If you’re looking to leave the big smoke, but aren’t entirely ready to let go of the creature comforts of Bali – the luxury villas, cold-press coffee shops, abundant yoga studios and vegan restaurants on every corner – then head to the island of Nusa Lembongan, which lies in wait just seven miles (12 kilometers) to the east.
On this Hindu
In spite of recent development, Nusa Lembongan is still a lovely place to pass a few days. Go surfing at Shipwrecks, watch the sunset over Bali’s Mount Batur, dive with manta rays, or hike to the white sand and clear water at Mushroom Bay.
Rent a scooter in Nusa Lembongan (make sure you're covered before hopping on) and find your way over the recently rebuilt yellow suspension bridge to the neighboring island of Nusa Ceningan.
The bridge is excitingly narrow and the waterway below is home to
Be sure to stop at the gorgeous Blue Lagoon before you leave, famous for its clear blue waters.
Just a 10-minute boat trip from Nusa Lembongan, you’ll find
Start at Atuh Beach, where you could have the beach to yourself, as the steep descent to the sand keeps many people away. Head on to Pura Goa Giri Putri Cave, don a sarong and squeeze through the narrow opening in the
On the west side of the island, visit Broken Beach, where a natural rock arch spans the sea below, and nearby Angel’s Billabong, a natural rock pool carved out of the volcanic sea cliff.
“Gili" means "island” in the local Sasak language, but for most travelers “Gili” only refers to one of three places: Gili Trawangan, Gili Air
The Gilis are considered part of Lombok, so the local people are predominantly Sasak Muslims. All three Gilis are motorized-vehicle-free, so you’ll have to walk or cycle to get around.
Gili T is the largest and most developed of the trio. Known among backpackers as a party island, the eastern side is home to many beach bars and reggae clubs, and house and electronic music
If the bright lights become too much, escape to the west side, where families and resort-lovers find
Grab dinner at the Night Market, watch a local stick fighting competition or explore the underwater world; Gili T is one of the world’s cheapest and safest places to learn to scuba dive. Dive sites including Shark Point, Mantra Point
To neutralize your carbon footprint, join Gili Eco Trust for the Debris Free Friday beach clean-up, or try the RE-Cycle Gili Tour which focuses on the Sasak culture, sustainability and includes an eye-opening visit to the dump.
If the thought of beer pong tables (the drinking game) makes you cringe, head to Gili Air; it’s the Goldilocks island – not too busy, not too quiet – with just the right mix of amenities, authenticity
Yet, Gili Air is far from boring; here you can snorkel with turtles, hire a glass-bottom kayak or take a yoga class. Watch the sunset with a cold Bintang in hand and chat with the locals as they cook up chargrilled corn on the cob with sambal (Indonesian chili sauce).
Gili Meno could easily be renamed
You’ll find the indigenous population of Gili Meno to be enterprising and friendly; they are proud of their island and love talking about it as they offer you a fresh cut pineapple or beach massage.
Walk around the island, dive with vibrant colored fish and go shoe-free for your entire trip.
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