Gili Trawangan, or Gili T to its friends, is the largest of three islands scattered off Lombok's northwest coast. While all three of these Gilis (Gili means island in the Sasak language of Lombok) are especially photogenic, each has a character of its own and attracts a certain crowd -- in the case of Gili T, it's the party set.
It is a very pretty island. You'll have near endless opportunity to take photos to make the office back home suitably jealous. The beaches here really are white sand and the water really is turquoise.
The island, which has no natural water supply, has more than 100 places to stay -- and probably another 100 places to eat -- plus travel agents, internet cafes, dive shops, warungs, and even, in the back blocks of the village, some houses that people just... live in.
There's snorkelling offshore, and while the coral is in a very sorry state, you'll probably see a turtle or two and there are still plenty of fish. You can surf, cycle around the island, do snorkelling and fishing trips or you can just lay on the beach and take it easy.
Or you can party. A very lively party scene here sees both booze and a variety of drugs freely on offer imbibed. It's got that manic tilt to it that sees the all-night crowd mixing with the morning crowd all too often.
A word on the drugs: we were repeatedly, multiple times a day, offered drugs -- mostly mushrooms, but cocaine was also commonly suggested. Regardless of whatever the somewhat unique policing situation on Gili Trawangan may be, marijuana and cocaine most definitely remain absolutely illegal in Indonesia. Occasional arrests when undercover police are sent to the island occur, and you'd need to be an absolute twit to consider any goods purchased on Trawangan to be easily or safely transported elsewhere in the archipelago.
Prices are high -- accommodation, food and drink are all more expensive than what you might expect to pay elsewhere on Lombok -- and in high season (mid-June through to end of August), the prices are, quite honestly, ridiculous.
So who is Trawangan for? If you're travelling solo, you'll meet people here. If you want to party, don't mind paying a premium for it, and want to sleep off big nights on undeniably white sand beaches, then the island should have significant appeal.
So who isn't is for? Families with kids who value sleeping time and uncrowded beaches -- they should head to Gili Meno (though there are a few expensive spots on the island's north that may still suit). More affluent travellers looking for a high standard of accommodation without needing earplugs should head to Gili Air.
There are no cars or motorbikes on Gili Trawangan (or Meno and Air), which contributes to the generally peaceful, getaway vibe in the air. Instead, you can hire a cidomo, or horse and cart, to move you and any heavy baggage around.
Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Gili Trawangan or check hotel reviews on Agoda and Booking . Hungry? Read up on where to eat on Gili Trawangan. Want to know what to do once you're there? Check out our listings of things to do in and around Gili Trawangan. If you're still figuring out how to get there, you need to read up on how to get to Gili Trawangan.
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