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A place to go for those who are tired of the Babylon. Ocean, white sand and marijuana.
Indonesia is a country in the Southern hemisphere that is located on 17,804 islands. Most of its citizens are Muslim. So you can't tan topless on the public beaches, and also alcohol is going to be more expensive during Ramadan. This is not the case with the famous Bali island, the inhabitants of which are Hindu (local tradition) and secretly dislike the Muslim majority. In 2005 there was a terrorist attack on the island, and almost everyone there accused their Muslim neighbors, because of their presumable envy towards the success of the sacred island among tourists. Bali people are really friendly and kind, they are happy and unaware of stresses of city life. You can come there and legally and easily purchase hallucinogenic mushrooms that were used in rituals before. You can also easily purchase marijuana there though it's illegal. However, if you're reading this and dream about tiny islands lost in the ocean, about lying on white sand, if you fix your dreadlocks once a month and get who-knows-what-quality hashish, welcome to Gili islands.
Those are three tiny islands that are placed not far from Lombok island. You can get there from Bali (Padang Bai) by water, the journey takes about 2 hours and costs around $50-60 (for a round trip). If you are skilled at bargaining, it can cost even less. Every vehicle that uses internal combustion engine is banned on Gili, so everyone rides bicycles or goes on foot. You can also use a local cab – a cart led by a small horse. You won't feel uncomfortable because of the transport situation as it will take about 1,5 hours to walk around the biggest island. Two of three islands are perfect for elderly people and socio-phobia sufferers. If you want calmness, a drink in one hand, a book in another, then Gili Meno or Gili Air is for you. You can easily snorkel there, watch the beauties of the underwater and gaze at the beautiful sunsets on the west shore of the place. The third island (the most visited, biggest and loudest) is called Gili Trawangan. You will be offered something to buy on every corner. And the range of products is amazing – from portable devices to the substances that widen your consciousness. Nightlife of Gili Trawangan is booming, there are always parties.
There are no policemen on the island (Babylon will fall). But there is a bar and a hostel called Sama Sama designed in the colors of an Ethiopian flag and offering a 20%-discount to every happy dreadlocks-wearing person. Here you can meet lots of tourists from all over the world. One night will cost around $10-35, depending on the quality of apartments and your bargaining skills. There is one rule: the further from the main street, the lower are the prices. And making friends with the locals will help you to save a lot of money. Long story short, this is one of the lost corners of the world you need to visit at least once to see how the lifestyle can be different from what you are used to. Despite the fact that there are many bars and night clubs, the life on the island is measured, calm. There's no police or transport and also no things that make large cities' inhabitants slam forward and push others. You just can't be in a hurry on Gili. Though it took me only 3 days to enter the state of "nothing to do at all" and start to want to return to the "big land".