What You Need to Know About Gili Trawangan
When visiting Indonesia, Gili Trawangan (commonly known as Gili T), is a destination you cannot miss!
White sandy beaches, vibrant coral reefs, and warm ocean waters are just a few of the reasons why people choose to visit this beautiful Gili Island.
Are you looking for a remote tropical experience?
The stunning scenery on Gili Trawangan is heightened by the island’s complete lack of cars. Transport consists of your own feet, bicycles, and speedboats to nearby islands.
Did we mention that Gili T is a prime destination for divers and snorkellers? Those who explore underwater will encounter a wide array of marine life. Turtles, for example, are spotted regularly by visitors.
So, convinced that Gili Trawangan is your next island getaway?
Here’s an in-depth guide that will ensure you have an unforgettable experience on this unique Indonesian island.
Where is Gili Trawangan?
Gili Trawangan is located just off the northwest coast of Lombok, or 40 kilometers east of Bali. This makes it super convenient to visit if you want to escape the larger and more touristy islands.
It also has the two other Gili Islands (Gili Meno and Gili Air) as its nearby neighbors.
Of the three Gili Islands, Gili Trawangan is the largest. However, when we say the largest, it still only has a population of 800.
>> Don’t Miss: This awesome guide to Gili Meno
6 Things to Do in Gili Trawangan
There are loads of things to do on Gili Trawangan, so keeping yourself busy for 2-3 days here is easier than you’d think.
Below you’ll find our insider tips on the top things to do for visitors, along with some local secrets.
As there are no motorized vehicles on Gili Trawangan, exploring the island via bicycle is a great way to experience the island’s tropical setting.
Sunrise and sunsets are ideal for a picturesque bike ride. You’ll have tons of prime photo opportunities and can easily bike the whole island in just one hour. Walking the island is another option, which can be completed in about 2 hours.
If you have to choose between sunrise or sunset, we recommend hitting the bike trails in the early morning as there will be less tourist traffic around.
2. Diving and Snorkeling
While it may be evident that you’ll be traveling by boat during a scuba or snorkeling trip, it’s important to note that Gili Trawangan visitors have the option of booking private or public boat transportation.
Since public boats tend to be pretty packed, if you want some more breathing room, booking a private boat can create a more relaxing feel.
While scuba diving can provide a more extensive look as to what lies beneath the surface, snorkeling in Gili Trawangan has plenty of benefits such as swimming with turtles. A cool fact about turtles ingenious to the area is their description of being comfortable around swimmers visiting the island.
Indonesia is one of the top diving locations in the world. Scuba diving at one of the many sites near Gili Trawangan will provide ample opportunities to witness colorful coral reefs that are still in great shape.
3. Relax at the Beach
One of the most obvious things to do on Gili Trawangan is to laze back on the beach. After all, this is your idyllic tropical island.
If you’re looking for more ways to relax by the beach separate from sitting in a comfy beach chair, local masseuses offer beachgoers massages.
The sunset swing, more formally known as the Datu swing, is located on the beachfront near Exile Bar. Grab some drinks, socialize, and hit the famous swing for a jaw-dropping backdrop.
4. Eat at the Night Market
When you traveling to a new destination you have to try the local food. One awesome spot to do this on Gili T is the night market.
You will find plenty of fresh seafood, barbecue meats, and homemade desserts to choose from. The food here is fairly cheap, under USD 10 for a full dinner.
The social outdoor atmosphere is great too. It is the perfect place to catch up with other travelers on the island.
The Gili Trawangan Night Market is open from 6.30pm to 1am. However, we suggest arriving early if you want to get seats.
Yes, Gili Trawangan has shopping too. What makes these shops worth visiting is their unique offerings to visitors. Bathing suit and bikini stores are standard, while shops selling other clothes with a local spin are offered.
Purchasing clothing items from Gili Trawangan shops is an excellent reflection of the tropical spirit of the island. In addition to unique shops, local stands are set up within street markets.
6. Take an Indonesian Cooking Class
What better way to expose yourself to Indonesian culture than to take a cooking class on Gili Trawangan? Not only will you cook up some tasty cuisine, but you’ll also learn a new skill that you can take with you.
Participating in a cooking class is a fun way to socialize with other travelers and appreciate a new cuisine. After your cooking class is complete, you’ll be able to comfortably enjoy the Indonesian meal you’ve prepared.
Gili Trawangan Nightlife
Gili Trawangan is known as having an influential party culture. Live music, drinking, and dancing are among the typical activities that take place, both day and night.
Bars such as Sama Sama and the Horizontal Lounge offer opportunities to listen to live reggae music.
Parties populate the island’s various pubs. We recommend that you hop from pub to pub so that you can sample different events and happenings at each venue.
Facilities on Gili Trawangan
For safety, there is a small clinic on Gili Trawangan used to treat minor injuries next to Vila Ombak.
If island visitors experience more severe injuries or illnesses, they’ll have to be transported back to Lombok due to the island’s small nature.
How to Get to Gili Trawangan
Gili Trawangan is accessible by boat from places like Lombok. Island hopping between the Gilis is similarly done by boat due to the three islands close proximity and limited size. It’s recommended that travelers embark on their boat trip in the morning as the sea is calmer. Boat transports stop before dark, typically in the late afternoon.
Bali to Gili Trawangan: Speedboats depart multiple ports on the east coast of Bali with a travel time of about 2 hours. Tickets are $25-35 and can be booked via tour operators, hotels, or at the port. You can also book here on 12GoAsia in advance. The more expensive boats are a bit newer and more comfortable.
It’s worth buying a round trip ticket rather than two one way tickets. If you don’t have a return date yet you can get an ‘open’ return ticket. You will need to confirm your return date at least one day before you leave the island.
Lombok to Gili Trawangan: You can see the Gili islands from Lombok, so it’s a short trip across. A small shuttle boat to Gili Trawangan departs from Teluk Nare Harbour on the west coast of Lombok. The total travel time is about 25 minutes. You can book here on 12GoAsia in advance.
From Gili Meno and Gili Air: The same shuttle boat to Gili T from Lombok does multiple trips a day between the other islands. It’s inexpensive and works great. Just show up on time at the port (ask your hotel for the correct time).
Top Gili Trawangan Hotels
One of the top information pieces that prospective travelers look to gain is the best places to stay for their desired location. We’ve got you covered!
There are a number of stays that accommodate a variety of budgets and styles of living.
Best Budget Stay: Little Woodstock Homestay
Are you a backpacker looking for a minimalist, budget stay?
Little Woodstock Homestay has what you’re looking for.
Not only do visitors get a comfortable bed and sizable breakfast, but there’s also a pool. Due to the small size of this stay location, staff members are acquainted with the guests and prioritize addressing members on a first-name basis.
All rooms are equipped with a terrace that includes furniture. Sunrise beach is close by and offers spectacular morning views.
Best Mid-Range Stay: M’adison Gilli
Location is a big part of what makes M’adison Gilli an excellent option for Gili Trawangan visitors. Since the M’adison is so close to popular island activities such as snorkeling, horse riding, and diving, visitors are often able to schedule activities to embark on from their stay.
Housing is a bungalow style at the M’adison to compliment your tropical experience. A sizable outdoor pool makes socializing fun and easy, while private terraces offer quiet and comfort.
If you need a break from spending time at the M’adison, bars, and restaurants are an easy walk from the facility.
Best Luxury Stay: Ko Ko Mo Resort
How does a modern villa with a private pool sound?
If you’re looking for luxury features such as these, then Ko Ko Mo Resort is your best bet.
As a guest at the Ko Ko Mo Resort, you’ll be surrounded by coconut groves and located on a private beach.
Rooms at the Ko Ko Mo Resort can accommodate up to three beds, with additional add-ons such as terraces, sun-lounges, and hot tubs. Three-bedroom villas at the Ko Ko Mo Resort are two stories and even feature a balcony with a view of the sea.
Massages are offered in-room for an additional fee while room service is ready 24/7.
If you need help planning activities on the island, members of the resort staff can help assist you for an additional fee.
Gili Trawangan is an Indonesian island that can’t be missed. The island is small enough to where you can bike or even walk anywhere you need to go.
After you’ve spent the day relaxing on a beautiful beach and catching a jaw-dropping sunset, consider hitting the night market for some excellent local cuisine.
A prominent party culture permeates the island of Gili Trawangan. Socializing with other travelers is made easy through a plethora of island bars that feature events such as live music and movie nights.
If you’re gunning for a remote tropical getaway that still features plenty to do, check out Gili Trawangan.
Guest Autor Bio – Austin Tuwiner is a 21 year old college dropout currently travelling the world. When not doing some type of work on his computer, you’ll find him playing with Bitcoin, diving, bouldering, or traveling. After discovering ways to make money online, he began running websites in some of the niches listed above.