On the 5th August 2018, a magnitude 6.9 earthquake struck the island of Lombok in Indonesia. The large, shallow quake was felt in nearby Bali, as well as the tiny Gili Islands. The news reports covered a lot of the devastation in Lombok, but the Gilis also suffered. The physical destruction was less on these little islands, but the impact to tourism was significant.
Now, almost one year later, the aftershocks can still be felt in the form of fear as tourists continue to stay away. For the local people, earthquakes are part of life here in the Ring of Fire, and they have accepted that some things in life you have no control over.
Two years ago I altered my own travel plans to come to Bali because of the then (and still) erupting Mount Agung, so I completely understand the fear. But the people here thrive off tourism, and for many of them it is how they feed their families. And while it is nice to not be surrounded by a mass of other tourists, it would be nice to see the restaurants a little more full and lively.
That being said, Gili Air is one of my favourite places I’ve visited. The people are incredibly friendly and go out of their way to make sure you enjoy yourself. The water is so blue and clear, and a quick boat trip will take you to a spot where you can swim with sea turtles and clown fish. Cheap prices, happy hours, and beautiful sunsets are kind of the icing on the cake.
This is the best spot to enjoy a true vacation and some lazy island life. You can lounge on the beach, swim out for a snorkel, then come back and enjoy a Bintang to quench your thirst. You could even go for a massage that will cost you around $15 for an hour.
If you’re visiting Bali, a trip to the Gilis is a must, and Gili Air is the one that has it all. Maybe you can find your own piece of paradise!