You just can’t leave without having seen the sunsets and night markets in Gili Trawangan. The views from the western side of the island are breath-taking (a great way to end the day biking around the island!). After you’ve finished watching the sunset, head on over to the night market to enjoy some hearty, local grub that is better (not to mention extremely cheap) than any of the tourist restaurants on the island!
The majority of accommodations and activities are found on the eastern part of the island. For those of you who remember your grade 6 social studies lessons, you’ll know that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. If you’re keen to wake up at an ungodly hour in the morning (which isn’t hard since the morning prayers are blared on loudspeakers at 4am each day) you can catch the sunrise just minutes from your place if you’re by the beach.
However, if you’re like me and can’t be bothered to face another day before 8:00 am (at least) while on vacation, then I would highly suggest you head over to the western side of the island to catch the sunset. We had rented bicycles that day and decided to bike on over to the east side around 5:30 pm, which took about ten or so minutes, depending on where you are on the east side. You should definitely head there a bit earlier (before the sun actually begins to set), as many locals and tourists alike will have already made claim to a spot in order to get a good view of the sunset. Don’t forget to bring along a beer, or three, to enjoy while you watch the beautiful sunset.
The sun finished setting around 6:45 pm. We were glad we had biked over, since it was quite dark out at this point and this side of the island does not have any consistent lighting on the pathways.
Now that the “romantic” part of our night was over, we were ready to head to the nightly food market for some no-frills local dining.
The nightly food market is located right off the main road in the middle of the eastern side of Gili T. I was actually quite upset that I didn’t try this market sooner. We went there on our last night and fell in love with the food. There are many different stalls all selling local food, “fresh” fish, and corn. Though I can’t say for certain how fresh the fish was, as there were quite a few flies getting awfully friendly with them. We opted for the corn and some local food from a stall with plenty of different dishes to choose from.
I would advise you to choose the stall that has the most tourists present. There was quite a large group of people getting food from the stall we decided to eat from, so we figured it was a safe bet, and how right we were! The food was absolutely delicious and extremely cheap.
Ordering the food seems a bit chaotic and nonsensical unless you are a food stall market connoisseur. You simply get in line and point to however many dishes you want to try. Their English was also fairly well, so when I asked what some of the dishes were, they were usually able to tell me. They then load the food up on your plate and charge you based on the individual dishes you ordered. I didn’t know what 3/4 of the items were and there was quite the queue behind me, so I mainly chose based on appearance. Thankfully that worked out for me.
After you order and pay for your food, you sit down in a cafeteria-style seating area with tonnes of other tourists who are happily enjoying their meal and Bintang beer. Now you can dig in to your food while people-watching and listening to amusing drunken conversations nearby. Not much to complain about here!
Great food and a really fun atmosphere – highly recommend you go there at least once during your stay. And try to go one of the first nights you’re there in case you want to go back, as it’s only open at night and we unfortunately didn’t have another opportunity to go.
My other adventures in Bali:
Two Nights In Kuta
What To Expect From Accommodations In Ubud
Wandering Ubud: The Streets, Markets, & Rice Fields
How To Survive The Monkey Forest In Ubud, Bali
5 Things No One Told You About The Gili Islands
Renting Bicycles In Gili Trawangan