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Gili Trawangan or Gili T as it’s most commonly known is one of the 3 Gili islands off of the coast of Lombok.
Yes, Gili Trawangan is part of Lombok island, not Bali! People often refer to the ‘Bali Gili Islands’, but this isn’t correct. However, visiting Gili Trawangan as part of your Bali itinerary, or Lombok itinerary, does work well and Gili T is certainly one of the most popular places to visit in Indonesia!
After living on Gili T for a few weeks, here is my Gili Trawangan blog things to do in Gili T, and no matter whether you’re backpacking Indonesia or you’re on holiday in Indonesia, you’ll find something on this list to interest you when working out what to do in Gili Trawangan!
Related Gili Island Posts:
Things To Do in Gili T.
1 – Bike Around the Island.
There are no cars and no mopeds on Gili T so the only way to get around the island is by bicycle, and horse and cart.
I recommend hiring a bike on Gili T for the duration of your stay, or for one day at least, and biking all the way around the island which takes about 1 hour without stopping but you should stop for a few refreshing drinks along the way and take in the views.
It’s likely you’ll be able to hire a bike in Gili T from your accommodation or there will be a hire place nearby. Generally, the cost is 50,000 IDR per day.
Can you walk around Gili Trawangan? Yes, you can but if you want to see the whole island it will take you much longer and it will be sweaty in the midday heat.
2 – See Turtles Snorkelling From the Beach.
You may also have heard that you can see Turtles in Gili Trawangan and snorkelling is definitely one of the most popular things to do in Gili Trawangan because where else in the world are you guaranteed to see Turtles??
You don’t need to go on a snorkelling Gili Trawangan tour though, you can see turtles by snorkelling from the beach of Gili T.
The snorkelling on Gili T is the best on the Eastern side of the island and there’s a section of beach conveniently named Turtle Point which is where you should head. You can hire snorkelling equipment from many of the guys that have shops and sunbeds on the beach for 50,000 IDR.
Related Post: The BEST Places to Snorkel on Gili T!
3 – Go on a Snorkelling Boat Tour.
If you want to do an activity on Gilli T, you don’t feel confident snorkelling alone, or perhaps you’re travelling Gili T solo and want to make some friends, going on a Snorkelling Tour of Gili T is a great idea!
The snorkelling tours involve a few stops including stopping at Turtle Point, Gili Meno, Gili Air and you will also get to see the Gili T underwater statues by Gili Meno which is cool.
Related Post: How to get from Gili T to Gili Meno for a Day Trip.
4 – Have a Pool Day at a Resort Without Paying.
If your Gili Trawangan Accommodation doesn’t have a swimming pool, don’t worry! These days there are so many Resorts in Gili Trawangan with swimming pools and most of them accept people that are not guests so you can use the pool and their facilities as long as you buy a drink, and maybe lunch!
I recommend looking for the pools and resorts that are quiet as they are more likely to welcome you.
5 – Watch the Sunset from Sunset Beach.
The Western side of Gili T is purely west facing and Indonesia is known for its incredible sunsets so make sure you cycle around to the west side of the island to sunset beach to enjoy it.
You can sit on the beach for free or you can sit on the beanbags at many of the cool sunset bars on Gili T, most of which offer live music at sunset. I really recommend Goa Bar for its cool music, vibe and staff.
Make sure you stick around even once the sun has gone down as the sky after the sun has set in Indonesia is when the magic happens!
6 – Get Your Instagram Photo on the Gili T Swings.
If you’re wondering: Which Gili Island has the swing? It’s Gili T that has the most swings!
The Gili T Swings are super popular and iconic now, and they do make the best Gili T Instagram photo! There are swings all over the island, most of them are on Sunset Beach though.
For my full guide on the swings and where to find the best Gili T swing, including the Gili T Swing and Hammock, have a read of this blog post!
7 – Watch the Sunrise from Gili T Hill.
Gili Trawangan is flat apart from one hill in the middle of the island. Also known as the Gili Trawangan Viewpoint, this hill is a local area of the island and businesses for forbidden to use the land for hotels etc, however for the best sunrise viewpoint on Gili T, you need to head up the hill!
Just remember to not be too loud as people will still be sleeping.
8 – Go Scuba Diving.
Diving is in the top things to do in the Gili Islands because of how clear the water is and how amazing the underwater life is.
Gili Trawangan Diving is popular for beginners wanting to learn to dive or take a fun dive, but it’s also popular with experienced diver’s and offers something for everyone.
If you’re a keen diver I’d recommend booking your Gili T accommodation at a dive school in Gili T and you’ll probably get a better deal by combining your diving and accommodation.
9 – Learn how to Freedive.
Don’t fancy scuba diving or want a new challenge? Freediving seems to be becoming more and more popular now and you can take a beginner’s freediving course on Gili T. There are a few freediving schools like Freedive Gili and Manta Dive.
10 – Make Your Own Jewellery.
What about a jewellery workshop as one of your what to do on Gili Trawangan activities?
Yin Jewelry for the Soul is a beautiful jewellery store with locations in Bali and in Gili T. I purchased one of their Karma rings back in 2014 and I still wear it today so I was intrigued by their Silver Classes which they only run on Gili Trawangan.
We were given a piece of silver and were able to make a ring, pendant or bracelet. I decided to make a ring and with the expert help of Gufran and Bahrain, I was really happy with the result and it feels much more special to me than a store-bought ring. For something different and a way to remember your travels, I really recommend a Silver Workshop at Yin Jewelry. You can book a place on their website here.
I also really recommend popping into their store to check out their other products as they are unique to Indonesia, high quality and a great souvenir.
Still working out your Indonesia itinerary. Look at buses and boats online on 12Go Asia here:
11 – Have a Flower Bath.
Bali Flower Baths have become a ‘thing’ on Instagram but you don’t need to go to Bali and stay in an expensive Bali Hotel to have a Flower Bath.
Flower Bath Gili T Spa along Beach Road close to the pier, offers a Gili T Flower Bath and has 3 rooms set up for the perfect flower bath and Instagram photo!
12 – Treat Yourself to a Massage.
Taking of spa’s and massages, on Gili T you can treat yourself to a relaxing Balinese massage and work out all of those backpack pains with a harder Lombok massage.
There are so many places to get a massage on Gili T, including a few beach massages on the western side but I recommend Flower Bath Gili T Spa as a high-quality place.
13 – Do Yoga on Gili T.
For Yoga in Gili T, there are a number of resorts and schools around the island offering morning and sunset Yoga.
Gili Yoga offers regular Yoga classes twice a day and is close to the pier and therefore in a good and easy location to most accommodation.
But you can also do Sunrise Yoga on Gili T at Pearl of Trawangan where you can do yoga on the beach and Sunset Yoga on Gili T at Sunset Beach Yoga on the Western side of the island offering the best sunset view during your class.
If you’ve always wanted to try SUP Yoga, you can also do SUP Yoga on Gili T.
14 – Horse Ride at Sunset.
When you watch the sunset on Gili Trawangan you’ll have lots of horses riding past you. There are 2 ways you can horse ride on the Gili T.
Firstly there are a few guys that ride (quite crazily) up and down the beach at sunset offering rides, these are much shorter rides and seem to be for a photo opportunity over an experience of riding. These guys are not licensed I believe but if you just want to jump on, take a few photos and jump off, you can use them.
The second way and best way is to go out with one of the horse riding stables on Gili Trawangan for an official sunset ride. From my experience of going out riding and meeting the owners, I recommend STUD Horse Riding who are a responsible company and look after their horses well.
To book a sunset horse ride on Gili Trawangan you can contact STUD on their Facebook page.
15 – Go to the Gym.
Of course, this Gili Trawangan what to do item is not for everyone but if you like to stay fit on your travels you’ll be pleased to hear there is a gym on Gili T and it’s pretty good! It’s called Total Body Fit and is directly opposite the pier. It’s part of Tropica Gili Hotel.
They offer passes for 1 session for 70,000 IDR, 4 sessions for 240,000 IDR, 8 for 400,000 IDR and a one month membership for 500,000 IDR.
16 – Try Stand Up Paddle Boarding.
Stand Up Paddle Boards can be rented on the Eastern beach which is the same side of the island where you go snorkelling so they pair up as great activities in Gili Trawangan.
17 – Play Mini Golf.
Gili Golf & Bar isn’t advertised well but it’s one of the good things to do on Gili Trawangan for families, and groups of friends, especially if you fancy something a bit different.
They have an 18 hole mini-golf course and they serve food and drinks on site.
18 – Go Surfing.
Bongkas Surf School is the place to go surfing in Gili T, you can hire surfboards from them and take surfing lessons on Gili T. They also have a homestay called Bongkas Homestay.
However, note that surfing in Gili Trawangan is seasonal and it may not always be a good time to surf.
19 – Eat Well!
You may know of Bali for good food and Instagram worthy cafes but Gili T is catching up!
There are so many nice cafes to have a coffee, brunch and lunch in, with an unlimited amount of Smoothie Bowl options and the best thing is that most of these cafes offer healthy options including lots of vegan options.
Come dinner time there are also so many restaurants on the beach, and inland offering really high quality local and western food so you’ll never be short of places to eat in Gili Trawangan!
My favourite places to eat in Gili T are: Coffee & Thyme, Casa Vintage Living, Banyan Tree and Regina Pizza for the best Pizza on Gili T!
20 – Go Shopping!
Gili T used to have the usual ‘backpacker’ style shops and markets but these days you’ll struggle to find a pair of elephant pants as many of the shops are independent boutique stores as well as having stores such as Quiksilver. From clothes, bags and jewellery there are some real gems here that you can wear in Indonesia but also take time and many of the shops in Gili T will rival those of Bali!
21 – Take a Day Trip to Gili Meno or Gili Air.
Although you can stay on both Gili Air and Gili Meno (Gili Air is more developed than Gili Meno and is known for being quieter than Gili T and better for families, honeymoons etc), you can also visit them from Gili Trawangan for the day.
Gili Meno is pretty quiet but things to do in Gili Meno include snorkelling at the underwater statues.
Gili Air has more going on and I preferred my day trip to Gili Air from Gili T more than Gili Meno. When it comes to things to do in Gili Air there are lots of nice shops, you can walk or bike around the island in 1-2 hours, go snorkeling in Gili Air and chill on the beach.
22 – Join the Beach Clean on Friday’s.
Gili Eco Trust was founded in 2000 and its mission is to create a sustainable island. One of the ways they do this is to prevent and manage the waste and rubbish on Gili Trawangan which is very much needed.
How can you help keep the island paradise of Gili Trawangan clean? Of course, you can pick up rubbish as you go but you can also join their Debris Free Friday from 5:00-6:00 pm on a designated part of the island, and they’ll give you a beer after to thank you for your help.
You can also donate money to the project, visit their Eco Gift Shop and take an Eco Tour to learn more about what they are doing. Find out more about Gili Eco Trust here!
23 – Visit Cats of Gili & Horses of Gili.
You can’t help out directly at these organisations by seeing the cats and horses they look after but you can visit the Cat Shop and Horse Shop and buy something and the proceeds will go to helping the cats and horses, or you can donate money.
Related Post: How are the horses that work on Gili T treated NOW?
24 – Head out on a Sunset Booze Cruise.
The Gili Trawangan Booze Cruise is pretty famous because it’s a lot of fun!
Gili Mansion Hostel runs a boat party on Gili T every Wednesday and Saturday from 2:00 pm for 5 hours including swim stops, sunset views, lots of alcohol, a DJ and an afterparty with all the new friends you’ve just met! Check out the details on Gili Mansion’s site here!
There’s also the famous Jiggy Boat Party, for the Jiggy Boat Party Schedule and Jiggy Boat Party Booking, have a look at Jiggy’s website here.
25 – Take Magic Mushrooms on Gili T.
Magic Mushrooms are not legal in Indonesia and not legal in Gili Trawangan but they are on offer everywhere and it is safe to buy them.
You’ll see lots of bars advertising Magic Mushrooms in Gili T in the form of a Mushroom Shake / Shroom Shake especially near Turtle Point on Beach Road on the Eastern Side and at some of the Sunset Bars on the Western Beach of Gili T.
From my experience, I’d recommend doing them on the beach, with friends, whilst watching the best sunset of your life!
A few safety points about taking Magic Mushroom on Gili Trawangan: Do not to take them alone, find some people you feel safe and comfortable with. Don’t take them too late, it’s better to take them when it’s light, just before sunset is perfect and seeing the colours of the sunset on mushrooms is pretty epic! Watch your consumption, get a weak or medium-strength depending on whether you’ve taken them before, and don’t do them after eating, eat a few hours before in order to get the most effective Shroom Shake on Gili T!
Still working out your Indonesia itinerary. Look at buses and boats online on 12Go Asia here:
What To Do in Gili Trawangan at Night.
26 – Party!
Gili Trawangan is known as the party island of Indonesia and it is the best place to party, especially for backpackers.
The Gili T Nightlife is epic and there is a different party each night on Gili T so it doesn’t matter when you visit. Here’s a quick Gili T party guide:
Monday – Blue Marlin.
Tuesday – Jiggy Bar.
Wednesday – Irish Bar.
Thursday – A quiet Night.
Friday – Sand Bar.
Saturday – Sama Sama.
Sunday – Evolution.
Jungle Bar is a good bar to visit in Gili T every night of the week and is a popular backpacker bar on Gili T, especially because they often give out free shots!
If you’re not coming to Gili Trawangan to party, don’t worry. The bars in Gili T and clubs I’ve mentioned above are on the Eastern side of the island near the pier. This is the most populated part of the island so don’t stay around here if you want a quiet stay.
The western side of the island and inland are totally different and offer a party free, quiet stay.
27 – Join the Gili T Pub Crawl.
If you’re travelling solo but want to experience the Gili Trawangan nightlife, join the Gili T Pub Crawl which runs on a Tuesday, Friday and Sunday. The ticket includes a lot of drinks, a free t-shirt and a guaranteed good night with good friends! Find out more information on their Facebook page here!
28 – Eat at the Night Market.
If you’re travelling to Gili T on a budget, the night market will be your best friend because aside from the local restaurants you’ll spot in the small streets inland, it’s the cheapest place to eat on Gili T.
The Gili Trawangan Night Market is on every night and is full of fresh, local food and lots of BBQ options, perfect for lining your stomach before a night out!
29 – Watch a Film on the Beach.
If you’re looking for a quieter night, head to one of the Gili T cinemas on the beach. Villa Ombak offers Misbar Movie which is an open-air cinema on the beach in Gili T and Aston Sunset Beach Resort also offers movies on the beach in Gili T.
30 – Listen to Live Music.
The best thing about live music in Gili T is the choice you have. If you want to relax on the beach on a beanbag and listen to some chilled live music you can. For this, I recommend Gili Sands Beach Club where Rizal Alfaro usually plays.
However, if you want to dance to live music in Gili T, the best place to go is Sama Sama Reggae Bar which is an institution on Gili T, plays live music every night and is the best place to have a few drinks and a dance!
I told you there are Gili T activities for everybody on offer!
If you’re not on Gili T yet, keep reading for more information to help you plan your Gili T trip!
TRAVEL INSURANCE FOR INDONESIA
First up, have you got travel insurance for Indonesia yet? I am covered with World Nomad’s who I really recommend! They are designed by travellers, for travellers with excellent customer service and a range of cover options.
Get a free quote here while you’re thinking about it:
SIM CARD FOR INDONESIA
You’ll want to be connected in Indonesia as it makes everything much easier. If you have an unlocked phone you can get a sim card in Indonesia when you arrive or you can get a prepaid sim card for Indonesia online in advance.
If your phone is locked, you’ll need to get a portable wifi device for Indonesia which you can get delivered to your home free of charge 2-3 days before you leave. I recommend TEP:
Where to Stay on Gili T.
The best thing about Gili Trawangan accommodation is that it offers something for everybody and for all budgets whether you’re looking for cheap accommodation in Gili T or resorts with a swimming pool in Gili T.
BEFORE YOU BOOK YOUR AIRBNB, create a NEW ACCOUNT USING THIS LINK, to get $30.00 off your first stay. If you already have an Airbnb Account, just make a new one to save money!
How To Get to Gili T.
Bali to Gili Trawangan.
The most popular route that people do is to land in Bali International Airport and then travel to Gili Trawangan.
There is only one port and pier in Bali where the boat from Bali to Gili Islands runs and that’s from Padang Bai in the North.
You can book a minibus and boat package which will pick you up from your Bali Hotel, take you to Padang Bai and then will take you to your boat over to the Gili Islands.
The whole journey takes about 5 hours depending on where you’re staying in Bali and they leave two or 3 times a day.
There are different companies offering differently priced tickets, generally, the cheaper the ticket, the more squashed your minibus or car will be and the smaller the boat will be. I recommend the company Eka Jaya which costs more but is much comfier, you can book tickets with Eka Jaya on 12Go Asia here.
You will need to book tickets from Padang Bay pier on 12GO Asia and get a taxi from where you are in Bali in Padang Bay. Getting your own transport is much easier, quicker and comfier than getting a shared transfer.
Lombok to Gili Trawangan.
Gili Trawangan is much closer to the island of Lombok than it is Bali so it is quicker and easier to get to Gili T from Lombok than Bali.
If you want to go straight to Gili Trawangan I recommend looking at flights into Lombok Praya Airport, from here you can travel from Lombok Airport to Bangsal Harbour in 90 minutes and get the boat from Bangsal to Gili Trawangan in just 20 minutes.
Not only is Lombok Airport closer to the pier than Bali Airport but there are more regular boats from Lombok to Gili Trawangan than Bali to Gili Trawangan, they take less time and if you miss a public boat you can hire a private boat from Lombok to Gili Islands.
Nusa Lembongan to Gili Trawangan.
Finally, if you are already travelling around the small Indonesian islands, there is a boat from Nusa Lembongan to Gili Trawangan which cuts out all of the bus transfers!
Still working out your Indonesia itinerary. Look at buses and boats online on 12Go Asia here:
For more of my Gili Island blog posts to help you plan your trip see: