Current Location: Manly Australia
Coordinates: 33.7962° S, 151.2827° E
We have been having a blast so far on our trip and we’ve seen some amazing things, but Gili Air in combination with Ubud Bali is thus far hands down the one place we would return–after we’ve crossed off all the other locations we want to see of course!
I didn’t want to come off as a negative Nancy in my last post, because Gili T was an awesome spot but Tom and I were a little disappointed by it.
Within 30min of being on Gili Air though we knew we had found our special place.
Gili Air offers everything that Gili T does without the trash and sloppy Australians.
Gili Air is the only Gili Island that actually has a population of locals which means the locals aren’t there just to make money from tourists. This keeps prices down, but most importantly you see the pride the locals take in making sure you enjoy their home as much as they do.
Travelers Tip: Skip Gili T and head straight to Gili Air! It is a little quieter, so if you are traveling by yourself and looking to meet people Gili T may be the place for you. If you have a travel buddy and/or are just looking for the perfect island getaway Gili Air is your place!
Apparently a couple years ago Gili Air was exclusively for Honeymooners and those looking to cut themselves off from the rest of the world. There were hardly any restaurants, no power which also means no WIFi, and because of the first two points hardly anyone there.
Times have changed and while that’s unfortunate because Tom and I are unsure Gili Air will be the paradise we found it to be when we return, right now Gili Air is the perfect balance of secluded island getaway with just enough modern technology to satisfy our needs.
Travelers Tip: If you want to find that remote paradise head to Gili Meno. It may have power, but it has now become the secluded romantic getaway for Honeymooners and those looking to cut off the rest of the world.
So what makes this place so special?
It’s hard to describe in words so hopefully my picture tour will convey to you why Tom and I loved Gili Air so much!
As you can see from above, Gili Air had everything Tom needed to be happy: WIFI, plugs, and me of course! 😉
But I also had all I needed as Gili Air has an awesome open air yoga studio.
I got to practice every day and Tommy even joined me some of the days! 🙂
In addition to yoga, we ran or walked around the island daily!
We stayed in a 2 fan, cold water shower bungalow at Salabose overlooking the ocean for 150,000rp a night. We had to barter pretty hard to get that price and we’re not supposed to share the price, but if you can barter as good as Tom you deserve that price!–And if you can’t it’s a big splurge of 200,000rp ($16 to be exact) a night. You can get an air-conditioned room for 300,000rp a night, but the sunset side of the island where Salabose is located is the windy side so you get the perfect breeze!
We found the place from an old man hustling as we stepped off the ferry. We actually didn’t follow him first, the first place while a little nicer wasn’t on the water and couldn’t get their internet to work.
When that didn’t work out the first guy escorted us to Salabose us to Dune and Amet, 2 hard working/chill island boys who own a pretty awesome hotel/home stay. We walked by many a hotel on our way and when we saw it, we knew we had found our place!–I wanted a bungalow on the beach! We were going to splurge and get the air-condinioned room, but once again I said I wanted a bungalow on the beach and the air-conditioned rooms were part of a main building further in than our bungalow!–We never regretted once not getting the air-conditioning!
If you are looking to splurge over $30, I would recommend staying here:
You can get a room for about $110 a night, which by any US destination is dirt cheap!
Unlike Gili T, everything is on the water including the average table at any of the restaurants.
Our favorite were by far Zipped and Gili Air Cafe. We would work at the Gili Air Cafe during the day where there was internet and then hit up Zipped at night for their 2 for 1 happy hour cocktail drinks. Ask for the Ruben Special! Occasionally we splurged and hit up Scallywags (yes the same company from Gili T!) with the same amazing all you can eat buffet breakfast and free FAST WIFI!
We did do more than yoga and work!
We also chartered a boat for 300,000rp to go snorkel around Gili Meno where we got to see a turtle! Check out the awesome video here
The snorkeling around Gili Meno and Gili Air is much better than the snorkeling around Gili T.
Stepping into the water right off the island there is tons to see!
Around Gili Air and meno there are many fish and beautiful coral. Plus if you can get to Gili Meno there is a great chance you’ll see a turtle!
We had fun bartering with the locals!
I walked away from the island with more trinkets and jewelry than I’ve bought our entire trip!
The colorful sea pearl necklaces, anklets, and bracelets were all too pretty for me to pass up, but it also helps when you hold firm on your price and get them all for half of what they originally offer!
Nin hand carves some of the coolest things including buddha necklaces from bamboo!
If you pay a couple dollars extra he will make one specially for you with an engraving on the back. You can also get Gili Island or Gili Air symbols or anything else you bring him a picture of.
As another traveler we met on Labuan Bajo said, “Gili Air is a very special place.”
Yes it satisfied everything Tom and I could have ever wanted, but the locals have such a friendly vibe and create such an amazing atmosphere that it’s impossible not to relax and enjoy yourself.
If you come to Gili Air never having done yoga, I highly recommend you give it a shot. The studio is perfect for beginners and the morning class is the best way to wake yourself up for a day of island life!
Walk through the middle of the island to get there!
It’s hard to tear yourself away from the beach, but head the the middle! Check out what the locals have to offer for the most ethnic and tasty food!
We have been to many special places on our trip, but so far this is one we know we’ll come back to!