|The Gili Islands are 3 very small islands just off the coast of Lombok and they are absolutely beautiful. I stayed on Gili Trawangan which is the larger of the 3 islands. There is a thin strip of white sand beach surrounding almost the entire island. The water is perfectly clear and is many shades of turquoise and blue. This is what I hoped for and expected of Indonesia. There were enough tourists on the island for it to not feel totally isolated but not too many that it felt like a resort. You can easily find stretch of beach entirely for yourself. I did just this on a number of occasions so I could do some exercises after having a run around the island. Afterwards I would cool off in the crystal clear water. It was fantastic. I spent a lot of time here just lazing on the beach. One of the charms of the island is that there are no cars or motorbikes so it is extremely tranquil. However, the downside to this is that fat lazy tourists are transported around the island on skinny, hungry and desperately unhappy looking horses. This is the only thing that spoilt my enjoyment of the island. I went out on a snorkeling trip on one of my days. The boat went around the other 2 islands and we stopped and snorkeled at various points. This was amazing. Most of the coral has been destroyed from the days when dynamite fishing was the norm. However, there are still some areas of beautiful coral formations and there's an abundance of brightly coloured, strange shaped and really quite beautiful fish. I also hired a bike on one of my days here as i'd heard it was a good way to explore the island. Unfortunately, about fifty percent of the paths around the island are thick sand so the bike was just another thing to carry in the blistering heat. But I was never more than 5 seconds away from the sea and so stopped regularly to cool down.