Gili Trawangan (Terawangan, or Gili T) is the largest and most visited of the three Gili Islands off Lombok. It has evolved from a backpackers' haven to a more developed tourist island with a thriving dive industry. Despite these developments, Gili T has retained its small scale charm and has no high rises and remains free of motorized traffic.
This is the largest of the three Gili Islands with an estimated permanent population of about 1500.
Trawangan was the first of the three islands to attract visitors in any numbers, and it was backpackers who led the way. In the 1990s the island developed a reputation as a wild party destination with cheap accommodation, no police and heavy recreational drug use. While a strong party atmosphere can still be found, Trawangan has since matured into a destination that has a far wider appeal.
Any visitor to Trawangan should be prepared for a real mix of fellow travellers; some will be ensconced in US$400 per night, unashamedly Bali-style villas, while others would be quite happy to crash in a dorm after a tough evening of partying.
The thriving dive industry of the Gili Islands is centred here (although some operators have outposts on the other two islands), and since about 2005, the island has gone through a considerable development boom, and a number of upscale sleeping, eating and drinking establishments have opened. In 2018, by order of local authorities, much of the increasingly chaotic beachfront was cleared of clutter and small businesses, returning it to a more accessible and clean state. Later that year, Lombok was hit by an earthquake that also caused considerable damage to the island. Following a clean up and restoration effort, Gili Trawangan has improved in terms of built environment and is in a significantly better state than before. With the hiatus on travel caused by Covid-19, locals have also witnessed a marked improvement to the natural environment and state of the coral too. Conversely, the tourism economy has been hit hard.
Most of the accommodation and other facilities on the island are on the eastern side, sheltered from the winds and rough seas of the Lombok Strait which very occasionally affect the opposite side of the island. Fast boat services from Bali and Lombok dock here as well, on the beach just north of the market. This generally means a walk in the shallow water to disembark. There is also a private concrete and wood jetty used by a few local companies for inter Gili island transfers.
A footpath circumvents the whole island and various tracks criss-cross, nearly always leading back to this coastal path. The area set back behind the east coast beachfront establishments is where most of the locals live (and where a lot of budget accommodation can be found), and is known as "the village". There is a low lying hill in the southern centre of the island, which is easily reached from the tracks heading southwest from the back of the village.
In the late 2010s, the north and western shores of the island have begun to be further developed that tend to cater to travellers seeking a bit more peace and quiet away from the nightlife that typifies the main settlement.
The sea is calmest in the morning and all services from Bali stop running in the late afternoon, well before dark. During periods of southerly winds and in July and August especially, the swell can be a bit hairy and you are very likely to get wet on the crossing. Put laptops, cameras and phones in waterproof bags for the crossing. In most cases, you will have to wade through shallow sea when disembarking, so wear either appropriate footwear, or none at all.
The daily Perama service will take you directly from Senggigi departing 09:00 to Gili Trawangan in under 2 hours for a flat Rp 100,000, plus optional Rp 10,000 for pickup at your lodging in Senggigi. Other operators can provide transfers for Rp 75,000, but these often involve going through Bangsal.
Another option is to arrange a speedboat charter or pickup with your hotel, or a dive shop on Trawangan. These speedboat services run in and out of the lovely Teluk Nare bay in Lombok, south of Bangsal and thus avoiding the thoroughly unpleasant experience of combating the touts there. A speedboat charter normally takes up to three passengers, crosses in 20-30 min, and will cost about Rp 450,000-500,000.
The drive north from Senggigi follows the coast and the road offers panoramic views and glimpses of roadside village life. It is not a lengthy trip, and the road has been upgraded throughout almost the entire length to either Teluk Nare and Bangsal a little further to the north. It is a quite scenic trip and glimpses of the Gilis can be seen as the road rises over the headlands whilst travelling up the coastline.
The cheapest way to reach Gili Trawangan is on a public boat which departs from Bangsal from 08:00-17:00 (but rarely later than 16:00). The official price is Rp 22,500. Sometimes these depart only when there are enough people, normally a minimum of 15 is enough. If numbers are insufficient you might be in for a long wait. The official maximum is 20 people but sometimes the boat is overloaded by the time it is ready to depart. The experience of departing from Bangsal is rarely pleasant due to the very persistent touts who infest the place. Try to ignore them and do not listen to their generally fanciful tales that involve you paying them money to solve an imaginary transportation problem. They often provide a chorus of gloomy predictions regarding the alleged unavailability of services, then if successful they put unknowing passengers upon the normal scheduled service or a private charter at an often seriously inflated prices.
Buy your tickets directly from the official Koperasi Angkutan Laut Karya Bahari office. In Bangsal this is inside the main building on the waterfront, find the ticket desk in the northeastern corner of that building. The Koperasi operate the public boat, the shuttle boat, the island-hopping boat and also offer (official) charter boats.
The public boat office on Trawangan is right on the beach north of the unused concrete jetty, near where you are dropped off. It is somewhat hard to see from the street. If you have trouble finding it, ask some locals, who will kindly give you directions. The office counter faces to the beach. You may need to wait until 15-20 others show up, so it's best to be there early in the morning (07:00-08:00) if you want to get moving quickly. The last boat leaves Trawangan around 15:00.
Public boat (ferry)
- This is the standard method to reach Gili Trawangan and is used by local residents and tourists. The maximum number of passengers is fixed at 20 persons but it is often overloaded with goods and or passengers. If it seems clearly unsafe due to either overloading or prevailing weather conditions then it is most likely best not to board it.
- Bangsal to Gili Trawangan 1 way is Rp 22,500
- Gili Trawangan to Bangsal 1 way is Rp 22,500
- This service supplements the public boat (ferry) service and departs Gili Trawangan to Bangsal (on the main island of Lombok).
- Bangsal to Gili Trawangan departs at 17:00; the official price is Rp 28,000.
- Gili Trawangan to Bangsal departs at 08:15; the official price is Rp 28,000.
(This is more expensive than the standard public boat cost which is fixed at Rp 10,000).
- The official charter boat service provided by Koperasi Angkutan laut Karya Bahari is permitted to carry a maximum of 12 persons.
- Bangsal to Gili Trawangan one way is Rp 185,000, return Rp 350,000
- Gili Trawangan to Bangsal one way is Rp 185,000, return Rp 350,000
- Informal and unofficial charters are also available from private operators to travel from Bangsal to Gili Trawangan. If you decide to hire one, try to deal only with the boat operator, ignore the touts and 'facilitators' and use your time over a negotiation, any hint of haste or urgency is sure to raise the price.
The situation arising from the activities of pestering touts combined with confusing and inadequate formal services at Bangsal is the source of many disappointments and complaints.
From Gili Air and Gili Meno
To move from one island to another the formal procedure is to take the public boat (ferry) to Bangsal and then a further similar ferry to the required island departing from Bangsal. To return the reverse is required. This can be confusing and co-ordinating the timing with the connecting boat departing from Bangsal may be either difficult or elusive. There is also a limited official inter-island "island-hopping" service provided that departs once in the morning and once in the evening.
Official tariffs and schedules
The tariff for all Koperasi Angkutan Laut Karya Bahari services are set by decree.
Ferry operators may sometimes enter into informal arrangements with passengers to journey inter-island. In this situation a passenger boards a boat that is meant to go directly to Bangsal from one of the three Gili islands but instead it detours and sets down on the beach at another island whilst en route. The prices are variable but people will normally pay a price of around Rp 25,000. Inter-island access on the public boats in this manner is dependent upon timing, weather, loading, payment and the inclination of the crew to facilitate an inter-island journey and such arrangements are not sanctioned. The standard procedure is to travel to Bangsal and make a separate trip to the different island or to use the very limited official service. The price for a single journey public boat ferry journey from Gili Air to Bangsal is Rp 8,000. The price for a public boat from Gili Meno is Rp 9,000. The price for the subsequent public boat to Gili Trawangan from Bangsal is Rp 10,000, this assuming the required connection was made at Bangsal.
- A limited formal island-hopping boat service is provided by Koperasi Angkutan Laut Karya Bahari. This is the same local koperasi (maritime transport co-operative) that provides the public boat ferry service.
- Gili Meno to Gili Trawangan departs at 08:50 and the official price is Rp 35,000
- Gili Air to Gili Trawangan in the morning is an indirect service. Take the Island Hopping boat leaving Gili Air for Gili Meno at 08:30. The same boat then departs Gili Meno for Gili Trawangan at 08:50. The official Gili A to Gili T island-hopping boat price is Rp 40,000. Hopefully you will only pay once.
- Gili Air to Gili Trawangan departs at 15:00 and the official price is Rp 40,000
- Gili Trawangan to Gilli Meno departs at 09:30 and the official price is Rp 20,000
- Gili Trawangan to Gilli Air departs at 16:00 and the official price is Rp 23,000
- The official charter boat service provided by Koperasi Angkutan laut Karya Bahari is permitted to carry a maximum of 12 persons.
- Gili Trawangan to Gilli Meno one way is Rp 190,000, return Rp 350,000
- Gilli Meno to Gili Trawangan one way is Rp 195,000, return Rp 350,000
- Gilli Trawangan to Gili Air one way is Rp 195,000, return Rp 350,000
- Gilli Air to Gili Trawangan one way is Rp 195,000, return Rp 350,000
- Gili Trawangan to Senggigi one way is Rp 490,000, return Rp 690,000
Informal private charters are also available. Prices are subject to negotiation, take your time over the process.
For more detailed information on fast boat companies, routes and travel advice see Gili islands main page.
All fast boat services are subject to weather conditions and the trip across the Lombok Strait can get quite bumpy especially in July–August. Turbulent seas may sometimes arise for a while during the monsoonal influenced months of January–February. Most operators offer pickups and drop offs but all cover slightly different regions. Prices usually include land transport from/to your destination in Bali. Double-check with operators for seasonal discounts, schedules and current operational status.
You may get a better price by booking from a travel agent in Bali rather than booking directly with the boat company as the agents get discounts and some may pass them on to their customers. There are also many online services where it is possible to pre book boat tickets, the longest established being Gilibookings for the most reputable fast boat services, or its sister site Gilitickets for some of the better budget operators. You can view all routes, timetables and pricing for many of the most popular regional fast boat operators. Prices on Gilibookings range from US$50-70 one way, US$98-136 return. Higher prices are offset by discount vouchers. Fast boats are around 30% cheaper on Gilitickets. Many similar sites have popped up in the late 2010s, though a number seem to be less reliable and it's advisable to double check the trustworthiness of the service you use.
Prevailing weather conditions in the Lombok Strait can lead to rough crossings and occasional cancellation of services especially during the peak of the monsoon season around January–February. The vessels serving the fast boat routes are generally of a light-duty hull construction and are powered by petrol fuelled outboard engines. Crew training, operational standards and safety equipment are of a mixed standard and may be below the normal expectations of many foreign visitors.
If you have legitimate concerns about either the vessel, the operator or the prevailing weather conditions do not board the boat, immediately seek a refund of your fare and make alternative arrangements for your trip. Consider your options and choice of provider very carefully. During rough weather flights across the Lombok Strait may provide a more comfortable and safer journey.
Bicycles are available for rent and the main tracks are good enough for riding. Expect to pay between Rp 30,000 to Rp 50,000 per day, often the cheapest places to rent are inland from the waterfront. A ride around the island is less than an hour, but you need to walk your bike at a few points due to the sandy nature of the track. A bike is also great for exploring the inland areas, where you can see a lot of cows, goats and chickens as well as local homes.
Unsurprisingly though on a tiny island, walking is the preferred and most appropriate way of getting around.
If you have heavy bags and are staying well away from the departure area, you will need a cidomo (horse cart) to get too and from the boat. A short trip should cost about Rp 40,000.
See and do
Gili Trawangan is the centre of a thriving dive industry for the Gili Islands. All of the operators have their main dive shops located here. There are about a dozen active dive sites, and all of the shops run a regularly rotating program of daily fun dives to one of more of these.
Fun dives, muckdiving, technical diving and wreck dives are a staple and Gili Trawangan is well known as a world-class teaching centre. The operators are very professional, the warm waters offering a wide range of easy to challenging dive sites (including some with fairly strong currents), and the visibility usually good. Gili T makes for an ideal teaching environment, whether you are a first timer, or a diver looking to extend your qualifications.
Freedive Gili is close to the harbour on Gili Trawangan, and offers freedive and apnea (breath holding) courses for beginners to advanced. It is the only freedive centre in the region and is owned and operated by British freedive record holder Mike Board.
Gili Cooking Classes, in the Art Market on Gili T, offers a unique opportunity to learn the secret of six tasty Indonesian dishes as well as Lombok specialities during a 3-hour course. Experienced teachers guide a hands-on, enjoyable session in English. All the necessary equipment is provided.
The dive shops have some variation in the level of facilities, services, experience in the local dive sites, and varying levels of staff accreditation and experience, so do ensure that you are choosing the right provider for your own individual needs and expectations. Most dive shops are located on the main road, close to the main harbour. Try walking up and down the street to browse around. The price is fixed at Rp 490,000 with an extra Rp 50,000 for the first dive. This is an eco conservation fee and is only paid once. Below is an incomplete listing of dive shops in alphabetical order.
- Aquaddiction Dive (Uber Scuba) (50 m from the harbour), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. SSI diving courses up to instructor level. Behind the dive centre there are 5 renovated bungalows and the new Aqua hostel. Aquaddiction specialise in teaching small groups of people Scuba Diving. Professional training is available and many new Divemasters have begun their career through the Aquaddiction Divemaster Trainee (DMT) program. They also offer courses for more advanced divers in Deep diving (40 m), Nitrox and Sidemount.
- Vila Ombak Divers, Hotel Vila Ombak, ☏ , email@example.com. 08:00-19:00. PADI 5 star dive centre that accommodates small groups of divers, introduction dives and PADI courses. 3 dives per day from their boat, you can choose to dive 1, 2 or 3 times per day.
- Big Bubble Diving, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. This operation has quickly built a stellar reputation for professionalism and being extremely friendly. British owned and run with native English and French speakers as instructors. Large purpose built dive pool and good quality bungalows behind the diveshop. A full range of PADI and SSI courses plus daily fun dives.
- Dream Divers, ☏ . As it is German-owned and -run, this is the preferred choice of most German visitors to the island. A PADI centre with the same courses and services as all the others.
- DSM Lombok, Gili Trawangan and Puri Bunga Cottages Senggigi, Hotel and DSM Dive Centre, Jl. Raya Senggigi, ☏ , , email@example.com. PADI Dive centre at Senggigi and on Gili Trawangan, French-owned.
- Gili Divers, Gili Trawangan, ☏ , , firstname.lastname@example.org. English/Swedish management with an experienced and professional team of multi lingual instructors and divemasters. PADI and SSI courses up to professional level. New dive equipment. Gili Hotel and The Deck are associated with this diveshop. Also arrange snorkel and dive liveaboard trips to Komodo.
- Manta Dive, ☏ , email@example.com. One of the longest established dive operators with international staff. The only 5-star SSI Diamond Instructor Training Facility in the region. All PADI and SSI courses are provided in main European languages, including introduction dives and Scuba Ranger courses for children. Daily dive trips around all 3 Gili Islands and frequent muck-dive trips to neighbouring Lombok. The dive school has direct access to the beach and boat. 8 traditional and 3 modern bungalows, café serving breakfast and lunch, free WiFi and freshwater swimming pool. A rustic beach bar serves sandwiches, salads and breakfasts. Also has a shop on Gili Air.
- Blue Marlin Dive, ☏ . The oldest dive shop on Gili Trawangan. PADI and TDI licensed with professional instructors and well maintained gear. Has its own large pool and a fully equipped dive shop. Also a full technical dive centre with Closed-Circuit Rebreather training and Tri-Mix. Behind the centre there are eight bungalows and three newly renovated rooms. In front an open air cafe which is often busy. On Monday nights Blue Marlin hosts a very loud party up on the second level above the dive shop.
- Trawangan Dive, Gili Trawangan, ☏ . New gear, good boats and a saltwater pool for training. They also have 6 well appointed bungalows (US$55/60 single/double) with A/C, flat-panel TV/DVD and hot and cold showers.
The easiest spot to find some productive snorkelling is off the main beach, north of the boat landing. Enter the water approximately in front of the Almarik hotel. If you start north of the beach (about where you can see seaweeds growing at low tide roughly level with Gili Meno's northern extent), and go with the current back towards to the most crowded sunbathing area, you will likely need to kick only when you want to stop to look at something. The healthy corals are around the area where the wall drops off and the deeper water begins. Nearer the shore you will find only dead coral. Turtles can be seen often, and also the occasional trigger fish amongst the more common reef inhabitants. At low tide it is difficult to get in without reef shoes. Always watch out for potential waves that can push you into the coral that are just below water level.
A better coral reef is off the northwest coast, but you have to be very keen to go through the hardship of getting out there. The only access to the reef involves walking over a substantial area of dead, sharp coral, and back again when you have finished. If you are a keen snorkeller the effort is worth it, and you are very likely to have the waters to yourself.
Small, purple jellyfish are sometimes plentiful around the island, and they seem to love stinging snorkellers. The reaction is one of considerable irritation, but the stings cause no serious harm.
- Subwing Gili (Trip departure point is from the beach in front of the big colorful Trawangan sign in the harbor), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Subwing is a water toy which allows you to swim like a dolphin or to fly underwater along the reef. The price is Rp 350,000 per person for 2 x 25 minutes.
Gili Trawangan has a fast right hander which can really pump with the right conditions. The best waves are at high tide, and the underlying reef can be sharp so booties can come in handy. The surf break is off the south coast - just follow the locals who will be out and jogging with their boards whenever the surf is decent. You will find no shortage of locals ready, willing and able to rent you board. There are a few breaks off Gili Air and Gili Meno, but they are more difficult to reach and smaller. The best season is the January–June wet season, with swells from 1-2 m. Daily conditions can be checked out at Magic Seaweed.
There are some lovely walks to be had on the island, although the perimeter coastal track (about 7 km) is perhaps not as scenic as those on Gili Meno and Gili Air. A leisurely stroll all the way around will take 90-120 minutes, depending on just how leisurely you are.
The hill in the south can be easily reached by taking one of the tracks that lead west or southwest from the back of the village. Dawn and dusk are the best times to climb up here. The sunset views back towards Bali are quite lovely, and in the mornings the sun rises over majestic Mount Rinjani on Lombok. On the top of the hill lie the remains of a World War II Japanese gun bunker.
- South Sea Nomads, ☏ . This is the Gili islands only party boat, it operates M, W and F and more often in high season. Starts at 15:00 and goes around the 3 Gili islands. They stop off at Gili Air for a swim and snorkel before watching the sunset over the water toward Bali. Dinner is served onboard on the way back to Gili Trawangan where the party continues onboard. They also offer budget overnight boat trips, one is 3 nights island hopping to Sekotong and another is 5 nights to Moyo and Satonda where they camp on the beaches, snorkel reefs, dive World War II wrecks, visit waterfalls and volcanic lakes.
Gili Yoga center shares an office with Freedive Gili and boasts its own yoga pavilion. Daily yoga classes are given in the open air, surrounded by a tropical garden and the sounds of nature. Offers services including daily meditation and pranayama, twice-daily yoga practice, accommodation, group activities (snorkeling, sunset boat ride) and vegetarian food.
1 The Yoga Place Gili, ☏ , email@example.com. 07:00-22:00. Offers yoga and meditation all day for all levels in a peaceful surrounding. Daily stand up paddle yoga at 08:30 and sunset beach yoga at 16:30. Also has a vegetarian and vegan restaurant, which serves big fresh juices with no sugar added. Available food offerings include smoothie bowls, colourful salads, big veggie burger and vegan bean chili. Big portions. Up to Rp 100,000. }}
Soraya Yoga Wellness Center Drop-in yoga classes, retreats, meditation, dance, reiki, CranioSacral energy healing, fresh salads, healthy food, and a variety of accommodations. Enjoy the hillside view from a beautiful two story yoga shala.
- Stud Horse Riding Adventure, ☏ . A small stable of horses available for riding around the island. Book more than a day ahead for a sunset ride.
There are over 12 ATMs on the island, with most located on the eastern side on the island close to the jetty. Most ATMs have a maximum withdrawal of Rp 1,500,000 and will either provide Rp 50,000 or Rp 100,000 notes. The exchange rates offered on the islands are not as good as from the better ones on Lombok or Bali. Do not believe the touts at Bangsal that there are no ATMs or money changers. They will try to convince you to change money with them and charge you up to 10% commission for it.
The Art Market (Pasar Seni) next to the pier has a few scruffy stalls hawking souvenirs, but it's all brought in from elsewhere, and the selection is far more limited than what you'd find on Bali or even Lombok.
Trawangan has a huge range of eating options from simple local warungs up to fairly grand places serving inventive modern cuisine. Many of these are attached to hotels or dive shops, and are not independent restaurants as such.
Budget places are thinner on the ground that they used to be, but still not hard to find. If you really want to watch the pennies, do as the locals do and eat at the push carts along the beachfront which set up every evening. These serve the usual range of Indonesian staples: fried rice, fried noodles and bakso (meatball soup).
Barbecued fish is excellent here and every evening many of the better restaurants fire up the charcoal. The deal is that you chose your fish - red and white snapper and trevally are especially good - and it is grilled on the spot.
- Rumah Kikinovi (just north of the Art Market). 08:00-22:00. A decent budget place to eat serving the usual Indonesian staples for about Rp 15,000.
- Warung Bu'De (right next to Vila Ombak). 11:00-21:00. Tiny warung that serves up decent local fare at prices as cheap as any on the island.
- Wok This Way, Art Market, Gili T (On the road to the right of the Art Market). 10:30-22:00. A small restaurant serving Asian fusion meals. Taste the broccoli beef chestnut special or the tasty chicken salad. Also check out some of the other new eateries along the same street; The chicken rotisserie is not to be missed!
- Main market (Main road, right by the harbor.). In the evening the main market pops up in an open square. Full of carts selling cheap food. There is a cart selling dessert pancakes, these pancakes are not like anything you've ever had as breakfast and are delicious. Rp 10,000-30,000.
- Juku. 11:00-23:00. Probably the best fish grill on any of the three islands. They get a bit creative with the marinades, but the fish is otherwise prepared in the traditional open wood grill manner. Mains from about Rp 40,000.
- Karma Kayak, ☏ . 11:00-22:00. Tapas is the go here and it is nicely prepared. A very nice location with beachside berugas. Tapas plates Rp 40,000-50,000.
- The Deck, Gili Trawangan (on top and in front of Gili Divers), ☏ . 07:00-23:00. Swedish-style meatballs, pasta with a pesto sauce. Nice location with a fantastic view toward Mount Rinjani. You can chill on a bean bag on the beach or go upstairs. Free WiFi. If you stay in Gili Hotel, The Deck will serve you a nice breakfast in the morning. Rp 15,000-60,000.
- Tir na nóg. Wide range of good local and international cuisine. Locally sourced produce and well trained staff.
- Manta Café (In front of Manta dive). Breakfasts and a selection of baguettes filled with a variety of meats, cheeses, seasonings, salads and sauces.
- Pituq (take the main road going north from the harbour; turn left at the white mosque and follow the signs). Delicious vegan food with a health focus. Western/local management. Involved in charity work for poor people of Lombok. Borrow a book and read or chat with the big crowd of expats usually found here. Rp 35,000-50,000.
- Beach House (south coast), ☏ . 08:00-23:00. It is definitely not as good as it used to be, but still one of the better eateries on the island. Seafood buffet is excellent, if not exactly cheap. Also has a range of accommodation from tree houses up to a 4 bedroom luxury villa. Around Rp 100,000 per head for dinner.
- Ko Ko Mo, ☏ . Fine wine and cuisine seated in the restaurant or in the open air on the beach. Fresh local seafood and imported prime Australian meats. Great imported wine list and live music.
- Wilson's Retreat, North Beach Gili Trawangan. Fine French cuisine on the serene northern shore of Gili Trawangan. Not just some of the best food to be had on the island, but also a great place to hag out during the day if you want to escape the more bustling Gili T centre.
- Dunia Resto Bar & BBQ (northwest coast), ☏ . Can be reachable by bikes or cidomo (horsecart) and also by walk. Wide range food and drinks options.
There are regular party nights on Gili Trawangan - the various bars take it in turn to host the late night gig (up to 04:00), to ensure that everyone gets together in one place rather than being spread around. The island is small and it is easy to find everything; just ask around for where the party is going to be on any given night.
Be very careful with locally produced spirits, especially arak. It may contain methanol and has caused cases of serious injury and death (including new year 2012/13). If you suspect that what you've been served is not what you ordered, take it back. Sticking to western owned and managed bars may reduce the risk but not entirely exclude it.
- Tir na nóg, ☏ . The only Irish bar on the islands, and also the busiest. Great atmosphere, big screen sports and the location of the famed original Manta Dive 'snorkel test' - Always a fun activity for both participants and onlookers.
- Chappie's bar (At Manta Dive), ☏ . A beach bar operated outside of Manta Dive. Serving cool beers and cocktails in an intimate beachside setting.
- Horizontal (north of the boat landing), ☏ . Probably the only place in the Gilis that wouldn't look out of place in Seminyak, this stylish outdoor bar offers fancy drinks, funky furniture and DJs spinning the night away. Also has rooms for rent.
- Sama Sama, Gili Trawangan (north from the boat landing). 08:00-late. Live reggae music every night. Despite feeling like it is stuck in a timewarp, this place really pumps and can be a lot of fun.
- Rudy's Pub. 08:00-late. Rudy's Friday night bashes get very messy indeed. On non-party nights, still often gets a crowd.
|This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:|
Power is normally available 24 hours a day and many of the hotels now have A/C. However there may be frequent disruptions to the supply. This problem arises from regional power generation insufficiencies. To address this issue many mid-range and upmarket hotels and restaurants on the Gili islands have their own back up generators. The closer you sleep to a mosque, the more likely you will be disturbed by loud night time prayer calls. There are two mosques on Gili Trawangan. One is right behind the market/main harbour, look for a green tower. This mosque not only broadcasts the call to prayer but also the sermon and sometimes even music until late. The other mosque is north of the main harbor, close to the main road. It is partly under construction but will broadcast the call to prayer.
You will find most budget options behind the east coast frontage in the village, or by walking north from the boat landing.
Travellers who remember Gili Trawangan from the 1980s and 1990s may be surprised to learn that there are now more than 100 official places to stay on the island, and still more are being built.
- Balenta (north-east coast), ☏ . This is a great value place if you do not mind being a little away from the action. Very quiet spot overlooking a nice stretch of beach. From Rp 200,000.
- Gili Life (northwest of the Harbour in the village behind the mosque), ☏ . This homestay is super clean and quiet (except when the prayer at the mosque is going on). The family that runs the 4 rooms is very kind and helpful. A great budget place to stay with simple, sparkling rooms and relaxing porches. Great banana pancakes for breakfast. From Rp 125,000 (incldes breakfast).
- Edy Homestay (turn left after the harbour along the main road, then turn right after Buddha dive; 200m up the road from there). Check-out: 10:00. Run by some great local guys, this is a clean, friendly and cheap place to stay just a few minutes from the centre. Delicious breakfast served whenever you are ready to wake up and free tea and coffee all day. From Rp 120,000 for a double fan room (includes breakfast, Rp 150,000 for 2 people).
- Ganim Homestay. Probably the cheapest accommodation on Gili Trawangan. Located at the best snorkelling beach 5 min north of the jetty. Simple but OK budget rooms as well as more stylish ones for about double the price. The family is very hospitable and there is also a cheap warung. From Rp 150,000 in high season.
- Lisa Homestay (in the village), ☏ . Small place up in the village which is clean and well run. A decent budget option. From Rp 125,000, 2-night mininum.
- Oda's Cafe & Bungalows (east coast). Oda's has only two bungalows, so neighbours won't be bothering you a lot. Nice staff, price includes breakfast. No fresh or hot water available. You can rent snorkelling gear for Rp 25,000, and this is really close to the best place to start snorkelling. Rp 250,000 for bungalow with fan.
- Pondok Lita (in the village), ☏ . Super clean fan-cooled room with western bathroom. A great safe and friendly place all in a gated garden and in a central location. A favourite choice of budget visitors and they get a lot of repeat custom. From Rp 175,000.
- Pondok Sederhana (in the village), ☏ . Six clean little rooms all in a line with a pleasing garden. Rooms are fan-cooled and without hot water. Rp 150,000.
- Quiet Water (in the village), ☏ . This is another popular budget haunt. The rooms are well appointed with A/C and your very own DVD player. Rp 200,000.
- Marta's Bungalows (in the village), firstname.lastname@example.org. Owned by Marta and his English wife Jo. Traditional 1-2 bedroom bungalows with a pool. From about Rp 350,000 including breakfast.
- Gili Hideaway (in the village), ☏ . A-frame thatched bungalows. A bit off the path so the only noise you hear is the mosque and the chickens. All the rooms are fan-cooled and breakfast is included in the price. US$20-65 high season rates apply 1 July–15 Sept and 15 Dec–10 Jan.
- Alam Gili (north coast), ☏ . 8 bungalows with a shared pool in a secluded location on the north coast. Rooms are decorated in an elaborate Balinese style. US$55-95.
- Danima Resort, ☏ . Little bungalow resort on the northern coast. Rooms have A/C, hot & cold freshwater, TV & mini bar. Has perhaps the best Italian restaurant on Trawangan. From US$50.
- Dream Village, Jalan Kr Krakas (7 min walk from Gili Trawangan Harbour), ☏ . Only 5 bungalows available. A/C, TV, minibar, babysitting, massage, 24-hr security service, very friendly staff and Angelo (the Italian owner) and Lulu (his little monkey) are two sweeties.
- Eden Cottages (north coast), ☏ , email@example.com. Opened in 2010, simple modern little bungalow resort on the north side, behind and to the right of Lutwala Dive. Smallish pool and a kiddie pool. Rooms have A/C, cold freshwater, TV and DVD player, safe. From Rp 350,000.
- Gili Amor Boutique Resort, Jl. Ikan Hiu no. 2, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Features a restaurant, tour desk and an outdoor pool with a sun deck. It houses bright and spacious rooms with rustic wood furnishings. Massages can be enjoyed at the resort's spa facilities and snorkelling trips can be arranged on site. From Rp350,000.
- Gili Ano (village centre), ☏ . Locally owned and operated. Rates can be negotiated down to around Rp 450,000-550,000 depending on the time of year. Rooms have A/C, hot water and flat screen cableTV. US$55-95.
- Gili Hotel (south coast), ☏ , email@example.com. 13 standard rooms and 1 family room. All with private toilet and fresh water shower, A/C, fan, flat screen TVs with DVD player, DVD selection, super comfortable beds safe and WiFi. Breakfast is included and will be served in The Deck resto on top of Gili Divers or on the beach. Rp 400,000-600,000.
- GiliYoga Retreat Center (village centre), ☏ . Has a 25-m swimming pool. All rooms are set in their garden and face inward to the yoga hall. US$60-85.
- Manta Bungalows (located at Manta Dive), firstname.lastname@example.org. The first of this type of accommodation on the island, based on traditional rice barns with high roofs and generous balconies. From US$60.
- Melati Cottges, North East Beach, ☏ . Comfortable rooms with A/C, fresh water, semi-open western bathrooms. Also has a seafood & wood oven pizza restaurant right on the beach. From Rp 500,000.
- 1 Palmeto Village, Jalan Ikan Barakuda, Gang Palmeto 1, ☏ , email@example.com. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Palmeto village is a nature-friendly boutique resort 15 min away from the town centre, comprising 10 vintage gladak houses, each with their own furnished verandah. They are 100-year-old teak wood traditional houses restored in a fresh colonial style. US$65-95.
- Pesona Resort (south east coast), ☏ . Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Bollywood-style resort with flamboyant rooms and bungalows, hot water, TV and DVD players in the bungalows, but not the standard rooms. Private balconies, A/C and safe. Owners are Indian British who were travelling and fell in love with the island and stay. Has a good Indian restaurant attached. From US$70.
- Rumah Saga Guest House, Belakang Pasar Seni (in the village), ☏ . Just 4 rooms at this cute little guest house, each for triple occupancy with a double bed and a single. Has a small pool and a barbecue area for guests to use. The cheaper rooms are fan-cooled, and you pay more for the options with A/C. Rp 250,000-500,000.
- Scallywags Resort (south coast), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. 10 rooms with private gardens and outdoor shower, flat screen TVs with satellite service, mini bar, and ethernet in all rooms. Also has one of the better restaurants on the island. From US$70.
- Tir Na nOg Bungalows and Restaurant (south east coast), ☏ . Check-in: after midday, check-out: before 10:00. 10 standard rooms, 10 deluxe rooms and 1 family villa. All rooms come with private toilets, fresh water, A/C, WiFi access and safety deposit boxes. The deluxe Rooms have additional flatscreen satelliteTV, Balinese indoor/outdoor bathrooms and a private garden to the front. Breakfast is included in the price and is served on the beach overlooking the Lombok Straits. The complex includes the Irish Bar with indoor and outdoor seating, nightly DJs, it has a wide selection of drinks on the menu and shows sporting events in the inside bar. Their party night is every Wednesday from 22:00-04:00. 2 restaurants, a Ryoshi Sushi Restaurant and the Tir Na nOg have pizzas, gourmet burgers, the fresh fish/kebab BBQ, pastas, salads, noodles and Japanese specialities at Ryoshi. Rp 450,000-900,000.
Balinese-style luxury villas have started to pop up on Gili Trawangan. They have not yet quite got standards of service right, so although you will be paying up serious dollars to stay at some of these places, be aware that the service might disappoint a little. High end private accommodation is still a relatively new thing on Trawangan, so it is only to be expected that it will take some time to get things right.
- Baruna Villas (east coast), ☏ . Newly built, traditional design, family run villas near the main beach offering privacy and 4-star standard accommodation. Has a fresh water pool and fresh water showers in each bathroom. US$125-200.
- Desa Dunia Beda Beach Resort (on the north coast), ☏ . Beachfront resort with wooden Javanese joglo-style bungalows arranged around a large communal pool. Located just about as far away from the action as you can get and still be on Trawangan. A great choice for those seeking some solitude. Quite deliberately has no A/C and no TVs. From US$130.
- Gili Teak (west coast), ☏ , email@example.com. Features 8 teak wood cottages set amidst gardens, a restaurant, beach bar and private freshwater pool, all overlooking a white sand beach that boasts spectacular sunset views toward Mt. Agung (Bali) on the horizon. US$110 special opening rate.
- Gili Villas (just behind the art market), ☏ . A resort of 4 villas, each with private pool, combining privacy with the services of a hotel. Less than 100 m away from the beach.
- Kelapa Villas (inland to the north), ☏ . Probably the nicest luxury villas on the islands. You do pay up for it though. One-, two-, three- and four-bedroom villas available, all with their own private pool. US$195-620.
- Luce d’Alma Resort & Spa, Gili Indah, Pemenang (about 400 m from the beach in north of the island), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Italian-owned and -managed 4-star hotel has 16 large rooms, which are arranged nicely around a central pool. The rooms are well appointed with quality furniture. Facilities include a spa & jacuzzi, gym and Italian restaurant. About a 10-min walk from the beach in a quiet, rural setting. From US$110.
- Vila Ombak (east coast), ☏ . Claims to be the first international standard hotel on Gili Trawangan. Features the traditional building style of Lombok. Has a fully fledged dive school attached. From Rp 1,200,000.
- Villa Julius, Jalan Pantai, Gili Indah, ☏ . Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Boutique hotel with a private beach. Standard rooms, villa and family rooms available. The hotel touts its "nice rooms", "beautiful garden", and swimming pool facing the beach. US$75.
See Main Gili Islands article for more information.
There is a small clinic adjacent to Vila Ombak. They are quite used to treating travellers with minor ailments, including some stomach problems, but any visitor with a serious medical issue should make their way to Mataram hospital on Lombok.
There are several internet cafes on Trawangan for feeding your Internet addiction, although connection speeds can often be slow. Printing is possible in a few internet cafés and you can even hook up your laptop in some. Lightning Fast, just north of the jetty, costs Rp 500 per minute but the supposedly fast service rarely is. Of the restaurants providing wifi, Scallywags is the best bet with a fast, dedicated ADSL service from mainland Lombok.
William's Bookshop, right behind the Art Market on Gili Trawangan, acts as a de facto post office, sells stamps and can mail out your postcards.
See Gili Islands main article for further information.
There is a cheap and cheerful public laundry service at the back of the Art Market. Laundry is normally returned the next day, and when compared to the prices charged by hotels, this can save you a fair bit of money if you are on the island for anything more than a day or two.
If travelling to somewhere on mainland Lombok, then you could get the early morning local ferry to nearby Bangsal for Rp 20,000. Then walk about 800 m inland to Bunga Bunga Cafe on the right hand side of the road. This is where the shuttle buses and cars pick up from. Here you can buy tickets or bargain for a seat in a taxi car. You can have breakfast here too. Note that anyone with a ticket already will be expected to walk here or pay for a ride on a horse and cart. If you get a car for yourself, the driver might pick up extra passengers on the way. As a contingency plan, negotiate with the driver that if he picks up anyone else then you pay less. Agree what that lower amount is.
- Lombok — if you are on one of the Gili islands you are already in Lombok, go to the main island to see the rest of it including nearby Tanjung and Senggigi a little further down the coast.
- Gili Air — put your feet up after all that partying
- Gili Meno — also a quieter Gili
- Nusa Lembongan — last stop before Bali