Sunset on Gili Asahan. Lombok, Indonesia, July 2015.
Sunset on Gili Asahan. Lombok, Indonesia, July 2015.

Going to an island far from everything

#Indonesia #Lombok

  Indonesia: Lombok + Bali + Bangka - July 2015

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation of an article originally written in French. I apologise for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have resulted. If you read French, click on the French flag below to access the original, correct text: 


To leave. To breathe. To dream. Away from the hustle and bustle of the world... Head for Gili Asahan, a small and peaceful Indonesian island, in the southwest of Lombok.

Need for islands

July 4, 2015. I finally set foot on the island whose name I have memorized like a mantra, for weeks: Gili Asahan. It is located in Sekotong Bay, in the southwest of Lombok, the neighboring island of Bali.

In Lombok, we talk sasak and the word "gili" (pronounced "guili") means "island". The most famous of the foreign travelers - and the most frequented - are the northwest ones: Gili Trawangan, Gili Air and Gili Meno. I have already been there, about ten years ago, when they were still relatively unvisited (at least not like today). But this time, they will not be part of my itinerary.

I need islands, but in quiet mode. I want to be a little away from the tourist flow to start this new Indonesian trip...

Gili Asahan. Lombok, Indonesia, July 2015.
Gili Asahan. Lombok, Indonesia, July 2015.
The beach at Gili Asahan. Lombok, Indonesia, July 2015.
The beach at Gili Asahan. Lombok, Indonesia, July 2015.

Travelling light (without my knowledge)

When I set foot on the small beach of blond sand of Gili Asahan, it is still time for the "selamat siang" in Indonesia - the mid-day "good morning", which stretches from 11am to 3pm.

For all luggage, I only have my "cabin" bag and a plastic bag containing two-three colorful clothes and a beach sarong, bought in a hurry for a few rupees in the middle of the night, in Bali, near the airport, in a huge tourist horror store: the Krisna, open 24 hours a day. This will be my holiday change for a day or two. My big bag with wheels stayed in Dubai. He missed the connection!

My survival kit "beachesque" for two days. Bali, July 2015.
My "beachy" survival kit for two days. Bali, July 2015.

I'm not so much upset as I am amused. I'm rather amused by this new situation, because it's the very first time in my life as a traveler (for the last twenty years) that I don't get my checked luggage back at the arrival... And it's the first time in a long time that I travel so light!

Sekotong Bay

So without having to check in any luggage, I took a domestic flight in the morning to Lombok, on Lion Air (the famous Indonesian company with prayer booklet I already talked about here). Sublime view on the Agung volcano which dominates Bali. A big half hour flight.

Mount Agung, in Bali, rises to more than 3,000 meters. Indonesia, July 2015.
Mount Agung, in Bali, rises to more than 3,000 meters. Indonesia, July 2015.

Then it's a two-hour drive to Sekotong, in southwest Lombok. Then a fifteen minutes boat ride to Gili Asahan.

Gili Asahan is part of an archipelago of beautiful and little known islands in the bay of Sekotong: Gili Layar, Gili Gede, Gili Rengit, Gili Nanggu... There are a few rare tourist accommodations, fishing villages at the foot of the hills, herds of cows and goats on the go, nice coral reefs and, above all, a very peaceful atmosphere, which enchanted me upon arrival.

Gili Asahan. Lombok, July 2015.
Gili Asahan. Lombok, July 2015.
It bites ! Near the village of Gili Asahan. Lombok, Indonesia, July 2015.
It bites ! Near the village of Gili Asahan. Lombok, Indonesia, July 2015.
Gili Asahan. Lombok, July 2015.
Gili Asahan. Lombok, July 2015.

So I will wait, to dive, until my bag arrives (the day after tomorrow). All my equipment is inside... At the moment, I don't care. I am so happy to be here, on this small Indonesian island, far from everything!

Time suspends its flight. My first sunset is sumptuous. I discover, at night, billions of stars. And I fall asleep blissfully, not in the least disturbed by the clucking of the geckos.

Sunset on Gili Asahan. Lombok, Indonesia, July 2015.
Sunset on Gili Asahan. Lombok, Indonesia, July 2015.

  Indonesia: Lombok + Bali + Bangka - July 2015

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  1. Sekotong... We discovered it while arriving from the Bali-Lombok ferry: I saw this corner of paradise on the right and I said to my wife "I want to go there! We met there the nicest people of the planet...
    It's still a treat to follow your peregrinations, I look forward to the pictures from the other side of the surface.

    1. Hello, small question after reading your article. We are leaving in 3 days for a 3 weeks trip in Indonesia, and we chose to sleep on the coast near Gili Kedis, thinking of going on islands (Asahan, Gede, Layar, or another) for a nice excursion, possibly snorkeling or admiring beautiful landscapes peacefully). Would you have one of these islands to advise us? Well, a choice among the different islands if you have made several... Thanks in advance for your feedback! and Bravo for all these beautiful photos and very interesting articles!

    2. @groisy: I only stayed during this trip on Gili Asahan. I only saw the others (Gede, Layar, etc.) from the open sea, by boat, when we were going to dive... I am therefore unable to make a comparison... You will advise on the spot, you will also probably make walks from one to another... Do not hesitate to come back to make a small report on your return! Selamat jalan, have a good trip!!! 🙂

  2. I'm not the one to tell you that I don't like islands! I haven't been to Cozumel in Mexico for a long time, even if it's not the dream island and it's shared with mass tourism, there's something about it that I like (and the diving is not bad either!)
    Enjoy!!

  3. I have been attracted to Indonesia for a long time, and as soon as one of your new articles comes out, I rush to go and read it... I hope one day I will be able to go there too to have my own experience 🙂
    Eager to read what follows !

    Virginia

    1. @Virginia: I never get tired of Indonesia, the archipelago is huge, there is so much to discover... I hope you will have the opportunity to go there one day, you will not regret it.
      🙄

  4. Of Indonesia, I only know Bali, which I was enchanted by (except for Kuta, too many people). I really like small islands a little off the beaten track (I think of Tioman in Malaysia or Les Saintes in Guadeloupe for example) so I put this one on the list. Your texts and photos are superb.

  5. Hello
    this one I put aside for my next trip to Bali. I like these islands far from the tourist..... my last immersion was more east in "la ptite képa" near Flores. I'm waiting to go back to Indonesia with impatience. But I'll keep dreaming while waiting for your underwater pictures........

  6. Long live the isolated islands, where calm and serenity reign.
    The magic operates in these lost corners where nature and the inhabitants are authentic 😀
    Mass tourism very little for me too!
    In Corsica I really enjoy finding uncrowded beaches, however I insist on the fact that people are dirty...cigarette butts, dog poop, cans or plastics, it spoils the landscape..yuck 🙁
    Kisses while waiting for more ...
    Gili Asahan, 2016 destination, combined with Alor? The future will tell but it will be on the agenda for the years to come! You give us so much desire...

  7. Hello, I came across your famous blog because I needed to "take the air" for lack of travel. I will follow your adventures with envy and amazement.
    I really like the way you tell it, I feel like I'm there.

    1. @Alimata: I had to do without, for two days. Quite a challenge. For lack of Trobird, I found myself with nice stinging wounds in the tropical water, just wanting to snorkel a little on the housereef with borrowed mask and snorkel, waiting for the bag to arrive... Hard, the life of a middle-class adventurer without a bag on wheels.

  8. Hello Corinne,
    there are boat shuttles several times a day to gili asaha? it was organized by your hotel? thanking you for this beautiful article!

    1. @Juju: I do not know ... It will be necessary to ask on the spot or to find a boat. I was the diving center or the hotel, I do not know, with whom I had made contact before, who had organized the crossing ...

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