25/07/2018 – 05/08/2018
A few words about the Gili islands
Why did we choose Gili Trawangan?
We decided to stay for a few days on the biggest island, Gili Trawangan.
Famous for being the most active of the three and a party island, we were not sure it would suit us. However, since the sea was kinda agitated and speedboats could not go, there were not that many people until the beginning of August!
Whatever island you choose (Gili Trawangan, Meno or Air), know that there is only horse-drawn carriages, bicycles and electric motorbikes.
Gili Trawangan is a nice and quiet place to stay, but rather crowded in high season and you will struggle to find a nice spot without too many people around.
How to get there from Mataram in Lombok?
There are hundreds of possible accommodations on the island. From Homestays at 200.000 IDR/night (12€) to Hostels, Guesthouses, Hotels and Resort at 400.000-700.000 IDR/night (24-42€). Do not forget it is always possible to bargain if you do not have any booking (even in high season: we bargained down to 130.000 IDR/night (<8€), including breakfast!). The island is only 2km wide and 3km long, which means there is always a each nearby!
There are more restaurants that you could ever count. Restaurants along beaches tend to be expensive to super expensive (usually 50.000 IDR/pp (3€), but it can reach up to almost 500.000 IDR/pp (30€) for a seafood platter)!
Around the center, traditional food is the less expensive and you can find easily something for ~20.000-30.000 IDR (~2€) (even though it would cost you only 7.000 IDR in Java). Here are a few nice places to find cheap food:
Water is more expensive here (like twice the real price): 10.000 IDR/1,5l (0,6€). As for the food, we suggest you to get yourself closer towards the center where you can find the same bottles for 6.000 IDR. However, a few restaurants offer you to fill up your empty bottles for 5.000 IDR.
- Resting on a beach
- « Sunset Beach » in front of the resort with the same name (north-west o the island)
- Hill in the south-west
- Horse rides
A few anecdotes
- On the 29th of July at 7AM, we were suddenly waken up by an 6,4 magnitude earthquake on Richter scale. Epicenter on Lombok, 50km from us. Quite a wake-up call t o feel the bed shaking ! We had several aftershocks for days later.
- One of the guys in our Homestay was still high from yesterday and told me: « Man, I did not realize the earth was shaking, I thought that it was my friend trying to wake me up!«
- Magic mushrooms and weed are commonplace here. With my hair, people told me: « Your hair look like mushrooms, so you have to love them! Do you want mushroom, Bro?«
- « Nice hair Bro! Do you keep them dirty, as I do, to have it that way? »
How to leave the island
There are literally tons of travel agencies selling tickets to wherever you need to go. They often include speedboat and minivan tickets to anywhere in Bali, Lombok, Java and even to Flores.
As for the cheapest way to get away, it’s best using the ferry back to Bengsal harbor in Lombok and another one in Lembar harbor to get back to Bali. From the island, they sell tickets to Bengsal harbor for 15.000 IDR/pp (~1€) (22.500 IDR/pp (1,30€) the other way).