Misconception #1 – After the August 2018 earthquake the Gilis are closed for a year

Are you kidding?! How amazing would it be to have the islands all to ourselves!

Drone Shot Gili Air - Indonesia

That’s just not the case, unfortunately – kidding! We love everyone who comes to the Gili Islands and we encourage all wanderlusters to visit our paradise for however long their heart desires. The Gilis are a top travel destination in Indonesia and many island lovers come to see our turquoise waters and white sandy beaches every day.

During the August 2018 earthquake, several buildings on the Gili Islands were damaged but it was nothing compared to what happened in the regency of North Lombok. Officials stated that at least 80% of structures in North Lombok were damaged or destroyed and more than 417,000 people were displaced. To learn more about the post-earthquake experiences take a look at our blog post: Gili Air – Shaken but not shut!

All three islands (Gili Air, Gili Meno and Gili Trawangan) jumped back on their feet pretty quickly after the earthquake thanks to the strong and supportive community of locals and expats.

Food supplies being provided by Oceans 5 staff during the earthquake on the Gili Islands in August 2018.

The Gilis are under construction just like capital cities such as Rome, Berlin and Paris that are adapting and rebuilding due to flourishing tourism. When you visit the Gilis now you’d never guess that any damage was ever done due to the earthquake.

Most of the people of Lombok work on the Gili Islands and it’s incredibly important for them to keep their jobs. Their salary not only provides for themselves but feeds their whole family and helps them rebuild their lives. Making a difference has never been so easy, The only thing you have to do is visit us in paradise! Stay in one of the wonderful homestays, have lunch in one of the great local warungs, book a magical snorkelling trip and enjoy the big and warm smiles you will get in return

Misconception #2 – Gili Trawangan is for partiers, Gili Meno is for the honeymooners and Gili Air is for everyone else

Gili Trawangan is for partiers

Yes, Gili Trawangan is known as the party island, but on the Northend side, it can be pretty quiet and chill. Little do travellers know that Gili T has a bit of both worlds. If you’re in the mood to go dancing, you have that readily available. If you’re looking for a chilled night out, watch some live reggae music. If you’re a family with children, there are environments that suit such circumstances as well.

Gili Trawangan is not only for partiers there’s also a chill quiet side on the island.
Photo by Kym Ellis on Unsplash.

Gili Meno is too quiet

On the other hand, Gili Meno does truly live up to its discussed attribute of being a quiet island all around. If you’re looking to be by yourself and discover inner peace, or if you’re with a loved one and want to have some quality time together, Gili Meno is a great option!

Have your honeymoon on Gili Meno island in  Indonesia.

Gili Air is too chill

Gili Air, the island closest to Lombok, is a true balance of being a chiller island but also allowing you to be social and watch some lovely live music almost every day of the week.

This is Life Festival on Gili Air island. There’s so much to explore on Gili Air, Indonesia.

Don’t think you can only dance the night away on Gili Trawangan. Gili Air has been the proud host of some amazing festivals like Dance For Peace, Gili Air Festival and Blooming Island which attracted thousands of people from all over the world. Curious which events will be happening this year? Keep an eye on our Facebook page!

 When we talk about the Gilis, we like to say that they provide something for everyone. This is very true as each island has its own personality and can provide a little something of what you’re specifically looking for on your vacation and throughout your travels. That doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate your honeymoon on Gili Trawangan or go to an awesome party on Gili Air. If you’re curious for what other people have had to say, take a look at our article on Testimonials of the Gilis.

Misconception #3: The horses need more love and care

Due to the nature of transportation on the Gilis, there are no motorized vehicles, Isn’t that amazing? Imagine a tropical island without cars and motorbikes. It’s like jumping back in time before humans became transportation efficient.

The primary mode of transportation are bikes and some locals own electric scooters. Another mode of transport is the horse and carts, also known as cidomos, in the local Sasak dialect.

For general use, the cidomos are used for labour around the island, which has been a common way of labour work for the past 100-200 years.

Before 2010 the horses were not treated well due to the limited amount of money and resources on the Gili Islands and surrounding neighbours such as Lombok. Several initiatives have been put in place since to ensure the horses are well-nourished and taken care of.

Delphine Robbe, the owner of The Gili Eco Trust has taken great initiatives to educate the local community on providing the necessary care for the horses on the islands. They pay for fresh water, food supplements, veterinary visits, as well as establishing a larger team to implement all of this and ensure the horses’ well-being come first.

Misconception #4: There is trash everywhere

Trash is a big problem all of over South East Asia, and Indonesia is definitely not an exception. It’s the third largest ocean polluter of waste and plastic. While almost the entire population of the developed West have their waste collected and disposed of hygienically, this is far from true in many Asian countries. Most of us throw our trash in the trash dispenser on the street, but then what? After you put it in the trash dispenser, do you really know where it’s going after that?

There are initiatives being done for the trash on the Gili Islands in Indonesia.

Instead of only looking at the problem, we want to show you that the islands are working hard on finding solutions and setting up the proper systems. 

Let’s start by explaining how the trash system works on the Gili Islands. The typical procedure for trash on the island is that trash bags are placed outside of people’s houses and the trash collectors come by and pick it up at 6 AM every morning.

A boat then comes to each island to collect all trash and heads over to a big landfill in Lombok. The locals do everything they can to ensure that the islands remain clean. When you get up just after sunrise and walk through the streets of the Gili Islands you’ll see women cleaning the area around their houses with a little broom made out of sticks.

Initiatives on Gili Meno

In February 2015 Trash Hero Gili Meno was founded by Sulman Alfarizi Ali and Samsul “Adi” Hadi. Trash Hero is an initiative that allows every business on the island to support and be a part of beach cleanups with their Trash Hero Sunday Cleanups, which most of the island children attend. How cute is that?

Initiatives on Gili Air

The community on Gili Air came up with Plastic-Free Paradise, an initiative that allows several businesses to learn about living in an eco-friendlier way. One important initiative is the “refill my bottle” campaign, which limits the number of plastic water bottles and allows businesses to install refill stations. Their customers can then go to refill their reusable water bottles for free or for a small fee at their restaurant, cafe or hotel.

Initiatives on Gili Trawangan

Delphine Robbe, the owner of The Gili Eco Trust, implemented a waste management system proposal to handle the trash issue on Gili T. These facilities, being built by the Jakarta National Government, will be used for waste selection, recycling projects, as well as composting. Having such a facility in place will allow for approximately 70% of the trash to be recycled on the island. They will also be ensuring that proper local management is set in place, as well as empowering the local community to respect and be aware of their surrounding environment.

Do you know another misconception about our beautiful islands, or would you like to share your opinion? We would love to hear from you! Send us a message on Facebook or write us directly via emailFavoriteplaces@Gilis.Asia.

Feel free to share the sunshine!

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