Gili Islands - Paradise at last?

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Asia » Indonesia » Lombok » Gilli Trawangan
June 11th 2015
Published: June 11th 2015
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With all the blogs I’ve done this is the most current one that I’ve done, in fact I’m actually still on the island on my last night with a ferry booked for tomorrow at 8 am.

I arrived 6 days ago on an impulse after the previous hostel was fully booked. I had no idea what to expect and nothing was booked so landing on the island, the usual hustlers offering hotels, taxis and everything else was on hand but I walked past them to find a hostel, any hostel. Walking up and down the main street gave me no luck until I asked a random bloke if he knew of any where to stay and he told me of the place he was in. Off I went and I was lucky that they had a spare bed. When I say I was lucky, this place is full every single night and I had an early enough ferry to the island that the main travellers had not arrived!

Gili Islands are made up of 3 islands, Gili Air which is a chill out island, Gili Meno which is a ‘romantic’ island for couples and Gili Trawangan which is the backpackers island and obviously a party place. There are no cars on none of the islands and everyone travels by bikes or horse and cart. The beaches are clean and looked after, there are no one to hassle you on the streets and it is so laid back its horizontal. With no power plants, all the hostels, hotels and shops rely on generators and its just a chilled out place.

Day one of arriving was getting to know the hostel and it’s a proper backpacker place where the staff looking after everyone and getting to know their names. The rooms are all 6 bedroomed with curtains around the bunkbeds, and I could go on about this La Boheme hostel that it would get boring. The only problem with the hostel is the fact that 85% of people staying here are women and they all seem to be on gap years from UK with daddy’s wallet helping them out! But to be honest they were/are all lovely people who chatted to anyone.

Gili T has 3 main things going for it and that is the diving/snorkelling as it advertises itself on being the turtle capital of the world, drinking as it has pubs that are open to however late they want to be due to a lack of police, and mushroom shakes which is sold all over the island. I originally had a plan of staying here for 3 nights due to my Visa running out on 20 June but with many people I talked to and the snorkelling experiences I stayed on longer. Although for the first 2 days of being on the Island I had to finally rest my feet which had become infected with lots of green stuff coming out. It was painful and getting hard to walk so I finally admitted defeat and went to the clinic to see what they could do. Antibiotics and antiseptic cream was given and I spent the 2 days alcohol free and lying on my bed while the medicine worked its magic. With a hostel having 60 people staying each night it was not hard not to strike up a conversation with a random person and it was good to find people who had travelled through Indonesia and had the same mind set as me, in that some places were bad!.

Once my feet looked a little bit better, it was time to don the snorkelling mask and head off into the ocean to find a turtle. The seas were clear. clean and loads of stunning fish but no turtles! Where are they! I had to admit defeat and seeing as I was not going to take any antibiotics, it was time to see the nightlife. Not disappointed at all, as I struck up a friendship with a scottish bloke, Stephen and went out and ended up talking to a Geordie couple from not too far away from where I live and getting a few drinks with them. It’s amazing when you can go out in Asia and enjoy yourself without the locals coming up to you every 5 minutes selling you stuff. The island is nothing like that at all.

Day 4 I decided to hire a bike and ride round the island, while trying to pass horses and other bike riders and with a cigarette break and a photo stop it took 40 minutes to go round the whole island. Gili T is unspoilt and everywhere you look out, you see clear blue sea. With not a lot of sight seeing to do, this is a place for unwinding and although I did some in Langkawi, Malaysia this is the proper place to do it. The next day I was so determined to see a turtle that I booked a snorkelling tour and headed off on a boat with other tourists to find them. No such luck but was interesting as I sat next to an Australian couple who had been to most of Asia’s Islands snorkelling and they reckon that this was the best place to do it, after the great barrier reef, a little bit biased! But NO turtles was seen, I was disappointed. That night I had a message on facebook from Kat that I had not seen since Laos saying she was on the island and told me that she was going out with her friends so I had to join her but with the madness of the night crowd was impossible to find her, but bumped into a bloke from the hostel, Kyle, and partied the night away with him.

6th day which is today and the first time the blog has been current and up to date. Woke up this morning with another sore head/body and knew that it was time to move on, seeing the world is enjoying a place but not overstaying the welcome. So made the decision to go to the next island of Lombok and not researching the place. As today has been my last day I knew I had to go snorkelling and see if I could finally find a turtle, Kyle joined me with a head as sore as mine and went to the beach . Amazingly I saw 2 turtles and it was to me awesome, to watch these creatures swimming and seeing how they get their food. My time on Gili T was complete as I’ve seen the one thing that the place is famous for. Me and Kyle finished the afternoon off by watching the sunset at the obviously named Sunset Cafe.

I leave tomorrow morning and my time in Indonesia is getting better the further I get from Jakarta. Gili T has surprised me and I have thoroughly loved the island. Time to go…..


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