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Gili Labak Trip (Preparation, Tips & Stories)

Oh Gosh..
I remember a few days ago I wrote one hell of a story about this trip here. I'm just so freakin' close to the closing, but didn't manage to because I was so tired. And now I'm logging in again to finish what I've been writing : IT'S . ALL . GONE! Only pictures left in the draft, everything that I typed, vanished. Blogger oh Blogger oh Blogger, how could you let me start all over again?? Tego cakkk.. :'(

*breathe in... breathe out...* Okay.. Let me start over..

Probably a year ago (yes I know it's way too long), my friend from junior high, Tony asked me to join his tour group to Gili Labak. He was starting a tour business named @ACustomTour and I was trying to help him spreading the words about his business. I actually never heard about Gili Labak before until he mentioned about it and showed me the pictures of crystal clear water on the beach of Gili Labak. And me, being just as cheap as I usually am, without thinking for even a second, said yes to the invitation! Always yay for a free trip. HAHAHA..

Gili Labak is a very small island near Madura, to get there, you need to take a boat and sail for about three hours depending on the wave. I remember me and the tour group that my friend assisted departed from Surabaya on saturday midnight (11 PM-12 AM), we traveled with a mini bus to Madura, and we stopped at a port named Tanjung aroud 3 AM in the morning. Then @ACustomTour gave us some bread to snack before the ride, and we sailed with a fishing boat from there.

Picture above is the appearance of the boat that we took to sail the ocean, LOL. Kinda creepy wasn't it? I didn't know the form of this boat until I was there, standing, and starring with a lot of prayers running through my mind, hahaha.. I honestly under estimated the capability of this boat to take us all sailing across the sea, and to get to the boat, there was no proper bridge for us, only a narrow board of wood that we had to stepped on, hoping that we wouldn't fall into the water. 

But no worries, everything was good, @ACustomTour made sure we all got to the boat safely, and as you can see I am here now still writing to you guys, means that I made it back and forth with the boat. It was a safe vehicle to ride on. :)

I didn't quite remember how many hours we traveled among the dark ocean, but it was a pretty long one, considering I couldn't sleep at all on the boat. My friend told me to sit at the very back of the boat, he said it would be less shaky if we hit the wave and most likely wouldn't get a splash of the sea water if I sit there, compared to the middle seat where everybody else were sitting.

On the picture above, you can see that there's one bright star in the sky, it was the only star that 'guided' us through the night. It was shining bright, so bright that at first I thought it was a mercusuar, haha.. It was really beautiful, I talked to the sailor throughout the night, and I asked him how long he has been sailing, he said "17 years". That pretty much gained my faith and trust to this boat, but I already prayed too, so I believe an Angel was sent to protect us for the whole trip. :)

On that trip (or probably on every tour trip to Gili Labak), we also got to watch the sunrise on the boat. It was a surreal experience and it was my very first time watching sunrise from a boat, in the middle of the sea. It was indeed very beautiful :) I tried to take pictures of it both with my phone and with my camera, but it was too shaky and scary, I was afraid that I would drop my phone or camera to the sea or got them splashed with salt water while taking pictures. So, I didn't try that hard and that was the best one I could capture, haha.. Lousy I know, but safety first, lol.

Not too long after we watched the sunrise, we finally saw the island of Gili Labak. 

I guess it was around 6 AM in the morning when we arrived there, and most of us (including me) just couldn't help ourselves to explore the island right away, and that was my fist mistake. I grabbed all of my belongings, I put them at our safe place, I took out my camera, and started to wander around this very small island. Well, the good thing was, it was the perfect weather to explore, since the sun was just arise, so it wasn't too hot and wasn't too crowded. But the bad thing was, after I was done exploring, I really didn't have much thing to do after that, yet we still have so many hours to spend on the island.

On this island, they have a small stall that sells snacks, water, and also instant noodles, so yes I suggest you to bring some money. The snacks weren't the snacks that you usually found or bought in Surabaya, it wasn't Chitato or Cheetos or anything you would find at Indomaret, it was different, but it's better than having no one selling these stuffs. We would definitely need them at some point, and it's fun to try something that you won't find in the city too. :)

On this island, they also have small shelters for everyone to rest, just a big space with nothing on it, lol. They have an electrical station in one of the shelter, but please note that it's limited. Not only station limited but also electricity limited. They only have electricity power probably for 30 minutes only, then it would turn off, and would turn back on after some period of time. My suggestion : bring parallel charging station to share the electricity with some people, or just bring your most resourceful power bank to get your electricity survived the whole day there, or even better, put down all of your gadget and enjoy the quality time with your loved ones. :)

Okay, let me show you around the island..

Beautiful isn't it? None of these images were edited, all are raw. If there were some different tone on the pictures, it was me trying to figure out my camera setting, haha.. I kid you not, it was the most crystal clear beach that I have ever visited in my entire life, and the sand was so soft too!! Obviously, I haven't visited Maldives or Raja Ampat yet, but I am pretty sure, this beautiful Gili Labak beach is still comparable to them! I was mostly in awe while I was exploring the island, the camera didn't do its justice!

Another thing that you can do in Gili Labak is of course, swimming, snorkeling, diving, or even fishing, but right now I want to tell you about my snorkeling/swimming experience in here. First of all, NO BIKINI allowed. Though you're in the beach, and I know it's very weird not be able to wear bikini, but trust me, for the sake of your own safety and humility, please just wear something inappropriate like a shirt and a short at the beach, LOL. I myself was wearing a swimsuit top and a sleeping short, even that still drew the attention of those narrow minded people who saw me like I was showing too much skin. Come on people, grow up.

They were actually renting the snorkeling equipment such as the mask, the snorkel tube, the life jacket and the fin. But I'm not really recommending you guys to rent the snorkel tube from them since, you know, it has been used by so many people and one thing that's really gross was because you're going to suck the snorkel tube in between your teeth right? Just imagine how many people had bitten that thing before you? LOL. But if having your own snorkeling gear is too much work for you, then you're welcome to rent. My tips : Be the first one to choose the equipment before anyone else so that you can pick the best looking one, the newest one, the one that you think has the least time used by people.

I really had fun snorkeling in Gili Labak, especially with @ACustomTour, because they provide us cameras! They have DSLR camera and would gladly to be your personal photographer at the beach, and they also have underwater camera to capture your underwater moment! Picture above was one of it and though the coral reefs were unlikely to be seen in this picture, but this picture was still a legit proof that I went snorkeling, LOL. Or if someone can edit this picture and add the coral reefs for me, that would be nice too! haha..

Besides of having so much fun snorkeling, I also had some things that I learned about Snorkeling in Gili Labak. It's better for you to wear all the equipments (the mask, the snorkel, the life jacket and the fin) while you're snorkeling, why? Because they're there for actual reasons!
- The mask : obviously to help you watch the fishes and the coral reefs down there, or anything for that matters. You're out in the sea for God sake, you need the mask to be aware of course! ;
- The snorkel : obviously to help you to breath easily while you're swimming under water, you're not a fish guys, you don't have a gill, save yourself. ;
- The life jacket : Obviously it will help you float while you snorkeling. Doesn't matter how good you are at swimming, you can run out of energy. The thing is, sometimes the tide is getting high and sometimes the tide is getting low. When the tide is high, this life jacket will save you your energy; you don't need to swim and fight the wave at the same time. With the life jacket, you're just going to float around and direct the way you wanted to go. On the other hand, when the tide is low, the distance between the coral reef and the surface of the water will get so close, and the life jacket will help your whole body to float without your feet has to touch the coral reefs, or even the unknown things down there. Trust me, my feet were bitten by an unknown fish, and it sting. It didn't poison me or hurt me really bad, but it scares the hell out of me at that time, and from that point on, I didn't want to touch anything under the water;
- The Fin : Besides of helping you to swim, it will also helps you cover your feet from touching any harmful creature in the sea. Trust me, there are sharp coral reefs that might irritated, hurt or even bleed your feet out. and there are some Sea Urchins (Bulu Babi) too down there. The guide from @ACustomTour warned me about it, but I didn't think I would meet such thing. Then I saw it with my eyes, and I freeze as I shocked, I didn't know what to do and it was scary, really. One person in my group got poisoned because she was careless and stepped on the Sea Urchins *auch*, her feet was bleeding and swollen and she said it really hurts. Her friend had to pee on her feet to get the poison out, I didn't know if it really worked or not, but I definitely didn't want it to happen at the first place.

After we're done snorkeling, we headed to the bathroom to shower. They only have two bathrooms there and they weren't the decent one. It has no appropriate door for it (it has this little holes that people can actually peek on you while you're inside), it also has no lamp in it, it was very dark, and I'm also not sure if it was hygiene enough. But that's all we got there, and there's no way that we didn't get ourselves cleaned up after swimming at the beach. So technically, we didn't really have a choice.

After the shower, we waited for a moment to get our lunch, it was a grilled fish, provided by @ACustomTour. Then, the awkward moments started right after we finished our lunch, hahaha.. Since I went there with complete strangers, I didn't really know what to do. I just hung around at the shelter, charging my phone, doing nothing until at one point, I decided to give this island another shot by exploring around one more time.

But gosh it was too hot!! And there were not much of a big trees to cover me from the heat of the sun. I didn't survive long enough, but I gave it a good shot. Later on, I just trying to kill time by talking with anyone there. I really wish I went there with my friends, my good friends, I'm sure it would be so much fun.. :)

Around three o'clock, finally we said goodbye to the island and sailed back home. I didn't remember how many hours we spent on the boat, but it was a quick one, because the wave now is on our side. It pushes us to go faster. All of us were tired including me, I got knocked out right after I sat comfortably on the boat. Again, my friend told me to sit at the back to avoid harsh turbulence, or any splashes from the sea. 

When we arrived at Madura, we got another meal provided by @ACustomTour. I quickly finished the meal, set my comfort position in the mini bus, and slept all the way through until we  arrived back in Surabaya.

I had a great time on my one day - one night vacation to Gili Labak with @ACustomTour. Too bad I wasn't with my friends, if I was, it would be one hell of a trip! But anyways, I recommend you guys to use their service if you want to go to Gili Labak with your friends and needed a cool guide. Or you can check their Instagram page to see where else they can guide you too. :) I guess for a trip to Gili Labak the price is fairly cheap, it was less than 300k a person.

Last but not least, if you're packing to Gili Labak, I would recommend you to bring these along :
- Close friends, lover, or anyone that you can go crazy with.
- Personal Medicine. If you're carsick or seasick or you have any other health concern, you can prepare medicine for that.
- Money, don't need too much of it.
- Fun clothing, if you want to take a cool new profile picture on the beach.
- Camera equipment : A Mirrorless Camera or Go-Pro or both. Mirrorless Camera to capture the sunrise, every beautiful details of the beach, perhaps for an OOTD picture too at the beach. and Go-Pro to capture everything from the wide angle and you can bring it under water while you're snorkeling or diving. But if you're going with @ACustomTour, this is totally optional since they will provide you the cameras, and they would gladly be your photographer.
- Snacks, lots of it.
- Board Games, Card Games, Books or anything that will distract you from boredom.
- Sunblock
- Sewek, or a fabric that I usually use to cover my leg, or to be the base when I sat on the sands.
- Hat or Beach Hat, to cover your face when the heat got ugly
- Sunglasses, to help your eyes function when the sun is striking like crazy.
- Flip Flop, to walk comfortably on the beach and on the bathroom
- Power Bank, to recharge your phone if you needed.
- Snorkeling equipment, if you don't want to rent
- Bath Equipment
- First Aid, for the injuries from snorkeling. just in case.

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And if you actually reading this, comment down below and tell me what do you think about this place.. :)
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