with the boat owners. As a general rule, they are ready to drop the price significantly, especially during the low season. Or, if you work with a local guide, he/she will tell you about the real prices.
Learning More About Gili Sudak
From afar, the ocean looks like glass or a crystal. But as you get closer, the turquoise water comes forward and you see the beautiful blue-green texture. According to some of the locals, Gili Sudak is often used by the tourists as a place to have something to eat and rest. However, for some reason, they prefer not to stick around.
In my opinion, that’s quite strange; at the same time, this means I can always come around knowing that the entire island will be at my disposal. Nannggu, another Gili slightly off to the West, is a lot more popular and can be quite crowded during the high season. Many foreigners prefer to spend only one day on a Gili and switch in the morning.
That’s a pretty fun idea, as you’ll never get tired and something exciting will happen every single day. On the other hand, Gili Sudak is perfect for the mature foreigners that are in Lombok for some peace and quiet, not long and tiresome journeys. One of the best things about a trip to Lombok is the fact that you’re never limited to a single spot and can travel from one landmark to another in the matter of hours, if not minutes.
People neglect to see the beauty of Sudak and the amazing experiences it offers. That’s a bit sad, as I want it to get all the credit it deserves. Of course, there’s still no denying the fact that the island will lose its charm then.
What Is There To Do On This Island?
Gili Sudak is one of those tropical islands that make you feel like a treasure hunter from the iconic movies, a person set out to conquer new, uncharted lands. So, yes, I decided to spend a whole week there and had a great time. The lodge where I stayed was big, shiny, natural, and clean. The owners turned out to be great people and offered exceptional service for a modest price.
This is equally true for most Gili Islands out there and Lombok as a whole. The bungalows in Gili Sudak are marvelous and make you feel like a part of the tropical atmosphere in a matter of days. From the outside, they are very traditional and look cool.
On the inside, you’ll find modern-day furniture and gadgets. There are also some warungs in the vicinity where you can enjoy a hot meal and a cold drink any time of the day. Obviously, I felt pretty lonely after 3-4 days and was super happy to welcome my friends that had a canceled flight and were forced to hop on another one.
The beaches are lovely; the ocean is usually calm but can also be quite aggressive, especially when it gets dark. Despite the fact that this is an island and the currents constantly bring all kinds of rubbish, Gili Sudak is always clean. These people take their business very seriously and make sure the clients go back home happy and satisfied.
Some General Tips
There are enough trees on the island and they provide shade where the tourists can hide from the scorching sun. I highly recommend trying your luck with snorkeling. The water is always warm, and there’s enough fish to see. Grab your favorite phone/camera for some pictures and selfies. The boats are pretty fancy and can be used for fishing and water tours around the area.
The biggest downside of Gili Sudak is the fact that it is empty. I mean, nothing exciting ever goes on there. No roads, no shops, no temples, and almost no people. The cows, the sand, the trees, the plants, and the ocean are the only things that keep this place going (and let’s not forget the roosters).
For a special occasion, that’s an ideal setup. At the same time, the fans of fun, parties till early morning, and busy streets will be disappointed. I recommended this to a couple I know and they spent their honeymoon in Gili Sudak. Others complained about the lack of action. It all goes down to your personal preferences.
There are some boulders and rocks in the corners; you’ll need to climb over them to get to different parts of the island. Everything else is easy. Fishing nets, chickens running around, birds singing in the air, and some locals taking care of their stuff – that’s all you’re gonna find at the beaches. For an idyllic trip, it doesn’t get better than that!
How To Find Gili Sudak
Alright, so, this is an island, which means there are several ways to get there. If you’re in Bali right now, renting a fast boat is the best option. Or, if you’re fancy and have some additional bucks to spare, go with a plane. Yes, there are regular flights from Denpasar to Lombok (Praya, to be exact). All planes land at the Lombok International Airport.
From there, you should head towards the Lembar Port. The ride will take approximately 1 hour or even less depending on traffic. As you can see on the map, Gili Sudak is not that far from the port (it will be a 40-minute-long ride, give or take). A speedboat or even a fishing boat will take care of the rest of the route.
From Mataram, you’ll reach the port even sooner (in +/- 30 minutes). There are other harbors in western Sekotong, but Lembar is the closest one. I wouldn’t recommend renting a car/bike at the airport, as the ride might take a lot of focus and energy, all of which you should save for the island.
Hire a taxi and think about the first thing you’re going to do in Sudak. Alright, that’s pretty much all I wanted to tell you guys about this wonderful island. Make sure to check back with me for more reviews of the best spots in Lombok. After all, it is a magical island!