FAQ‘s (Frequently asked questions)
1. Is there a Gili islands tourist information office?
Not in the Gilis but there is in Bali, and there is help & information online.
Tourism Information Offices – About Bali
* JI Bakungsari, Tel: +62 361 751660 ext 145
* Ground Floor, Century Plaza Building, JI Benesari No7, Tel: +62 361 754090
Plus Island Promotions Travel are the Gili specialists and have their head office listed below in Kuta, Jalan Benesari, just off Poppies Lane 2, (Next to Suka Beach Inn).
You can also contact us by Yahoo messenger and Skype and Facebook
2. What’s the difference between the 3 Gili islands?
Basically Gili Trawangan is the largest and most popular, it has by far the largest amount of accommodation especially mid range to top end luxury vilas and the only five star resort on all the islands, and therefore has the most facilities. They include six established dive centres and many international restaurants. Trawangan island is most suited to families, because it has the most facilities, and also has a reasonable party scene which is not as hyped as it sounds, but lots of fun, only Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays get noisy and which are supposed to finish at 4am.
Gili Meno is the smallest island in the middle of the other 2 islands and is still really grass roots, mostly visited by honeymooners and people who really want to get away from it all. It has limited accommodation, limited resources, is generally more expensive for what you get than the other islands, and most places including restaurants close around 8-9pm. It does have some of the best beaches though, so be sure to book well in advance….
That leaves Gili Air, the original backpacker destination of the 80’s, slowly catching up with big brother Trawanagan with more places to stay appearing, the first big beach front international restaurant, 3 dive centres, and a very relaxed atmosphere. Its kind of like Trawangan 10 years ago.
For more detailed information about all 3 islands, please [click here]
3. When is the best time to go to the Gilis?
The Seasons guide –
Weather as a rough guide is rainy season starts from November to April, however as anywhere in the world, it has been raining this year until the end of July, and now almost half of August, and is usually the best weather until November.
The best months to visit the Gilis for weather and beating the crowds are January, February, October and November.
Gili island hotels general guide for seasonal pricing:
Mid season is May, June and October,
Low season is February, March, April and November,
High season is January, July, August, September and December.
However – the Balinese holiday of Nyepi, Christian holidays of Easter,(Good Friday) and Christmas Day, the Muslim holiday of Idul Fitri, and of course, New year’s Eve, always have peak season surcharges from the hotels.
Please note; in these peak periods the islands are fully booked, so please be sure to book well in advance to avoid dissapointment & ensure your choice of hotel.
For your information there is a special Balinese holiday usually in mid March called Nyepi. So if you are hoping to come from Bali that day unfortunately you will not be able to. Basically the holy rules are you are not allowed out on the streets, and no lights are allowed on either for 24 hours. Even the airport will close.
Please note; this does not however affect Lombok or the Gili islands.
4. Do people speak English there?
English is very widely spoken particularly in the tourist destinations and you can enjoy a great holiday here without knowing a word of Bahasa Indonesia. Although English and Bahasa Indonesian are both spoken, Bali and the Gilis have their own languages and quirks, e.g. all males seem to be called the Balinese equivalent of 1, 2, 3 or 4 depending whether they are the first born etc. Bahasa Indonesian, spoken throughout the country, is written in the Romanic alphabet and is often very easy to translate to English if you simply pronounce what you see.
5. Is it safe to travel in Indonesia?
Few places in the world can be said to be truly safe these days and we are not going to claim that Indonesia, for example, is the safest country on earth. Having said that we are not going to try to sell you a trip to Indonesia in any known trouble spots either.
What we can say is that statistically you are more likely to get struck by lightening than be involved in a tourist-related act of aggression on any of the islands. You have a greater chance of being mugged at gun or knife point or run over by an SUV in the USA or Europe, than be caught up in anything untowards on vacation in the Gilis.
However there has been a few reported cases of harrassment to solo women travellers walking home late at night, so we do advise to walk with friends and stay in the busier central areas of the islands.
6. What about tipping?
Tipping in Indonesia is entirely a matter of choice. If your stay or tour exceeded your expectations, you may wish to leave a tip of up to 10% of your trip price. Smaller tips are better than larger tips.
7. What activities can I do on the islands?
Apart from the tourist attractions like the temples and waterfalls, and trekking Mount Rinjani in Lombok mainland, and the usual beach activities like sunbathing and snorkeling and Scuba Diving, you can go fishing, horseriding, water skiing, wakeboarding, and there is a surf break to the south of the island for the experienced surfer.
If any of you are golfers there is a fantastic 18 hole course 10 minutes away by speed boat. It’s not a cheap day out, but when compared to everything else in Indonesia, for a world class course, it is great value by western standards: transport, green fee, clubs, buggy, caddy, lunch and drinks will cost you about $100.
8. Can I go horse riding along the beach?
Firstly it is only possible on Trawangan island, but it is very easy to book, just ask one of the staff where you will be staying and they will help arrange it for you.
There is only one stables called ‘ STUD STABLES ‘ and it’s better if you have some previous experience of horses beforehand. The cost is approximately $25 usd for an hour, which should get you more or less around the island, either on the paths and some along the quieter beaches.
9. Which is the best place for snorkelling?
The best places for snorkeling and swimming are along the main beach areas. Masks, fins and snorkels can be rented by the hour or day, from any of the 9 PADI and SSI dive centers or the kiosks in the street.
Glass bottom boat trips around the three Gili islands are available and cost around 175,000rp per person. You can see all types of marine life just by snorkeling including many fishes and corals and of course lots of turtles, but please be careful not to touch the coral.
Please Note; Do not try to swim between any of the 3 Gili islands as the currents in the channel can be unpredictable and very strong.
10. Is there an ATM on the Gili islands?
Yes now there are 2 ATM machines on Gili Trawangan at Hotel Villa Ombak resort, Bank Mandiri and Bank Internasional Indonesia.
Both work 24 hours a day and are really pretty reliable, both have reasonable withdrawal limits and do not have hidden or extra charges.
11. Is there Malaria in the Gili islands?
No. There is no Malaria in the Gili islands, and it is not necessary to take malaria tablets either, you will find that the usual precautions of wearing repellent and long loose clothing is the best protection, and most hotels use a spray when they clean the rooms. In fact we advise people to not take anti malaria medication as usually they make you feel ill, and you will not be able to scuba dive if that is what you intend to do also.
12. When is Ramadan and will everything be closed?
This year Ramadan will start on the 9th July 2013 and the festival celebration after the 1 month of fasting is called ‘Idul Fitri’ and the dates are 8th & 9th of August 2013.
Yes many locally owned businesses will close for those 2 days, however all western businesses will carry on as normal, please just be patient and allow for the fact your meal may take a little longer to prepare and be served, or your room may not get cleaned as thoroughly as normal due to the fact it is a national holiday and there will be minimum staff working.
13. How does Ramadan effect Gili nightlife?
Ramadan as you quite rightly say falls in the middle of high season this year 2013.
The parties unfortunately are cancelled during this time, however all the bars are open as usual, and it is only a noise restriction which is imposed. So there will still be nightlife and music as usual until 12pm, then the music is just turned down to a non disturbing level. It shouldn’t be a reason for you to not go though, in fact this high season is proving more popular than ever.
14. What is the difference between the fast boats travel time?
Firstly all fast boats only go to Gili Trawangan, and all take around the same time, it is then very easy to get between the islands with local public outrigger boats.
The average travel time from Benoa Harbour, Serangan Lagoon, and Tanjung Benoa is around two and a half hours, and are around twenty to thirty minutes from most south Bali tourist areas.
The average travel time from Padang Bai harbour in east Bali is one hour twenty minutes in good weather, and about an hour forty five minutes in rough weather, with a one hour transit time from Ubud or most other tourist areas.
15. What is the Perama boats travel time between Padangbai and the Gilis?
The average travel time is around 5 hours in good weather, and can take a little longer in rough weather, they also drop off and pick up from all three islands.
16. Is travel on the fast boat services safe for families and children?
We recommend the Gilicat for a family friendly and safe trip for all ages. They carry life vests specifically for children and their crew is happy to outfit children in life vests prior to departure. We strongly suggest that families with children and the elderly sit in the rear of the boat where the ride is the softest.
17. Is it true that airline tickets are cheaper?
Strictly speaking, that is true. However, when extra charges are factored in to the basic Rp 400,000 – Rp500,000 ticket, a taxi to the airport Rp.45,000, airport tax Rp 30,000 per person, a taxi from Mataram airport to Teluk Kodek Rp 250,000, and an express boat transfer to Gili Trawangan Rp 275,000, then the cost is nearly the same
The cost is roughly equivalent for 2 people (unless you are travelling in a group of four or more, then it does becomes cheaper. It is also a good way to get to the Gilis for families with children as there are more facilities, particularly if there are delays due to weather which affect boats as well, people who just do not like boats, and it can cut the costs for travellers to Gili Meno and Gili Air as all fast boats only go to Trawangan.
18. How can I book my Gili holiday?
Just fill in the appropriate contact us page with your requests and please give us as much information as possible, also feel free to contact us for general information.
We at Island Promotions Travel can organise everything for you so you don’t need to worry about a thing. Let us take the stress out of your arrangements from the minute you land at Denpasar aiport including express VIP immigration clearance, Bali accommodation, Nusa Lembongan accommodation, Lombok & Flores also, and boats between the islands, domestic flights and anything and everything else to do with the three Gili Islands of Trawangan, Meno and Gili Air.
19. Why choose Island Promotions Travel as my booking agent?
Because we have ten years experience (more than any other company by far) and are the largest Gili specialst service with over 15 staff and 6 specialist websites. We will give you the best advice available that most suits your individual requirements, we have the largest database of hotels, villas and accommodations on all three islands, and we only recommend boats that are fully licensed, and that meet full international western safety standards, and that have passenger insurance.
We understand for many visitors this maybe their first visit to Indonesia and the Gili islands, and we will not push you to a particular hotel or transport operator because of pricing. We want our customers, approximately 15,000 per year, to enjoy the islands to the full, without misleading information. If you read our ” about us” section you will see we are a sponsored business with 2 easily accessible outlets in the heart of Kuta, Bali, so you can even book on arrival in Bali and talk face to face with a representative.
We also have a full time operations manager based on the islands in case of emergencies and to ensure safe travel for our customers.
20. Your questions and feedback?
I hope you find our websites usefull, and please help us to help other visitors if you have usefull tips or new information then please feel free to contact us, or post your pictures and experiences good or bad on www.gili-blog.com
Thanks and regards,
Island Promotions Travel
For more information please find our contact details below.
The Gili Paradise Shop,
Suka Beach, JL. Benesari,
Poppies Lane 2, Kuta, Bali.
Fax / Tel: +62 361 766220
SMS / Tel: +62 81 805 305 632
SKYPE – VIPSKYPE7
Yahoo messenger – gili.paradise
Gili Blog – information, events, news, comments
Gili Hotels – villas, hotels & backpacker beach huts
Gili Fastboat – for fast boat on line booking reservations
Gili Property – real estate, land and villa sales, villa rentals
Gili Paradise – general information, transport, diving packages
Island Promotions – company profile, packages & general islands info
02 Nov 2010
Leave a Reply