Last month, I spent 4 beautiful weeks on the island of Bali. It was my fifth time to explore the island and this time I added a little trip to the Gili islands. With the Gili’s, you’ve got three islands to choose from, all about 15 minutes apart from each other. Gili Meno is ideal for couples, Gili Trawangan is known for it’s parties and Gili Air is a mix of both.
As one of my sister’s and my best friend from Sydney were going to join me for a week, and being single ladies, they suggested Gili Trawangan island. I wanted more of a chilled experience – rather than a complete party island but my sister convinced me otherwise and we ended up booking 4 days on Gili T.
I had imagined a Thailand style – full moon party vibe but what unfolded was completely surprising. And in a good way. We searched the web for somewhere cool to stay and came across the eco friendly Kaleydo Villas – which was just perfect! We had our own private villa and pool in a quite but cute resort about a 5 minute bike ride from the main beach. After a swim in the pool and some light lunch we were off to explore on bikes. And this is what we found:
BIKE RIDING ONLY
That’s right – there are no cars on the island. The only form of transport is by horse and carriage or bike riding. Don’t worry – the island is super small and it’s so nice just to walk if biking isn’t your thing. You can cycle the entire circumference of the island in around about an hour. Most hotels have bikes to use or you can rent one from the shops on the island.
On Gili T, there are multiple places to do yoga. Who woudda thought? I dragged my bestie to this gorgeous beach front yoga shala for a beautiful morning of vinyasa flow followed by some flying yoga. The session cost about £6 and lasted for 1 hour. And the view was magical!
VEGAN FRIENDLY RESTAURANTS
When you hear party island, you immediately think kebabs, fast food and all of the grease. To my delight, the island was full of vegan friendly restaurants and gorgeous beach front establishments. Some of my favourites were Pearl Beach Lounge (best veggie pad Thai ever), Scallywags Seafood restaurant and Banyan tree for all vegan delights!
ALL OF THE WATER SPORTS
Yes you can get very active and sporty when visiting Gili T and the water is absolutely stunningly crystal clear. Rent some paddle boards and paddle around the island. Book yourself on a day trip and snorkel with the turtles or just leisurely swim to your heart’s content. If you’re up for a little more adventure, sign up to a Padi Dive course and either get your open water dive certification.
The pièce de résistance on Gili Trawangan is the candy floss sunsets. Yes that may sound like such a cliché image, but it’s definitely worth the trip. Picture undisturbed white sandy beaches and crystal clear blue-green water suddenly comes to life. There are a plethora of instagram worthy swings and boho chic bars dotted around the entire island.
With only a 90 minute fast boat ride from Bali, you must add Gili Trawangan to your travel list when visiting Indonesia. I would have stayed longer than the four days as I was only just starting to relax. Yes there are bars a plenty there but if you don’t want to get involved, you don’t need to. There are plenty of other things to keep you occupied on your holiday.