Gili Meno


Gili Meno is the middle and the smallest of the three Gili Islands with the lowest population of only a few hundred. It is not as developed as Trawangan or Air and has its own special tranquil style. The pace is a much slower here with the laid back and uncomplicated charm of a true castaway tropical island experience. The water is a clear turquoise and the beaches are covered in fine brilliant white sand, fringed with groves of coconut plams.

Although investors are steadily buying up land, especially on the west coast facing Gili Trawangan, there is no major development on the island as yet. There are a few upmarket villas but no large resorts. Fortunately much of the investment taking place here is low-key and perhaps recognising the pristine nature of the island, plans tend to be along enviromentally sustainable and ecologically sound concepts. For now, small hotels and basic beachside bungalows provide accommodation for those seeking a peaceful place in the sun with un crowded beaches, clean waters and peaceful nights under the star filled skies. Like all the Gilis, the main activity is along the east coast, with most tourist facilities (including boat docking and departure) in the south.

Although there are small places dotted all around the island, many of the hotels and restaurants are located along the south eastern coast, with beautiful views over Gili Air and Mt Rinjani to the east. It is possible to walk around the whole island on a small beachside track in around 90 minutes. The best place for snorkelling is off the northwest coast, near Blue Coral Bungalow, which was named for the blue corals just offshore. The reef offers a good variety of coral and many small colourful fish.

There is good snorkelling off the west coast near the now defunct Bounty Resort. Swim out to where the old pontoon has sunk and become a home for many fish. There is also nice coral close to shore on the northwest coast, where it is possible to see Green, leatherback and Hawksbill turtles.