I instantly fell in love with the tiny island of Gili Trawangan and despite still not knowing exactly where it is, I know I will definitely come back here. In fact I write this on my second Gili T trip, in bed sadly weakened by a savage chest infection. Ah well, if I can’t play I’ll blog so you lovely peeps can learn all about Gili T. …
Gili Castle Hostel I’m reliably informed is the best hostel on the island, there aren’t many but I will go and check that this information is correct (EDIT: yeah popped round it’s cool and has a climbing wall). Do not, I repeat, do not stay at Calypso Hostel, it is a literal shack with no air con and it’s expensive.
I stayed in Warna Bungalows, it’s the roughly the same price to stay in a private bungalow if you’re in a group as it is to stay in a hostel so treat yourself, also it’s still easy to meet people here even if you’re not in a hostel. it’s that small.
My bungalow was the penthouse with it’s own roof terrace and pergola, and a cool dude named Rudi to look after us, he’s so nice he even FaceTimed me in Ubud after I left. Free breakfast and excellent service, plus massive beds and a sick bathroom means I had a terrific stay.
We paid 600,000 Rupiah per day between 4. Which when you consider a hostel with no a/c can be 130,000 Rupiah is pretty cheap (only £1 for luxury). Email me if you want to get in touch with Rudi and stay at Warna.
Sama Sama, Rudy’s, the Beer Pong bar, all good, all on the same strip, every night is a party whatever your vibe, just walk outside your door and you’ll find a something fun to do. The music does err on the side of ‘all reggae all the time’ but, like, who doesn’t like reggae?!
Snorkelling, Paddle Boarding, Swim with turtles, surfing, diving, kayaking… you really can do it all here. The beach which borders the entire island is picturesque so even just swimming is lovely. Word to the wise though, the current is so powerful here so if you’re not a strong swimmer don’t stray too far from shore.
THE BEST KEPT SECRET
Moonlight Bar which is on the right side of the island and is basically a shack with a speaker was home to some of the best times of my life, the owner Ari was so friendly and all his Indonesian mates were so lovely to us and gave us drinks, food and good times. Try the palm wine (pronounced ‘palom wine’) which is like Saki kinda and pink, and gross at first but then nice, and costs 7000 Rupiah per litre (or 40p).
About a ten minute bike ride up the left side of the island you’ll find some yellow tree houses where you can WATCH HORSES SWIM and take in the sunset with a beer.
TIPS AND TRICKS
Get a push bike, there’s no motor vehicles allowed on Gili T. so theres just bikes and horses. It’s pretty small so you can walk but biking is way more fun. You can cycle the entire island in under an hour – don’t pay more than 40,000 Rupoah for one days bike rental.
Download podcasts/music before you arrive as the wifi is shit.
READ: MY TOP PODCASTS TO ENTERTAIN YOU WHILE TRAVELLING
The police come only twice a year to Gili so do as you please… 😉
Gili T. is a Muslim Island so there is a mosque and I swear it does the call to prayer more than 5 times a day. Mostly I like it but when you’re trying to nap it’s very annoying.
Getting here from mainland Bali costs 450,000 Rupiah (open return). The boa can be quite hot so I suggest falling asleep as soon as you board or siting outside for some great views and a nice breeze.
The night market and the local women sell the best and cheapest food, the night market had a pick ‘n’ mix salad kinda thing for £1 which is basically the Wholefoods salad bar only £7 cheaper. So tasty. I also tried fresh curried fish at Ari’s bar which was heaven – people just feed you here. You also must try a fish curry (anywhere) – divine!!!!!!
There’s so much more I could say about Gili T. but I wouldn’t want to ruin the surprise for you, but this place is as close to paradise as you can get. I’m seriously looking into buying land and building a cool little guest house here… stay tuned.
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Broken compass is another really great hostel! Think it’s opposite the one with the climbing wall. Good for pre-drink before a night out too if you’re staying somewhere else x
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