If Gili Trawangan is called the party place of Gili islands, Gili Meno could be known for its tranquility. Meno is quite different from the party reputation and wild nightlife of Gili Trawangan despite being hardly a kilometer away from that island. Gili Meno is the smallest and quietest of the Gilis and relatively less developed for the visitors and tourists.
Gili Meno is very popular among honeymooners and couples, and it is not difficult to see the reasons behind it. The pristine island has all the beauty of Gili Air and Gili Trawangan, with fewer crowds. You may not find the crazy and wild nightlife of Gili Trawangan here, but there is an amazing turtle hatchery, a stunning inland lake, and fantastic snorkeling and diving opportunities.
Just read on if you need some useful tips on getting to Gili Meno, things to do there, where the best food is, and where you can rest your head.
Fast boats are the absolute easiest and cheapest way to reach Gili Meno. Boats depart regularly from the mainland of Lombok and Bali. There are a number of boats in Bali every day that can take you and drop you off at your destination in the Gili Islands.
Some bigger fast boats like those that sail under the flag of Eka Jaya cannot anchor in the harbor. There are local small boats that takes you about 50 meters from the shore to board the big boat. There is an extra charge to the local provider usually about 50k IDR. The travel from Meno to Sanur is 4 hours and to Padang Bai is 2 hours. Between the islands and to the Lombok it is possible to use the local small boats or public boat.
The majority of locals in Gili Meno Island speaks English at least at basic conversation level. Indonesian is the native language, which interestingly has a unique dialect here uncommon in both Bali and Gili Islands.
In a couple of restaurants, they only accept cash so it’s better to always have some on you. At Hotel Villa Ombak, you will find an ATM on Gili T and also on Gili Meno next to Kontiki Cottage.
Keep in mind that ATMs have low withdrawal amount limits and they are not all 24/7 so don’t delay it till the last minute.
The weather and temperature here is as close to perfect as it can be. With the rainy season running from November to April, on the average day it’s around 29 celsius so other than a scarf against the sea breeze, you won’t need any layers. The islands generally get much less rain than the Bali so it’s worth a trip even in the winter months.
You’ll enjoy two peak seasons here: December to January and July to August. These are certainly the best times to travel, but they will be the busiest as well.
Gili Meno doesn’t have the range of hotels that the other Gili islands have, but there are quite a few affordable options considering it is such a tiny island
Pondok Anjani can be a great choice if you are on a budget. A little inland from the beautiful beach, this homestay is located at the Southeast of the island. The basic wooden bungalows are wonderful for accommodation and they’ve a great attention for service and presentation. Some rooms have their own terraces and private bathrooms with showers and the prices start from about $13.7 per night.
You may check out Dea Gili Cottages if you’ve a higher budget to play with. It has a beautiful garden and it’s just a one minute walk from the beach. The brick cottages with steep tiled roofs and bamboo latticework of the ceilings are great for accommodation. Some rooms have air conditioning and private balconies with tiled, pleasant bathrooms. Prices start at around $27 per night.
Seri Resort Gili Meno can be a great choice if you are after a high-end stay in the pristine island. The gorgeous whitewashed bungalows and outdoor pool do not come cheap, though. Prices start at around $135 per night. This lovely hotel is on the Northeast coast of the island.
Gili Meno offers fewer choices compared to the other Gili Islands, but the fantastic Island has some good eateries. Of course, often a grilled fish and a cold drink is all you need when sitting with your feet in the crystal-clear water on lovely Gili Meno beach.
Mahamaya is one of the classiest restaurants on Gili Meno. It’s a little pricier than other places on Gili Meno, but the service standards and the quality of the food far exceeds the rest. Keep in mind that to enjoy the spectacular sunsets with awesome dining experience at Mahamaya, you need to get there early.
The superb cocktails and delicious Thai food continuously draw travelers to Adeng Adeng. Don’t miss out on Saturdays’ barbeque nights, where freshly caught fish is grilled & served.
Ya Ya Warung could be a great choice for the Indonesian favorites like mie goreng, nasi, and gado gado. It can be a worthy stop for lunch or even a nice dinner.
The prime activity for most tourists on Gili Meno involves just lazing around on the beautiful beaches. But, if you are itching for some activities, there are also a few things to do on this gorgeous little island.
The turtle hatchery, a popular attraction is on the Southeast coast of the island. Currently, the sanctuary is a safe home to numerous adult and baby turtles. You do not need to pay to visit them, but donations are appreciated and it’s important for the beautiful sanctuary so that they can continue the good work.
You can snorkel off the coast and see the result of the work at the hatchery, as you’re likely to spot a number of turtles alongside other sea creatures and colourful fishes. Scuba diving is another popular of activity of Gili Meno as there are many dive operators there.
Gili Meno is a serene and beautiful island, much quieter than Gili Air and Gili Trawangan. It’s popular among couples and honeymooners for its serenity and beauty. In some ways, Gili Meno is the best place to travel on the Gilis, because of Meno’s soothing and calm atmosphere. So, you can consider the beautiful Gili Meno on your next trip to the Gilis.
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