Gili Air Lombok : Quite, Nice Beaches and Perfect Coral Reefs for Snorkeler
Gili Air is the smallest of the Gilis and it’s closest to the Lombok mainland, making it popular with honeymoon couples and travelers seeking a quiet retreat. It has a population of about 1,000 and administratively lies in the West Nusa Tenggara province. The island offers excellent snorkeling and scuba diving off its east coast, and turtles can be seen along the coral reef.
The island still maintains its rural charm, as tourism is relatively new. In the early eighties it was backpackers who first discovered the three little islands of Air, Meno and Trawanggan, (gili, means small island) and basically not much has changed on Gili Air since then except that the level of services and facilities has grown little by little over the years.
Coconut Cottages and The Frangipani Garden Restaurant are located in a Coconut grove on the east coast of Gili Air only 100m from the beach where you can enjoy some of the best snorkeling on the island. Coconut was opened in 1992 by Kamil and his Scottish wife Elaine and together with their family hope to make your stay on the island relaxing and enjoyable.
The island of Gili Air is, with approximately 1,800 inhabitants, the most densely populated island of the archipelago made up of three small atolls (Gili Air, Gili Meno and Gili Trawangan). The local inhabitants (the Sasak) are very kind and hospitable to tourists.
Muslim is the prevailing religion, and is observed assiduously by the inhabitants of the island. Their religious ideas are in no way disturbed by the comparison with other cultures, customs and different uses, above all from western cultures.
The island economy has only recently been transformed from the fish market to a prevalently tourist market. There are continually new small resorts and restaurants springing up, which last just one season, whilst others, with greater experience, manage to establish themselves, and provide modest and primitive services that are of great interest to the tourists arriving on the island, in search of primitive adventures.
A holiday on the island of Gili Air will long be impressed on the visitor’s mind, as a kind of ‘Terrestrial Paradise’ that still exists on earth
The Sasak are worth noting for their splendid rites and their beautiful dances.
On the island, the only means of transport are the cidomo, which are small horse-drawn carts that transport people from one part of the island to another.
Gili Air has rich tropical vegetation, with many coconut palm trees, and is one of the most beautiful and still unpolluted natural areas.