Gili Trawangan Hill Viewpoint
Scenic Lookout over Gili Trawangan0
Gili Trawangan Hill is a natural viewpoint that lies on the island’s quiet south-western beach, far away from the beach bar-lined main roads of its east coast. With a relatively easy trail through forested terrain, you will find some ‘treasures’ during the short, 15 to 20 minute hike up, with the prize of a bird’s eye view over the surrounding azure waters of the island and the silhouette of the Rinjani mountain range on the main island of Lombok.Read More
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A historically important but often overlooked landmark due to Trawangan’s contemporary ‘beach bar partying’ image, the Gili Trawangan hill is the island’s silent witness to when it was once a WWII era naval base, POW detention site and lookout post. Midway, under thick foliage is the run-down remnant of a Japanese machinegun bunker. Odds and ends of tunnel warfare the Japanese were well known for are said to vein throughout the hill. Trawangan itself means ‘tunnel’ in the local tongue.
The quietness of this side of the island brings on a desolate and eerie vibe. Some locals believe that malevolent spirits dwell here, only to be amplified by tales surrounding several tourism development projects that never saw the light of day, due to misfortunes of those involved. One of the remains include a sheltered timber platform overlooking the blue waters that looks as though it was to become a cool sea-view restaurant. Now the structure serves as a stopover for cyclists for cooling off with a beautiful view as a bonus. This is also the starting point for your climb up to the Gili Trawangan hill viewpoint.
Our bikes parked, we soon effortlessly climb the few flights of stairs leading us into the nutmeg forest. Not far up is a small Hindu rock shrine, draped in yellow sash and a weathered parasol. A few more steps to the side of the Gili Trawangan Hill, the ground levels and our eyes become fixed upon a small peculiar shelter. Peering inside, there are four rocks written with Arabic numerals at each corner of what seems to be... a burial! Must have been a leader or someone very important. There were no readable inscriptions. Ask the locals; most haven’t dared the climb themselves!
Some locals usually call it off after this goose bump moment, but moving on and at a relatively high elevation, out the shrubbery, great sea views come into view – if that’s what you’re here for. The best time is indeed at sunrise or sunset, with the most majestic golden daybreaks over the peaks of Rinjani to be witnessed during the latter. Halfway up to the peak of Gili Trawangan hill, under thick tree shades and tangled in roots are the crumbling remains of the Japanese gun bunker.
The trail shortly opens to a vast and level grassy area, with the prize sea panorama. This includes the silhouettes of Rinjani and the mountain range over neighbouring Lombok in the distance, the tiny fishing boats on the shimmering waters, and the curving bay. An equally breath-taking view is on the other side of this field, when the sun sets over the eastern horizon. With clear all-round views, one can only imagine the winning edge the Japanese troops had from this scenic vantage point.
The hike from the hill base up takes only 15 minutes. The Gili Trawangan Hill is within only a 10-minute bike ride from the nearest hotels around Gili Trawangan’s so-called Sunset Point area, such as Hotel Vila Ombak and Aston Sunset Beach Resort.
Gili Trawangan Hill Viewpoint
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- Location: Gili Trawangan, Lombok