Gili Trawangan Complete Guide of Things To Do
The Gili islands are easy to fall in love with and this island is probably the most stunning of the 3 islands. I had an amazing time and this is why I had to create this epic blog post on the best things to do on Gili T. This complete guide includes things such as how to do the snorkelling Gili T.
This is one of the best islands in Asia and one of the most romantic honeymoon destinations in the world! Accommodation, food and beer are cheap. This is why it’s very popular amongst backpackers. Whether it’s the boat rides, beach cinema or the turtle hatchery, you will love it on here.
A lot of backpackers visit this awesome island from Bali mainland and then visit Lombok, or go the other way. So, this is an awesome little hub in between these paradise destinations. Also, Gili T has the best beaches and the famous Bali swings in water.
Let’s look exactly what’s included in this post;
- How to get to Gili T
- Things to do on Gili T
- Where to eat on Gili T
- Where to stay on Gili Trawangan
- Final thoughts
How to get to Gili Trawangan from Lombok?
How to get from Bali to Gili Trawangan?
From Bali to the Gili Islands by fast boats
You can get the daily fast boat from Bali to the Gili islands. If you choose this option, you will need to get the boat from Padang Bay and this will take you to the Gili islands.
The best thing to do is stay in Kuta overnight and get a taxi to the pier early in the morning. The first boat is around 9 am, so get there at least 30-minutes before so you know where you’re up to.
How long does the Bali to the Gili islands fast boat take? The journey will take you around 2 hours, which is quicker than the public boat to the islands.
How to get from Kuta to Gili T? You can travel to Gili Trawangan from Pedgang Bai.
You can book a cheap ticket from Bali to the Gili islands here.
16 Epic Things To Do On Gili T
There are plenty of awesome things to do on Gili T from snorkelling with turtles to watching the sunset drop. Which of the Gili islands is the best? The best of the 3 islands is Gili Trawangan! Gili Air and Gili Meno are nice islands, but they’re not as good as Gili T. Also, if you’re looking for the best party island, you need to check out the Gili T parties. This is the largest of the 3 islands and definitely has the best atmosphere.
Let’s look at what to do on Gili T so you can have an amazing time on this epic destination in Indonesia.
1. Snorkelling with turtles
The Gili are famous for the tropical waters they’re surrounded by this is no wonder the snorkelling is a top thing to do on the Gili islands. The underwater world is a true gem for cool fish, but best of all the turtles. We could not believe the size of the turtles around Gili and how they let you touch them. The turtles carry on eating plants under the water and let you get side by side without moving. It is a magical experience and feels like your in the film Nemo. You can also check out the Gili Trawangan turtle hatchery for a cool experience!
You can also snorkel at the sunken ship which sits at Wreck Point near Mentigi Beach. Many of the snorkel tours visit here so it can get very crowded. Try to get the wreck point early morning if you can.
2. Island hopping between the three Gili islands
The islands are easy to get to visit from each other, they are very close. There is a couple of ways to get to the islands, the first way is the public boat from Gili Trawangan which leaves around 9:30 am, it costs between 20,000/30,000 Rupiah so don’t let ticket sellers charge you anymore.
I got the cheapest ticket from the ticket office. Secondly, the other way is a private boat which may cost around 200,000 Rupiah for one way, I would only recommend this if there is a group of you! Finally, the islands are that close that it is not worth getting a private boat.
3. Visit Nusa Penida
Nusa Penida is a breathtaking island and one of my favourite places in Indonesia, one of the reasons because of the Kelingking beach secret point which is one of the most stunning beaches I have ever seen and I am sure many others feel the same way.
You can get to the island of Nusa Penida from the Gili islands by a 1 and a half hour fast boat, which will cost you 450,000 Rupiah per person (return). You may find this a little cheaper if you ask some of the guys working on the beach. All in all, it is worth the visit as there is so much to see and do on the Nusa Penida.
4. Go for a massage
The Massages are a big thing all over Indonesia, but we had our first massage on the Gili Trawangan. It was sweet and only cost 60,000 Rupiah per person for a full body one hour massage. It was worth every Rupiah and you do come out feeling fresh and relaxed, you will sleep that night.
The prices do vary depending which massage shop on Gili T you choose, but during the day the shops do offer out deals which you can snap up a bargain.
5. watch a sunset on Gili T
After a day in the sun, sit back, relax and watch the skies fill with red in the amazing sunset drop over the Gili Islands. There are plenty of swings, hammocks and cute benches to just put your feet up and enjoy the moment. The sunsets are spectacular and put an amazing end to the day.
You will need your camera for this! After you’ve watched it, you can head over to one of the beach restaurants on Gili T to enjoy some delicious food.
6. Get your scuba diving licence on Gili T
The Gili Islands are a world hub hot spot for scuba diving, you must take advantage of these epic dive experiences if you love swimming below the water’s surface. You can also gain a world recognised PADI qualification over a few days diving course in Gili, where else in the world would you want to earn the sweet qualification?!
There are plenty of diving hubs scattered around and they look super cool with a relaxed vibe, music playing and usually people hanging about enjoying a beer. One of the best Scuba diving companies on Gili T.
7. Things to do at Night
If you love reggae or a good atmosphere then you need to visit the Sama Sama Reggae bar it is a super cool atmosphere and even better music. Step into the reggae world and listen to classic Bob Marley being performed b a live reggae band, the entrance is also free. So, kick back relax and jam the night away.
What else is there to on Gili T at night?
There are some quirky bars and cafes to visit at night. The atmosphere and nightlife get really good at around 6 pm!
There is BBQs on the beach, music playing, drinks flowing and everyone just having a good time. Don’t worry though even if you’re not into partying, you will still enjoy the evening scene.
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8. Feast on the beach BBQs
It is a popular thing on the island to feast on Delicious BBQs that include food such as fresh catches of fish in the day. You can usually expect to pay a package price of around 180,000 Rupiah which gets you plenty of meat and unlimited side dishes. The BBQs have a stunning setting on the beach and are usually lit by cute lighting once the sun goes to bed. All in all a great night with great food under the stars. See for amazing food and amazing prices
9. Drink and dance the night away
Gili T is the most popular out of the three islands for its famous nighttime party culture. This includes a beer crawl what a lot of backpackers take advantage of. and another big thing is the beer pong However, we don’t drink much and we expected it to be a lot wilder but it’s not all that’s wild.
There is a mix of bars and clubs whether you just want to have a quiet drink or if you want to go all out partying and dancing.
10. Practice paddle boarding
Paddleboarding is very popular on the Gili islands, this involves hiring a board similar to a surfboard then using our master balance (or not) to stand and paddle around the coastline of either of the islands.
There are hire stations dotted all over the island and the price varies but just use your barter skills to get the price lower.
11. Horse Riding
I wasn’t brave enough for the horse riding, but you can pay to use a horse for your adventures around the islands. However, it can be quite expensive and obviously, you need the skills to handle one of these stallions. If you do have the skills then I can see this being a mega mini-adventure.
12. Horse Taxi
Other than bicycles and walking there is no other way to get around the islands. The horse taxis are great if you want I relax and have a scenic ride around the stunning islands. A lot of people take advantage of these to luggage their suitcases and backpacks to their accommodation.
It’s not a very big island and you can run around this island in an hour, however, the weather on Gili T can get very hot. So, opting for a horse taxi is a great way to avoid the crazy heat whilst dragging your suitcase.
13. Bicycle around Gili
Another favourite activity of mine is cycling, cycling around the Gili islands is a mega experience to take an easy ride to take in the extraordinary views of these tranquil islands.
The bicycles are cheap to rent at about 50,000 Rupiah for the day, however, bicycles come free with a lot of the places to stay on the Gili islands.
The island is roughly a 7-mile circumference and it took us about 1 hour and 20 minutes to cycle around, but it’s your stay so you go at your own pace.
14. Take a boat ride around the Gili islands
This a fun and easy way to see the underwater world without getting wet. Hop into a see-through floor boat and cruise into fun.
You could even create your mini navigation of the islands and hire a see-through kayak. Either way, they aren’t both mega cool fun! You will love a boat ride around the Gili Air and Gili Meno, it’s a great way to see the marine life without snorkelling.
15. Turtle sanctuary on Gili Meno
If you enjoy snorkelling with the turtles, then you will for sure enjoy visiting the Kura’s turtle sanctuary on Gili Meno. This awesome sanctuary raises turtles to protect and preserve life.
Also, you can release the turtles back into the wild from the beaches on Gili Meno!
How much is the Kura’s turtle sanctuary release programme?
You will have to donate around 90,000 – 110,000 rupiah. But, it’s worth it!
16. Gili T night market
If you enjoy a good atmosphere and tasty local food, then you will enjoy the night market.
Where is the Gili T night market?
The market is held at 6 pm every day at the front of the main boat pier on Gili Trawangan. To be honest, you can’t miss it, you will see the stalls, lights and a buzzing atmosphere.
On the market, you will find foods such as;
- Grilled Vegetables
17. Gili Trawangan Booze Cruise
If you want to get drunk and dance on the sea, you can take part in the Jiggy Boat Party which is the most famous Booze cruise in the Gili islands.
You will have over 100 other guests dancing on board with you to some sick music such as Hip Hop and Deep House.
If you are looking to join in the part then you should book tickets to the Gili Trawangan Booze cruise on the island, then, you will have to meet at Jiggy Jig’s bar at 1.00pm.
If you struggle with seasickness. then I would take it easy on the alcohol!
Other than that you will have an amazing time dancing the day away in the amazing weather in the Gili islands.
18. Secret Gili Islands
There are islands in Indonesia that are known as the “secret Gili islands“. One of them being the Gili Asahan, which is near the Southwest Lombok Coast.
How to get to the secret Gili islands?
You will need to get a boat tour to these islands, which I think you can get from either Gili Trawangan, Gili Air or Gili Meno!
The boat tours won’t be expensive. If you want it to be even cheaper, you should find other backpackers that want to visit either;
- Gili Gede
- Gili Asahan
- Gili Layar
- Gili Canggu
If you choose to visit any of the secret Gili islands then you can expect amazing clear water, beaches fringed by palm trees and unique local culture.
19. Gili T Swings
The Gili T swings are one of the most iconic things to see on the island. You will have seen the awesome Instagram photo of the famous Bali swing in the sea and this is what most tourists on the island usually head to first!
There is plenty of swings on Gili T scattered around the island with some randomly dotted and some of them belonging to hotels. Also, the hotels didn’t bother if you have a go on the swing for a quick photo.
There is a Gili T swing that you should check out at Pandawa resort which is cool. You could even get an awesome photo on the swing watching the sunset on Gili T.
20. Watch a movie at the Gili T cinema
You can live the dream and watch a film a the open-air cinema on the beach. How cool is that?!
As the sun goes down, you can pay the 50,000 IDR entrance fee to enter the beach.
You will be given bean bag to relax on and there’s also popcorn going round to nibble on during the film. This is quite a surreal setting and an unforgettable experience!
21. Walk around the Island
You might be wondering if you can walk around Gili T or how long does it take to walk around Gili T? Well, good news, you can walk around the island in around 1 hour and 45 minutes. Depending on how quick you walk. We hiked at a nice pace and check out all the stunning beachside hotels on Gili T.
I highly recommend walking around the island to see everything Gili T has to offer. You will be able to see some of the famous Bali water swings, and you’ll also get to see market stalls and all the tasty restaurants with a sea view.
Where to eat on Gili Trawangan?
There are plenty of lust restaurants on Gili T. You can dine on one of the beach BBQs and watch the sunset on Gili T, which is an awesome experience.
Let’s look at some of the best places to eat on Gili T;
- The Kayu cafe is one of the healthiest places to eat on Gili T. Here you can find tasty juices and healthy food. Also, you can enjoy a coffee whilst enjoying the views of the beach.
- Another awesome place to dine in the Gili T Roast house which is a takeaway stand. However, there are a few tables outside of the Roast house where you can sit and enjoy your food.
- The Diverse dive shop is what it says in the name – a dive shop. However, they sell good food – really good food! You can grab a burger here or choose an epic healthier salad.
Where to stay in Gili T?
There is plenty of accommodation in Gili Trawangan. Also, the bungalows and rooms on this island are cheap. But, you can choose for more luxury places to stay.
Even though the Gili islands are a little away from the mainlands, the hotels do generally come with WIFI and other key testaments like TV’s (not that you’ll ever stay in watching TV).
The central pier on Gili T is where the ferries will drop you off and this is where all the hostels and cheaper home-stays are located.
Let’s look at some of the best places to stay;
Also, another popular place to stay is Villa Lombok Gili Trawangan which is amazing and you can get some awesome Instagram photography here.
Gili T is one of the best holiday and getaway destinations in the world. You have a list of awesome things to do on Gili Trawangan for your stay on this epic island in Indonesia. After this awesome island, you should visit Lombok, check out this guide on the best things to do in Lombok while you’re there.
Check out this Gili Trawangan earthquake post if you’re interested in reading up!