Gili Air is the closest of the three islands to Lombok and the most populated with 1800 habitants. In its earlier days of tourism Air was the quiet getaway from the partygoers of Trawangan, however, with the rise in more upmarket hotels and resorts on Trawangan the budget traveler is now starting to choose Gili Air.
Gili Air has a more laid back atmosphere than the other Gilis and can at times feel like you are getting back to nature. There are still plenty of things to keep yourself occupied with. One thing most people don’t know about Gili Air is that you can surf. There is a right hand break to the south west of the island called “playgili” it doesn’t really deserve the name ‘playgili” as it can be quite dangerous with it breaking on the coral reef.
Of course swimming and snorkeling is in abundance of the island and there are fine white sandy beaches to bathe to your hearts desire. There are around 4 dive operations on Air and most dives will certainly take you to the infamous ‘Gili Air Wall’ which is a 24 foot vertical drop into the deep blue. Most divers return having spotted Lion fish Leaf Scorpion fish and of course the occaisional Sea Horse.
Nightlife on Air is not as vivacious as Trawangan however you will certainly find a place to suit you. There are bars that many divers frequent after their dives and sharing stories is plentiful. In recent times there have been reports of ‘goa style’ beach parties that have lasted a full two days! Is Gili Air going to have a revival and dwarf its sister Trawangan? Only time will tell although time does seem to stop once you reach these islands.