When you’ve run out of places to try and things to do in the island for a romantic night out with your partner, why not cross to the neighbouring region and have a romantic weekend getaway instead?
Ah, the Gilis. So close but so far. So serene but so crowded. So tropically familiar but so foreign. You can say that it’s a miniature of Kuta’s rowdy neigbourhood, complete with all the rustic delicious cheap joints scattered almost chaotically. There are some secluded spots to spend some time for just the two of you, but these three islands offers so much more than corners for kissing. Here’s a short guide on how to spend three days and two nights at the Gilis.
There are two types of boats that could take you from Bali to Lombok. One are the ferries that leaves Padang Bai sea port, and the other are fastboats that you can get on not only from Padang Bai, but also from Benoa and Serangan. Many preferred the latter choice because it’s faster, only about an hour and a half as opposed to a ferry that takes about four hours – followed with another commute from Lembar sea port to Bangsal docks to make another cross to the Gilis. Now since we’re making a list for lovers, we recommend you to stay the first night to Gili Air instead of the more festive Gili Terawangan. It’s more quiet, sterile and less commotion – which you can have all that later. Once arrived, you can have relaxing dips on the crystal clear water, take an easy canoe rowing just off coast, or just a walk on the white sands. It won’t take long for you to stroll hand in hand to cover the whole tiny island anyway. Might as well get all the physical activities on this first day, so you can get a good rest at night – don’t forget to have that closing nightcap cocktail.
Get a hearty breakfast before having fun this second day, because you’re going to Gili Terawangan, where all the fun is. Crossing to and from these islands is easy, boats leave almost every few minutes. Most hotels and inns in this island are backpacker style, but there are some that’s decent enough for snuggles – and not too close to the hustling areas, so you’ll have your tranquillity.
Now, if Gili Air is all about the peaceful activities on the water, Gili Terawangan is all about having a great time. There are countless eateries there, ranging from seafood barbecues to firewood pizzas. For activities, you can rent a bicycle and pedal around the island, or if you’d rather have more adventure, get a horseback ride. If all fails, there’s always back to the waters for more swimming and go snorkeling. The water here is still as clear as it is in Gili, and there are boats to take you further from the beach so you can experience colourful coral reefs. Come sunset, don’t forget to take a selfie
Now, if Gili Air is all about the peaceful activities on the water, Gili Terawangan is all about having a great time
“Now, if Gili Air is all about the peaceful activities on the water, Gili Terawangan is all about having a great time”
in one of those knee deep swings for the memories, all the while basking on the golden hour with a drink in your hands. Enjoy your dinner while being entertained by local reggae musicians – at night is when this island’s most alive. Locals and visitors come together for the festivities, and usually new friendships are made here. Well, then again, if you’re here for a romantic trip, get a table for two and make a light walk to the hotel after the last song played – along the beach should be lovelier.
Breakfast in bed would be perfect to start your last day. If you want more exploring, cross to the one Gili you haven’t set foot on, Gili Meno, just to know how it looks. A few hours swim should be enough – you’ve done everything on the first two days anyway. Enjoy your last hours in the Gilis with good food and the best company ever. Don’t forget to reach the port on time so you won’t miss the boat back home.
Photo credit: @saltinourhair