Otherwise known as Gili T, this glistening white sand, turquoise watered island is the perfect place to relax, do absolutely nothing and experience the magical underwater wonderland of turtles. Here’s The Ultimate Guide to Gili Trawangan.
How to Get to Gili Trawangan From Bali
Even if you haven’t ventured to Indonesia before, you’ve probably heard of the Gili Islands. The Gili Islands are a group of three small islands located on the coast northwest of Lombok, Indonesia. These islands can be easily accessed from North and South Bali or Lombok.
How to get from Padang Bai to Gili Trawangan
As we were living in Ubud at the time we took a ferry from Padang Bai. Many tickets will come with a transfer to Padang Bai from anywhere on the island. We chose the Ekajaya boat as it seemed the most legit and safe, and it was great, I have no complaints. You can book your tickets online, from a travel shop or your hotel. Just make sure wherever you get your ticket that you’ve done your research so you know it’s real.
It took a total of 2 hours to get from Padang Bai to Gili T. I would definitely recommend going for a fast boat as it can get pretty busy and if the weather’s a bit rough, you really don’t want to be spending too long on that boat. There is a public ferry but it takes a very long time.
How to Get Around the Gili Trawangan
Firstly, I just want to say how unbelievably small this island is.
I walked to the centre of this island with two bags and my guitar. Its hot but honestly totally doable. When you get to your accommodation they will almost certainly have bicycles to hire, if not, there are lots of rental bicycles dotted around the island. The cost of bike hire is so cheap and as it’s cruelty free, its a win win.
How not to get around the island
One of the worst things you could do would be to hop onto a horse and cart. You can tell that the horses are dehydrated, broken and on the very edge of death. I almost got ran over by a horse because it was having severe muscle cramps and spasms, its tongue was hanging out of its mouth and it collapsed soon after this.
My heart broke a million times seeing these creatures, just a pile of skin and bones. I saw people loading their bags into the cart completely forgetting the animal, whose every breath could be it’s last.
Things to do in Gili Trawangan
- Watch the sunset from the west side of the island. We brought a towel and snacks and sat on a quiet part of the beach to watch the sunset, but you could choose one of the many beach bars to enjoy the view from.
- Drink a bottle of Bintang at Sama Sama and enjoy one of the coolest reggae bands ever.
- Walk or cycle the entire path around the island. It’s really not very far and it’s the best way to see the whole island! Just please don’t forget water and sunscreen, it’s almighty hot and there isn’t much shade.
- Snorkel, but just keep swimming, just keep swimming until you are far from the other swimmers. Some people reach out to touch the turtles and swarm around them leaving them no space to move. It’s very sad to see. Remember to keep a distance, you are in their habitat, their home. I definitely recommend snorkelling in Gili Meno as well/instead if you’re planning a trip there, as it is a much quieter island.
- Relax on the beach! Okay so we are really not very good at this, we are usually so busy exploring that we forget to lounge on the beach.
The Best Vegan Food In Gili Trawangan
This place is insanely memorable. It’s a tapas style restaurant and each dish is so full of flavour! Every single thing we tried was beyond perfection! The food is sustainable, locally sourced and vegan. They also have a non-profit charity shop that funds local schools and even helped the rebuilding process after the recent Lombok earthquake.
This is a wonderful vegetarian restaurant. Located right next to the beach, you’ll be able to soak up the islands tropical vibes as well as chowing down on some yummy, fresh, healthy food.
Pad Thai Restaurant
This place was exactly what we were looking for. With seating literally on the beach you’ll be able to listen to the ocean and feel the sand beneath your feet while you eat. There are options for everyone and the menu is full of choice! We recommend the Tofu Pad Thai and the Veggie Penang.
We ate breakfast here every day and I have to say wow. The sweet caramelised banana rice pudding is so delicious and really substantial. It is the perfect way to start a busy day of exploring. Not only do Voodoo have the islands most famous burger but they also have an incredible vegan tempeh burger!
The Best Place to Stay on Gili Trawangan
For such a tiny island there are so many accommodation options. We were so lucky to be able to stay at Voodoo Gili. When you enter the resort through that little bamboo door you’ll find yourself in a peaceful oasis of wooden bungalows.
At Voodoo you’ll find 10 spacious double rooms with open air sky bathrooms and 10 triple rooms featuring unique jungle inspired bathrooms, all of which have a poolside balcony. There are also 3 exclusive VIP suites.
The staff are warm and friendly, they instantly make you feel at home and each of them are well equipped with knowledge of the island! They are unbelievably helpful and have everything from Bicycles to delicious cocktails.
This place is definitely my number one recommendation for accommodation on Gili T.
Gili T – The Party Island
Gili Air – The chill-out Island
Gili Meno – The secluded escape
Which one sounds most like you? Comment and let me know!
I really hope this has helped you plan your trip to Gili T.
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Thanks for reading!
The Lost Girl