Gili Trawangan or Gili T is the largest, most developed and most lively of the three Gili Islands.
It has a very friendly vibe and is full of people who like to party, have fun and are keen to get to know one another. If you are friendly and like to go out – this is definitely a place for you. Start the nigh on the famous nightly food market on the eastern strip of the island that sells delicious barbeque dinners complete with sides for around 60 K rupiah. You can also choose from a variety of restaurants that are booming in the isle – pizza, tapas, hamburgers – you can choose what you like.
By a tradition, only one establishment per night can play music and host dance party until 4 am. Of the seven weekly venues hosting parties, the one most anticipated by tourists and locals alike are the funk house and hard music parties with local DJ’s in spinning disks. There is also a party boat that goes around islands and provides endless fun.
If wild dance parties are not to your liking, many restaurants and bars offer a range of more sedate and social gathering point for al fresco dinning and drinking by the water’s edge.
If you are not into partying you can still enjoy Gili T. It would be wise to stay on the northern or southern side which is more quite. Trawangan is also one of the world’s cheapest and safest places to learn to dive, with plenty of reputable dive schools to choose from. And snorkeling is an absolute must since you will see all the amazing exotic fishes that you thought exist only in cartoons! You can also help turtles on the island. A local initiative was set up to help the turtle population around Gili Trawangan. The poachers are paid for their find and the turtles are re-buried and kept under surveillance. Once they hatch, the baby green and hawkbill turtles are placed in a tank and left to grow until they are six months old and big enough to fend for themselves. After that, they release them into the ocean.
There’s a good variety of accommodation on Gili T. Most of them are centrally located on the southeast of Gili Trawangan. You can choose basic backpacker accommodation, but also places in the beach line that are more expensive. There are also many new quality boutique resorts now. Bare in mind that during the high season (July-August and December-January), most places are full, prices are doubled and an advanced reservation is a must.■