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 + Bali + Bangka - July 2015

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text: 


Go. Breathe. Dream. Away from the hustle and bustle of the world ... Head to Gili Asahan, a small peaceful Indonesian island, in the southwest of Lombok.

Needing 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 the bay of Sekotong, in the south-west of Lombok, the neighbouring island of Bali.

In Lombok, we talk sasak and the word "gili" (pronounced "gili") means "island". The best known of the foreign visitors - and the most visited - are those from the northwest: Gili Trawangan, Gili Air and Gili Meno. I've been there before, about ten years ago, when they were still relatively uncrowded (at least not like today). But this time, they won't 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 journey ...

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.

Traveling lightly (unbeknownst to you)

When I set foot on the small golden sand beach of Gili Asahan, it's still time for "selamat siang" in Indonesia - the midday "hello", which runs from 11am to 3pm.

For any luggage, I have only my "cabin" bag and a plastic bag containing two or three colourful clothes and a beach sarong, bought in haste for a few rupees in the middle of the night, in Bali, near the airport, in a huge tourist horror shop: the Krisna, open 24 hours a day. It will be my change of holiday-maker 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 survival kit "beachesque" for two days. Bali, July 2015.

I'm not that upset. Rather amused by this unprecedented situation, because it's the very first time in my life as a traveller (in about twenty years) that I don't get my hold luggage back on arrival... And it's the first time in a long time that I've travelled so light!

Sekotong Bay

It was therefore without the need to check baggage that I took a domestic flight, early in the morning for Lombok, on Lion Air (the famous Indonesian company with prayer book I already mentioned 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.

It will take about two hours to reach Sekotong, southwest of Lombok. Then fifteen minutes by boat to Gili Asahan.

Gili Asahan is part of an archipelago of superb and little known islands in Sekotong Bay: Gili Layar, Gili Gede, Gili Rengit, Gili Nanggu... There are some rare tourist accommodations, fishing villages at the foot of the hills, herds of cows and goats on the prowl, nice coral beds and, above all, a very peaceful atmosphere, which enchants me from the moment I arrive.

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 for my bag to arrive (the day after tomorrow). All my equipment is in it... I don't care at the moment. I'm 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 smugly, not the least bit disturbed by the giggles of geckos.

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

Indonesia Travel 2015

  Indonesia: Lombok + Bali + Bangka - July 2015

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  1. Sekotong ... It was discovered on arrival from the Bali-Lombok ferry: I saw this piece of paradise on the right and I told my wife "I want to go there! ". We met the nicest people on the planet ...
    It is still a treat to follow your wanderings, I look forward to the pictures on the other side of the surface.

    1. Hello, little question after reading your article. We leave in 3 days for a 3-week trek in Indonesia, and we chose to sleep on the coast near Gili Kedis, thinking about going on islands (Asahan, Gede, Layar, or another) for a nice excursion, possibly snorkelling or admire beautiful landscapes peacefully). Do you have any of these islands to advise us? finally a choice among the different islands if you have made several ... Thank you in advance for your return! and congratulations for all these beautiful pictures and very interesting articles!

    2. @groisy: je n’ai séjourné lors de ce voyage que sur gili Asahan. Je n’ai aperçu les autres (Gede, Layar, etc.) que du large, en bateau, lorsque nous allions plonger… Je suis donc bien incapable de faire un comparatif… Vous aviserez sur place, vous ferez aussi sans doute des balades de l’une à l’autre… N’hésitez pas à revenir faire un petit compte rendu au retour ! Selamat jalan, bon voyage !!! 🙂

  2. I'm not going to tell you that I do not like islands! I have not moved from Cozumel to Mexico since a hell of a lot, even if it's not the dream island and it's shared with mass tourism, it has something that holds me and that I love (and then the dive is not overdone either!)
    Enjoy!!

  3. Il y a bien longtemps que l’Indonésie m’attire, et dès que l’un de vos nouveaux articles sort, je m’empresse d’aller le lire … J’espère un jour pouvoir y aller aussi y faire ma propre expérience 🙂
    Eager to read what follows !

    Virginia

    1. @Virginia: I do not get tired of Indonesia, the archipelago is huge, there is so much to discover ... I hope you will one day have the opportunity to go, you will not regret it.
      🙄

  4. From Indonesia, I only know Bali, which had delighted me (except Kuta, too many people). I love the small islands a little off the beaten track (I think Tioman in Malaysia or Saintes in Guadeloupe for example) so I put it on the list. Your texts and photos are superb.

  5. Hello
    this one I put aside for my next trip to Bali. I love these islands far from the tourist ... ..my last immersion was further east to "ptite képa" near Flores. I am looking forward to returning to Indonesia. But I will continue to dream while waiting for your photos under the water ...... ..

  6. Long live the isolated islands, where calm and serenity reign.
    La magie opère dans ces coins perdus ou la nature et les habitants sont authentiques. 😀
    Mass tourism very little for me too!
    En Corse j’apprécie vraiment de trouver des plages peu fréquentées, toutefois j’insiste sur le fait que les gens sont sales…mégots, crotte de chien, canettes ou plastiques, ça gâche la paysage..beurk 🙁
    Kisses while waiting for more ...
    Gili Asahan, destination 2016, combined with Alor? The future will tell but it will be in the program 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 want of traveling. I will follow your adventures with envy and amazement.
    I like your way of telling how I feel.

    1. @Alimata: I had to do without, for two days. Sacred challenge. For lack of Trobird, I found myself with nice welts of stinging things that drag in the tropical fleet, just wanting to snorkel a little on the housereef with borrowed mask, while waiting for the said bag ... Hard, the life of adventurous gentrified without a bag with wheels.

  8. Hello,

    Where did you stay on Gili Asahan? Do you have something to advise us?

    thanks in advance

  9. Hello Corinne,
    there are boat shuttles several times a day for gili asaha? it was organized by your hotel? Thank 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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