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Gili Islands

Floating in a turquoise sea and fringed by white sand and coconut palms, the Gilis are a vision of paradise. And they're booming like nowhere else in Indonesia – speedboats zip visitors directly from Bali and hip new hotels are rising like autumnal mushrooms.

The lure of big tourist dollars tugs against the traditionally laid-back culture of the islands, the alternative spirit imported by Western partygoers and a buoyant green sensibility. While the outcome is uncertain, for now the Gilis retain their languorous charm (partly due to local efforts to exclude dogs and motorbikes from the islands).

Each island has its own unique appeal. Gili Trawangan (aka Gili T) is the most cosmopolitan, with a raucous party scene and plenty of upscale dining and accommodation. Gili Air has an appealing mix of buzz and bliss, while little Gili Meno has the strongest local character.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Gili Islands.

Featured videos

The best of Indonesia's Gili Islands