Do you sometimes wish you could just take a step back from the fast-paced world we live in? Are you looking for a secluded island for your honeymoon? Whether you need to unwind, disconnect or simply enjoy a romantic getaway, a trip to a remote island paradise could just be the answer you are looking for.
Indonesia, with over 18,000 islands, is a top spot for those who are looking for Far East adventure holidays. Among the most beloved islands in the country are the Gili islands—Gili Trawangan, Gili Air, and Gili Meno.
The largest island, fondly called Gili T, is a popular destination for young budget adventurers and the party-going crowd. Considered the more upscale and exclusive island, Gili Air draws in a more mature crowd. The smallest and quietest island among the tree is Gili Meno.
With a gorgeous stretch of fine white sands, crystal clear waters, vibrant coral reefs, and diverse flora and fauna, the island of Gili Meno is truly a slice of tropical paradise.
Less developed and less populated compared to neighbouring islands, the accommodation and restaurant options are quite sparse. Although there is an accommodation at different price points—traditional rice houses called lumbung, bungalows, boutique resorts, villas and luxury oceanfront cabanas. Motorised vehicles are prohibited in the island and the preferred transportation method is by foot, bicycle or a horse drawn carriage called cidomo. These all add to the island life experience.
Nightlife is nearly non-existent as most establishment close by 9 PM. What you get, however, are serene and laid-back nights. If you are lucky, a blanket of twinkling stars will illuminate the island and the calming sound of ebbing waves can lull you to a peaceful sleep.
While the island is an idyllic spot for relaxation, there are ample options for recreational activities.
Gili Meno has the best diving sites in the Gili islands. Three diving spots around the island that are popular with scuba divers are Sea Point Turtle where you can encounter large groups of sea turtles, Point Coral, and Meno Wall.
Measuring just two kilometres long, walking around the island is an ideal activity. Break away from lounging, kick off your sandals and explore barefoot while taking in the glorious view.
On the west side of the island is an inland seawater lake that produces salt during the dry season. The salt river is a must in every visitor’s itinerary.
The island also houses a small dome-shaped bird park with an impressive 200 species of birds including flamingos, brightly coloured parrots, eagles, pelicans, and cockatoos. Viewing the diverse and beautiful feathered creatures can keep both adults and children entertained for hours.
All over the island are beaches that are perfect for swimming and snorkeling. Odds are the turtles that you encounter while swimming, snorkeling, or scuba diving came from the sanctuary.
The majority of sea turtles in Gili islands hatch within sanctuaries. This gives them a better chance of surviving their first few months. Around 500 baby sea turtles are hatched in Gili Meno sea turtle sanctuary alone. The sanctuary releases these beautiful ‘gentle giants’ when they turn a year old. Young ones can learn about the creatures and the importance of environmental conservation.
If you run out of ideas, you can always lie down the fine soft sand and witness the sunrise or sunset with a cold beverage in hand. The island view in itself is magnificent.
Charles is a world traveler having lived in 44 states and 11 countries and traveled to dozens more. He and his wife spend time between London, Ireland, Canada, and the Philippines.