Gili Air

by - 11:36

I have been so longing to write this article...During all my travel time around Bali, my stay at Gili Air was the best 5 days i ever had. While i stayed in Ubud on Bali and doing a lot of cultural visits and trips, my stay at Gili Air was more focused on beaching and calming down. I did a mixture of 50:50 during my 2 weeks on Bali, so it depends on what you like more, but i think i got a pretty well cocktail of everything this region has to offer. 
The Gili Islands are each a character on their own, since i did not have a backpack at that time, but a suitcase, i thought it would be nice to stay on one island and do daytrips to the other ones. Gili Trawangan is know to be the party island and that was definitly not, what i was searching for. Gili Meno is calm, but maybe a bit too calm for me, since there are not many things to do and as I was traveling alone, i needed some action. Also my diving center was located on Gili Air or Gili Trawangang, since second was already out of choice, i decided for Gili Air. 
Gili Air is most common for honeymoons and couple's vacation, i had read that before and was already prepared to face handholding couples all over the place. When i found some love towel swans folded on my bed in the bamboo hut i rented (i will write more about this later), i was of course a tiny bit frustrated, but whatever, two towels for me alone, thats nice. 

So a lot of men on this island actually asked me where my husband was, pouring salt into the wound each day, but somehow i started to not care anymore, since there were so many nice things to do.
The Island is pretty small and one can walk around it in 1h30, if you walk fast. Otherwise you can plan half a day and rest sometime at any beach you like. I stayed on the eastern side of the island, that is inhabited mostly by local people. Here you can find some private villas and air bnbs to stay and you will find really nice and cheap restaurants close to the beach with a fantastic view. The sunset can not be seen from this side of the island, so the fancy places and new built hotels are actually lying on the opposite coast. 

Anyway there are a lot of places i really loved to spent my time, mostly in the local areas. The Turtle beach is a super nice area for snorkelling, here you can rent equipment really cheap 2€ a whole afternoon, from a small beach bar, that has some really nice bamboo furniture and swings close by the water. The guy who is working and owning the place is super nice and very helpful, always cheery and i guess he might consume some mushrooms every day (btw this is very common on Gili Air, i did not try, but if you are in a group it could be fun) 
The best breakfast is served at Gili Bliss Cafe on the main road, close to the harbour. The owner Suki is the daughter of my Air BnB host Dean and her place is just amazing. Since there is so much to tell about it, i will write a seperate piece about this fantastic place.
My best dinner i had definitly at Ruby's Cafe, which is also located in the eastern part of the island, a bit further from the beach. It is open for lunch and dinner, but closed on one weekday. It is extremely popular, since it's also highly recommended on TripAdvisor.  You can not make reservations, so better be there directly as soon as it opens for Dinner. People are queuing outsite to get a table! The food is absolutely amazing, a bit more expensive for Gili Air Prices, but definitly worth is. You can get a main dish and a refreshing drink plus water for around 10€. I had the vegan Pumpkin Curry and once also the chicken with vegetables and both were fantastic. The taste might be also a bit less exotic, so if you do not like the local food you can also get an australian steak here. 
The best beach on Gili Air can be found east of the harbour, close to some hotels actually, but luckily the place is not private. Here you can easily get into the water, without hurting yourself and you can relax on the sunbeds of the local bars, if you order some fresh coconut or a juice for around 2€. I spent my afternoons there, after having some active mornings with diving and wandering around. 
A really nice activity on Gili Island is also SUP Paddling, but there are especially around season changes strong currents, so it takes a huge effort to do it.So i didn't do it, because  it was finally time to calm down after all my accidents and troubles - haha. 
All in all, i can say that Gili Air is also single-friendly, if you know what to do with yourself and if you are able to ignore all the freshly married lovebirds flying around. Quite challenging, but even i managed! 

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