Gili Trawangan is the largest and most popular of the three Gili islands in Lombok. The other two – Gili Meno and Gili Air, are quieter and smaller in comparison. Hence, there is always an array of fun things to do on Gili Trawangan island in Indonesia.
Table of Content
- Unmissable Things to Do on Gili Trawangan Island in Indonesia
- What to do on Gili Trawangan for Free
- What NOT to do on Gili Trawangan?
- How to Reach Gili Trawangan from Bali?
Unmissable Things to Do on Gili Trawangan Island in Indonesia
Renowned as the popular party island near Bali, the lovely beaches of Gili Trawangan attract both party goers and sun seekers. As such, there is never a dull moment at this bustling island and the daily influx of visitors goes up during the weekends.
The very first thing I noticed when I touched foot on the island was that there are no vehicles at all there. Zero bikes, cars or any pollution emitting means of transport. Yay! What a refreshing change for me as a big city girl. The only modes of commute on Gili Trawangan are horse carts, bikes or the best option – on foot!
So apart from chilling in a pollution free environment, there are several other cool things to do on Gili Trawangan –
Diving is a popular activity on Gili Trawangan. With hoards of amazing diving schools and expert instructors from around the world, Gili T primarily rose to popularity as a dive spot. My very first diving experience was right here on this lovely island and the highlight of my dive was – Finding Nemo 🙂 Trawangan waters are also bouncing with sea turtles and other amazing underwater life, so there’s a lot to see and explore in these reefs.
Cycling Around The Island
Gili Trawangan is a small island with a circumference of around 7 kms. This makes biking around fairy easy and fast. In just 30 mins, you can circle around the entire island. However, I would recommend riding your bike on the soft beach sands and around the several inner paths as well. You can explore a lot and take respite under several lovely shady trees.
Bike rentals are available outside almost every shop, hostel and restaurant. It would cost around USD 3 to rent a cycle for a day here.
Enjoying a Drink at Sama Sama Reggae Bar
Needles to say, the party scene on Gili Trawangan is perhaps the number one reason for the majority of tourist influx to the island. With so many amazing things to do on Gili Trawangan, grabbing a drink whilst enjoying live music at the ever popular Sama Sama Reggae Bar, is an absolute must.
Grub time at the Night Food Market
Night food market at Gili Trawangan is a mecca for sea food lovers and has some delightful street food stalls. You can have a complete meal here without breaking the bank, coupled with cheap Bintangs to set the evening mood.
Getting High with a Magic Mushroom Shake
For those who like to “experiment” and are keen to try one of the famous (or shall I say ‘infamous’) magic mushroom shakes, then by all means, Trawangan is the place to try them at. Priced at around USD 10 per shake, these hallucinatory shrooms claim to take you to the moon and back.. .and they do live up to the hype!!!
You will find beach shacks serving and advertising them openly. I would recommend trying them at one of the techno shacks , a little further from the insane party scene. Try “Fly bar” beach cafe like we did.
They have several hammocks to flop on when you are high. Also, try them during the day to enjoy a good ‘daytime’ visual high.
Note – Take them at your own risk and be sure you are mentally prepared else you wouldn’t want a ‘bad trip’ to ruin your vacation.
Snorkeling with Sea Turtles
Gili Trawangan has some of the clearest blue green waters and stunning coral reefs. This makes it a mecca for divers and snorkelers alike. You can literally even just walk into the water and enjoy a vivid underwater life. If you so wish, rest some snorkeling gear and go for a swim at one of the many “Turtle points” or just set off in the water anywhere. Sea turtles are everywhere and can be found really close to the shore. So, all you need is a little bit of luck and enthusiasm to spot these gentle creatures.
What to do on Gili Trawangan for Free
As is the case with any pretty island, there are some wonderful freebies nature offers us on Trawangan as well. To make the most of your relaxed, chilled out vacation, try some of these free things to do on Gili Trawangan.
Trawangan island has some of the insanest sunsets I have ever seen. Just enjoy a sun downer at one of the many beach bars lining the shoreline on the flip side (that’s where the sun sets) or walk around to find your own private sunset point.
Swings and rocks would make for excellent view spots as well as offer plenty of photo opportunities. It’s easy to climb up some rocks for a vantage point and 360 degree island/beach views while the sun dips into the ocean.
Walking Around the Island
Most people opt for cycling around the island but I chose to walk it out. Had an absolutely wonderful day as I slowly walked the circumference of Gili T, taking pictures, stopping for Bintangs and mouthwatering food.
It takes around 2 hours to do so but I took my own sweet time and spent the entire day doing so, wrapping it up with a spectacular sunset.
Taking Instagram Worthy Swing Shots
If this isn’t Instagrammers paradise then what is? One of the most sought after things to do on Gili Trawangan is surely taking pictures in one of the pretty swings on the waters.
Many photgraphers and Instagrammers head to the island for this sole purpose and I must say, the swings and the entire setting is actually very picturesque.
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Lazying on a Hammock
Gili Trawangan has hammocks everywhere – At the beach shacks and heck even in the water! So if chilling is your thing, plop yourself on a hammock and while the day away watching the incredible natural beauty and listening to the sound of the waves.
Tip – I would avoid visiting Gili Trawangan during major holidays like Christmas / New Years Eve. The island can get so crowded that there’s barely a place to set foot and the roads/ party scene can get pretty hectic.
Best time to visit Gili Trawangan would be the weekdays as they are quieter and yet extremely enjoyable.
What NOT to do on Gili Trawangan?
With all the wonderful things to do on Gili Trawangan there is one I would request you all to avoid. Let’s leave the poor horses alone please. Horse carriages can be fun, colorful and easy for those who don’t want to walk or cycle but think about the animals for a change.
I know some of you book hotels on flip side of the island and its not exactly ideal tugging your big bags for an hour but please be mindful. You can leave your bags in your hotel in Bali or store it in luggage facilities at airport if you are coming directly. Just carry a small backpack for your time in Gili T and let’s not exploit animals for our comfort 🙂
How to Reach Gili Trawangan from Bali?
There are several fast and public boats operating from Bali to Lombok and then further to Gili Trawangan. You can buy your ferry tickets online or directly with the tour operators. I would recommend hopping on the fast boat from Padang Bai which will take less than 2 hours right up to Trawangan and set you back by a mere USD 30.
Public ferry’s cost around USD 3 but are slower and less comfortable, needless to say. As someone who has motion sickness, I avoid the wobbly slow public boats but if you are on a budget, those are the best option.
Gili Trawangan Map
Have you visited this lovely island near Bali? Tell me your personal favorite things to do on Gili Trawangan in comments below.