Indonesia Part 3: The Gili Islands (Gili Meno)

Our next stop was Gili Meno- the smallest and quietest of the three islands, tucked in the middle of Gili T and Gili Air. I’d read before we took our trip that this was the least developed of all the islands (not that you find any chain hotels or high-rises to speak of on any  of them!), so we were excited to check it out and really *zen*. Gili Meno is also the best place to see sea turtles swimming in the shallows and nibbling on the reef, just steps from the beach. The locals have set up a sanctuary here too, where they protect baby turtles until they’re strong enough to stand a better chance in the big blue.

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There are boats which hop between the islands, and they leave throughout the day. I think that we had to buy a ticket the morning we wanted to actually travel. It’s all a bit ‘organised chaos’ at the harbours, so if in doubt, double check what you’re buying! You’d think from the proximity of the islands to each other that it would be possible to swim between them all. This is discouraged, I think because of the reefs which surround the islands, and some invisible currents.

We stayed at the Meno Dream Resort in the ‘Dream room’. It was a really simple and traditional bungalow with a hammock on the veranda to chill in. I think it was around £24 a night on Agoda. The boys who ran the place were lovely and really sociable. The chef even asked us what food we liked, and went to the fishermen to get me a snapper which he cooked beautifully! You can find the Meno Dream Resort through Agoda here.

Our favourite place to hang out was probably a beach bar called Diana Cafe, on the East coast. It had a really chilled shabby-chic vibe, with lots of wind charms and decorations made out of driftwood and washed up coral. You really get the feel of how remote the islands are. We also went out for one fancy dinner on this island at a restaurant and boutique hotel called Mahamaya. It had beautiful beach-front tables under palm trees hung with lanterns. The food here was really nice, and we had some great cocktails.

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The vibe on Meno is similar to the other islands, but it’s definitely quieter. A few different people that we met were giving Meno a miss all together and just visiting Gili T and Air. I think we actually liked the solitude of the island. As a couple used to London, we were really thankful to be able to just hang out on the beach with nothing to do but read, swim with turtles, cycle around, and eat good food. Perfect!

Charlotte x

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