Gili Trawangan: Stunning Photo Gallery, Map and Accommodation
Gili Trawangan, One of The Beautiful Gili Islands
Gili Trawangan is one of the 17, 000 islands that compose Indonesia and one of the three famous but tiny Gili Islands, described by Elizabeth Gilbert in her marvelous and bestselling book “Eat, Pray, Love” (although she travelled to Gili Meno). It is also a fantastic and unbelievably beautiful piece of Earth with the potential to conquests even the toughest, most demanding traveler, which is sure to leave one hundred percent in love with the place.
The beach goes for 360 degrees around the island and keeps as beautiful as the isolated stretch you can see in the picture above. In Gili Trawangan you can have the beach to yourself if that is what you are looking for.
One of The Best Places in Indonesia
Gili Trawangan, The Perfect Indonesia Holiday
The Gili Islands are located between the considerably bigger Indonesian Islands of Bali and Lombok. Of the three Gili Islands, Gili Trawangan has been unjustly reputed as being the “party island” -while Gili Meno the “quiet, chilled-out” one. This is not exactly true.
From my point of view, Gili Trawangan has the perfect balance amongst nature, beauty, quiet-relaxed atmosphere, human interaction (not too crowded but a nice number of locals and visitors with whom to talk, should you feel the need of human contact), recreational activities, touristic infrastructure –meaning nice beach front restaurants, eco-friendly bungalows made of natural elements such as wood, palm, bamboo; local minimarkets- and hey, who doesn't want a nice accommodation and good food to keep you comfortable and complement a beautiful and natural experience such as this amazing island?
What I am trying to say is that Gili Trawangan has the quiet isolated aspect of a pristine natural environment as well as the human interaction that is especially heartwarming with the incredibly hospitable and friendly locals.
Gili Trawangan: Charming Accommodation
Map of Indonesia - Bali, Gili Islands & Lombok
Indonesia, Extreme Natural Beauty
Gili Islands: Clean Immaculate Perfection
A thrilling fact about Gili Trawangan is that it has no motorized traffic and thus, no sound pollution what-so- ever. The Island in general, as well as the ocean and the beach remain very clean and unpolluted. Hurray!!!! Let’s keep it that way.
Gili Trawangan: Top Dinning
Gili Trawangan & Food
Gili Trawangan has an outstanding dining offer, with a considerable amount of nice candle lit open air restaurants and a romantic chilled out atmosphere that always makes you feel like a king. Here you can go out for drinks and dinner in a different place every day and enjoy a very pleasant and charming night, eating anywhere from Indonesian specialties (nasi, satays, curries, gado gado ) to meat cuts, vegetarian dishes and seafood. The Islands trademark is the fish grill; Blue Marlin for example exhibits the catch of the day and lets the customer take its pick. You can choose from a variety of fish to be grilled for you and they offer a salad buffet to go with it.
Gili Trawangan also has its night life pretty well organized with three weekly parties –each one with a particular music genre. Every party is held in a different bar and the rest of them close for the night, this is thought to avoid competition between the different bars that would put some of them out of business, and give them all a chance.
Sunset at Gili Islands
Things to Do in Gili Trawangan
- Snorkeling and Diving: among the marine specimens to be seen are turtles, black and white tip reef sharks, seahorses, pipefish, crustaceans, bump head parrot fish, barracuda, manta rays, coral reef.
- Surfing: Gili Trawangan has a fast right break that can be surfed all year round. Gili Surf Shop rents boards.
- Kayaking: Kayaking School "Karma Kayak"(also hotel and tapas bar) organizes half day kayaking trips around the Gili Island when currents allow it.
- Walking / Cycling: Walk the circumference of Gili Trawangan in around 2.5 hours.
Bicycles are also for rent within the island.
Day Trips: a visit to Lombok or any of the other Gili Islands is quite recommendable.
Gili Trawangan's Friendly Locals
During my stay in Gili Trawangan I became acquainted with many of the locals that work at the beach. I have never met such hospitable, kind, loving people. They really made me feel at home. Every morning, as I walked along the beach, I received smiles and friendly greetings wishing me a good day, and they all addressed me by my name! The humanity and genuine interest of the people was astonishing to me, specially coming from the sad but natural apathy and indifference of people in the big city where I live in.
I particularly became good friends with an Indonesian young man, whose name is too complicated to remember for us occidentals, and chose to go by the nickname of Banana. He made my days in the Gilis utterly unforgettable. I actually cried when I left after just 10 days, but they were definitely some of the most beautiful days of my life.
Among many things, we once went fishing and Banana prepared a sunset, all natural fish barbeque at the beach. He cleaned up our catch, made an Indonesian coconut-chili marinade for the fish, a perfect fire on the sand, and skillfully cooked the fish for our dinner; delicious and very special.
When I asked him about his motivations, he spoke of his personal mission to make visitors happy and welcomed. He actually didn’t receive much from me (a pretty much broke backpacker) beside a true friendship that was mutual, extraordinarily open, and selfless. These are the kind of valuable experiences you can live in Gili Trawangan.
Traditional Indonesian Wedding at Lombok
Lombok: an Authentic Local Experience
Banana also invited me for lunch to his family home in Lombok, right across Gili Trawangan (the blue mountains you can see in the background of the first picture on the top of this article is actually Lombok). One of his childhood village friends was getting married and he wanted me to experience a traditional Indonesian wedding, Lombok style.
The celebration was a huge surprise for me, and the environment in which it was held a true blessing. We didn't attend the actual ceremony but joined the bridal procession that walked from the village of the groom, to the village of the bride, through the jungle, accompanied by what seemed like the whole town.
The bride and groom are dressed in very different attire from our occidental white gown; they head the procession, in a very somber upright attitude, followed by a marching band, family and a more cheerful dancing mob of friends, acquaintances and extras like myself. In the images on the right you can also see the Indonesian attires of the wedding guests.
I did feel like a documentary film maker while witnessing this extravagant event and I thank Banana for his generosity and all the precious moments he gifted me with.