Happy almost weekend! Today we are talking about the second part to my 3 part series – Bali Island Hopper Review (check out Part 1 HERE). This is post is going to be all about Gili Trawangan, but before I get to it, I forgot to mention about Visas in my last post. The best part about travelling to Indonesia was that Visa was not an issue. In light of boosting tourism, in 2016 Indonesia announced that they’d provide free 30-day visa on arrival to nationals of 169 countries. Read more about this and find out if your country is on the list HERE!
So back to Gili….Ahhh Gilli T how I miss you. If there is one island my boyfriend and I loved it was this, and you will soon see why.
Did you know – You can cycle around the whole island in less than an hour!
Transport – you are in for a ride, literally.
When Chamani told me there are no motorised vehicles in Gili T. I was a bit surprised, I mean when you come from Dubai, this is crazy. The only means of transport on this Island are bikes or cidamos. Now cidamos are expensive, about 150,000 Rupiah one way and if you are willing to spend, go for it. But just a reminder, there are only 32 cidamos on the island, so you might have to wait till you find one. The best way I would suggest is just hiring a bike for 3 days, our tour manager told us that we could rent one for around 50,000 a day and it wasn’t really easy finding it at that rate. We got ours at 200,000 Rupiah for 3 days, which was still a decent price I believe.
You can also hire bikes for free at the hotel, but this is possible only as per availability. I’d still suggest you hire a bike cause it’s just so much easier to do so, especially when you want to go out at night and there are no bikes available. Also, just a WARNING – this is a small island, do don’t expect world class bikes. Most of these bikes are falling apart, and your butt is going to be really sore at the end of 3 days cause the seats suck, but trust me that’s the beauty of it all. Try to get a bike with a basket, superrrr handy, and if you get one with a flashlight, then you have hit the jackpot. The streets are almost pitch black at night, so it’s quite scary cause the roads can be super bumpy.
But at the end of it all, riding a bike around the whole island for 3 days was one of the best parts of this vacation. There’s just something so amazing to forget about cars, the traffic and all that lavishness that we come from and enjoy a simple island life.
As I mentioned before, Chamani is going to be giving you a list of amazing places to eat at, do try them! The buffet at the hotel is pretty good if you don’t want to travel far and just want a relaxed night. But if you are up for a ride around town, try Kayu café for some delicious smoothie bowls or head to one of the night markets for some street food. Do try Gili Gelato if you are craving something sweet 😉
You do not go to Gili T. and not get those iconic ocean swing shots! Almost all the hotels we saw have the swings, so does Aston. So there really are no excuses. Go during sunset to capture the perfect shot; you might have to stand in queue for 5 mins if its crowded.
Ok, now I am just going to get a little into what we did on the 3 days –
You leave for Gili T. early morning. There is a 2-hour bus ride which is cool, but the 2-hour boat ride is what I am still terrified of. It’s like this fast boat from Bali to Gill T. and it….sucks. I have never experienced sea sickness before, neither has Leo, but we both got super nauseous on this boat, so much so that I actually threw up. Yah, not a fun ride. Our tour manager did warn us, and I didn’t think so much of it but honestly its best to take a tablet. I think it’s cause the seats are low and you can’t see the horizon plus the boat moves like crazy, so yeah you get the point. Just try to sleep, that’s what I did on my way back and it worked just fine.
So when you reach, your tour guide is going to leave it to you to find your bikes and make your way to the hotel, which is an adventure on its own. Later in the evening, we had a sarong party at Exile, got some group sunset shots and did all sorts of crazy things. Like play the drums, hula-hoop, you know the usual 😂. After this, you head to town on your bikes for your first night at Gili. It’s called a party Island, after all, you’ll see why tonight.
Snorkeling Day!! Remember I mentioned you get to choose your optionals in my last post? I’d definitely suggest snorkelling, totally worth the money. The water is crystal clear; you just have to see it for yourself. You get to see turtles ❤️, a shipwreck and lots of lots of fishes (I even found Dory! Haha). We stopped by Gili Air (which is the smallest of the 3 Gili Islands) for lunch and ate some of the best food I have eaten on this whole trip here. You head back to the hotel by evening and have a free night to do as you like.
If you were brave enough to choose diving like my boyfriend, then today is the day. As I didn’t do it, I don’t have much to say but Leo told me that it was pretty good and scary, so I am not sure what to make of it lol. I just spend the day shopping around town; there are some really cute places to shop at. Since it’s a free day, you could also go paddle boarding, the spa, head to the turtle conservation or just chill by the beach.
There an included Indonesian dinner tonight at the hotel which was pretty good! After dinner, you head to town cause it’s your last night in Gili T. Be prepared for everyone to go crazy tonight. Well my group did anyway, and it was…..did I say crazy already? Go to Jiggy’s, we bar hopped on our first night and agreed that this was definitely the best bar out of them all. Evolution is fun if you want to try Beer Pong, I suck at aiming, so I didn’t even bother 😛
Anyway, Gili Trawangan will be the best part of your trip so enjoy this little island. Cycle around, meet people, eat food, watch the sunset, do it all. My most favourable memory here was our last night when Leo and I went to the beach after coming back from Jiggy’s. We found a random sunbed next to the beach and just lay down to look at the stars. I have never seen such a starry night sky in my life, so try stargazing, who needs sleep anyway. We saw three shooting stars that night 😉 Oo and Part 3 will be out next week!
Thought of the day : Go where the wifi is weak and the drinks are strong (Gili maybe? 😏)
Until next time,