Gili Trawangan is the largest and most popular of the 3 Gilis, thanks to its well-established infrastructure that preceded the other two islands in the group: Meno and Air. Therefore, if you’re a first-timer, you can opt for Trawangan as your first ‘landing point’, where you can enjoy most of the action. It has the best range of facilities among the three islands, with a larger land size and a good mixture of hotels, bars and restaurants, catering to different styles and preferences. The main coast near the harbour gets you closer to the ‘castaway’ style nightlife, while those on the secluded western shore offers peace and tranquillity for honeymooners and couples.
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What to Do in Gili Trawangan
Stroll down along most of the beaches on Gili Trawangan, and the vast blue waters can be all yours. As a premier diving destination, Gili Trawangan is home to some of the Gilis’ pioneering dive shops where you can get your PADI Open Water or Advanced diver’s certification, or just roll up and take part in a fun dive. Alternately, the easiest way to enjoy the underwater beauty of the Gilis is by snorkel and fin, widely available for rent from local seaside stalls. The waters around the islands are shallow, with abundant coral reefs and regular sightings of sea turtles roaming freely.
The island’s larger size compared to Meno and Air also means there’s more to see and discover overland. This includes a hilltop viewpoint where a desolate tomb and remnants of a WWII gun bunker can be found. Getting around the island is easy: by foot, bicycle or horse-driven cart known as ‘cidomo’. To replenish, seaside bars and restaurants are aplenty, such as The Beach House and a seafood night market. To unwind, cosy spas along the coast offer soothing sea views. When you’ve sampled a bit of Trawangan, you can easily island-hop to the other two Gilis via private transfers, or by scheduled public boats that service between the three islands daily.
In all, you can consider Gili Trawangan to be your first hop on your trip to the Gilis. Even if you decide to stay on Trawangan, its mix of facilities and features alone is good enough to make your island escape.
Gili Trawangan Island
- Location: Gili Trawangan, Gili Islands, North Lombok