Gili trawangan

Gili Trawangan, or “Gili T” as its affectionately known, is the largest and most developed of the three Gilis, with the greatest range of facilities and activities.

It is the furthest island from the mainland, but is easily reached from Bali in less than 2 hours and is only 10 minutes by speedboat from Lombok.

Stretching approximately 3km in length and 2km in width, getting around Gili T on foot is easy, while a leisurely cycle around the island takes around 1 ½ hours – though, be prepared for some sandy detours in the north.

It’s the only Gili that elevates significantly above sea level, with the  hill in the south offering a breathtaking vantage point for spectacular sunsets across the ocean to Bali or the brilliant sunrise over Mt Rinjani on mainland Lombok.

On the far south end of the hill are the remnants of old WWII Japanese gun emplacements and crumbling bunkers, but the hand-dug tunnels have been blocked up.

The busiest area on Gili T is the east coast, but Gili T’s popularity means hotels and cafés extend around the entire island.  

Accommodations cater to diverse preferences, ranging from modest budget options to mid-range and opulent hotels, along with private villas that promise something for every discerning traveler.

Cafés and restaurants rate highly in quality and choice, and there are beachside dining options galore. Choices range from fresh seafood and modern healthy creations to authentic Indian, Italian and international cuisines; and from inexpensive Indonesian dishes to sophisticated fine dining.

Even the shopping scene on Gili T is evolving. Shops and kiosks selling the usual sarongs and t-shirts now rub shoulders with brand outlets and stylish boutiques.

Come nightfall, Gili T comes alive with a vibrant bar scene and regular parties around the island. The island has a rotating roster, where different bars have licenses to host a party on one night of the week. These parties are a big draw-card for the crowds of younger people who come to the island.

Some of the most popular bars include Tir Na Nog (also called “The Irish”), Savindia Lounge and Bar on the beachfront, and Sama Sama Bar for live music.

For those who prefer quieter entertainment, there are many low-key and romantic options, such as beachside dining, Spas, yoga retreats and more.

The busiest area, called ‘Sentral’, is on the east of the island, close to the harbour. Here you will find the greatest number of bars and restaurants, many hotels and resorts, and lots of shops and activities.

Resorts, restaurants, dive centres, bars, shops and other businesses line the paved ‘road’ that runs around the entire coast of the island.

Small roads meander inland from the main coastal road, where many of the island’s local people live. Home-stays, small hotels and private villas here offer a quieter (and often cheaper) alternative to the beachfront choices.

The north coast of Gili T has a quieter vibe and offers a peaceful alternative to the central area. Although the beaches to the north are affected by tides, the views are beautiful and snorkelling from the beach is good. The location makes it easy to access the dining and nightlife options nearby but also offers a different, more natural side of the island.

Likewise, the south and west coasts are popular with travellers seeking a quieter retreat away from the crowds. While still within easy reach of all the action, the hotels and villas offer a more serene island experience and the sunsets across the sea to Bali are magical.

Tagged “the party island”, Gili T continues to cater to the party crowd but also has a cosmopolitan vibe that is continually evolving. TripAdvisor® recently rated it as one of the ‘Top 10 Islands in Asia’.

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