The True Beach-Life at Gili Trawangan

Gili Trawangan has officially been my favorite holiday destination. Gili means ‘small island’ in Sasak language, traditional language used by the people of Lombok. Lombok itself, has 3 ‘gilis’ or small islands which are located in the Northwest of the main island. Along with its sisters islands, Gili Meno and Gili Air, Gili Trawangan Island has been one of the most attractive destination for tourists to have a laid-back and relaxed holiday. This small island really has many to offers. Bored is only a word when you are there!

 

Continuing from our one-day trip in Lombok, we spent around 2 hours on the road to go from South Lombok to Senggigi area in the northwest part of Lombok. We rent the same car from the previous day on Tiket.com, had a breakfast in Mataram which is Lombok’s capital city, and explore several resorts in Senggigi for my friend is looking for a venue for her soon-to-be big day for her life. Unlike South Lombok, Senggigi is more crowded and has a lot of resorts ranging from the simple and affordable one, to the peaceful and luxurious one which is located very secluded within the forest, like The Oberoi. You definitely have so many options you can consider for your perfect staycation in the island!

After finished exploring many beautiful resorts there, we went to Gili Trawangan by a speedboat from Teluk Nara Port at Senggigi Lombok for 20 minutes. The cost for 1 speedboat with capacity for 2-4 people is IDR 350K / USD 25 per trip.

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We arrived at Gili Trawangan, our speedboat crew helped us to take out our luggage while we are trying to get a horse-carriage (or we called it ‘Delman’ or ‘Andong’ in Bahasa) to go to the hotel. ‘Delman’ is a common transportation option you can choose while in Gili Trawangan, besides a bike which you can rent for the time you are there. ‘Delman’ is a way more expensive though. It will cost you IDR 150K/ USD 15 for one-way trip, while the cost for renting a bike is only IDR 75K/ USD 6 for 24 hours. Therefore, biking in Gili Trawangan will always be the best choice for me.

We stayed at Ombak Sunset Hotel which we heard because of its famous sunset swing. However, I don’t really think that it was the best decision because the hotel is located a bit too far away from the center. Gili Trawangan is indeed a small island, with only 3KM length and 2KM wide. You can literally walk around the island for only 2 hours. Ombak Sunset Hotel is located at the back of the island, which requires you to walk almost 3KM to go to the center where many people going out. So, yeah… I will probably choose another hotel which the location is a bit strategic. However… despite of the location, I think the hotel service was great. And, my favorite was its bar-pool! Yes, this hotel has a literally bar-pool where you can dip in while sitting in the bar and drinking beer. Hell yeah, this was the best way to relax! Also, it just opened up a new branch whose location is only less than 1KM from the center, called Villa Ombak if you still want to consider the location.

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Right in front the port where you took off from the speedboat.

 

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The ‘Delman’ which is the main transportation of the island.

Well, let’s just go straight to the point… So, these are a few things you can do while enjoying holiday in Gili Trawangan:

Watching the Sunset on the Swing

I don’t know who started this thing, you know… But, it’s such a trend there where many hotels/ inns built their own swings on their beach so that people can enjoy the sunset while taking picture in the swing. As a I mentioned before, I think Ombak Sunset Hotel is super famous with its sunset swing. Why called sunset swing? Because the location of the hotel and its swing is just perfect to watch the sunset. We’ve got the best seat to watch the sunset there. However, you will need to come early to the beach if you want to get the perfect spot because if you are being a bit late, people would occupy all the best seats and long queue to take pictures on the swing. Ah yes! You can also ride a horse and take a picture perfect silhouette with it with a majestic sunset as the background (Yeah, my Instagram-addict just kicked in!).

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Miss Clara Kwan
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Pose with your besties? Why not?!

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Ombak Sunset’s Beach Restaurant

Of course, Snorkeling to Gili Meno & Gili Air!

Oh, of course… what’s an island life without snorkeling or diving? Gili has it too! You can book a public boat from the counters in the port to go snorkeling and island hopping to some other small islands near Gili Trawangan, which is Gili Meno and Gili Air. This public boat is fit in for the capacity of 40 people and only cost you IDR 100K/ USD 7 for 3-4 hours snorkeling activity. Well, some of the hotel has offers on the private boat for snorkeling too. But, of course, it will cost you three or four times more expensive.

We started from Gili Trawangan with a glass-bottom boat to Gili Meno, then Gili Air. I’m quite surprised on how beautiful the underwater there in Lombok. The water is crystal clear with colorful corals and fishes. Then, we stopped by a turtle point as well in the chase of giant turtles. Finished snorkeling, we then had lunch at Gili Air.

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Strolling Around the Village

I’m not sure when I mention the word ‘village’, if it’s the right term or not. Well, Gili Trawangan neighborhood is pretty unique. The place where the whole island can be explored in a walking distance offers so many interesting things to see and do! This place is the mini replica of Seminyak Bali (probably) where you can find so many cute cafes, ice creams stalls, souvenirs stores, and even tattoos, yoga, or cooking class place. Clara and I walked around the island in our wet-suit covered up with thin cardigan right after snorkeling. We went in to one stores to another, just strolling around and enjoying the real ambiance of the island.

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Enjoying the Beach-Nightlife

If you love beach, but are a city person and like to party, this is the exact right place where you can enjoy both of the beach-life and party-nights. The whole streets turns in to a series of night club where you can dance your fatigue away after one full day exploring the island. This is the perfect way to spend the night with your friends.

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I keep saying that this is the perfect place to have a laid-back and relax kind of holiday. You gotta want to bring your squad and have fuuuun! 🙂

See you in my next post!

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"Perhaps, then, this was what travelling was, an exploration of the deserts of my mind rather than of those surrounding me?" - Claude Levi-Strauss

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