After arriving with the taxi in Padangbai we've been approached by a lot of street sellers to buy a Gili boat ticket. We've already purchased one online with a dubious boat company which i'm not gonna mention here because we were not happy with the service. there was no pickup point described nor a proper pick up time or meeting point. so we had to ask our way through the hotel reception and some small offices of this company. The staff was not friendly but we managed to get to the port in time. I have never experienced such a messy boarding. The boat was delayed and we waited for more than two hours to depart. The port is pretty chaotic, people screaming around departing times from different companies, vendors are selling beverages and the waiting room is packed full with tourists.
How to get to the Gilis?Like i mentioned we purchased our Gili Boat ticket online. Actually there are a lot of different options to get over to the islands. In peak season i can recommend you to buy a couple of days in advance, otherwise you could miss your preferred departing day and time. But whilst low season you can actually book a day before departing or even on the same day you want to leave. If you decide to buy from a street seller always negotiate the price and compare different offers. You can choose between private boats, which are the most expansive, fast boats and public ferries. We chose the public ferry because it is the cheapest option and we actually enjoy a good boat trip.
Where to stay?We stayed at a hotel close to the Port of Pdangbai. What we didn't kow then, we had to walk all the way with our luggage to the Gili Boat ticket office and from there they brought us to the port again.
What is special on the Gili boat trip?The funny thing was, that the boat seats were old airplane seats. somehow a cool way of recycling. The boat ride was comfortable. once the boat broke down, the motor stopped but after couple of minutes they fixed it again. Don't expect everything to work well if you choose the cheapest option ;)
Me personally love boat trips so i really enjoyed the whole journey from departing in bali until arriving to the Gilis. You see the Islands from the water perspective and that's cool somehow.
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