How to get to Gili Trawangan?
We decided to go by speed boat from Bali to Gili Trawangan, which was quite an adventure. Most boats start in Padang Bai and every boat company is eager to get the boat full.
If you are not one of the clever students who booked a cheaper tour on the internet in advance, then you have to bargain really hard to get a good price.
We booked our tour one day in advance and when we got there with our trolly and backpack two guys on motorbike grabbed our stuff and got us a helmed and drove us to the peer where the boat would leave. We thought they belong to the company because they didn’t say a word. Well, it turned out that they wanted money for driving us. We told them that we didn’t agree on that and left them behind. In german we would say : not with us!
In the waiting line
While waiting quite a bid, locals offered us drinks, food and other stuff. Then it started to get really full and somebody told us our boat was there and that we should go around to another side entrance. We met some other german traveler doing the same. Only one of them stayed because he wanted to go trough the main entrance. Turned out to be a bad choice because the boat left without him. In Indonesia everything is quite different and not so organized like we europeans are used to. So always follow your instinct 😉
On the Boat to Gili Trawangan
The boat tour takes about 1,5 hours and if you have such a packed boat like we did you have the opportunity to go upstairs on the roof top. Or lets say you have no other choice 😀 You definitely have the better view but also it is windy and in the sun you really have to be careful not to get sunburned. So take sun creme up with you because your luggage is downstairs. Gladly i got some sun creme from the other german traveler.
Finally on Gili Trawangan
Oh my gosh it was so awesome seeing that watercolor when we arrived on the Island Gili Trawangan. There are no cars or motorbikes allowed which was a blessing to me. I hate smog and there you could either walk, hire a bike or horse drawn carriage. We had a really cute homestay for only 10 € a day per person. The owner told us that he was from Flores and has a tattoo studio. Rastafari! Really nice and relaxing. We didn’t have air condition but that was ok even though it was really hot. It was a lovely kept homestay and we would have loved to stay longer then two nights. Everyday we got a cute breakfast which was included.
We hired us two bikes to explore the island. Gili is the perfect Island to take beautiful pictures. You can also get snorkel equipment for a day and watch huge water turtles under water. I saw one while it was eating at the ground in between the corals. If you expect good swimming spots on the island i have to disappoint you. The whole island is surrounded by corals, so it was hard to get into the water. Only the harbor where the boats come in, is free of corals. It was quite funny to watch how people were slowly stepping/stumbling into the water to get to the deeper areas. Once you made it in, you can swim and snorkel but watch the flow. It becomes pretty deep at some point and i could really feel the flow when i was taking some underwater videos of the turtle.
When you are sunbathing you have an awesome view to the neighbor island Gili Meno. Everywhere on the island are cute beach bars and fancy restaurants. The best place for us was the food market though. It starts in the late afternoon and there you can eat Warung style, cheap and sufficient.
On the island there are several shooting spots with swings or hammocks in the water. Of course you have to take a swing picture when the sun goes down. Its so wonderful! There is also a nightlife and we were lucky because it was full moon and there was a full moon party directly at the beach. I love partying under the stars and at the beach. Its perfekt!