Since we were in the region, we had to try at least one other Gili. We decided to visit Gili Meno, because it is closer to Gili T. We took a local boat to the island. The place, where the boat stops, is on the side of Gili Meno, which looks on to Gili Air and on Rinjani volcano (on Lombok).
All the three Gili islands are very close to each other, but it’s not recommended to swim between them, because the currents are very strong and you can easily end somewhere on the shore of Lombok.
Gili Meno is a lot smaller than Gili T. And totally different. There are no big shops or restaurants and especially not a lot of tourists. We decided to take a tour on foot around the island. Since we had a lot of time, we decided to take it easy. After a while we got to a small, saltwater lake. It looks like a small swamp. The nature there is very diverse, with a lot of different trees and flowers, struggling for survival. There are also a lot of birds, hiding in the bushes.
Near this lake we found a beautiful beachfront café called Diane café. They have a direct view to Gili T, where you can really spot the difference between the two. They have a nice bar with wooden houses on the beach, where you can drink cold beer, fresh juices or cocktails. Bar is decorated with long chains of corals on fishing rope. It’s very stylish and charming. The cCorals make beautiful noise, when they rock gently in the wind. It looks like it took quite some time to make it like that. Corals are picked from the beach in front of the bar. If you want to make your own string of corals, the stuff will give you a fishing rope, you can find corals and make yourself a souvenir 🙂
Walking around the island we found a few nice beachfront accommodations, where you can enjoy your own beach. Also their price is very reasonable. There are also a few restaurants and bars along the way. The fact that it doesn’t offer anything special, is what makes Gili Meno special. It is very authentic and you can easily find your own private beach anywhere. Beaches and water are very clean. We would nominate clear water and sand as best landmarks of Gili Meno.
As on Gili T, they also have turtle sanctuary and are also very proud about their turtles. We just saw a small, kind of abandoned sanctuary at Diane bar, but we heard, there are more of them in the center of the island.
The local boats
A few words about our transportation. Even when we got from Lombok to Gili T and again on our way to Gili Meno, we were traveling with local boats. This was a true local transport that we were looking for. We had a chance to share a ride with bunch of locals and also:
- wooden boards for building,
- raw chicken meat,
- fresh fruit,
- and much more.
When boarding these boats, you should be careful where you step or sit. This is especially recommended, if you have some expensive equipment (camera, smart phone, tablet…). When we were on our way back to Gili T, the sea was a bit rough and two girls next to us got really wet together with their camera.
Ok, so since we have been on both Gillis, we can offer you a comparison.
If you are more of a party person, Gili T is definitely for you. A lot of bars, shops, people and beautiful beaches will make you happy throughout your holiday. But if you are more relaxed and want to power-off, you should choose Gili Meno. You will recharge your batteries and still: if you want to party, you can visit Gili T. Bottom line: with our lifestyle we would probably choose Gili Meno, if we will ever go back again. Oh, and there are no Mosques on Meno to shorten your night sleep. Your time is marked only by occasional tingling of bells of a passing horse carriage. Just for consideration. 🙂