I recently spent a week on an Island near Bali called Gili T. It’s a great spot to get away from the hustle and bustle of big city life, and also a great place to take a girlfriend if you’re feeling generous. (not me this time however…)
A tropical paradise lying to the North West of Lombok and approximately 60KM from Benoa port in Eastern Bali Gili Trawangan, or Gili T, is the largest of the three Gili islands also comprising Gili Meno and Gili Air. There are some great hotels here mostly right on the beach with fantastic pools and within walking distance of all the local sights.
People come here with partners, to relax and unwind or on honeymoon mainly. It’s also an amazing spot for diving and snorkelling and also seems to attract a lot of hot European women. After living in Asia for so long I thought that I’d gone off western women completely, however the Gili T seems to be peppered with some of the best of the west in regards to girls. Unfortunately I found that the princess attitude and general offish demeanour prevailed so I left the girls to the thirsty beta travellers and enjoyed the snorkelling, good food and beaches instead.
Getting to the island is simple and there are 3 main options including many types of fast ferry from Bali.
This option is the most direct and takes around 2.5 hours door to door depending on sea conditions. Many ferry companies now operate out of Bali with the rate being similar at around 1.2 million IDR return, about £60. It’s a cool trip and i saw a few dolphins on the way. It was also a little crazy as we were the only foreigners on the boat that was full of Chinese tourists, so chaos ensued. I reviewed the bounty cruise here, hilarious.
There are no motorised vehicles on the island and it’s nice to have a break from the constant din of motorbikes and revving engines that relentlessly permeate the air in most parts of Asia, especially in Vietnam.
The island is fairly small so walking is the preferred way to get around however there are horse drawn carts called cidomos that race along the island paths at break neck speed. These didn’t look comfortable or particularly safe, not to mention the exhausted looking horses pulling the carts didn’t look too happy and i didn’t want to contribute to their misery so i declined to travel on one of these during my stay.
If you get the chance to visit here then snorkelling or diving is a must.
I spent a few hours one day snorkelling the main reef off a dive boat which cost me about £8, in that time we got up close to sea turtles, sea snakes, barracudas and a multitude of bright and colourful fish and marine life; definitely an experience that will burn bright in my memory for many years to come.
Gili T is renown for its night life and due to the absence of any police on the island it attracts people who like to party hard due to the easy availability of any kind of drug you can think of. It’s crazy to me that people will take hard drugs here, you’re still in Indonesia where the penalties include death for Narcotics.., but still plenty of fucked up tourists were seen in the bars most nights…
The island has some really good restaurants many of which have open air BBQs starting in the early evening and going on to late. I can recommend Scallywags on the beach front near the jetty, the Irish bar also does a good BBQ as well.
Prices are cheap throughout the island for food and you will pay around 100,000 IDR, £5, for a fresh BBQed tuna steak and unlimited salad or fillet steak.
As you can imagine the sea food options are immense and particularly good. There are many wood fired pizza ovens peppered about the place, so if you fancy a freshly baked pizza these can be had at most hours of the day or night.
There is a night market BBQ located near to the jetty on the east side of the island that sells freshly caught fish every night for around 10,000-100,000 IDR, £2-£5, and comes recommended.
Also a place called the roast house lies just up from the market on the right and is also good for chicken and burgers, again very reasonably priced and tasty food.
So what did i think of Gili T?
If you like euro chicks and have a bit of cash to splash it’s a fun place. Especially so if you like to dive. The food was also very good. If you’re looking for easy women and asian bar girls then it’s a no-go. Stick to the mainland and Bali.