Strikingly beautiful, with glorious white-sand beaches lapped by warm, brilliant-blue waters, the three Gili Islands just off the northwest coast of Lombok are a magnet for visitors. Of the three, Gili Trawangan best fits the image of “party island”, with heaps of accommodation, restaurants and nightlife. The smallest of the islands, Gili Meno, has no nightlife and is known as the “honeymoon island” for its secluded atmosphere. Closest to the mainland is Gili Air which offers a mix of the two, with plenty of facilities in the south and more peace elsewhere. It’s worth noting that there’s no fresh water on any of the islands – showers are salinated, except in the more upmarket resorts which transport the water by boat from the mainland.

Accommodation prices vary dramatically depending on the season and reservations are essential in the high season, or you face a long, possibly fruitless, search for a bed.

Women should take care during and after the Gili Trawangan parties – don’t leave these alone. You’ll be offered any and all drugs on the island. There are no police; it’s the role of the kepala desa, the headman who looks after Gili Air and Gili Meno, and the kepala kampung on Gili Trawangan, to deal with any problems, so report any incidents to them initially. If you need to make a police report, go to the police on the mainland (at Tanjung or Ampenan).

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