The Secret Gilis of Lombok

Heri Sisworo

Heri Sisworo

On English
Beautiful aerial scenery of Giri Kedis island with aquamarine water in Lombok, Indonesia (c) Shutterstock Beautiful aerial scenery of Giri Kedis island with aquamarine water in Lombok, Indonesia (c) Shutterstock

Everyone has heard abot the three Gilis (Trawangan, Meno, and Air) located at the northwest coast of Lombok. However, there are other gilis or small islands in Sasak language. There are 26 gilis surrounding Lombok to be exact, each has their own beauty. The recently gaining popularity is Gili Kedis and its neighboring islands.

Aerial view of exotic Gili Kedis island with turquoise water in Lombok, Indonesia (c) Shutterstock
Aerial view of exotic Gili Kedis island with turquoise water in Lombok, Indonesia (c) Shutterstock

In the southwest coast of Lombok, there are several other gilis, located near Lembar Port, the main port connecting Lombok and Bali. These gilis have wonderful natural beauty and yet they are not very popular (yet!). The natural and untouched setting of them make many tourist dub these islands as the secred gilis of Lombok.

The small Gili Kedis

Beautiful aerial scenery of Giri Kedis island with aquamarine water in Lombok, Indonesia (c) Shutterstock
Beautiful aerial scenery of Giri Kedis island with aquamarine water in Lombok, Indonesia (c) Shutterstocku6

Gili Kedis is a very small island located just by the coast of Lombok. It’s so small you probably need four to seven minutes to go around it. However, luckily, size doesn’t matter this time. Kedis has wonderful white sandy beach and healthy colorful reef in its coast. There is literally nothing but nature in this island, and the area is not yet crowded with tourists. This is an ideal site for photography.

Reef conservation at Gili Sudak

Gili Sudak in the middle of a blue ocean.
Gili Sudak in the middle of a blue ocean.

Just north of Kedis, there is Gili Sudak, the biggest island in this specific cluster. The biggest here doesn’t mean much as Sudak is pretty small itself. Sudak is surrounded by white sandy beach, ideal for snorkeling as you can easily see colorful reefs and fish jut by swimming at its beach. There is a conservation effort in this island to help the reef grow by planting them in a man-made platform underwater.

The Secluded Gili Tangkong

Aerial view of a Caribbean desert island in a turquoise water with tourist swimming in the sea. Gili Trawangan, Gili Nanggu, Gili Kedis, Gili Sundak Indonesia (c) Shutterstock
Aerial view of a Gili in a turquoise water with tourist swimming in the sea of Indonesia (c) Shutterstock

Gili Tangkong is somehow the most secluded island in this area. The reason is because there is no direct sail from the bigger port to this island. Visitors usually comes to Kedis, Sudak or Nanggu before then hopping to Tangkong that happens to be located between them.

That makes Tangkong a scudded island with gorgeous beaches, wonderful landscape, and of course rich underwater life. Some say that Tangkong offers the best snorkeling experience here.

The Virgin Gili Nanggu

Aerial Gili Sundak, Gili Nanggu (c) Shutterstock
Aerial Gili Sundak, Gili Nanggu (c) Shutterstock

Gili Nanggu is probably the most interesting place. Just like all islands in this cluster, there are not much going on in this place. The accommodation is limited in number, but not in quality. Most tourists enjoy the island by exploring on foot. They can, of course, relax on its white sandy beach, swim in its crystal clear waters, or snorkel to appreciate its wonderful coral reef.

There will be no hawker or annoying guide that will bother you here. Gili Nanggu is managed with a concept of a virgin island with untouched natural beauty.

beautiful small island view by drone during sunrise (c) Shutterstock
beautiful small island view by drone during sunrise (c) Shutterstock

These gilis are all accessible via boat from many ports in western Lombok. You can depart from Senggigi, Lembar, or West Sekotong Port. Accommodation and amenities here are relatively cheaper than the more popular destinations. Island hopping in this small islands will give you the sense of exploring an untouched world.

However, the limited accommodation in these island requires you to prepare really well. For example, if you want to enjoy Gili Kedis, you must bring your own drinking water and food. Are you ready for an adventure in these pristine islands?