I am planning a side trip after Bali and was wondering whether I should go to Lombok or head straight to Gili Islands? I would like to do some diving and enjoy beautiful beaches.
Gili Islands are technically a part of Lombok, but that said there are boats serving to Gili Islands from Bali directly and there are different boats connecting Bali to Lombok. If you are looking for remote islands with less tourist, no motor vehicles though more sparse in terms of tourist attractions then Gili Islands are for you, check out which Gili Islands to go too if you are wondering (yet another question!). Else if you want to have more choices, there are actually many things to do in Lombok itself, besides just diving and beaches. Both places will give you many options on diving and beautiful beaches.