Top things to do in Gili Trawangan, Bali

Gili Trawangan

Gorgeous party island with the bluest waters and the best sunsets I’ve ever laid eyes on. I won’t get into the details about the splendor and the beauty of it all.  It’s the bigger of the Gili islands, the other two are Gili Air and Gili Meno. Gili air boasts a laid back vibe, and has a few resorts whearas it’s counterpart Gili Meno, has maintained most of  its local charm.

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Gili air
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Gili meno

One thing that stood out about it is that there is not a single dog on Gili T island, and the main modes of transport are horse driven carts and bicycles. Even if there are numerous westerners who flock to this island, the local appeal prevails.

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(local dog)

Haggling with a street side travel agent is always fascinating. The back and forth approach that must take place before you come to a price agreement takes quite a bit of time. If your’e on a budget tighter than a shoestring you have no other alternative, which brings me to my final Bali Series, the journey to Gili trawangan island.

How to get there

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Eventually, I had to purchase a boat ticket to Gili Trawangan online because the street side vendor just wouldn’t let up! This let me to the discovery of more than 12 fast boat companies operating from Padang bai port to Gili islands and finally Lombok!

These include Blue water express, Gili getaway, Superscoot fast catamaran etc. Their prices vary, but the journey to Gili T. is approximately 2hours by speed boat, 90 to 350 people on board. DSC01789

My friend and I chose Samaya Tours,  but almost all of the boat companies run a hotel pick up and drop off service included in the fee. We paid IDR 500,000 ($35)  for a return trip to Gili Trawangan. Free shuttle pick-up  from our hotel in Kuta legian area. The ride to Padang bai was almost 3 hours.

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Those who just visit the very touristy and busy Bali island without traveling to it’s adjacent islands, here’s what your’e missing out on…

10 things to do in Gili Trawangan

Aside from partying till 2:00am and chilling by the pool, there are loads of great activities to partake in.

  1. Ride a bicycle around the island! 

I rented a bike for IDR 50,000 ($2.5) for 24 hours! A bike ride around the island will only take one hour. Walking takes two and  a half hours.

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Indonesian tourists turned friends for the day!
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beach overlooking Lombok island

2.  Water sports : Snorkelling and diving

Gili T. is reknowned to be a very affordable scuba diving hub. Most visitors get their PADI  open water or SSI scuba licenses in the numerous schools that are scattered along the main pier.

If you’re on a lower budget, a one day discover diving course is available for IDR 500,000 ($35). If you’re enchanted by the underwater world but aren’t interested in diving, snorkeling is a grand alternative.

Gili islands is a popular snorkeling spot because of the many gorgeous huge turtles swimming in the blue waters.

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I took a day tour for IDR100,000 ($7) to three snorkeling sports around the Gili islands. IMG_8250IMG_8249IMG_8260DSC01901DSC01932

3. Climb a hill to witness the blazing sun setting over Mt. Agung.

It was by far the best sunset I have ever come across. Our hostel host led us to the top of a hill to witness this spectacular display.

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4.  Sunset Beach and movie night by Ombak Villa sunsets.

Travelers that don’t quite enjoy the party vibe choose to cozy up on bean bags by the beach and watch movie screenings for a small fee.
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5. Island hopping and beach life.

Yes, the water is this dazzling. Paddle boarding may be a task because there are plenty of coral reefs around the Gilis. One can simply rent a snorkeling mask for the day and go exploring.

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6. Good eats and night market.

There are excellent food options available to travelers on the island. Budget travelers including me, like to indulge in the food at the night market.

If your’e craving some western food and wouldn’t mind spending a little more, JM’s steakhouse offers delictible burgers for IDR 80,000 ($5). Gelato icecream shops are abundant and very delicious, two scoops will set you back IDR 40,000 ($2).

Luxury food options are also available at the Pearl, and other major resorts. DSC02065DSC02062DSC02059

That’s all for Indonesia Bali. I’m pretty excited about my next posts because it will be all about my solo travel journey through the winters of 2018 and 2019. Click here for a sneak peak portfolio of my solo journey.

Have a grand day!