Gili Trawangan or Gili T for short, is one of the Gili Islands. These three small islands are just off the coast from Lombok, Indonesia.
Gili Trawangan is the biggest and has lots of bars and restaurants. Accommodation ranges from backpacking to expensive luxurious villas, so this island caters to everyone. Just a warning though, it ain’t called the party island for nothing 😉 🍻
Gili Meno is the smallest and most chill. It is very popular for honeymooners or couples looking for a romantic getaway 😍 ❤
Gili Air is a good mix of the other two islands. Has the chilled out vibe of Gili Meno but some of the same restaurants etc as Gili T 😊🏖
Here are some clips from our 48 hrs on Gili Trawangan!!
Getting to Gili Trawangan
If you’re travelling from Bali the easiest and quickest way to get there is by the Gili Getaway fast boat. The boats are small and they only have limited departure times so make sure you book ahead! An added bonus is hotel pickup and dropoff is included in the ticket price 👍
The trip will take about two and half hours to get there.
But as our friends who didn’t book ahead found out, that is way better than the nearly four hour trip on one of the other so called “fast boats!”
Once on Gili Trawangan
Once we arrive we walk to our accomodation. There are no cars or scooters which is a nice change, especially if you’re coming from Bali!
You can hire bicycles or catch one of the horse and carts.
But since the island is only 3km long and 2km wide, walking isn’t a problem.
Once our bags are dropped off it’s time to explore! Grab a Bintang for the road. Well to be precise a Bintang Raddler in my case.
I’m not a beer drinker by choice so these lemon and orange versions are a welcome option!
We get a massage and then have the $5 Saturday burger special at Chappies while we wait for our friends to arrive on the slow boat.
After we have regrouped we arrange our private snorkel trip for the next day. As well as checking out the turtle hatchery.
They have a fenced off area where the eggs are below the sand, once they have hatched they are moved to the nursery pools. Pool 1 is for zero – two month old turtles. Pool 2 for three – four months old and Pool 3 for five – six months old. When they reach the end of their sixth month they are released back into the wild 🐢
After we have seen the turtles and made a small donation to this wonderful program. Set off across the island so we can see the sun set over the water. We make it just as the sun is slipping behind the clouds.
We take up some prime location beanbags on the beach to watch what is left of the sunset whilst enjoying two for one drinks.
After the sun has set we have more two for one drinks further down the beach.
Then eventually eat at another place after getting rained on. After dinner we get horse and carts around to the other side of the island.
We go to Sama Sama reggae bar which is awesome fun. There is a band playing rock, hiphop and pop covers with the odd reggae anthem thrown in.
After drinking and dancing most of the night away head back to our hotel. Not before stopping for a corn on the cob from one of the street carts! Then a delicious kebab and fries from a 24 hr kebab shop.
Even though we booked our snorkel trip for 11am, it is a bit of a struggle for all eight of us to show up. Let alone on time. Our three person boat crew don’t mind that we are a bit late. We spend three hours on and in the water in our own private boat!
Not bad for $10 AUD each! See turtles, sunken statues and lots of beautiful tropical fish!
For the whole story check out our Snorkeling with turtles blog 🐢 🐢 🐢
When we’re back on land, go freshen up before having seafood platters and burgers at a beachside seafood BBQ.
Once we’re all full most of us head back across the island to watch the sunset. Stop on the way at a bar in the middle of the island. Gerard orders a bloody Mary but gets served this colourful concoction instead!
Continue to a different bar than yesterday but luckily they have the same two for one drink specials! Once the sun sets we start our barhop along the beach.
It’s alot quieter tonight and not as many places seem to be open. So we decide to eat and drink at a place with “all you can eat BBQ.”
This ends up being a scam and once we are fleeced, continue on to another bar. We share one mild magic mushy drink between five. Don’t feel anything but the drink is intended as one per person.
Then it’s onto another bar before we end up back around on the main strip. Since it’s already after midnight decide street corn on the cob, kebab and fries are in order again, before calling it a night.
Have a banana boat ride booked at 10am. The five of us still willing to partake in it are of course a little late. We sign our waivers and climb into the boat. Put our life jackets on and then it’s just a short ride to where the banana is waiting for us.
Water is super calm and looks like glass. We hop on and as the boat starts to tow us out, we all fall off! Now climbing onto an inflated banana from the water is not an easy task. But we all manage to get back on and work out a strategy to stay on. We’re a bobsled team and have to work together to counteract the motion of the waves!
So we set off again, person at the front is yelling RIGHT! LEFT! We have a good momentum going before we have our second fall. This time when we hit the water, we had built up some speed. Falling off onto the flat, calm water was like landing on concrete!
Scramble back onto the banana and are now more determined to stay on. As the falling part is not fun! Our bobsled team is going strong. We have a good run but as the speed boat builds even more speed and makes a sharp turn, the inevitable happens.
Fall for a third time. Hitting the water this time is intense! Break the water with my right shoulder. Kind of skip along. Then hit the water again with the same shoulder before ending up on my back, slightly winded. The rest of us are strewn all across the water. None of us survived the fall unscathed. I know there is no way I can pull myself onto the banana. Let alone hold onto it. So I get back onto the boat as we head back to shore.
Back on Land
Once on stable land a little lie down and some nurofen help the corked feeling in my entire right arm.*
This view also helped distract me from the pain. With only a couple of hours until our boat back to Bali, suck it up and enjoy the time we have left on this beautiful island. Relax under an umbrella, while Gerard hires a surfboard.
Saw and did so much in our 48 hrs here. We will definitely be back and will be staying for alot longer next time! If you’re ever in Indonesia make sure you visit Gili Trawangan 😁!!!!