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Gili Trawangan

By Ariella N. Lai in Adventure

May 10, 2021

In the stunning conclusion to my Gili Islands trilogy, I’m taking you to the most popular out of the three Gili Islands –Gili Trawangan (also known as Gili T).

I’ve made it quite obvious in the opening Gili Air article and its Gili Meno sequel (go check them out if you haven’t) that Gili Trawangan is the party central of Lombok. If you want a place to rest and relax without the sounds and noise of life, the aforementioned two are the places to go, but if you want a place where the party rarely stops, you’re in the right place.

Don’t be alarmed, though, even if it’s the party central of Gili islands. It’s much less crowded than Bali without losing that vibe. Suppose you’re not too fond of overly crowded places but want to enjoy the nightlife. Gili is the perfect place to go for loud music and affordable boozy drinks. The island itself has a chaotic yet organised (like me) party schedule where all bars will close after midnight except for one, so if you’re looking to meet new people without bar hopping or want to be in the scene, this is an ideal scenario.

Another treat for those wanting to day drink and party under the sun is the availability of party boats that will take you from the land to the middle of the crystal clear waters. Party boats are available to jump from the drunken decks into the cooling ocean, where sea life will greet you like a friend. Just don’t litter; keep the oceans clean for the sake of the planet and the creatures living in it.

Hailed as the smallest island with an Irish Pub (blond suit-wearing womanizer not included), Gili Tis the largest out of the three Gili Islands and is even used as the hub that connects from the Lombok and Bali mainland to the lesser-known islands. Very much like its smaller siblings, Gili Tis an engine-free island, in a sense that no transports engines can be used on land here. People can still rent bikes and horses, but you won’t find an Ub*r or taxi to haul your drunken self (or partner/friend/anyone) back to the abode. I don’t recommend renting horses, though, because they’re months away from death due to the torture they sustain from rough handlers. Stay cruelty-free and healthy by renting a bike or by walking; you can’t go wrong there.

Yogis will find this place a haven as well, so if you’re looking for some zen and maybe a chance at enlightenment through meditation, there are plenty of yoga studios scattered around. The willingness to do little is one of the islands’ most appealing features. Many bungalow-style accommodations with verandas overlook gardens and/or the ocean on Gili Air and Gili Meno, which have no vehicles and a slower pace. Small open huts (called berugak) are ideal for two to four people to say for a decent portion of the day in cafes and restaurants.

Like all Gili islands, you can’t skip the sea here. Scuba diving rentals are also available all over the island, where you can rent equipment and have a first-hand experience of the underwater beauty that’ll make a certain red-haired mermaid want to stay under the sea. The alabaster sand isn’t as clean and soft as the ones in Gili Air or Gili Meno, but it’s still a gorgeous place to kick back with a drink in hand, be it in a cup, can, bottle, or even an environmentally friendly coconut!

It looks like I’ve reached the end of my Gili Island series. Like all places in Indonesia, this small cluster of islands has its own unique beauty and is perfect for every type of speed you’re looking for on vacation. I leave you with one note, and I feel as though it’s an important one: Keep the environment clean, respect the local traditions, and be a decent human being.