The Gili Islands consist of 3 small remote islands in Indonesia under the province of Lombok.
On a trip to Bali, we decided to go for an overnight stay at Gili Trawangan, which is the biggest and most popular island of the 3. The other two are called Gili Meno & Gili Air. The only way to get to the islands is by fast boat which takes about an hour and a half.
So one morning we set off!
The water around the islands are so beautiful and clear I could’ve (and almost) jumped off the boat for a swim.
We’d already experienced a bit of culture shock arriving in Bali, but arriving at Gili Trawangan was next level. It is so remote that there’s no cars and the islands transportation includes horse carriages and bikes. It was kinda cool to get away from the bustle of everyday life.
After overcoming a minor state of panic when I realised we couldn’t even use our phones, let alone wifi, we went and rented bikes for $5 a day so we could get around. Fun fact: it takes an hour and a half to bike around the entire island.
All the shops and bars are directly on the waterfront and all in cute huts. This island is ALL about bars. I honestly believe there could have been more bars than people, not that I’m really complaining. Think: waterfront, chairs on the beach close enough to dip your feet in the water, pretty lights, bean bags and coconut trees. Sounds sort of like paradise, doesn’t it?
My favourite kind of bars were the ‘sunset bars.’ They are bars specifically made for watching the sunset, which might I add is probably the most beautiful sunset I’ve ever seen (or maybe second to Santorini).
We stayed at the Ombak villas which were more like bungalows. Accommodation is seriously cheap. You could pay anywhere from $10 to $100 a night. We didn’t even have accommodation going there, we were just like ‘let’s wing it’, which probably wasn’t our best idea now looking back.
I would recommend booking beforehand to avoid getting bombarded with places to stay and people when you first arrive. It’s pretty overwhelming. Plus if you’re going in high season, booking in advance is essential.
Did I mention Gili Trawangan is also known as TURTLE ISLAND which may or may not have been one of the main reasons I wanted to go. Can you guys blame me though? I mean JUST LOOK AT THEM. Cuteness overload or what.
They have day snorkeling trips which you can book to go to the clearest waters of the island to see the turtles. Unfortunately we ran out of time so instead we rented some snorkeling gear for $4 and biked to a nearby snorkeling spot for a few hours.
Another thing, this island was literally filled with cats. They’re literally everywhere. From shops to restaurants and our breakfast buffet. There was even kittens on our front porch in the morning. Dreams do come true.
I’m so happy I got to experience the atmosphere and tranquility that is Gili T. They call it the friendliest place on earth. It’s a place where you can leave your bag on the street and no one would take it. I would love to go back to experience it again one day and possibly visit the other Gili islands (and Lombok!)
Have you ever visited the Gili Islands?
All photos taken with my iPhone 6 so I do apologise for the quality!