A Guide To ↠ Gili Trawangan, Indonesia

This time last month I had just returned from my overseas adventure to Bali, Indonesia. While over there I got to check out and explore the well known Heaven that are the Gili Islands; although during this trip I only stayed on Gili Trawangan.

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The Gili Islands are a group of 3 tiny islands – Gili T, Gili Air, and Gili Meno – just off of the east side of mainland Bali.

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A 1 and a half hour boat ride will get you from the ferry port of Padang Bai to the largest of the 3 islands, Gili T.

{Our tickets cost us AU$70 each, which were return tickets and included a shuttle bus to Padang Bai (although additional costs occur depending on where you’re being picked up from), and from Padang Bai to your accomodation upon return (which we didn’t utilise as we had a driver already pre-arranged)}

Gili T, aside from being the largest of the 3, is also most well known for being the party island out of all of them.

Before embarking on my adventure to the Gili Islands, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had read many mixed reviews with some claiming the islands, particularly Gili T, to be the most amazing destination spots in Indonesia, whilst others remarked that the islands had become over Westernised and did not possess that unique, idyllic atmosphere that they once had.

To my surprise, Gili T was nothing to how I pictured it. I had imagined pristine white beaches lined with beach bars and bungalows/hotels, and wide spacious laneways. When in reality, Gili T boasted narrow streets with a hint of hustle and bustle – obviously not as hectic as mainland Bali, but still much busier than I had expected – and although the beaches were clean for the most part, they weren’t as pristine as my imagination had conjured up.

Despite not portraying the image I had in my head, I loved every minute on the island!

There are no cars or bikes on any of the Gili Islands, which was one of my favourite parts, so the only way to get around is either by;

↠ horse & cart {which we only used to get from the beach where the ferry dropped us to the resort and back to the beach, and cost us around AU$10}

↠ foot,

↠ or bicycle.

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Where to eat on Gili T

Of course no post is complete without a section on where you should eat, and given that eating is quite possibly the thing we did most on this trip I’ve got a rough idea of some places you should check out should you find yourself on Gili T one day.

Scallywags

Scallywags Bar & Grill on the south side of Gili T is a pretty good lunch spot with a variety of meals on offer and stunning views of the beach and over to Lombok.

{Also open for breakfast and dinner}

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Kayu Cafe

Given that 3 out of 4 breakfasts were spent here I can easily say it was the number one breakfast spot (would easily be just as great for lunch too).

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{Their banana pancakes and pad thai were easily my 2 favourites, along with their oreo milkshake which is a must try!}

Pearl Beach Lounge

Another south side restaurant worth checking out is the Pearl Beach Lounge. A great place for those wanting a dinner on the beach experience, that is slightly fancier than the likes of Scallywags but won’t break the wallet.

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{Can concur that the chicken and cashew nut stir fry is delish and will no doubt result in a food baby given how big the serving size is}

Ko-Ko-Mo

Definitely up there on the more pricey side, but a great spot for a romantic dinner (in this case, we spent Valentine’s here) one night. The menu boasts a variety of Asian and Western influence cuisines and is absolutely mouth watering.

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Ombak Sunset

Home to one of the famous Gili T ocean swings, the Ombak Sunset restaurant is situated in a beautiful location, it’s just such a shame that the food was unfortunately pretty average.

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{The rice paper rolls weren’t too bad, however, the tom yum soup was unfortunately one of the worst I’ve ever had}

Other places worth checking out:

Villa Ombak,

Sunset Kiss Beach Club

What to do on Gili T

Depending on what kind of holiday vibe your after, there are plenty of options on what to do whether you’re interested in activities or a relaxing time.

For the more active:

↠ Snorkelling trip – this is an absolute must! If you want to get up close and personal with some of these guys ↓

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then you can’t go past a snorkelling trip to Turtle Point.

↠ Hike to the highest point on Gili T – for unbelievable views of the island, past the beach and all the way to Lombok this is a must.

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{The perfect time to do it would be to catch the sunrise or sunset, but if the early morning wake up call doesn’t work for you, then definitely make sure you do it during the cooler times of the day because it gets pretty hot and heaps of mozzies will accompany you so don’t forget the mozzie repellent}

↠ Hire a bike and explore the island – bikes are as cheap as AU$5 for 24hours and it takes only a few hours to ride around the entire island. {Just remember to lock your bike up with the provided bike lock when stopping off at places because they can go walk about sometimes}

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↠ For those wanting to get their diving certificate, I would recommend looking at your options for doing it on Gili T – beautiful locations and much cheaper than most other places.

For the more relaxed:

↠ Catch some rays on the beach,

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↠ Treat yourself to a massage or spa treatments,

↠ Grab a typical Gili T swing photo,

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↠ Watching the mesmerising sunset {Sunset Kiss Beach Bar is the perfect location, but make sure you get there early because it gets super packed}

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Where to stay on Gili T

We stayed at The Trawangan Resort.

Check out my previous post about finding accomodation in Bali here, and stay tuned for a separate post on my review of The Trawangan coming soon.

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6 thoughts on “A Guide To ↠ Gili Trawangan, Indonesia

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