Hi all ,im heading Gili Trawangan , this week , feb 1st and was wondering if anyone had some info , i land in Bali late on the 1st , so im guessing its better to stay around the city somewhere that night then head out the the island the next day , is this a good idea ?,where is the best place to get the fast boat from? and once on Gili trawangan , is there any good budget accommodation , anyone can recommend... thanks for you time , D
#1 dilly5 has been a member since 22/11/2010. Posts: 9
Fast boats leave from Benoa (south end of Bali). There are lots of travel agents in Legian, Kuta, Sanur, etc who will be able to organise this for you. Ticket price usually includes hotel pickup from these areas. More info here: http://lombokfastboats.com/. Fast boats are comparatively pricey, but if you have limited time, they are worth it. I took fast boat there (from Lembongan rather than Bali), and slow ferry back.
I stayed at Warna Guesthouse (200,000rp/night). Kind of pricey but my first picks didn't have vacancies, and I couldn't be bothered traipsing around looking for anything cheaper. This place was quite nice, included breakfast, hot shower and fan. And the beach was across the road.
When you get off the boat, there will be dozens of horse-carts waiting to take you away. There are also dozens of places to stay within easy walking distance so it's not really necessary to take the cart as long as you are OK to walk between 50m - 1/2km with your pack. If you plan to stay on the far side of the island (very isolated) then take the horsecart. Try to get a map before you arrive. Most accom places are along the loop road that goes around the island, but there are cheaper ones in a cluster inland a bit.
A couple of tips:
- fresh water is piped in from Lombok therefore expensive. Many places use the local-sourced water for bathroom/showers - which is quite salty. So you come in from beach to rinse sea water off with more salty water! You can pay a premium for places with the fresh water.
- bring plenty of cash. There is one ATM (as at Oct 2009) that allows a max of 1,250,000rp per withdrawal. This isn't much when you consider your bank fees back home. Try to find an ATM in Kuta/Legian that will give you 3,000,000rp beforehand.
- hire a bike and cycle around the island. Bring your snorkle gear and snorkle off the far north-west side from the beach. This is where the snorkle boats go anyhow. You'll have to walk the bike in a couple of sandy patches.
- Take a hike up the hill in the middle of the island. It's very barren but kind of interesting to walk past the local's village and you get a view from the top.
- The current can be quite strong between each of the Gili islands. I don't normally bother with flippers but I did here as I figured I might end up in Australia if I wasn't careful!
- Be sure to do a snorkle day-trip. They visit the other 3 islands - and each offer different things to see. Be sure to take a bit of money for lunch on one of the island stops. Many people on my boat had forgotten for some reason.
Hope that helps!
Just remembered a couple of more things I wanted to point out (which allowed me a reprieve from the gardening!).
- I remember it as being bloody hot there. The closer your room is to the water, the more sea breeze you will get. I was tucked back a bit so didn't get to enjoy that. You pay more of course the nearer to the beach you are.
- Electricity is intermittent at times, which means if you are paying for air con, you may not always get to use it! Not much you can do if it craps out during the night.
- Gili T is primarily Muslim. It won't take you too long to get used to the sound of being called to morning prayers at 4.30am or so.
Great info Busylizzy!
I'm just wondering if I was to bring some dollars with me too Gili would I be able to use them there or get them exchanged?
With only a €100 limit per withdrawal over there its going to be hard on the bank fees. Do you know how much the ATM over in Gili charges per withdrawal?
I'm sure you can exchange your dollars over there, but most likely at a terrible rate. I don't think the ATM had any charges - it was just the NZD$5 ($6?) per transaction fee that my own bank charged. I had to do two withdrawals over there and it sucked. Just get lots of rupiah from Bali first to cover your expenses.
I found one ATM in Legian that gave 3,000,000rp after a bit of hunting - but most were 1,200,000. (Check the tossed out withdrawal slips to see the amounts that people are pulling out before using the machine; the info is not usually posted anywhere.). Somtam might be able to lead you in the right direction to find a sensible ATM.
Ah thanks so much Busylizzy , this is great info, im heading to Bali today , so came at just the right time , thanks so much for you time , it nice to have a bit of a idea on where im going , lol:)
#7 dilly5 has been a member since 22/11/2010. Posts: 9
There's also a good little video on Gili T on the Bali blog. You can watch it here. Should get those feet itching
#8 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,706
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Really? The ATM's in indonesia don't have a withdrawal charge?
I know my bank will charge me 1.75% of whatever I withdraw each time...which is fine. But in Thailand I hear the ATM's are charging 150bath per withdrawal on top of the bank charges!
Any idea what indonesia ATMs charge?
Hey Chicoelnino , i can tell you for sure Thailand is charging 150 baht each withdrawal, i was just there, so it helps to take out pretty large amounts, in one go .....
#11 dilly5 has been a member since 22/11/2010. Posts: 9
Just had a look at my bank statement.
For each withdrawal, I was charged an ATM transaction fee of $5NZD and another % amount described as:
The Offshore Service Margins comprise a Visa International Service Assessment of 0.85% and, for a FastCash overseas cash withdrawal, an ASB Margin of 0.25% .
When I looked at the amounts, it worked out as 1.1% which wasn't quite consistent with what the above statement says.
Oops - yes you are right. Not sure what I was adding up! But this a NZ bank charge, and was charged on each of my withdrawals, regardless of country. I didn't pull any money out in Thailand, but if I had I would have expected to see $5NZ + 1.1%, PLUS 150 baht. No other banks (Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, Cambodia) added a separate fee as is done in Thailand.
Was just in Gili T for new years and stayed at a nice homestay called "welcome inn". Not far from the area all the boats drop ya off at and just past the morning vegetable and fruit market. It was 300,000 but that was holiday price and was standard for the whole island. It should now be 100,000 rupiah. FANTASTIC breakfast. Tell Olga and Yudi I say hi!
As stated before, you should do a day snorkle trip. You will meet many friends right away on Gili and together should hire a boat to take you around. Gili Air is lovely - try to stop for lunch there!
Enjoy lovely Lombok.
#15 laurenladky has been a member since 27/1/2011. Posts: 32
@busylizzy: So you say that when you take money out of atm's in Laos/indonesia/cambodia etc that you DON'T get charged any ATM withdrawal fees like you do in Thailand??
Can anyone else confirm this?
You see my bank will charge me 1.75% on each withdrawal which is fine...but I'd like to know what local fees would be so as I can get a better understanding of how much i'd lose to exchange fees in 6 months travel in asia.