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Montag, 12. September 2016

Living in the Gili Island is definitely special and many things are different to the ordinary 9 to 5 life at home. So, when you are living here you are probably familiar with the following 15 points, if not you are getting a little sneak peek into the daily struggles and joys of us islanders:

When you live in the Gili Islands, you know....

1.  The awesome feeling when everything goes back to normal after a 14 hour "mati lampu" (power cut)

2. The disappointment when Pizzeria Regina or La Dolce Vita is closed

3. The song "I follow rivers" gets a whole new meaning when the monsoon hits Gili again

Road or river?

4. Every now and then your accomodation suddendly has a pool

5. Your social life is better than a primetime soap

6. You gained many brothers and sisters

7. One Bottle of rice wine and one cup is more than enough for 15 people at the party

8. At least 1 of your friends has dreadlocks and/or can play guitar

9. You have at least 1 cat as a pet, maybe some chickens and goats too

10. Waking up at 1am from the delicate peeping of your listric meter, running out of power by 3am

11. You constantly sit somewhere on the floor or in a berugak

12. Having a hot shower takes you to a whole new level

13. You can sing popular Reggae songs backwards (cos you heard them so often)

14You probably wear more than 1 bracelet and at least one with a Lombok pearl

15. You have never seens this many sunsets in your life before coming to these beautiful islands

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Samstag, 12. März 2016

The cats of the Gili Islands (and other places in Asia) have funny tails: short, long, bended, curly… there’s no limit to the tail models here! You wonder who has done such cruel mistreat to them? Nobody! 

The cats are simply born with their weird tails, it’s a genetic weirdness they have. So no worries: Nobody is doing anything to the tails to make them look so strange, cut them or whatever! 

My cat Mila <3

But if you see cats with tipped ears, that means they have been spayed/neutered by the organisation called “Cats of Gili“ to get the breeding on the islands under control. A couple of times per year vets and nurses come to the island and treat the cats (and other animals in need) free of charge.  So awesome!

Mila with half a tail and Peachy are both spayed (tipped ear) thanks to Cats of Gili
Ivy with her broken tail

In addition to her broken tail Ivy also has a cleft lip which makes her look even more cute

It is necessary to mark all the desexed cats because this way people can avoid bringing the same cats to the next clinic as the mark in the ear can be easily spotted without the need to spend time catching the cats. This is a common procedure all over the world where this kind of spay/neuter projects are done. Cats do not suffer from the ear marking, they are sleeping/narcotized when it’s done. 

via catsofgili.com
 If you want to support this awesome project then please visit the cat shop next to Egoiste on the main road on Gili Trawangan. 
They are open Mon. - Sat. from 12:30 till 15:30 and you can buy cat food and also cute collars for your cat at home. As a non-profit organization they are happy about any kind of donations, like old clothes and books and of course money to buy medicine and food for the sick cat patiens during the cat clinics or at the Lutwala dive cat hospital where sick and hurt cats are treated free of charge all year round.

As a resident I am very glad and thankful for this awesome work. They helped me many times treating my sick cats, I could let them vaccinate here and they are always here for advise!
If you want to help out aswell and you are not on the island it is also possible to donate online over Paypal. Cats of Gili have more information about it on their website, so please klick here.

via catsofgili.com
This article was published in cooperation with Cats of Gili. Terima kasih and meeooow <3

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Montag, 7. März 2016

Lunar eclipse on Gili T, April 4th 2015

Today, on March, 8th 2016, the Gili Islands are getting packed with visitors from all around the world because of Bali's day of silence - Nyepi on March, 9th. According to the Balinese law you are not allowed to leave your house or accomodation for the whole day and spend a day of silence, meditation and self reflection at home. It not only applys for locals but also for tourists. Nobody will be on the streets, no cars, motorbikes and even the airport will be closed - hence a true day of silence.
This means Lombok and the Gili Island are flooded with people who are trying to escape this situation which creates a tiny high season in low season for us.

Tomorrow though is not only Nyepi, it is also a special astronomical day because here in Indonesia we are getting the pleasure of witnessing a total solar eclipse. Here on Gili we will be able to see about 80% of it. In the early morning at 7:22am the Moon's shadow starts becoming visible over the Sun's disc and has it's maximum which is visible for us at 8:28am, ending at 9:43am. More info about that can be found on TimeandDate.com.

Via timeanddate.com

Please make sure to protect your eyes and do not look direcly into the sun which will result in irreparably eye damage!

The last astronomical event here was the lunar eclipse on April, the 4th 2015 when the Blood Moon was rising over Gili Trawangan.

The next total solar eclipse in Indonesia which is is similar to the one on March, 9th will not be before 2023 so make sure you do not miss the show tomorrow! :)

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Donnerstag, 3. März 2016

After visiting the Gili Islands you should definitely check out the beautiful South of Lombok. Kuta is unlike the same named city in Bali the total opposite of what you experienced there, a calm, laid back fisherman village with a small but growing tourism industry. 

Kuta Beach

If you are looking for deserted post card beaches this is your place to go! In Kuta itself there is not too much to do. It is simply a street along the beach with Warungs, Hotels and Homestays and another 2 streets going land inwards with a few restaurants, accomodations and souvenir/sarong shops. Also the beach in Kuta is not the best but the village is a good "base camp" to explore the area with a driver or by motorbike.  In case you were too scared of the crazy Indonesian traffic of central Lombok or Bali, you do not have to worry here. There is almost no traffic and even I was brave enough to hire a motorbike and explore the area.
If you drive out of Kuta eastwards you will arrive at

Tanjung Aan

As of the begining of 2016 no hotels or other accomodations are built at Tanjung Aan. Luckily, and hopefully it will stay like this! The streets to get here are a little rocky and not the best but that is maybe the reason why it stayed until now a beautiful natural beach with only a few bamboo beach huts. The sand is finely milled without coral pieces and it is super fun to swim in the water. Accasionally someone comes along to sell fresh fruits or T'shirts but other than that not many people are around. This is really a paradies beach to relax and recover. Make sure to bring some water with you and also please take the rubbish with you, nobody will clean after you.

No buildings at Tanjung Aan

If you leave Kuta and head west you will pass by a beach called Mawun. So far I have been there twice but never really enjoyed it, that is why I leave it out here. In my opinion you can skip it and continue to my favourite beach in Lombok:

Selong Belanak

This beach has a stunning scenery. Depending on the weather and the tide it is an excellent beach for surf beginners. The sand is, again, very finely milled without corals and the waves are not too big and not too small. A few surf schools offer their services but do not forget to haggle the price ;).
Even if you do not want to surf it is still a lot of fun to play in the waves and bodysurf to the shore.

Unlike Tanjung Aan here are a lot of huts on the beach where you can order local food and also cold drinks. Please always ask for the prices before you purchase/order something. Otherwise they will guarantee overprice you.

Best is to come during a weekday since it is more quiet. On the weekend a lot of locals also enjoy their beautiful nature so it can get packed here.

Beach huts and surf schools at Selong Belanak

If you have just 2 nights in Kuta, go to Tanjung Aan in the morning and to Selong Belanak in the afternoon. The sunset here is stunning too. If you come here by motorbike please make sure to return to Kuta before darkness though because outside of the village it can be very dangerous for tourists and also locals after dark. During the day it is perfectly fine but please do not leave the village after dark. 

Where to stay in Kuta Lombok?

My favourite accomodation in Kuta is the Puri Rinjani Hotel.
It is located directly on the main beach road yet is is very quiet and it has a beautiful swimming pool, nice open garden area and clean, comfortable rooms with AC or fan. This accomodation is usually not in the backpacker budget class but it still can be a nice option if you want to treat yourself once in a while to a bit more luxury for still an affordable price.

Main road in Kuta Lombok outside Puri Rinjani

Kuta Beach Panorama

Cows on the main road in Kuta

Close to the Hotel is Warung Rasta. The food here is incredible, especially for the price. My farourites are the burgers and the fish fillet with a delicious garlic sauce and french fries. Yummy!

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Mittwoch, 2. März 2016

The biggest reputation Gili Trawangan has, is that it is a party island. I disagree because it gives people wrong impressions about our little island. It is not like you can go to a party 24 hours 7 days a week. 
Keep in mind: We do not even have a night club here, only Bars.

Yes, it can get lively at night but there are special island laws and schedules on how long and where the party is allowed! 

Every bar on the main road is allowed to be open until 1am. After 1am only one Bar is allowed to host the afterparty and which Bar it is going to be follows a certain schedule:

Monday: Blue Marlin
Tuesday: Jiggy Bar
Wednesday: TirNaNog Irish Bar
Thursday: -
Friday: New Rudy's
Saturday: Sama Sama Reggae Bar
Sunday: Evolution

The afterparty is allowed until 3am. After that it has to be quiet for the rest of the night.
There are a few exception to that for example on Christmas Eve and New Years Eve every Bar can open until 3am.

Two times per month we als have the Full Moon and Dark Moon Party hosted by the Ombak Bar. The exact dates are announced a week before over a banner that is placed over the street at the night market. The Full Moon Party is however not even half as crazy as for example the one in Koh Phangang, Thailand. These parties are obviously depending on the moon and so the weekday changes every month. If the Full Moon Party is for example scheduled on a Saturday it will replace the afterparty in Sama Sama. If the Dark Moon Party is on a Wednesday, there will be no afterparty at the Irish Bar. And so on. 

If you are not sure where to go after 1am, just follow the crowds :)

During Ramadan everything has to close at midnight and no afterparties are allowed. Also the music has to be more quiet in general for example Bands are not allowed to use a full drum only an E-Drum tablet.

 All the above mentioned Bars are on the main road on the east side of the island. The south, west and north sides are very calm and there are no big bars. If you like it more quiet, just go here and enjoy the calmness and beautiful nature. 

So how on earth did we get a reputation as a party island? For sure it is more busy than on Meno or Air but in my opinion you can have the best of both worlds here on Trawangan. You can go to a party or watch some awesome live music but you can also have a quiet evening and for example visit the cinema at Hotel Villa Ombak where you sit on the beach under the stars and watch a movie. 

My favourite Party is at the Sama Sama Reggae Bar.
Good live music, friendly attentive staff, cold beer and cheap cocktails!

Sama sama after renovation

Sama Sama with the old cozy roof and Gili T Band playing

However your night is going to be, enjoy your holiday and take care!
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