Until now, the Cheapest way to get to gili islands from Bali is by Public Ferry. Where you will take a public ferry to Lembar for 4 until 6 hours from Padang Bay harbor to Lembar. After you arrive at the Lembar, you must take a transport to the Bangsal harbor for 2 hours. Bangsal harbor is the last point of the trip before you take a 30 minute boat to Gili Air. Public ferry tickets to Lembar are around 26,000/ person.
If you want to arrange your own trip to Padang Bai and buy your own tickets to Lembar. Ticket prices are around IDR 26,000 but make sure you buy it from the ticket office. Because many ticket vendors will try and sell tickets to you up to 3 times the actual price.
The Ferry company advertises that leave every hour, but this rarely happens. Travel time can vary between 4 to 8 hours. Because there is only 1 docking point in Padang Bay. We often sit outside the harbor for several hours waiting for the next boat to leave. This is not the fastest way to reach the Gili Islands. Because it is much slower than other transportation methods. It is also the most cheapest way to reach Gili Islands.
Slow journey and waiting for the ferry departure is certainly very boring. If you are bored with slow transportation, You can take the fastest and best way to get to Gili Islands is Speedboat.
Fast boat or speedboat usually has a definite time to Gili islands. Usually the departure time is 9 am, 11 am, 1 pm and 2 pm Therefore you will more easily determine when you should arrive at the port of Padang Bai.
Because traveling by public ferry system in Indonesia is not easy way. You must be prepared to be disturbed by "porters" and hawkers at each end of your journey. This is truly a very hard choice for travelers who have never experienced it! For those of you who want an easier trip you can take the best way to Gili Islands.