We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Must Go To Indonesian Destination”
Review of Gili Islands

Gili Islands
Book In Advance
More Info
US$75.00*
and up
Gili Island Snorkeling Day Trip
More Info
US$207.00*
and up
Gili Island Snorkeling Overnight Trip Departure From Bali Island
Ranked #15 of 171 things to do in Lombok
Attraction details
Reviewed 26 May 2014

The three Gili Islands are just awesome. Amazing settings, great beaches, diving, views, restaurants, hotels, villas and homestays for all budgets and no motor vehicles. Add in warm seas and beautiful weather and it is probably the best beach destination in Indonesia

4  Thank David A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (903)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language
  • More languages

384 - 388 of 903 reviews

Reviewed 25 May 2014

We visited Gili Trawangan for 4 days. Upon arrival to the island, we were dismayed to discover it is a crowded, noisy party town for backpackers! Even worse, we immediately noticed the cimodos, or horse drawn carriages, supposedly a 'quaint' addition to the Island atmosphere. In reality, the ponies pulling the carts are overworked, not given adequate water, grossly overloaded (with people, luggage or construction materials) and have badly fitting harness, barbaric rusty bits and feet in bad condition. Upon further investigation, we discovered the ponies are kept in tiny stalls, up to their fetlocks in manure, with no opportunity to graze or turnout. The drivers do not know how to care for them and we witnessed disgusting acts of cruelty (whipping horses to go faster, some tiny sweet ponies being forced to carry 5 or more overweight tourists and their luggage, straining under the weight). We bought a bucket and offered ponies water, when the drivers sat under the shade enjoying a break and drinking water, ponies are not offered water or sometimes even shade. Perhaps the ponies that carry the construction materials for new hotels are the worst off. We saw one pony laden with at least 15 50kg bags of cement, struggling to pull his carriage up a muddy incline. I would urge people to boycott Gili T until the government step in and take this situation seriously. There is no place for horse drawn carriages on a fragile Island ecosystem. Bicycle rickshaws or solar powered golf buggies would be a more moral and sustainable solution. We are aware of two action groups that are trying desperately to help the ponies but sadly greedy businessmen who own the horses (and exploit the drivers who earn a pittance) run a kind of horse mafia on the island, and so far have thwarted the best efforts to enforce some kind of regulations that protect the ponies from neglect and abuse. If you visit the Island, please, please do not use the carriages. Instead, let the drivers and your hotel manager know how offended you are at this practise and how it can affect their business if people stop coming to the Island. As for the rest of the Island, the hotel and restaurant staff made our stay otherwise pleasant, but the pony situation totally spoiled our holiday. We hope more people open their eyes to what is going on here and how the ponies are the ones paying the true price. The other businesses on the Island who turn a blind eye should be ashamed of themselves, especially the hotels who advertise free transfer via cimodo. Shame on Gili T. Shame on the tourists who support this cruel practise. Shame on the owners and drivers who are exploiting these innocent and beautiful creatures. We wont be back and we will be doing what we can to stop this abuse.

44  Thank TraceyLakeTekapo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 May 2014

There are no motorized vehicles, only horse-pulled buggies and bicycles for rent. The largest island, Gili Trawangan, takes 40 minutes by bicycle to ride the circumference; the smallest, Gili Air, takes 20 minutes.

Gili T is growing into more of a party island, whereas Gili Meno is very quiet, good for people looking to escape. Gili Air is a happy medium between the two, with plenty of restaurants to eat at and places to explore and lounge, but not so hectic that it's difficult to get around.

Use the island hopper to travel between islands. It costs $2 and takes 20-30 minutes. We saw people paddle board between islands as well if that suits you better.

No shortage of dive shops offering PADI certification, and the Gili's offer some of the most beautiful diving in the world. There is a price agreement amongst the island offering PADI's for around $450, so don't worry too much about price comparison.

It's always nice to stay at an ocean view resort, but there are plenty of gorgeous resorts tucked inside the mainland as well. The islands are so small that it's very easy to bike around. Consider staying inland if you want to avoid the busy areas at night time. There is only one main road on each of the islands which can be noisy during festivals.

4  Thank mindythelion
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 May 2014

Its unbelivable to see how much thing changed in the last years! Once a regular in Gili, i WILL NOT COME BACK! EVER! People have trasformed GILI T specially, in a NEW KUTA, forguet the backpaker paradise it used to be! ITS DIRTY, full of DRUNK teenagers, the beach bars have taken the beach sand with tables and bean bags, are fighting for loudest music!
FORGET the awesome Irish night wednesday partys, these days even in low season its like skygarden! Drunk teenagers, smetimes well bellow 18....! the locals are EVERYDAY hunting for drunk girls, and ready to hit the guys to assault them, sexual violence is getting a constant these days.
Last year even a couple of deaths ocurred because of altered drinks on ruddys bar, once famous for the fridays party! Now, logically.....empty!
Everythay bungalows are robbed, including HOUSES, and everything is raided and stolen !LOCALS wait for you to leave your place and break in! If you dont lock your bycicle, it wont be there after some hours! Something unthinkale even two yoears ago!
Theres is no beach anymore!!! Only a strip of dirty sand, not even white anymore! You have to swim between the boats and avoid them not to be hit! Boats are everywhere now! Rich people just run the boat aground enywhere they feel like to, THERE IS NO BEACH ANYMORE!!
The prices skyrocketed! fishing restrictions are not being aplied anymore, i see locals fishing everywhere! INCLUDING DIVE SITES!
Is really SAD to see what money and ignorance has done to once a paradise on earth in such a short time frame, look for somewhere else if you want to mert nice people in a perfect place!

30  Thank Antonio A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 May 2014

We visited Gili Trawangan, the island itself was beautiful, the people were so friendly and of course, there are plenty of great places to eat and drink. The downside for me was the amount of rubbish that is left all of the island but the worst thing was seeing how the poor horses are treated. They work all day in the heat pulling fat tourists and all their luggage up and down the street, foaming at the mouth, struggling under the load and I did not once see a water bucket anywhere for them to drink. It's appalling and it saddened me.

14  Thank ShannonH1986
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Gili Islands also viewed

Gili Islands, Lombok
Gili Meno, Gili Islands
 

Been to Gili Islands? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing