Gili Trawangan is the largest of three islands that make up the Gili archipelago of Lombok. It was discovered only 30 years ago by seafaring people from Sulawesi and previous to that was uninhabited. Today, Gili Trawangan is the most glamorous of the three islands and attracts the majority of visitors, many of whom flock to this tropical playground in search of revelry.
Gili T has a population of around 1,500 with an increasing number of westerners relocating there for business every year. There are no motorized vehicles on the island, making for a very serene getaway from Bali’s madness. A slow walk will bring you around the island in less than two hours.
The island has slowly shed its former reputation as a hippie-dippie party destination, and has met the challenge brought by a recent influx of upmarket clientele. Today, this little slice of paradise attracts an array of visitors, from families looking for a weekend away Bali, to honeymooning couples, and young solo travelers.
WHAT TO DO
Snorkelling is one of the most popular activities to do on Gili Trawangan. The coral reef surrounding the island is fertile and thick with marine life. Snorkelling will bring you face-to-face with a variety of sea critters such as the bumphead parrotfish, angelfish, clownfish and numerous sea turtles, among others. You can book a trip with a guide or simply rent some gear for around IDR 50,000 and snorkel solo. Do be wary of the currents, which can often be strong around these islands.
Get Your Diving Certification
There are anywhere from 15-20 dive schools on Gili T, so those looking to get certified will never be short of options. It takes around three days to complete the Open Water Course with a certifying agency and the price you’ll pay is uniform across the island. For beginners, expect to pay around $370 USD, while Advanced Open Water courses will set you back by $295.
Visit the Bio Rock
The Bio Rock is an artificial reef set up by the Gili Eco trust. It’s fed a constant voltage of electricity that encourages rapid coral regeneration. The Bio Rock attracts an array of sea life and has been hugely effective in restoring damaged marine environments. It’s definitely worth a look for those interested in marine life and conservation.
Fishing, Horseback riding & Kayaking
Numerous companies offer fishing trips and charters for line fishing and trawling. Enjoying the sunset on horseback is a great way to spend the evening for those with equestrian skills. Kayaking is also a popular water sport activity on the island. After completing some training and a practice session with a qualified roach, you can paddle across the channel to Gili meno for a nice picnic.
GILI TRAWANGAN ACCOMMODATION & DINING
Gili Trawangan is the most varied of the three islands and there are no shortage of options here. Budget, luxury, boutique or beachfront? You choose.
The culinary options on Trawangan will also have you spoilt for choice. Take your pick from a variety of high end restaurants as well as low-key barbecue seafood joints, wood fired pizza, Indian food and vegetarian options.