At some point I felt like I had seen all of Bali: Denpasar, Seminyak, Uluwatu, Canggu, Sanur, Nusa Lembongan, Ubud, Candidasa, Lovina and a couple more in-between. So I decided to catch a boat from Padangbai and to go the Gili Islands.
I had heard a lot about the Gili Islands – a diver’s paradise. The three islands are tiny and relatively quiet compared to Bali. There are no cars and more importantly no motorbikes, just horse carriages. I chose the biggest and busiest one as my first destination – Gili Trawangan. This English dude that I had been travelling with in Ubud recommended me the amazing homestay called Little Woodstock. It was perfect, cheap and you can have your breakfast served at any time of the day! Check them out here: http://woodstockgili.com
I dumped my backpack at Woodstock and headed right back to the beach. The Gilis are the perfect spot for diving and snorkelling. I still regret that I didn’t do my padi there. The wildlife is beautiful, it doesn’t take long and it’s a lot cheaper than in most places. I was too immersed in my low budget travelling mindset that I didn’t wanna spend the money on diving, which quite clearly was a mistake. If you ever have the opportunity to learn scuba diving – do it, do it, do it!
Chilling on Gili Meno. Lying on the beach bores me very easily so I went to explore the inside of the island, which quite clearly not a lot of tourists do. The further away you get from the white beaches front, you leave the cute cafes, chilled bars and diving schools behind you and get a glimpse of the messy & dirty reality of Indonesia. Even though there are no motored vehicles on the island, the traffic is quite insane. Everyone is shouting like mad, giving a crack with their whip and there is the constant sound of ringing bells of the horse’s harness.
Dinner for one. That night I skyped my Grandma to tell her I was still alive and how happy I was (or how I basically never wanted to come home). I discovered my love for paddle boarding on the Gilis. Well, that’s kinda inevitable when you get to see turtles and fishies and beautiful corals in the crystal-clear turquoise water. Whenever the boys went diving, I’d be out on the water kayaking or SUPing. No wonder my hair had turned blonde like it hadn’t since I was seven years old.
I loved the Gilis. They are a lot less crowded & touristy than Bali and the empty white beaches stretch endlessly. Another reason I had such a great time on the Gilis was the coolest bunch of Dutch guys. You meet a lot of fun people while traveling, but there are a only few special ones where you honestly & truly wish that you could see them again in “real life”. The Dutch boys were some of them. We spent this one night at a bonfire party on the beach under the milky way… that was quite something!