Life on the Gili Islands:
What to Know Before You Go
History of the Gilis
The next wave of settlers came in the form of scuba divers. They recognized these waters to hold some of the best diving in the world. To this day there is a thriving local community within the Gilis and still very little police presence, creating a unique island vibe.
People of the Gilis
Religion on the Gili Islands
Wetu Telu (Three Times) and Waktu Lima (Five Times) are the two forms of Islam practiced within Lombok and the Gilis. The names refer to the number of times that followers pray per day. Waktu Lima is the more traditional Muslim religion while Wetu Telu has greater Hindu and Buddhist influences. All three of the islands have mosques, so it is common to hear the adman (call to prayer) being called throughout the day. The first of these mosques was built in Gili Air around 80 years ago and sits more or less in the center of the island.
Culture and Life on the Gilis
Mandi Safar is a common Indonesian custom performed throughout the Gilis. It involves ceremonial bathing in the ocean, followed by a shower, music, and food. This bathing ritual is intended to cleanse the soul of misfortunes such as accidents, disasters, and disease.
Which Gili Island to Choose
We needed no encouragement to trade in our mundane lives for a chilled and harmonious island paradise. It’s also a wicked coincidence that Gili Air is the perfect spot for a dive shop. The vibe is right, the water is warm and we have quick access to a variety of dive sites throughout the Gili Islands. And of course, it would be pointless visiting these sites if the sea life wasn’t awesome! We get to see loads of cool things every damn day. We’re talking big stuff like turtles and sharks and small things like mantis shrimp and nudibranchs.
No doubt you’re already planning your trip. But before you book return flights, check out our divemaster internship. Leave your worries at home and choose a life on the Gilis.