What to do in Gili Trawangan
Guest post from The Bear and the Blonde
Gili Trawangan (Gili T) is a small island off the coast of Lombok and Bali in Indonesia, which is the perfect place to get some relaxation. The Gili Islands are known for their paradise island vibe, and Gili T is no exception, that are great things to do in Gili T. It’s one of three Gili Islands, and we want to break down the five best things to do in Gili T! The island is about four miles in circumference, so there is not terribly much to do as far as adventures go, but we know you might have limited time during your stay, so why not get the scoop before you go!
In this blog post you’ll find a list of great things to do in Gili T, so you can plan the best vacation possible there. Gili T is commonly combined with a trip to Bali. You can easily reach Gili T from Bali by fastboat, but be sure to book a legitimate company — because Bali to Gili Trawangan doesn’t need to be a scary ride!
Gili T is just one of tons of islands in the Indonesian archipelago – how many islands, you ask? The islands of Indonesia are almost innumerable, but there are five main islands in Indonesia. Gili Trawangan is technically part of Lombok, and visiting Gili T is one of the best things to do in Lombok!
Looking for more tips on Indonesia? Check out these posts:
How to get from Lombok to Gili Trawangan
If you’re already on the island of Lombok, getting to Gili T is fairly easy. You can depart from the Bangsal Harbor in the north of Lombok. You have a few options:
- Take the public boat: Get cosy with the locals and take the public boat, which costs less than $1. The boat departs only twice a day, at 7:30am and 4:30pm.
- Take a shuttle boat: These also depart twice a day, at 8:30am and 4:30pm, and will set you back about $1.75
For more options, check out this guide on how to get from Lombok to Gili T.
Things to do in Gili T
Snorkeling Gili Trawangan (or SCUBA!): All three of the Gili Islands are known for their fantastic reefs filled with sea turtles and other marine life. If you are scuba-certified or have the time to dedicate to learning, check out Fat Cats, where you can go on diving trips (or get certified, if you aren’t already).
But if you still want to see some epic underwater scenes and scuba diving is not your thing, you also can book a snorkeling tour. They offer group trips, or for just a little more, you can book a private boat!
Our boat was about $35 (USD) for a two-hour snorkeling tour with a guide. It was well worth it! We saw turtles, reefs, and the love statue of Gili Meno. No need to book snorkeling in advance; you’ll have no trouble doing it when you get there. Don’t forget your snorkel gear if you’re headed to Gili T!
Bike the Island: Gili T has no cars, only horse-drawn carts and bikes! But like I said earlier, it’s only four miles around the whole island, so you can easily get around on a bike. There is a paved pathway around the island and you can stop along the way and grab a drink at various hotels and restaurants.
Be sure to bring your camera or cell phone in a lifeproof case–along your ride, you will find so many Instagram-worthy stops, from hammocks and swings above the water to kitschy frames designed for you to take photos in.
When we were there in September of 2018, the island was still recovering from a recent earthquake and some of the hotels had not re-opened yet, but that didn’t affect our stay at all.
The island can get pretty dark and night, so consider bringing a headlamp to wear so you can find your way hands-free at night!
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Stop and Grab a Mojito at Diversia Restaurant and Lounge: I know I already mentioned stopping by different restaurants on the island for drinks, but Diversia deserves its own note. Our mojitos were so good that we ended up going back!
This place really makes the best mojito. They use dark brown sugar instead of white, so don’t be worried when your mojito is brown instead of clear. The beach in front of the restaurant is also a great place for a dip in the water.
A lot of the beaches on the island are rocky and the reef is shallow, so you have to wade through the reef before getting to a spot to swim. Not here! There’s soft sand and it drops off fast, making it the perfect spot for a quick dip!
Planning a trip to Gili Air? Check out my guide to Gili Air
Get a massage or spa treatment: This one makes the list of the best things to do in Gili T simply because of the location! All throughout Indonesia you can get great messages for amazing prices–I am talking $10 USD or even less! But in Gili T you can have a massage at Dayang Spa, located right across the bike path from the beach.
The treatment room is an open-air loft where you can enjoy the warm tropical winds blowing through and listen to the sound of lapping waves while getting your treatment. It’s relaxation at its finest!
Watch a Movie in the sand at Le Pirate: Last but certainly not least, you must catch a movie in the sand at Le Pirate! Le Pirate is a very fun hotel on the island and was not affected at all by the earthquake, so if you are looking for somewhere to book soon, we would recommend it.
Whether you are staying there or not, it’s worth stopping by for a dip in the pool, lunch, and a drink, but the big highlight is their nightly movies. They pull out a projector and a screen, and you can lounge on a bean bag for dinner with a glass of wine and enjoy the movie. It was an experience like none other–we have done movies outside before, but never in the sand! Le Pirate is on the west side of the island, so get there earlier and enjoy an amazing sunset view of Bali before the movie starts. No list of what to do on Gili Trawangan at night would be complete without a mention of Le Pirate.
You can get more details on the movie times here. Just a heads up–if you are staying on the other side of the island, be sure to ask for a bike with a light on it. Parts of the road can be rocky and light is key when biking at night.
Gili T as a whole is absolutely beautiful. If you are looking for teal waters, sunshine, and laid-back vibes, this place has it all! A few things I suggest packing are a good book, lots of sunscreen (since you are almost at the equator), and a pair of water shoes. I know the shoes can look a bit dorky, but trust me, when you are wading over the rocky reef, you will be happy you have them.
Looking for more beautiful beaches? Check out these locations:
Let us know if you have any great things to do in Gili T that we missed – It’s definitely somewhere we would like to return!
The best hotels in Gili Trawangan
Gili Trawangan is full of great places to stay, here are just a few ideas to fuel your Gili T wanderlust!
Villas that open onto a swimming pool? Yes, please!
Pearl of Trawangan
This luxury hotel features a swim-up bar AND an incredible design. I’m sold!
Looking for more of the best places to stay in Gili Trawangan? Check out the selection from Booking.com (I always book with them because nearly all hotels allow you to cancel up to 48 hours in advance!):
Check out our full two week Bali honeymoon itinerary!
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Gabby is a native (Northern) Californian who spent the majority of her 20’s living the expat life in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, exploring Europe and beyond. 27 countries later, she’s relocated back to her home base in California where she explores her passions for the travel and the outdoors.