Gili Nanggu: a relaxing small island getaway

Indonesia is country of some 17,000 islands.  These range from the big and well-populated islands of Java, Sumatra and Bali – to the smaller and sometimes uninhabited islands that lay scattered around the country.  Last week was a public holiday for the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad (Maulid Nabi Muhammad), so some friends and I took the opportunity to explore one of Lombok’s lesser known islands: Gili Nanggu.

Approaching Gili Nanggu

Approaching Gili Nanggu

Setting off with our young captain

Setting off with our young captain

This small island is located to the South-West of Mataram; near the village of Seketong.  It is the perfect size for a quiet getaway.  To get there you can take a boat from the mainland – we paid a local family 300.000 rupiah for a return trip on their little boat, which, for a group of four people was quite reasonable (it works out to about $8 Australian each).  The trip itself took about 15 minutes.
The accommodation on Gili Nanggu

The accommodation on Gili Nanggu

Gili Nanggu is tiny.  You can walk around the entire island in about 20 minutes and as far as facilities go, there is only one place to stay: the Gili Nanggu Cottages.  This place contains a handful of simple bungalows and a restaurant  The bungalows are nice – very simple and is currently being fixed up – but be warned: this is basic accommodation.  If you are in need of 5-star facilities – Gili Nanggu is not for you.  The room contains a bed with a mozzie net; and the bathroom contains a saltwater – yes, saltwater – shower and toilet.  Underneath the bungalow is an area to sit down and relax.  We spent most of our time sitting on the beach, swimming (and snorkeling), and playing beach volleyball.  There are most things available for hire but we brought our own volleyball net and ball.

Yes, this place has swings!

Yes, this place has swings!

This is the perfect place to sit and relax, read a book or go for a swim.  The panorama from the beach is beautiful and it doesn’t take long to forget about the rest of the world.  At night you can fall asleep listening to the waves gently crashing on the shore and wake up with the rising sun to another day of beach and relaxation.  A reasonable breakfast is included with the accommodation.
Gili Nanggu is perfect for a snorkelling day trip – or a one-night stay, as we did.  Anything longer might be a bit much to take – unless you’re really serious about leaving the rest of the world behind.
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