A vast nation one of the most populous on the planet – that covers a whopping 17,000 individual islands and rocks as they emerge from the sparkling waters where the Indian Ocean meets the South China Sea, Indonesia is a land of impossibly-beautiful wonders and fascinating cultural traditions. In its cities, great mosque minarets rise to the clouds, while other places burst with the scents of twisting incense and the earthy mystery of Hindu temples.
A trio of picture-perfect islands that string their way out between Lombok and Bali in the middle of the Nusa Tenggara archipelago, the Gilis are oft hailed as the most quintessential tropical spots on the planet. The two smaller islands, Gili Air and Gili Meno, are secluded and laid-back; places where the occasional bamboo ecolodge hides in the mangroves and stretches of shell-spotted sand eke down to a sea of aquamarine blue.
The largest island, Gili Trawangan, is a livelier affair. Its ramshackle bars are built of driftwood, and pulse with the energy of backpackers from all over the globe. By day, these guys sizzle off their hangovers on the pearly beaches, or hit the seas in search of rare turtles. By night, they guzzle beers and buckets and party till dawn.