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After one week on Bali we finally wanted to visit the Gili Islands. Our expectations were really high (after Bali was a little bit disappointing, but that was mainly because of the constant rain). So we took a taxi from Nusa Dua to Padang Bai. The drive took approximately one hour and cost us slightly less than IDR 300.000.

Tips for taking a taxi on Bali

Generally, you always should consider going with the Blue Bird Group because they use a meter by default (or you already know the ropes and hire a driver for a good fixed price which can be better for long distance drives or whole day trips). CAUTION: On Bali there are many “fake” Blue Bird taxis and they tend to “forget” about turning the meter on or they give you way too high fixed prices. You should avoid these, especially when you arrive on Bali and exit the airport building. Ignore all the drivers there (or simply tell them that you will be picked up) and try to get a Blue Bird (you can only get them by calling or outside of the airport area). Always note the taxi number and the driver’s name. How to identify the real Blue Bird taxis you can see here.

From Bali to Lombok

“Lombok? I thought you guys wanted to go to the Gilis!?” – exactly! Here’s the story:

After arriving in Padang Bai, we naively thought: “OK, now we just take a speed boat and we are there”. But it was already afternoon and the speed boats only leave in the morning. Damn! “Luckily” this “nice” guy from a random ticket office promised us that he can get us to Gili Trawangan TODAY. We first have to take the public ferry and then he will arrange everything else after we arrive on Lombok. But we have to book fast, the ferry will leave very soon!! So we did it and bought the totally overpriced tickets from him…

5 hours later we finally reached Lembar, Lombok and were happy to arrive soon. But there they suddenly said: “today no speed boat, too late already”. This bastard! His face looked so treacherous and I knew it was something wrong with him! I was so pissed off!

The driver who told us about that and apparently was working for the travel agency in Padang Bai brought us to another place on Lombok (Senggigi) and to another tourist office because we didn’t have a place to stay. At last it was not part of our plan to stay on Lombok. And who wants to run around in the rain in the middle of the night and look for a hotel now? So we had 2 options: staying a night in a hotel offered by the tourist office or – after a long discussion – taking the offer to get to the Gilis with a mini speed boat tonight. But the deal was to buy the tickets back to Bali from him (of course for a higher price than usual!). But, by now, we didn’t even give a fuck about that. We just wanted to arrive!

Via speed boat to Gili Trawangan at night

Going to the dark sea at night in the drenching rain?! Damn! Whatever, we said, sounds like an adventure :D. So we just entered the small speed boat…

Tobi on the mini speed boat from Lombok to Gili Trawangan

The boat didn’t even have lights, so one of the “crew members” simply used a big flashlight to shine on the sea while leaving the pier. Then the driver put the pedal to the metal and accelerated the boat. Everything we could see now were the lights of Gili Trawangan that were a few kilometers in front of us. On the right and left side we could see some kind of swimming fireflies in the sea that started to glow because of the fast ride. I don’t know how these little guys are called but it was definitely very beautiful.

After approximately 20 minutes we finally arrived on Gili Trawangan and some guys that helped us to exit the boat greeted us with the following words:

“Welcome to our little paradise!”

First impression: awesome! Luckily, we already had booked a room. The next day we were rewarded with views like this…

Dream beach on Gili Trawangan
Gili Trawangan
Beach on Gili Trawangan with a view on Gili Meno and Lombok
Beach on Gili Trawangan with a view on Gili Meno and Lombok

See also: Photo of the week: Gili Trawangan

Here are some basic tips on how to get to the Gili Islands.

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Marcel

Hi, I'm Marcel! Blogger, author, web & graphic designer and digital nomad. I love traveling in Southeast Asia and exploring wonderful beaches and trying delicious food. My home base is Koh Phangan, Thailand. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Steemit.

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