Comparing Gili Air and Gili Trawangan

If you read our Gili Air Travel Guide, you’ll know that we had a hard time choosing which Gili Island to stay on. We were between Gili Trawangan and Gili Air (since frankly, Gili Meno seemed a bit boring). Given that I’d already visited Gili T, we chose Gili Air and had a fantastic time. If you’re trying to make the same decision, here’s what we liked about Gili Air, and what I missed about Gili T.

What We Liked About Gili Air

One of the most memorable parts of my initial trip to Gili T was the mosque. It woke us up every morning at 4am; we could hear it pretty much all day long. On Gili Air, I barely noticed the mosque. It’s not close to most tourist accommodations.

Gili Air is home to many more locals than the other Gili Islands. Here, you get a better feel for the culture and daily life. It didn’t feel like as much of a tourist trap; it felt like a paradise that we wanted to call home!

The beach (mainly the southeast beach, by Scallywags) provided everything you could want: white sand, clear water, great snorkeling. The views of Lombok are incredible from this beach, too.

Lombok from Gili Air

Scuba diving. Since fun dives on all the islands and dive shops cost the same, we actually enjoyed diving from Gili Air because our price included the 25 minute boat ride to the dive site, which was right off Gili T. If you don’t like the boat ride and would rather get to the dive site as quickly as possible, you may want to stay on Gili T, as it’s close to the majority of sites.

What I Missed about Gili T

The lack of kids. Gili Air is very family friendly. We saw many families with children, whereas I didn’t see any kids on Gili T. Honestly, I preferred the childless atmosphere, but if you’re traveling with kids, Gili Air would be great.

The vibes. Gili Air is much quieter than Gili T. While I wasn’t expecting a huge party, I didn’t realize that the island pretty much shuts down after dinner; most places actually don’t serve food past 10. While I did appreciate the peace & quiet, I missed the liveliness of Gili T.

The food options. Gili T had a pretty great night market where you could buy “street food” (in quotes because, well, there’s not exactly a street) for cheap. Gili Air didn’t have this. In general, Gili T had more diverse restaurant options.

Have any questions about either of the Gili Islands?

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