I survey for quite some time to decide which island to go to for our Gili travel but can't make up the decision by my own. When I try to discuss with the team, not much input gathered but the key point is to make sure the place is happening, well then it was an easy decision for me, just go for Gili Trawangan!
Other than 6 of us which just completed Rinjani hike departing early to the island, there are 2 more members, Jouhan and Nick making their way as well from airport. 6 of us taking a private boat for 450000 rupiah to the island, which was insanely fast but it was so stimulate and fun.
Our hotel, Bale Sasak, a budget hotel with a small pool, was just around 10 minutes walk from the port.
Nothing much to describe about the hotel, it was a simple one, price was all right, and overall it was just moderate. After simple break in the pool, we rent bike from the hotel and try to explore the tiny island while waiting for the two of them to reach. We stay on the western part of the island, and I suggest to cycling all the way to the east in order to try to catch the sunset. There was no car on the island, hence cycling here is very common, but beware of the crowd, and horse car! The round trip of the island was just about 7 KMs, hence it does not take us much time to reach the other end, however, it was cloudy that day hence the sunset was not an impressive one. Well, at least we took some time wandering around Malibu Beach Club, with a giant swing on near to the beach. Initially I thought there was only one unique swing by the sea in the island, but it seem like more than a dozen of them along the beach.
Reunion with both Jouhan and Nick via the hotel, and we start to experience the night via the crazy party island by walking around. The night market food was kinda impressive with mixture of local economic rice and luxurious seafood, but the price for tourist was extremely overprice, if you decide to try the local dining experience here, do make sure you perform proper negotiation before making your choices of order. We skip the night market and walk all the way to the south region of the Island and came across a shop name Black Penny which offering some sharing platter with kinda reasonable price. The food was just so so, but it was overall a pretty good deal in the island. Bottle of wine was 220000 rupiah and we enjoy some sip during the dinner with lots of laughter.
The walk along the beach was full of amazing night club and parties all night long, without proper notice you will never know you are in ASEAN country as almost 90% of the crowd was westerners! We are too old to enjoy these parties but we can still feel the rhythm and mood of these youngsters! After a quick reservation done for snorkeling and island hopping tour for tomorrow, we call it a day.
At the Bangsal port.
Getting ready before heading to Gili Trawangan.
First peek on Gili Trawangan white sandy beach!
The island was full of fancy decorated horse car.
Walking path toward our hotel, Bale Sasak.
Nothing much special to highlight, overall it was an average stay.
Selfie king in action!
Beach on the east coast, near to Malibu Beach Club.
Blue sky was always so lovely to watch.
Tourist queue up to take photo with a huge swing, one of many scattered all around the island.
And there you go another one, the girl to the left swing it like crazy!
And here you go another one, it was me there~
The economic rice style dinner in the night market.
Time to enjoy some wine!
The Gang cheering with the wine.
Seafood sharing platter for two.
Next day morning after quick breakfast from hotel, we reach the gathering point at around 10:30 AM, which was like half an hour earlier as per requested by the tour company, and met 4 fellow Italian that waited there as well at the same place, which after clarification was participating on the same trip with us. However, we waited for around an hour yet still no one come and pick us up, until 12 PM one of the guy came over finally and ask us to walk to the port area to board a boat from there, such a poor arrangement.
Our first stop was at Gili Meno island, in which we have been allocated 30 minutes to visit an inner lake on the island. It was just a normal lake, but the team having too much fun there along with the fellow Italian, hence it take more than 30 minutes to return to the boat. The boatmen complaint about timeliness and insist he going to take away one snorkeling point due to that, but we are so upset and furious at the same time as it was them that wasted most of the time in the morning. The environment turn bad for a brief moment, and after some negotiation they agree to stick to original plan to cover all 3 snorkeling point but with shorter duration.
Our first snorkeling point was just near to the inner lake docking area via Gili Meno, where there are around 30 statues that being put into the sea floor by an Italian, forming a formation of a circle. However, the wave was just too strong here, some of my friend does not even make it to see the statue formation as they keep losing direction as they are not really a good swimmer. Coral and fishes are just so so in this area though.
Second spot which they call it turtle point, was the only spot that I enjoy throughout this day tour, in which they claim they you will be able to witness wild turtle wandering around this area for 100%! Well, they did not lie as immediately when I jump into the sea, I saw a turtle at the bottom of the sea level and slowly swim up to the surface hence all of us tailgating it until we almost hit by docked ship at that area, that was truly an awesome experience but too bad I am not with any underwater electronic devices to capture those moment. We enjoy spotting various turtles in the area, and also few free diving diva that showing off their free dive skill chasing those turtle deep into sea level, and of course their pretty body shape. We then stop over for lunch break at 7SEAS cottages in Gili Air, which offer both great environment and food. Some bonding time between us and the fellow Italian by sharing food and laughter.
Final snorkeling point was a disaster, as they just drop us to a out of nowhere spot which is quite deep, and water in fact quite dirty hence we almost see nothing here, I guess this was a trick after all to grant us 3 snorkeling spot as per alignment earlier.
Amazing color of the beautiful water.
Whole bunch of different bicycle type that you can rent all over the island.
Departed finally after long unnecessary wait time to start the day tour.
Team selfie after departed from Gili Trawangan.
Let's get some sleep first....
Fellow Italian who definitely love sun bathing a lot.
The Gili Meno inner lake.
Boarding the boat after the inner lake visit, this is when the argument started on the itinerary.
The glass floor on the boat that allow you to see the sea life comfortably from the boat.
My lunch meal from 7SEAS cottages in Gili Air.
Have fun with some pool games after lunch before continue with the day tour.
After some refreshment back into hotel room, we again rent bike from hotel and rush over to west side of the island to try catch the sunset, and manage to witness the huge orange egg shape of the sun slowly descending toward the sea level, while cycling. When we reach the beach, the suppose to be perfect sunset was blocked by clouds but yet it was a very beautiful one and we are satisfied on that scene.
Leaving the island on the next day hence we decided to have local BBQ dinner in the night market. Picking some huge squid and the hawker keep recommending parrot fish to us as dinner, even I am curious if this was allow or not as it seem was common fish that you will see during snorkeling tour. I did check with others after the trip and it seem this was allow but only if it was non-protected sea zone, which I relive by a bit at least. Looking at night market standard, the meal was not cheap though as it cost us around 1.5 million rupiah.
That was a quick summary on our stay here in Gili Trawangan, quite average for me after all but if you are opt for a party-all-night kind of stuff, this will be perfect island for you!
The big orange sun drop into the cloud when we reach the beach on the west island.
Not a perfect sunset, but still very beautiful.
Jouhan on the Ombak Sunset swing.
Nick on the Ombak Sunset swing.
Group photo on the west beach, but it was just too dark at that time already.
Mount Agung of Bali is visible in the middle of the photo.
Beautiful hotel Pearl of Trawangan Resort at night.
Various type of seafood to choose from the night market.
Juicy huge squid.
Prawn and meat platter.
The so call parrot fish with is permitted to eat, in fact it was delicious but I feel guilty.
Group photo before enjoying our dinner.
Bye to Gili Trawangan.
Gili Trawangan - Indonesia