When it comes to Bali, Seminyak is the tourist favourite with its trendy bars, gorgeous sunsets and abundance of great dining options. But I really wanted to see a more idyllic side of Bali, something not quite bustling with tourists yet. The prospect of turtle spotting and snorkelling in the pristine clear blue waters of Gili’s beaches got us really excited and off we went!
The Gili Islands are an archipelago of three small islands just off the northwest coast of Lombok, Indonesia — Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air.
We arrived at Gili Trawangan by speedboat from Bali and was instantly greeted by these gorgeous shades of clear blue and lots of golden sunshine.
The wonderful thing about Gili is that the locals pretty much live as they always have for decades. And I was especially delighted that instead of cars or taxis, everyone travels around the island either by horsecart, scooters or bicycles.
After checking in at our quaint villa, we decided to go exploring the island by bicycle. We cycled through the village homes and came across a lovely bar Horizontal by the beach that offered a great view of the ocean, a great sunset with some swings near the shore for wading and splashing in the shallow water. The sunset was lovely and it was so refreshing to not have to share the beach with a hundred other tourists.Horizontal
Horizontal Street | Horizontal Beach, West Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia
We spent some amazing time on the beach, but the best part of the trip was really when we took a day-trip island-hopping and exploring various snorkelling sites around the archipelago including the famous Turtle Point in Gili Meno where I managed to spot some giant turtles for the first time ever! Visibility was great, the water was warm and we swam alongside the colourful among the coral reefs. Absolutely amazing experience!
When it comes to food, we mostly ate boxed lunches out at sea or had breakfast at the villa, but we really enjoyed dinner at Scallywags Organic Seafood Bar & Grill. This was a seafood barbecue restaurant by the beach and you can pick your dinner from the seafood on display. We went with some giant prawns, deep fried fish and tried some of their other Indonesian dishes as well.
The food is slightly pricier than you can find at smaller restaurants along the beach, but we really enjoyed the quiet, romantic ambience. One of the more memorable parts of the evening was going up to the second floor of the restaurant to watch baby turtles swim among the coral with their white shells gleaming reflecting the lights by the shore. It was quite a heartwarming sight to behold.
Scallywags Organic Seafood Bar & Grill
South Beach, West Nusa Tenggara 83352, Indonesia
We had a wonderful time in Gili. I fell in love with the gorgeous blue waters and the hospitality of the locals. Definitely worth the trip here whether you’re a beach bum or love snorkelling in calm, clear water. Check out my other travel post for more things to do in Bali! Meanwhile, share your best travel experiences with me too? x