Gili Trawangan is a great island getaway from Bali without being completely cut-off from the world. Gili T is actually a lot more developed than I had initially thought – there are numerous funky cafes selling rather expensive coffee, unique clothing shops, boutique hotels that charge you to spend a day on their beach, and a fast-developing party scene. If you’re looking for a more quiet, relaxed, and rustic island trip, you should consider going to one of the other two Gili Islands: Gili Meno or Gili Air.
Let’s talk about the beach in Gili Trawangan; as I mentioned in a previous post, it is lovely to look at, however, it proves challenging to get in without a struggle. When you decide to travel to an island, usually your main pull is the beach since that’s where you’ll be spending the majority of your time. Gili T does have a lovely looking beach (on the east side of the island that is) with a clear view of Gili Meno, beautiful blue water, and some fairly decent snorkeling.
The only problem you’ll face is if you want to wade into the water and swim around (which most island-goers will want to do), as the beach is filled with shells as you enter and has large rocks scattered throughout the bottom making it extremely difficult to enjoy yourself in the water for more than a few minutes. If you can tread water like a pro, you might not have a problem with all those rocks. Just be sure you’re deep enough to not accidentally kick one. I would recommend bringing water shoes, though you’re probably too cool to wear them at the beach, which would have been my thoughts exactly. You’ll also probably get a wicked shoe tan.
Snorkeling was cheap (costs about $3 CDN for a whole day rental) and you could see some different kinds of fish. I only snorkeled on the east side of the island where all the traffic with boats and people are, so perhaps travelling to the west side of the island would be better. I was also told by a local that if you go snorkeling around 5-6pm, you can usually spot turtles swimming in the water. Unfortunately, I was not privy to this scene despite my persistence in searching for them. I did, however, hear of other people seeing turtles while snorkeling at this time. Seems like it’s up to good timing and luck.
If swimming in the water is too painful for your feet, at least you can enjoy a cold Bintang beer on the beach looking out into the water.
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
The Many Sides Of Gili Trawangan: Bicycling Around
Sunsets And Night Markets in Gili Trawangan