Gili Trawangan or Gili T for short; is the perfect add on to your Bali itinerary. After all the cultural experiences and volcano trekking of Bali, Gili T is the ideal place to relax and unwind. But don’t worry, there are plenty of other fun and exciting things to do in Gili Trawangan too. From swimming with turtles in the day to watching movies on the beach at night, you’ll find it hard not to fall in love with this one of a kind island.
We’ve been lucky enough to visit Gili Trawangan three times now and for good reason. We just can’t stay away from this beautiful Indonesia island with crystal clear waters, white sand beach and volcano views. Here are our top things to do in Gili Trawangan.
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Things to do in Gili Trawangan
1. Chill at the beach
Now, this may sound obvious, but relaxing at the beach on Gili T is the best thing to do.
Most places offer free sunbeds if you purchase a drink too.
Just to the left of the harbor was our favourite place to chill, as the walk into the water is less rocky.
2. Explore underwater
One word. Turtles. Gili T is one of the best places to get up close and personal with these magnificent creatures. The island even has its own ‘turtle point’ where it’s nearly impossible not to see a turtle.
You can choose to snorkel like us and see a variety of fish, coral, and underwater life or simply walk into the water at turtle point and you’re more than likely to see a turtle without even getting your hair wet.
Another option is to give scuba diving a go. The island is full of diving schools for beginners right through to advanced. Take a trip to Gili Meno and see the famous underwater statues.
Diving centres on Gili Trawangan:
To get the most out of the Gili Islands stunning snorkeling, book a 3 Island boat tour. Most group boat tours take you around the 3 Gili Islands, stopping off at the best snorkel spots the islands have to offer. They also offer a sneak preview of Gili Air when you stop off for lunch. There are various options to choose from and a trip can cost as little as 100k (£5.50) for the day. You can book at one of the many tourist information stands around the harbor or book with your accommodation.
3. Admire Gili T by bike
One of our favourite things to do on Gili T was to ride bikes around the whole island. You can ride around the perimeter in around 1-2 hours.
To explore more, we recommend delving into the middle of the island to see the true island life. Find locals going about their daily routine, unique wooden houses and various wildlife.
Some guesthouses and hotels offer bikes for free or head to the main strip to easily rent one.
Top tip: Ride around the island in the early morning to avoid ‘traffic’ and people getting in your way. If you decide to ride around the perimeter then expect to walk the bike on the sand as some parts do not have paved road.
4. Pose for photos on the famous Gili T swings
Did you even go to Gili T if you didn’t get the famous swing shot?
These cool swings can be found all around Gili T but head West of the island for a stunning sunset backdrop.
Top tip: If you really want a sunset backdrop, head to the swings early as there tends to be quite the queue.
5. Never miss a sunset
So technically, you don’t need to be on Gili Trawangan to see the sunset. But, hands down, it’s one of our favourite places to be to watch the sun go down.
There’s nothing quite like watching the sun disappear behind the horizon. Chilling out on the beach, watching the day come to an end and the sky light up is one of the best free things in life.
Top tip: Go to the west of the island and choose one of the many beach bars to sit back and relax with a cocktail in hand.
On a budget? Buy a few Bintangs from the shop and sit on the beach!
6. Eat at the Gili T night market
The night market, located near the harbor, is one of the best things about Gili Trawangan.
The fantastic locals pull it out of the bag and serve up cheap, fresh and incredible food. Expect to find everything from fresh fish to barbecued meats, grilled sweetcorn to fried noodles and all of the Indonesian favorites.
Queue up, fill your plate and pull up a stool in the communal eating area. The night market is nothing fancy (far from it) but it’s something you must do at least once during your trip to Gili T. And all for less than £2.
7. Enjoy Dinner on the beach
One of our favourite things to do whilst on ‘holiday’ is to go out in the evening to enjoy some yummy food together. Gili Trawangan hits the nail on the head with their restaurants.
Many of the restaurants offer beach dining in the evening with beautiful candlelit tables. Choose a restaurant that offers a beachside BBQ with fresh meat, fish, and veggies.
Beach dining on Gili Trawangan:
8. Enjoy movie night at the beach
What could be sweeter than a candlelit movie experience on the beach?
Sit back on the beanbags, relax, grab some popcorn or even a cocktail and enjoy one of Gili T’s open-air ‘cinemas’.
The perfect way to end a fun-filled day.
Places that offer the movie experience:
9. Party in Gili T
Whatever you like to do in the evening, we can guarantee the Gili T main strip has what you’re looking for. From late-night bars to open mic nights, live music and crazy clubs with DJ’s, Gili T has it all.
We recommend Sama Sama Reggae bar for great live music. We went here every night. You can enjoy a chilled evening listening to the music or make it a crazy one and get up and dance with the band.
If you want to know more about the nightlife on Gili T, check out our Gili Islands Travel Guide.
10. Eat at Pizzeria Regina
We just couldn’t leave this restaurant off our list. It’s among the best restaurants in Gili T.
Pizzeria Regina has got to have some of the best pizza in the world, never mind just on the Gili Islands.
The Italian chef armed with his wood-fired pizza oven has blessed the island with remarkable yet affordable Neapolitan pizza.
We just ask you one thing, if you visit here, don’t tell us. We’ll be extremely jealous!
Where to stay in Gili Trawangan
Wombats BnB – Not too far from Sunset point, this BnB offers private rooms with air-con and free breakfast at a very reasonable rate.
Mid-range – Budget
Jali Resort – A 3* hotel with budget prices. It has a great pool and offers free bicycles so you can explore the island easily. One of the top-rated places on the whole of Gili T. It also has an amazing restaurant!
Pearl of Trawangan – Even if you choose not to stay here this eye-catching hotel can’t be missed whilst you’re walking around the island. Its rustic design is beautiful and is the best hotel on the island for luxury at an amazing price!
For more accommodation in Gili T, you can check here.
What do you think about our top things to do in Gili Trawangan?
Have you visited Gili Trawangan? What did you do? Let us know if you like our list of activities or if you think we could improve our recommendations. If there’s anything you think we should add or any questions you have to ask us, please do so in the comments below!
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