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Introducing Gili Islands

For decades, travellers have made the hop from Bali for a dip in the turquoise-tinted, bathtub-warm waters of the irresistible Gili Islands and stayed longer than anticipated. Perhaps it’s the deepwater coral reefs teeming with sharks, rays and reasonably friendly turtles? Maybe it’s the serenity that comes with no motorised traffic? Or it could be the beachfront bungalows, white sand, and friendly locals. Each of these pearls, located just off the north-western tip of Lombok, has its own unique character, but they have one thing in common. They are all hard to leave.

Gili Air is the closest to the mainland, with plenty of stylish bungalows dotted among the palms. Mellow Gili Meno, the middle island, makes for a wonderful chilled-out retreat.

Gili Trawangan (population 800), the furthest out, has been tagged as the ‘party island’. And with three weekly parties and a groovy collection of beach bars, you can get loose here.