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Gili Meno, an Island Paradise

Did you know that only one kilometer away from one of the biggest party destinations in Indonesia you could find the ultimate chilling spot?

To be honest, I like to be pretty busy when I travel and I get bored easily, but this tiny island between Lombok and Bali stole my heart.

It is no secret that the paradisiac Gili islands are every travellers dream destination after travelling around busy Bali.  White sand, clear water, cheap beer and most importantly, no honking sounds. Unfortunately, when I first got to Gili Trawagan, the biggest and most popular of the Gilis, I was a little disappointed. To be fair, there was, in fact, no scooter threatening to run into you at any second, but Gili T was in no way less busy than Bali. We had a hard time walking on the main street of the island as bikes and horse-drawn carriage were already competing for the space. Gili T had brought the definition of traffic to an all new other level.

When we finally got to our airbnb, I was relieve to see that we were staying in a quiet area. Little did I know, we were only a couple of streets down from the island mosque and if the street traffic and the noise from the bars didn’t wake us up, the prayer at 5 am surely did. In opposite to Bali, the main religion in Lombok and the Gili islands is Islam. To be clear, I respect every religious belief, but I still felt like having a good night sleep.

Later the next day, we decided to up on the ferry to Gili Meno, the smallest of the islands also known to be very quiet. Gili T was definitely the perfect place to go out for cheap drinks, party with a lot of young travellers and ease your hangover the next day with a sunbathing session. Although, it was for a lot of people paradise, what I really needed at this point of the trip was chill and peaceful vibes.

The minute I got off the boat on Gili Meno, I fell in love.

Only a 5 minutes ferry ride brought us miles away from the hustle and bustle. Gili Meno was definitely one of those “postcard places”. The tiny island was a quiet and cleaner version of Gili T and to this day, I still wonder why the island isn’t more popular. Like the other Gilis, Gili Meno was a great place to snorkel and everyday I got to swim along turtles and school of fish.

Food wise, the island had heaps of little restaurants right on the beach serving local and western dishes for ridiculous prices (2-10$). For accommodation, we stayed in a bamboo bungalow at Casablanca hotel (30$) which was only a 2 minute walk to the beach. I would highly recommend this hotel as it is well situated, the bungalows are very nice and you get to eat free banana pancakes every morning. Their is a lot of 5 stars resort on Meno, but finding budget accommodation is definitely harder than on Gili T. Considering this, booking a place before arriving on the island might be a good idea.

Finally, people that have been to the Gilis all go on and on about watching the sunset. Well let me tell you something. The sunrise is the real deal. Looking at the sun rising over Mt. Rinjani on Lombok from the Gilis is simply breathtaking and is totally worth waking up at 6 am.

Gili Meno might not have a waterfall to find, a mountain to climb or a temple to visit, but it’s definitely my number one chilling spot in Indonesia.


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