Gili Trawangan is a good island to “get with it” as well as get away from it all.
There is something for every type of traveler on Gili Trawangan, whether you are on a tight budget looking for a cheap hut and street eats or you want to be luxuriously pampered in a Bali-style villa with all the trimmings money can buy.
The name “Trawangan” originated from the Indonesian word Terowongan meaning “tunnel” as the island has a cave tunnel constructed by the Japanese in WWII.
Getting around Gili Trawangan
Accommodation on Gili Trawangan
Cafes, Restaurant & Bars on Gili Trawangan
Things to do on Gili Trawangan
Freediving / Apnea
Learn to become a breath-hold diver. Whether you’re a beginner or a more experienced freediver, the range of courses on Gili Trawangan will train you to be more efficient with oxygen and provide you with the skills necessary to have you diving to depths of up to 20m in no time. For some, Apnea may be about diving deep and conquering inner fears while for others it’s a way to peacefully interact with the underwater world.
Gili Trawangan has several amazing snorkel sites around the island. Masks & fins are abundantly available for rent at several kiosks, dive shops and resorts. Please bear in mind that the currents can get a little strong at low and high tide and it is not advisable to attempt swimming between the islands. You can also book snorkeling trips around the 3 Gilis, Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno & Gili Air.
Nightlife on Gili Trawangan
Gili Trawangan really comes to life when the sun goes down. The east coast is the liveliest part of the island with several bars and restaurants serving up some form of entertainment. Whether you’re into reggae, rock and roll, techno or jazz, there is something for everyone. Bear in mind that during the month of Ramadan (July) the party scene is a little more toned down. Follow us on facebook and twitter or check our events calendar for the latest updates on what’s going on.
Massage or Spa treatment
Several resorts and villas offer massages but you can also find salons dedicated to all kinds of “urut” – traditional massages and other treatments. To experience a real traditional Sasak massage, a session with the legendary Pak Ali (Mr. Ali) is highly recommended. Enquire about Pak Ali’s services at Manta Dive.
Watch the Sunset
Head to the west side of the island, sit back with a couple of beers and watch the colors of the sky change as the sun sinks behind Bali’s Mount Agung. On Gili Trawangan there are a few popular sunset bars about 30 mins walk or a 10 min bike ride from the pier (head south along the coast road). There you can tuck into a meal or enjoy a cocktail
Cycle around Gili Trawangan
You can cycle around Gili Trawangan in less than an hour for a healthy workout or cycle at your own leisurely pace and really get to know the island. Don’t forget to bring water and your snorkel equipment.
Gili Trawangan Viewpoint
Enjoy a beautiful panoramic view of the three Gili islands, Lombok and Bali from the highest point on Gili Trawangan. The hill is located on the southern end of the island and is a superb place to watch a sunset or sunrise.
You can surf fun, right-hander waves in front of Ko-Ko-Mo resort on the south west corner of the island. This spot breaks all year round. In the dry season there is always swell, the winds turn it on shore but tends to die down early mornings and late afternoons. In the wet season the winds are very low or off shore but the wait for swell can last a couple of days or more. The break, if a little fickle, is well worth checking out. People doubt this spot, which helps to keep the crowds down.
Turtle sanctuaries have been set up on all three Gili Islands and are dedicated to protecting turtle eggs from predators, providing a safe environment for hatching them as well as raising the young turtles for up to a year before releasing them back safely into the sea. Drop by to encounter these cute little creatures and learn more about them and the initiatives being put into action. Donations are also always greatly appreciated.
Stud Stables offers a unique opportunity to explore Gili Trawangan on horseback. Ride down picturesque paths and through shady coconut groves then along the beach.
Learn how to make some famous Indonesian dishes by participating in a cooking class with Gili Cooking Classes. The 3 hours class offers a unique opportunity to learn the secret of six tasty and delicious Indonesian dishes and Lombok specialties. Experienced teachers will guide you in English through a session of “completely hands-on” fun filled courses. One cooking station is shared by two and you will make and eat your own food.
Island Hopping between Gili T, Gili Meno & Gili Air
All three islands have their own unique style and a day spent island hopping is a good way to discover the Gili islands of your dreams. Each island is within short distance of the other and the waters between the Gilis are usually calm. Charter a local boat for a day of exploring, or arrange a package tour around the Gili islands that includes snorkelling and lunch on a one of the other Gili islands. There is also a public boat commuting twice a day between Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno & Gili Air.
The public boat leaves Gili T at 9:30 am and 4 pm, stopping first at Gili Meno then at Gili Air.
Go to Lombok
When heading to Lombok from Gili Trawangan you have 4 choices:
- Charter a small speed boat to Teluk Nara, north Lombok.
- Take a fast boat heading towards Bali and depending on the company you will get dropped either at Bangsal, Teluk Nara or Senggigi.
- Charter a local boat at the harbor.
- Take the public boat to Bangsal, north Lombok. Public boats leave between 7:00 am and 5pm whenever there are enough people, minimum are 30 persons. If you get tired of waiting you can always speed up the process by purchasing the remaining seats needed to reach the minimum of 30 people.