9 things to do on Gili Trawangan (apart from partying)

I know the title is long. It amuses me.

To be honest when I first got to Gili Trawangan I was like…WHAT? If you travel a lot you have seen many places right? and if you have something you are use to which for me was slightly more organised and safer ways of travelling, arriving on Gili T was something of a shock and most probably my first big lesson I was going to learn when travelling alone and on a budget in SEA.

I wasn’t in the right frame of mind when I got off our fast boat where we were packed in like sardines. As people were getting off the boat I realised they were left to their own devices. The repetitive thought I had as we got off the boat was ‘don’t fall off’.

You soon realise when taking the budget options that you have to toughen yourself up and gear yourself up for anything.

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When we arrived we noticed a swarm of travellers waiting for us to get off our boat so they could get on and leave. As we waited for our luggage to be chucked off the boat and then as I dragged my suitcase and weekend bag in the sand I realised if I was going to be travelling every 3 or 4 days I was in need of a backpack ASAP.

After the shock of our arrival we got on board the ‘Gili T island lifestyle’ and enjoyed its small yet wonderful energy. Gili Trawangan is one of the three Gili islands off the east coast of Bali and is known as the ‘Party island’. I haven’t been to many party islands and so I can not really compare but it just reminded me of any other popular touristy spot we find in Europe along the beach with its bars. The main difference was the huge amount of backpackers that were continuously passing through.

Here are the 9 other things you will find on this island apart from partying.

Bear in mind when reading this, I am not selling anything so enjoy my highs and lows. This is what we did on Gili Trawangan which made it special.

1. Snorkelling or Diving

Whether you are a snorkelling kind of person, diver or free diver there is something for everyone on this island.

I am not going to pretend that I had the best time snorkelling. Sure I saw some coral, most of it was dead. It was unfortunate for me that the sea was choppy, all I felt was nausea throughout the entire time. The best part of my snorkelling experience was getting to go to another Gili island called, Gili Air. This is known as the chill out island. You won’t find any parties here.

The Gili islands are known as good diving spots. Again, sorry to disappoint in this fabulous post I am making but I was an amateur at travelling at this time and although I was tempted to do a diving course (because that is what most of the travellers do) I still haven’t. There are many diving schools there so when you get there go for a walk and take your pick.

2. Bike around Gili T

Yes, Gili T is that small! This was a great way to see the rest of the island as opposed to one side of it.

3. Yoga and meditation @theyogaplacegili

This was one of the most relaxing days I had on this island and it consisted of me having breakfast with Hanaine at The Yoga Place, taking part in a one to one Yoga session with some meditation and having lunch and dinner there. Having a yoga session and eating nutritious food fed my soul! I felt totally connected to who I am.

For me, life is about a good balance and what better way to understand this and experience it than on an island where you have a chance to experience two polarities.


South East Asia’s random act of kindness 3: She (the Yoga teacher) didn’t need to but she listened. She asked me questions and I was able to speak from my heart and then she told me I was brave.

Inner Ramblings

Kindness comes in many forms and her words were what I needed to hear. We all make a contribution to helping others, however small we think it is, it matters. So, don’t be afraid to give someone a compliment and let them know how you see them. They may need to hear it. The fact that you thought of it and felt it, then it is good enough to verbalise it, especially when it will bring more positivity and love into someones life. 

I do love breakthroughs, moments of realisation or just good old 100% appreciation of my life and entire being. Even though I may look and sound like someone who is on some hallucinogenic substance I know I just have tapped in to the secret natural drug we can all tap in to more often.


Back to my list!

4. Watching the sunset 

Ombak hotel is where most of the tourists go for the sunset. It is a beautiful sunset to enjoy and famous for the swings it has so that you can take some pretty pictures. But any spot on the west side will be just as awesome! If you find a fire then it will be even better.

5. Massages

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You want to feel relaxed and get in to the laid back island vibe? So, get a massage. They are cheap, they are good, you can hear the sea, you get a breeze, go do it!

6. Music from locals

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One of the things I loved about Indonesia was: Music. It may have been that I was simply more aware of appreciating my surroundings but I found people singing and creating music spontaneously. Gili T is a good example. Whether you found them on the beach, at your guesthouse or in one of the bars, there was some good talent on that island.

The guys at the guesthouse would always be playing their guitar and singing songs. One morning as I put my clothes out to dry, they called out to me so I could join them. I don’t sing but they told me to choose some tunes for them. It was a sweet morning.

7. Night Fish Market

Now this was one of my favourites. After a day of swimming, snorkelling, diving, biking, walking or just lounging a great way to enjoy your evening is to go to the lively night fish market and choose what you want. It was always delicious. If you have any left overs, give it to the cats who are always hanging around. They need it!

8. Eat corn

Yes, number 8 is corn. The corn on this island was delicious and a great snack or light lunch. You can choose either a butter topping or chilli topping. Our favourite was a bit of both!


9. Chillax

Chill out and relax on the beach and at the many amazing restaurants Gili T has to offer.

Once you get use to it you begin to enjoy the laid back lifestyle but after 5 days of cold showers and having done everything we could for our mini adventure we finally thought it was enough.

Personally  I needed a change of scene and more excitement. So off I went to Java!

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