Oppressively hot. Actually hard to find Balinesian food. There is a lot of overpriced, average, western, hipster food. People are incredibly kind and the Balinesian food is great when you can find it. The roads are ridiculously crowded while a lot of the restaurants, bars, and clubs were less than 30% full. Kind of sad for local business owners. Surrounding area is beautiful and relatively accessible. Aside from western food & beverage lodging, food and beverage can be very cost effective. Other parts of the island are better for experiencing the Balinesian life, but it is more of a challenge to mix socially with local people here than other places as most people work in service industries or agriculture. It is what it is. In the end, if you like oppressive heat & humidity, western millennial cuisine, crowded roads, and a small beach, this may be your place.
I like it here better than Canggu. It's more walkable, more cheap warungs, more convenient. You could find all kinds of shop catering to different type of visitor, from cheap to luxurious. Not a party place if you're looking for it, which made it even more perfect. More female than male, great for dating.
To be honest, as an English man with no use of Indo Bahasa, I've got no chance (like the last chance saloon) in finding an English speaking human..unless it Hiya, Hello, How are you, language is totally useless unless you know sign and body expressions! And that Works! Point to the food in the picture on the wall, have small cash in you pocket (and bigger cash stored away out of sight) You buy food in the picture and only get half of what you saw! Yer, It happens like Shx.all the time where ever you go! Locals are wise.. but expect it and order a double portion...Lol! I am Tim Love from the UK and I have married an Indonesian beauty! We do not live together because the UK law makes it a terrible ordeal to fix...(ongoing issues) But, as I said... If you are WHITE.. then you must expect to be RIPPED OFF !
Gili Air is a wonderful tropical island with good enough internet, amazing beaches and affordable accommodation and food. The locals are super friendly and it's super safe.
There is a party and live music every night for those that feel like socialising(with the exception of Thursday nights). There's a well equipped gym, Salsa dancing Night every Monday at the schick-kitsch mexican restaurant, stand up paddle, lots of wonderful yoga shalas, kite surfing, snorkelling, diving and lots of food options. It's actually becoming a vegetarian and vegan paradise lately. There's also a co-working space as part of a Yoga Center. Several music and traditional festivals are held every year and it's wonderful to watch local weddings. Land prices are also still reasonable given that the island will be developing at a faster pace now. The quality of people that seem to crowd Gili Air are very different to those that go to Gili Trawangan. Gili Air attracts a 30+ couples, families and friends groups who don't mind splashing out on nice accommodation, spa treatments and great culinary experiences.
All in all, my favorite place so far with an average of 322 days of sunshine! The climate doesn't get any better than this anywhere in the world(and given most other exotic islands are prone to hurricanes... there's never been a hurricane or tornado in the Gilis).
"Don't go to Jakarta" is what people from Jakarta tell you.
But you do. It can't be that bad, right? Then you arrive. Although "arriving" is a big word for getting stuck in traffic first for hours. When you do finally arrive in your apartment, you open the windows and wonder why you can't see further than 10 meters. It must be a foggy day? No, it's not fog, it's smog, and it's an every day occurrence in Jakarta, a city that is now competing with Beijing for worst air quality in the world.
What's good about Jakarta? It's one of the few places in Indonesia (except maybe Bali) that's open-minded. Jakartans are friendly, helpful and warm acting as if Jakarta is still just a small Indonesian village and that's great. It's also one of the fastest growing cities in Asia. It's cosmopolitan. But all that doesn't weigh up to the negatives that is Jakarta right now.
Clean up the air, fix the traffic, and Jakarta might be liveable in a decade.
"Don't go to Jakarta" is what people from Jakarta tell you. They're right.