Travel Diary: Gili Trawangan, Indonesia

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!

  • Nina
  • Seems like absolute heaven! The whole time I was reading this and looking at the pictures I was thinking wow what camera is that… you and your iPhone clearly take really good pictures! Glad the cat lady within you was very happy with all the kittens too haha, loved this post hun xx

    Bethany |

  • What camera/lens did you use to take these pictures?! They are so beautiful :) – was the question I was about to ask until I saw the smallprint!! Amazing images :)

  • Oh K.

    I wish I was there right now. That water is so gorgeous. :(( / creative lifestyle blog.

  • These photos are gorgeous! I especially like the one with all the turtles. :)

    Tegan xx – Permanent Procrastination

  • Thank you! x

  • It was amazing to say the least! Haha thankyou, iPhone's have come a long way haven't they?! x

  • Oh thank you! Funnily enough, I was actually kind of wishing I bought my SLR camera for better quality images but I really didn't want to risk it getting stolen/lost (and knowing me, it would have!) x

  • The water was beyond amazing!! Wishing I was back there too x

  • How cute are they?! kind of obsessed haha x

  • This is so beautiful! Makes me wanna go there! : P

    Anna |

  • I haven't been there but it looks stunning! I grew up in Hong Kong and there were a couple island scattered around – one looks familiar to this though I feel as though they had cars (so, not as as tiny!). I think I could do it for a couple days but not for too long, I'm technologically dependent!

    Nabihah |

  • Wow looks amazing

    Candice | Beauty Candy Loves

  • Beautiful place! I've never been to the Gili Islands but I'll add them to my list of places to go!

    Ana Leote | Meet Me @ 2 am

  • Wow this place look amazing – so many beautiful pictures x

    Jana // Life of Jana

  • I'd love to go for one or two days tranquility – but I agree, need some wifi at some point! Absolutely gorgeous though, I want to go to Bali so bad

    Lauren x

    Britton Loves | Lifestyle Food Beauty

  • Victoria Nightingale

    Wow, looks fabulous. You won me over with the cats and turtles part. I recently went to Japan and South Korea and it was amazing. I really miss it now though!

  • Sunset bars? What a great idea, beautiful photos despite the clouds. Would love to visit here!

  • It looks so beautiful and peaceful. and the water is so clear!

  • Liesel Allen

    The water there is so clear!! I'm so jealous! Have you been to Lombok as well? because the beach there is ah-mazing!

  • It looks gorgeous! x

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  • Diana Maria

    Wow it looks like such a peaceful and serene place, so beautiful! I love your photos, they make me want to visit Indonesia in the near future!

    My Lovelier Days

  • Aw thank you! It was incredibly gorg xx

  • Ahh I wish I was back there now! haha x

  • YES! Lombok is unreal. It's the next island up, about a 5-10 minute boat trip :) x

  • That it was! Some of the clearest waters I've seen! x

  • They were the most amazing places! So gorg x

  • Haha they won me over too! I'm dying to go to Japan one day! x

  • Two days was probably enough for me! Most people stay all Summer though, crazy! Bali is just insane x

  • Every part of the island captured amazingly! x

  • Definitely a bucket list place! x

  • Oh yes, they're a must see!! So beaut x

  • It was! Missing it so much! x

  • That's so cool! Hong Kong is at the top of my bucket list! Yeah it was a very weird experience to not depend on technology at all! x

  • I wish I was back! haha a beautiful place x

  • Sophie

    Aw I loved Gili T!
    Your photos are ace!! I wouldn't have been able to tell they were on your iPhone!!

  • Amazing place!! Oh really?! That's a relief, I was so tempted to bring my SLR camera for better quality but glad I didn't risk it! x

  • Now I'm just jealous! I've always wanted to go somewhere tropical but I haven't had the chance.

  • Holly Emery

    I totally get your culture shock – I felt exactly the same! Bali was incredible, never got to visit Gili T though ! your pictures look incredible :)


  • Dewi Natalia

    My country!!!! :D Lovely, isn't it?

  • I've never been to Bali but nearly everyone I know went this year and their photos (and yours!) have made me super jealous!

    Liv |

  • Joanne

    Oh my God Angela! I am freaking out! I had no idea you went to Gili Trawangan. I went there around 2 years ago and it was definitely a dream, it's one of the best places in Indonesia (I live in the country)! I'm so thrilled seeing all these photos because I was there too.

    The bars and restaurants are fantastic indeed, it's such a lovely and gorgeous island. We went snorkelling and we also went around the whole island for a few hours. Amazing experience! Xx