If you thinking about heading off to Gili Trawangan on your next Indonesian adventure, then following is some really useful information. The team at Gili Island Accommodation recently spent 5 days exploring the island and have come up with some valuable insights to help you find some magical gems next time your on Gili Trawangan. From hotel accommodation, right through to beach activities and eating out, it’s all here.
Firstly, Gili Trawangan is commonly referred to as Gili T and it’s one of three islands off the coast of Lombok and about a 90 min boat ride from Bali. It’s a paradise island where you can loose yourself in the hot, balmy sunshine and crystal clear, blue ocean waters. It is the ideal place to relax, chill out, grab a tan and simply melt into the sand or sun lounge by the pool.
Booking your Boat Trip to Gili Trawangan
The only way to get to Gili T is by boat and most tourists will be coming from Bali. We left via Sanur and paid for the Fast Boat at a local vendor who had a fixed price advertised. It’s so much easier this way than perhaps buying it in Seminyak where the chances of getting ripped off are high. Basically, you have 2 options when it comes to the boat; fast or slow. The fast boat takes an hour and a half and the slow boat takes upto five hours. It’s your call but as you can imaging most people opt for the fast boat. You have to believe me when I tell you about pricing. There is one price for the local and one for foreigners. Try not to get caught out by being a ‘dumb foreigner’….and go for the local ticket price. Expect to pay about Rp 450 000 for a round trip ticket.
If you have booked your boat you will probably have to wait around for say 30 min or so till the next boat arrives and this will give you time to shop locally and stock up on snacks and drinks for the ride. On the boat itself, there is a covered inside area but most adventurous younger travellers like to sit up on the roof to take in the salt water spray as you zip along the ocean. It can be quite exhilarating.
Accommodation on Gili T
There are so many types and price ranges of accommodation on Gili T but the best thing to do is to book beforehand online as most of the popular resorts, beach front bungalows and hotels seem to get booked ou by those smart enough to do everything online – as an example, using a website like this to book your Gili T hotel room as it’s powered by booking.com – which means there are heaps of options and budgets for you to choose from.
Gili Trawangan is a relatively small island and you will find that most of the accommodation is on the beach or at least within walking distance to the beach. It’s all about tourism here and this is why the best hotels are right on the beach. Imaging how good this is….all you need to do is wake up, grab your snorkelling equipment and hit the ocean. Nothing is better than this!
Accommodation on Gili T, can range from cheap bungalows where you will be paying about $30-$50 Aussie dollars per night. These prices are not the same as in Bali and you tend to get more bang for your buck here. Again, it’s best to check online her., do your research and lock it in beforehand.
What to do during the day on GILI T
OMG, there is so much to do. Probably the most important thing to do is get that book out, grab your sarong and head off to the beach. If you want a bit more action, then why not organise a scuba dive or perhaps even do a bit of exploring to get yourself orientated. A lot of people like to go for an early morning jog before it gets too hot and then cool down in the ocean or by the hotel pool.
Once sunset time comes, the mood shifts and it’s all about the magnifect sunset and perhaps unwinding even further with a cocktail. Sunset time is a major event on Gili T and it’s where everyone comes together ready for the night ahead. It’s all about getting a prime position on the beach and having that sunset selfie….then rush to post it on Instagram.
Diving & Snorkelling on Gili T
Most people due to the beautiful marine life are either in the water or about to get into it. There are heaps of dive schools on Gili T, where you can get Padi certified and be diving within 2 days. If you have your open water certificate then make sure you hook up with a dive centre and start exploring the awesome reefs. You will find that the dive takes you to other island areas which are really close such as Gili Meno and Gili Air. Booking a dive is really easy. It’s a matter of walking around and finding one of the multitude of dive tours, seeing which one looks best and signing up. If you need help with this most hotel;s will be able to organise this for you.
If you prefer to snorkel then most tours will take you to a few reef sites where you can go exploring. You can do ether half day or full day tours. The marine life here is seriously abundant and you will probably end up swimming with a turtle or huge groper. It’s very common here to get this kind of rich sea life. I recommend a Go Pro as well as you can get underwater photos which are really cool if you are prepared to pay $600. Most snorkel trips are around Rp 150 000 of $15, which is great value. Plus you are going out there with like minded travellers so you may make some new friends.
Yoga on Gili Trawangan
For all you yogies out there Gili T is an awesome place to practice your yoga. Further your zen state of mind with a 60 minute yoga session. Prices are really cheap at roughly $5 per class. Instructors and yoga schools are really open here to accepting people of all level, so if your a newbie and keen to try yoga out for the first time, what better setting than Gili T to do it?
After your fully stretched, why not continue with a lovely Balinese style massage. I know it’s kind of typical and same as…beach, yoga, massage, but that’s the way it is here on Gili T. It’s all about making sure you de-stress, recharge and re-energise your mind and body before heading back to the stresses of everyday life.
Eating and drinking on Gili T
There are a huge number of options when it comes to eating and drinking on Gili T. A lot of people simply hang by their beach front hotel which would have a restaurant and go there for their main meals. There are however night markets and other local Indonesian markets and restaurants which you can find that serve up great food and really cheap price. We find that every time we visit Gili T, we mix it up. We tend to have breakfast in our hotel, lunch by a beach side cafe or restaurant and dinner is a random event where we choose restaurants that look decent.
If you travelling to Gili T on your own, don’t stress to much about eating alone. Chances are you are going to meet people and if you want to go out for a drink and loosen up a bit, there are heaps of bars and pubs that are open every night.
A point to note here about Gili T there are ATM’s around the island so there no need to worry about carrying too much cash around or stocking up from Bali.
OK, so whats next?
Get over to Gili Trawangan and start your holiday downtime. Book with us here and save up to 50% on all hotel rooms.