GETTING TO GILI MENO
There are no direct flights from the U.S. to Indonesia, but there are many options for a single connection flight, most often through Hong Kong or Singapore and then on to Bali, Lombok or Jakarta Airports in Indonesia. The flights are long and you may want take a couple days in Bali or a night in Jakarta before traveling on to the Gili’s.
Once you arrive at any of the airports in Indonesia, you will need to purchase a tourist Visa for $ 25 when going through customs. You are also required to pay a departure fee of 150,000 Rupiah (around $ 18) so be sure to save some cash for this.
1. Arrival into Denpasar airport in Bali – RECOMMENDED – BEST OPTION
There are flights from Hong Kong, and Singapore directly to Denpasar airport in Bali. Bali is a wonderful place to stay the night after your long flight or even for a few days before heading over to Lombok. You can catch the Gilicat speed boat from Pedang Bay daily to Lombok. Gilicat is a 1 hour 15 minute trip strait to Lombok and the Gili Islands. Book your Gilicat tickets in advance here. There isn’t a bathroom on the Gilicat, so make sure you visit the restroom before you depart (Shanan learned this the hard way). The Gilicat is about $70 per person and goes directly to Lombok and Gili Trawangan, the largest and most developed of the Gili Islands. Once you arrive you can hop on to the Island hopper or a private boat for the quick ride over to Gili Meno. The Island hopper and private boats between the Gili’s are available all day at the office at each harbor for a few bucks. We are planning on renting a boat and may be able to pick you up from Gili Trawangan.
2. Arrival into Lombok Airport on Lombok – 2ND BEST OPTION
There are flight directly to Lombok airport from Hong Kong and other hubs in Asia. To get to Gili Meno from Lombok airport you will have to take a 1.5 hour taxi ride to either Bangsal harbor or Sengeggi beach where you can catch ferries or private boats to all of the Gili’s. It may be hard to find a flight that arrives early enough to accomplish the entire trip to Gili Meno the day you arrive and it may be very tiring to organize boat transfer to Gili meno after the 1.5 hour taxi ride the same day you arrive in Indonesia and are most likely tired from the flight. The best option might be to stay the night in one of the hotels in Lombok and then take the ferry to Gili Meno in the morning. The cheapest ferry is from Bangsal harbor (about $2/person) but your hotel will offer a more comfortable and more expensive option also. There are many hustlers who will hassle you at Bangsal harbor and you will have to step into the water and load your own luggage onto the boat so if you are not prepared to do this be sure to choose a ferry recommended by your hotel. There is a lot to see in Lombok including Mt Rinjani, rainforests and deserted beaches so it can be an interesting place to spend a few days especially if you are really looking for some adventure.
3. Arrival into Jakarta Airport
If you find yourself flying into Jakarta, you will probably want to stay a night and perhaps experience the night life and then catch a flight to either Lombok or Bali. See above about arrival into either of those airports.