Experience in Gili Trawangan, The Complete Guide & 15 Amazing Facts

Gili Trawangan Lombok

As a child who was so uncare with the holiday’s place in Indonesia, heard “Gili Trawangan” that is often talked so many times by my friends at Mataram LAPAS project yesterday, nothing special for me. Gili Trawangan is actually familiar for me. But, I’ve never find out how the exactly Gili Trawangan is like. Is this a beach or island? No idea at all.

Because my friends always excited to discuss Gili Trawangan, so finally I find out this Gili Trawangan on Google. I found this Gili means “small island”. There are 3 Gili series of tourism from this Gili these are Gili Meno, Gili Air, and Gili Trawangan. But Gili Trawangan is the most popular and the greatest.

The difference in Gili is, if Gili Air is chilled island or cold island, Gili Meno is a honeymoon island, and Gili Trawangan is a party island.

I seen this Gili Trawangan from Google have good atmosphere like the beaches in Hawaii with the cafe on the edges. The concept is very international.

And the day, on 24 November 2019, me and my other friends get holiday to Gili Trawangan. We start from home in Mataram Pagutan to Bangsal Harbour. Well, here are 15 amazing facts and interesting things that you can do in Gili Trawangan including the complete guide. Let’s get to know what to do and must be prepared before go there.

1. Distance from Lombok to Gili Trawangan

Honestly, I think so far, Gili Trawangan is a tourism object of Bali. In fact, Gili Trawangan is more reasonable be the tourism object of Lombok because the distance is closer from Lombok than Bali.

Yes it is so close, Gili Trawangan is located in the province of West Nusa Tenggara. Gili Trawangan located above sea level and also more significant altitude than the others Gili.

Because this is based on my personal experience, so I want to share how the process of the traveling to it. For you all who’ve been in Lombok and want go to Gili Trawangan, the easy and cheap way is through the public boat in Bangsal Harbour with ticket price 15K IDR. While, for vehicle storage aka parking, (that time we went by car) the cost about 25K IDR in a day.

At the port, there are counters that are open from 08.00 to 17.00. That time we bought the ticket, and the journey took about 45 minutes.

Bangsal Harbour
Counter in Bangsal Harbour | Dock. Suryani Palamui

2. Gili Trawangan Tour Package for Snorkeling

Actually when in Gili Trawangan yesterday, I didn’t try one of these packages because some things.

I just asked some guides about the snorkeling packages, and didn’t forget for googling on the internet for related packages of this kind. Finally I can get the conclusion related to this snorkeling package:

  • Public Boat (Gili Trawangan only)
  • Private Boat (from Gili Trawangan & Nara/ Nipah)
  • Full Day Tour & Snorkeling All Inclusive

1. Public Boat (Sharing)

This snorkeling sharing public boat package, you can only get this if you’ve been on Gili Trawangan Island. There are many service providers like this to be found. But if I can tell you, this type of snorkeling will not reccomended for you who stay in Lombok Island, or across from Gili. Because there are only two schedule in one day that is at 10am and 1pm.

Boat to Gili Trawangan
The ambiance of Boat to Gili Trawangan | Dock. Suryani Palamui

Regular Schedule Public Boat

10.00 am (meeting point in Trawangan Night Market)
01.00 pm (meeting point in Trawangan Night Market)

Public Boat DescriptionPrice per person
A. Sharing Boat Package + Lunch150K IDR/ pax
B. Sharing Boat Package150K IDR/ pax

Public Boat Terms and Conditions

  • Capacity of participants 20 to 50 persons/ ship
  • Sharing ship with other participants or combined with other travelers in one boat
  • Include complete snorkeling equipment
  • Meeting point location near the pier or Gili Night Market (registration 30 minutes before)
  • Package A, time for snorkeling from 10.00 am to 01.00 pm back to Gili Trawangan – including lunch
  • Package B, snorkeling time from 01.00 pm to 03.30 pm back to Gili Trawangan – without lunch
  • The number of snorkeling spots visited is 3 spots around Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air

Other disadvantages, on this tour there is only one snorkeling guide. So it can be imagine how this guide serves many tourists like taking photo requests under the sea or anything else like a life jacket, etc. In addition, time has been made according to the schedule with tour duration only 3 hours and 3 standard spots such as Meno Wall, Coral Garden and Bounty Wreak.

Boat in Gili Trawangan
Boat in Gili Trawangan | Dock. Suryani Palamui

2. Private Boat

If private boat, the situation is more flexible because it is rented privately for a couple or small group. Here you can make a more accessible snorkeling spot at 3 Gili, and will get a snorkeling spot more than 3 previous spots above.

Time can also be your own with limited duration. Even pickup locations can also be arranged. An important things, your hotel must be on the east side of the island/ East Trawangan (example: Natya Hotel, Scallywags Hotel or Villa Ombak). For snorkeling using this private boat rent, the pickup location is divided into two:

  • Start from Gili Trawangan
  • Starting from Teluk Nara/ Nipah (Lombok)

Snorkeling Start from Gili Trawangan

To rent a boat from Gili Trawangan, the cost is slightly more expensive than from Nara Bay. Because, in addition to all the boats in Gili Trawangan is completed with glass bottom boat, the rental boat has also included snorkeling equipment such as masks, fins and vest jacket.

Number of Pax/ PersonPrice Per Private Lo-Boat
1 – 2950K IDR Per Boat
31000K IDR Per Boat
41100K IDR Per Boat
51200K IDR Per Boat
61300K IDR Per Boat
71400K IDR Per Boat
81450K IDR Per Boat

Snorkeling Start from Nara Bay

This snorkeling alternative can be chosen if the hotel or place you are staying is in Lombok Island, Senggigi, Kuta, Mataram or mainland Lombok with start from Nara Bay or Nipah. Unfortunately, the boat in Nara Bay or Nipah is rarely a glass bottom boat.

Private Boat DescriptionPrice per Boat/ Person
Private Boat (capacity 1-5 Pax)
(no snorkeling equipment included)
1350K IDR/ Boat
Private Boat (capacity 6-10 Pax)
(no snorkeling equipment included)
180K IDR/ Person
Private Boat (capacity 11-15 Pax)
(no snorkeling equipment included)
120K IDR/ Person
Private Boat (capacity 16-20 Pax)
(no snorkeling equipment included)
95K IDR/ Person
Private Speed Boat
(excluding snorkeling equipment)
1480K IDR/ Boat

Private Boat Terms and Conditions

  • Snorkeling duration maximum 4 to 5 hours (provided life jacket only) does not include snorkeling equipment
  • The cost of adding snork equipment such as masks/ fins 15K IDR/ unit
  • The number of snorkeling spots can be more, can be discussed with the captain’s guide who know more snorkeling locations or turtle point around 3 Gili
  • Lunch is set alone because it is free, and of course at own expense
  • If you want to use lunch box it costs 40K IDR/ person
  • Accompanied by one snorkeling guide who can participate and help the photos in the underwater.

3. Full Day Tour & Snorkeling All Inclusive

This package is suitable for you who don’t want to bother. You just stand by in the hotel or at the airport. So the team guide will be picked up in the morning until the end of the tour. The duration is longer than 8 hours, because of the schedule until the afternoon.

3. Watching Sunset and Sunrise

Because Gili Trawangan is a small island surrounded by beaches, so there is part of this island that faces to the east and to the west. The situation can provide the beauty of sunset and sunrise. Moreover, the distance between the west and east not so far, you can reached by walking.

The beauty of Gili Trawangan
The Beauty of Gili Trawangan | Dock. Suryani Palamui

4. Night Market Activities

Night market in Gili Trawangan is a popular dining place because the place is open and the price is very friendly. The location is in the art market right next to Trawangan pier. The style is traditional.

The night market opens before sunset, with varied menu of seafood and local dishes. Although most of the food is seafood (such as fish, shrimp, squid, clams, crabs, lobster etc), there are also other stalls that provide other food such as rice wrap, nasi campur, fried rice, rawon rice, corn, fried noodles, french fries, satay, and others.

Uniquely, although many local food, so many foreign tourists like to visit here because some things, such as:

  • The price was very economical
  • They are curious and want try authentic Indonesian food with traditional style
  • There are many types of food products
  • All food is provided and cooked well in front of us, so we can see the process

For the price range, the food in the night market 25K IDR – 70K IDR.

5. No Motor Vehicles

There are no motor vehicle in Gili Trawangan because the rules have been made by local people to not cause pollution. So if you want to walk around Gili Trawangan, alternative vehicles that can be used is cidomo and bicycles.

Atmosphere in Gili Trawangan
Atmosphere in Gili Trawangan | Dock. Suryani Palamui

One cidomo can usually carry 3 – 5 passengers. The Cidomo costs vary depending on the selected route. On average, it costs about 40K IDR – 75K IDR. Meanwhile, for the tariff around the island with Cidomo price range from 125K IDR.

But with a bicycle you cant rent it, because there is a bike rent for visitors that you can use in Gili Trawangan. For hourly rent, it costs 15K IDR. But if you want to rent daily, the rate varies about 50K IDR – 100K IDR.

6. Free Beach Workout

I do not know if you like the workout or not. But if I can tell you, there is a free beach gym located in Gili Trawangan, precisely in front of the Blue Marine Dive Shop.

There are chin ups and dip bars, benches, some mats and tools to use. Maybe it’s a lot, but it’s a good enough for practice. It’s a very early morning, but there is no one here. So you can make all the equipment, while enjoying the sunrise here.

7. Accommodation/ Hotels in Gili Trawangan

After arriving in Gili Trawangan, you have to looking for hotel right? Well, good strategic location for you to choose is in front of the beach, because the allocation for hotels and restaurants. There are many along the coastline. If you want to find that in the middle of the island is quite difficult, because more inhabited by the locals.

For your information, the price of the hotel on the beach or near the crowds, such as in the Fast Boat pier and the art market is very different from the hotel in the middle, despite the facilities offered the same. If me and my friends choose to stay at OYO 997 Ocean 2 Bungalows.

8. Can Walk Around The Island by Walking

As the title, walking in Gili Trawangan is really possible because the island is small with a breadth of about 3 x 2 km. I prefer walk in Gili Trawangan, because want to enjoy the atmosphere. Also you can meet the local people there.

Climbing Pinang in Gili Trawangan
Climbing Pinang in Gili Trawangan | Dock. Suryani Palamui

In every corner are really beauty, so if you have hobby for trekking you can travel around this island by foot. Well, more or less time that is needed for walking araound the island is 2 hours only.

9. A Unique Characteristic of Gili Trawangan Life

Gili Trawangan island really popular for tourists especially foreign tourists. Just wonder if you are on vacation there, you can feel the holiday like abroad. Too many foreign tourists. At the night, entertainment centers located there, and more dominated by foreign tourists. Gili Trawangan is like an international village.

The more late the night, instead of getting quieter but even more crowded. Night life and party nuance can be obtained by hanging out in the restaurant, until listen to live music accompanied by waves. The location center from the fast Boat pier to the left.

Meanwhile, the nuance of Islam, can be seen from the local people on the island. They do prayer in the mosque. I ever prayed at mosque there too, and I found it strange. Why? Because when praying I feel silent, but out the mosque I feel noisy.

10. Magic Mushroom Phenomenon

I don’t know if you understand what I mean from this title. But if you guys don’t understand, you can googling first about this Magic Mushroom. Honestly I always hear this name selled by some merchants in Gili Trawangan. But I didn’t know it.

Until a time when I took a break due to the walking tired, and stop for drink. Then I talked to the merchant. Quite long we talk until finally there are three foreigns came and want drink too.

Gili Trawangan Beach
Lots of Stands on Gili Trawangan | Dock. Suryani Palamui

The trader talked magic mushroom again to foreigns. So I ask to the merchant, “Why and what happened with Magic Mushroom?” The merchant looks a bit shocked, and didn’t explain anything afterwards. He just smile.

11. Formerly The Rebels Disposal

Who thought, Gili Trawangan used to be the place of exile or the disposal of the rebel prisoners who fought the ruler at the time. There are hundreds of people. The place is very easy to get away from the city center and can be accessed by boat.

As for about the year 1970, this place was in a stopover by the Bugis people who finally settled with the Sasak and Balinese people.

12. There are Many Cats

There are many cats that are scattered. In some places, sometimes seen cats walk. And the fact, locals here really appreciate the existence of cats. Even in this area there is a special cat clinic, complete with a cat food shop.

13. For Thieves, There is Punishment

Still connected to islamic nuance before, apparently on the island there are severe penalties for thieves. In addition to being assigned to authorities, they must previously be sanctioned according to local rules. If they get caught and steal, they will be punished by local security personnel.

The thief is wearing clothes, dressed in a necklace with the inscription “I thief” after that, no longer stay in Gili Trawangan again. The rules apply to both locals and tourists. Is it really cool?

14. Price of Basic Needs More Expensive

Because it is jus small island, and the transportation is quite difficult to distribute so many things. Access to Gili Trawangan can be reached only with a sea trip. After arriving, you can only take the horse cart. So many things here so more expensive than other places.

Lunch in Gili Trawangan
Lunch with My Friends in Gili Trawangan | Dock. Suryani Palamui

For your information, the price of mineral water and other needs so expensive! So for those of you who want to spend the holidays to Gili Trawangan for a long time, so you can saving before with bring the snacks from Mataram/ Lombok island.

15. Gili Trawangan After Earthquake

Anyone remember the Lombok earthquake 6.8 SR in 2018? Gili Trawangan is one of the most severe areas affected. Just the information, when I there last year, Gili Trawangan has been seen starting to rise up from the earthquake. And it looks really good for locals and tourist.

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