Gili Trawangan was the favourite part of my trip to Bali, even if it’s actually in Lombok, another region of Indonesia. We spent three days in Gili T (that’s what the cool travellers call it!) snorkelling with turtles and cycling around the island. If you’re planning a trip to Bali, the Gili islands have to be on your itinerary! Read on and watch the video to find out what it’s like!
We took the first ferry from Padang Bay, which despite the hour and a half delay still got us to Gili T before lunch. We were staying at Wilsons Retreat, which is on the North West side of the island, almost opposite compared to where the ferries stop. It’s not far but since we had luggage with us we decided to get a horse carriage there. It was such a picturesque journey, hobbling along the beach and then through a small palm tree forest. The island is entirely pedestrian, there are no cars or scooters, so the only way around is either by horse carriage or bicycle.
When we arrived at Wilsons Retreat they told us that it was one of the best snorkelling spots on Gili T, and they gave us snorkelling gear for free. We dismissed it thinking that since they work there, they kind of had to tell us that. However we were very pleasantly surprised to find that they were right! We took our snorkelling gear and jumped in the sea just outside Wilsons Retreat, we swam out maybe 20 metres, and not even fifteen minutes later spotted three turtles! It was a fantastic experience, which combined to the beautiful white beaches bumped Gili Trawangan into my list of top 10 best beaches in the world.
In the three days we stayed in Gili T we spent most of our time jumping in and out of the water, looking for turtles, which we were lucky enough to see almost at every dive. One thing to bear in mind is that the currents are quite strong. The turtles were usually in front of Wilsons Retreat, however we found it easier to walk up the beach, and then jump in the sea further up, where we could then let the current drift us towards the turtle spot. This makes it considerably easier and more fun than having to swim frantically against the current to keep up with a turtle. Wilsons Retreat also provided beach shoes, which were really useful for walking out of the sea and along the beach once the tide went down.
Gili T is the ultimate definition of island vibes. After a long day of snorkelling we decided to get bicycles and head out to explore the island. As you cycle along you get to enjoy the beautiful views of Lombok in the distance, and other fellow travellers relaxing at beach bars and restaurants. Everybody is relaxed and the busy traffic and bustling roads of Seminyak are a distant memory. We stopped at a beach restaurant on the west side of the island, where we got to enjoy dinner while watching a beautiful sunset, and it was one of the highlights of our stay.
I highly recommend visiting Gili Trawangan on your next trip to Bali. We spent a fantastic three days there, and if I were to go back to Bali I would spend more time exploring also the other Gili islands and less in Seminyak or Ubud. If like me you love chill island vibes, snorkelling with turtles, and stunning beach sunsets, you’ll love Gili T! Don’t forget to check out the video to see the amazing footage of us swimming with turtles!
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