Gili Trawangan is the island everyone is talking about these days, and as such gets pretty crowded in the high season. We strongly advise against showing up and finding a room when you’re there, as every year hundreds of people end up sleeping on the beach as hotels get full. Advanced booking is highly recommended.
Trawangan – or “Gili T” – is marginally larger than Gili Meno and Gili Air, but can be walked round in 2 hours. It is the only island to have any sort of hill, which offers great views of Mt Agung in Bali to the East and the mighty Mt. Rinjani in Lombok to the West. Climbing up for sunset or sunrise photos is well worth the effort on a clear day.
As with all the Gilis, there is no motorized transport on Gili Trawangan, electricity is generator supplied and fresh water shipped in by boat.
Back-packers first started coming to Gili Trawangan back in the late 80’s and early 90’s, when the first dive shops were set up and the only accommodation was simple bungalow rooms with no electricity past midnight. Trawangan rapidly developed a reputation as a “party island”, with no police around to watch what people were smoking or what sort of mushrooms went into the omelettes.
The party scene still goes on today, and Gili Trawangan is the only island where you can regularly find crowds of merry-makers grooving into the early hours. There is also a rapidly expanding variety of restaurants on Trawangan, far more than on the other islands. While the seafood barbecue remains ever popular, you also have a choice of Japanese, Indian, Italian, Mexican, candle-lit fine dining, coffee shops, organic menus, English fish and chips and many others. See Trawangan Wine and Dine for more info on bars and restaurants.
The past few years has seen the rapid growth of luxury bungalows and villas, so Trawangan is now also popular with families. There are plenty of resorts that cater for families – see Gili Trawangan Hotels – for more details.
Gili Trawangan is also where you’ll find a wider range of things to do. All islands have great beaches, beautiful water, great diving and snorkeling, glass bottom boat tours etc, but on Trawangan you also have some excellent spa facilities (check out Hotel Villa Ombak), stables for horse-riding, sea kayaks for rent (check out Karma Kayak), and a pretty reasonable surf break on the southern tip of the island. Trawangan is also the base for the many Bio-Rock reef-regeneration projects that are currently in operation in the channel between Gili Trawangan and Gili Meno. These are very interesting to explore by snorkelling or diving. So let’s go to Gili Trawangan!