19 May Gili Trawangan in the Gili Islands, Indonesia

Riding Bicycles on the Gili Islands, Indonesia

If you’re backpacking in Bali and you want to escape the chaotic traffic and motorbikes, the Gili Islands offer the perfect island escape. Located just off the island of Lombok to the east of Bali, the Gili Islands boast white sandy beaches and some incredible snorkelling opportunities. For information on how to get to the Gili Islands, see my previous post ‘Getting to the Gili Islands‘.

The most popular island in the Gilis is Gili Trewangan, which is definitely the more ‘happening’ of the islands. Stepping onto Gili Trewangan is like going back in time; since there is no motorized transport on the island, you’ll see horses pulling carts and children riding bicycles. You can rent a bike for the day, take a horse and cart ride or simply do the 2 hour walk around the circumference of the island.

horse and cart on gili trawangan in Indonesia

Gili Trewangan has one main street with restaurants, bars and accommodation ranging from small boutique hotels to budget homestays. It is possible to rock-up without a booking and negotiate a price for accommodation in one of the homestays. It’s a little more expensive than Bali, but you can still get some great budget accommodation.

Days on Gili Trawangan are spent lounging on the white sandy beaches and doing nothing. You can also rent a snorkel and go swimming over the coral reef to spot some colourful fish and sea turtles.

Gili Trawangan Beach, Indonesia

If it’s not a sunny day, or you’re too hungover to lie in the sun, I highly recommend watching a movie at ‘Beautiful Life’. It seriously is the best thing ever- you get to lie on a bed on the beach and choose a movie from their collection. They give you a ‘menu’ of movies, you pick one and they put it on your TV for you. You can order food and drink as well, so you literally never have to leave the bed.

Beautiful Life Gili Trawangan, Indonesia

By night there are lots of great restaurants serving delicious seafood and the bars get really lively, so it’s easy to stay out till 4am drinking beers and meeting other backpackers. Gili Trawangan is definitely the ‘party’ island out of the three Gili islands, so if you want somewhere with lots going on, this is the one to visit.

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Victoria Brewood

Hi I'm Victoria, a British girl from Manchester. After graduating from university I decided there was more to life than the hours between 9 and 5, so I packed my journalism degree into my suitcase to travel the world and find a way to make money at the same time. I now call London home, although I still travel whenever I can. I hope to inspire you to be your own boss, live life and see the world.

  • Diki
    Posted at 08:17h, 17 December Reply

    If you visit Gili Island for diving, don’t miss diving in Bali. It’s very amazing 😀

  • The Travel Junkie
    Posted at 08:17h, 14 January Reply

    Thanks for sharing. Ok. Now. I miss Gili Trawangan 🙂

  • Sarah
    Posted at 02:42h, 22 February Reply

    I’m going here in June, Can’t wait! Had no idea about this movie place but now I’m gonna check it out. Thanks!

  • Indra
    Posted at 07:58h, 27 April Reply

    You live your life Victoria… I am a Balinese doing his Phd in UK. Just realised that I have been living in unreal world namely academia.. What I do really need is just peace of mind. Analysing life into science and discussing it, is madness. Keep travelling and enjoying your life. Let the nature to be your partner in life,

  • Sutowo
    Posted at 10:52h, 21 January Reply

    Never been to Gili. I heard it’s really nice. I’m Indonesian and now live in Australia. I go to Bali very often. May be I should visit Lombok when my kids get older.

    There many beautiful places in indonesia now. I’m not sure if you know about Raja Ampat.


  • Xavier Polvoskie
    Posted at 11:46h, 05 May Reply

    This winter I and my family were on Gili. And that’s what I say: it is nice place. We have been transfered from
    Lombok, the way took a few hours. Trawangan was waiting for us with its pretty warm sea water, cozy and cheap
    (only 5 dollars per day!!) hotels. Islands is pretty small, I think it is plus cuz it makes my feel cosily.
    By the way, we was transfered on speed boats by easygili. com The price – 225k. Not so expensive anyway.

  • Chloe
    Posted at 14:32h, 25 August Reply

    Thanks for the tips. I’m off to Gili T in October! Can’t wait for those days lazing on the beach 🙂

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