The restaurant scene on the South East part of Gili Air is very social. All along the beach are restaurant bars with raised, cushioned, lounge seating and tables both tucked under the roof and right in the sand. Three posts and three mentions of Happy Hour, but almost every restaurant has a Happy Hour special and hoping from restaurant to restaurant can ensure you will get buy one, get one cocktails or cheap beer from 4-9pm. Befriend your hotel restaurant staff and you may even get an extended happy hour until you close the place out at night. Two great new friends of mine had that great hotel staff experience and when asked if it was happy hour they would glance at the clock and smile back, of course! No matter what the time.
Paradiso II was the location of this night's party, they are the Monday night host, though equally great parties rotate across the South Eastern side of the island shared amongst the bars. After dinner came a round of Cards Against Humanity and quick naps knowing it would be a late night. We regrouped at midnight, surprised we could drag ourselves out of bed and headed to Paradiso. Fairly quiet during the day with people day tripping to other islands, diving or relaxing in the shade, the night on Gili Air brings them all out and creates crowded dance floors. I couldn’t have even guessed that many people were staying on the island.
The locals definitely outnumber and out last the foreign tourists with most visitors only making it until 2 or so. My night wrapped up at about 4:30am with some great laughs and new friendships. There’s no better way to bond with people than to embarrass yourself on the dance floor.
1. When travelling in Indonesia staying in a hostel can be more expensive during the high season then a room in a guesthouse, pay that little extra and meet some people!
2. When travelling over the holidays it is crucial to be where you will spend the actual day a couple days before to connect with people and ensure you won't be alone for Christmas dinner or New Years Eve
3. Gili Air doesn't have the party reputation the same as Gili T, however, there are great parties there if thats what you are into minus some of the seriously grimy burnout scene found on Gili T.