After spending 2 days in Bali, Johnny and I set off to the tiny, tiny island of Gili Trawangan for some much needed R&R. Gili Trawangan, or Gili T, is located about 2 hours away from Bali via speedboat.
There are dozens of speedboat companies to choose from, but we went with Gili Cat, as they were highly recommended by Louise, a Glamtrotting contributor who lives in Bali. They are Australian owned, and have excellent safety standards. I’d heard some crazy ass stories of boats capsizing, so I definitely wanted to make sure we chose a safe company. A round trip ticket, including pick-up and drop-off in Bali was approximately 100USD per person.
After a pretty smooth 2 hour speed boat ride (I took a motion sickness pill and was asleep most of the time), we arrived in absolute paradise.
Gili Trawangan has the reputation of being a backpacker party island, but since we went during low season, I think we missed a lot of the shenanigans. Everything was chill and most of the beaches were completely empty at times.
Gili T is the ultimate island for rest and relaxation. It’s incredibly tiny (roughly the size of Central Park in NYC), and you can walk around the entire island in about 90 minutes. There are no motorbikes or cars, so if you want to get around, you have to ride a bike, walk, or take a horse cart. There’s hardly any internet, so you’re really “forced” to just take it easy. Digital detoxing for the win!
While in Gili T, Johnny and I stayed at the gorgeous, luxury glamping ecolodge, La Cocoteraie. Each tent is outfitted with luxury lines, a fresh water shower, and gorgeous furniture. A yummy breakfast was served each morning, and the staff was extremely kind and accommodating. They had bikes available for daily rent to get around the island, and provided headlights to get back at night (there’s hardly any electricity in the center of the island, so it’s pitch black!). It’s located on the opposite side of the island from the infamous party area, so it’s quiet and calm at night. If you’re planning on going to Gili T, I highly recommend them!
Each morning after breakfast, Johnny and I would put on our bathing suits, jump on a bike, and ride to the beach. He’d snorkle, and I’d read my kindle and drink cocktails. We’d take a break and have lunch, then go back out to the beach. Then we’d head back to the hotel, take a shower, go back out for dinner and drinks, then head back home. It was seriously the most relaxing vacation I’ve ever had. It’s hard for me to unwind, especially with Glamtrotting, but staying on Gili T forced me to put my phone away and enjoy every moment.
If you’re in Indonesia, the Gili Islands are not to be missed. The beaches are absolutely breathtaking, the snorkeling is incredible, the people are friendly and the vibe is super chill. It’s the best of both worlds – if you want to party, you can, and if you want to just relax, you can do that too. I’m already dreaming of going back.
Things to do:
1. Eat a BBQ seafood dinner at Scallywags. SO GOOD.
2. Rent a bike and ride the perimeter of the island. Beware though, there are times where you will have to push your bike through the sand.
3. I don’t dive, but apparently Gili T has some of the best diving in the world. You can also rent snorkeling gear from one of the many places on the main road.
4. Head over to the west side of the island around 5:30pm to have a few cocktails and take in the breathtaking sunset. There are a few bars to choose from, but we usually went to the Paradise Sunset Bar.
5. RELAX and have fun!!!