I first heard of Gili Trawangan from my foreign friend a few years ago. At that time she told me that the Gili Islands (Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, and Gili Air) are like Hidden Paradise. Clean and very beautiful, feels like your own island, she said. She even said it was better than Bali and Lombok. Since then, I have also made the 3 Gili Islands as Travel Bucket Lists.
I heard from friends that Gili Trawangan is famous for its party. So the atmosphere is more crowded than other Gili islands. Therefore, I decided to explore the island of Gili Trawangan for 2 days 2 nights some time ago. Well, but my high expectations of Gili Island turned out to be a disappointment. Nowadays Gili Trawangan is dirty and not as beautiful as I imagined. There are still far better beaches in Lombok.
Day 1 in Gili Trawangan
At that time from Bali, we took a fast boat to Gili Trawangan. It so happened that we were acquainted with two tourists from Spain. We also exchanged numbers and walked together while on the Gilis. Arriving on the Gilis, we phoned the guesthouse which we had previously booked to ask how to get to the guesthouse. Because the distance is quite far from the port, he suggested taking a cidomo (read: delman) only.
So on this Gili there are 3 types of transportation: Cidomo, Bicycles, and Walking. Because we can’t ride bikes, we have to ride cidomo. In front of the port there are already many cidomos on standby. I was shocked to death when the Cidomo’s man said, the price for going to our guesthouse was Rp 200,000 one way. We also negotiated prices for about half an hour, but we could only negotiate up to Rp150,000 in one way. What the?! This is called “local tourist trap”.
Arriving at the inn, we met with the owner of the guesthouse who turned out to be a foreigner. I just found out when the person phoned earlier :)) Looks like I experienced a lot of culture shock here (even though it’s still in my own country LOL). After resting, we walked around the island to “The Exile”. Because the staff of this guesthouse said “The Exile” is a great place to enjoy the sunset on Gili. We also made an appointment with our new foreigner friends to meet at “The Exile”.
It turned out that our new friends enjoyed the sunset in “Ombak Sunset Gili Trawangan”. So there are 2 popular places to enjoy the beautiful sunset on Gili Trawangan: “The Exile” and “Ombak Sunset”. But based on the staff of our guesthouse who is also foreigner and has lived a long time on the Gili, she prefers “The Exile”. Therefore, we followed her advice.
Sunset on Gili Trawangan was indeed beautiful. There is also a swing near the sea that famous on Instagram. The photo on the swing is great at sunset, but because it was very crowded I finally got a photo on the swing shortly after sunset. On “The Exile” also seems like there is a kind of live performance from local residents.
After sunset, we met with our new friends to go to the night market. Because people say the night market is famous on Gili Trawangan. They ride bikes, but unfortunately because it is not a bicycle for 2 people, so me and my friend are riding cidomo again. Because from “The Exile” to the night market is far, so inevitably have to take a cidomo. Especially on Gili Trawangan when it was late at night there were no street lights, so it was really dark.
The night market that we initially thought was good and lively, eh, it turns out it’s just normal in my opinion. We ended up eating at the Pizza restaurant right next to the night market. The pizza is pretty good, but since we already full, we pack the pizza to take to the inn.
Our foreign friends actually invited us to the party, but because my friend and I were not party girls, so we refused. Luckily they understood and after that, we went to an outdoor bar to enjoy the atmosphere of the Gilis at night. There was live music at that time too. Because the time showed at 23.00, we went back to the guesthouse using Cidomo again, and paid Rp 100,000.
Day 2 in Gili Trawangan
Our second day on Gili Trawangan, we spent time to snorkeling. So on the previous day, we had already booked for snorkeling in 3 Gili: Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, and Gili Air. We paid Rp 100,000 per person for this snorkeling trip using a public boat. So 1 ship can fit many people.
We departed from the hotel at 09.30, near the port around 10.00. Around 10:40 we had started to get into the ship. We started snorkeling at Gili Trawangan. Here we can’t go too far from the ship.
After that, we continued snorkeling at Gili Meno. If on Gili Meno, we have to snorkel / swim following the directions of the guide. While the ship is waiting behind. That’s pretty tired, my friend and I finally only halfway, but if my new friends continued to snorkel to follow the guide.
The last stop is on Gili Air. For me, I chose not to snorkel here, because at that time the sky was very dark (it was going to rain) and was afraid that the sea currents were strong. We finished this snorkeling trip around 2pm. Overall, snorkeling in 3 Gili is just ordinary and not even satisfying for me. The water is dirty and not clear anymore.