3 Days in Gili Trawangan
Day 1: Getting to Gili Trawangan
Although we were having the absolute best time living the yogi life in Ubud, we knew there was still so much of Indonesia left to explore, so we made sure to plan a few trips to other parts of this beautiful country as well. One of those trips was three days in the Gili Islands, located just off the tip of Lombok, Indonesia.
Our trip to our destination island, Gili Trawangan, from Ubud started out as an adventure in itself. After a two hour shuttle bus drive, we were dropped off by our driver in the middle of the busy port town of Padangbai, with two plastic cards and no further directions. “Are these our boat tickets?! Or are these our tickets to pick up our actual tickets?”. We received no answer other than to “hurry.”
We got to the port and it was packed with people – and everywhere we looked, everyone seemed to have different types of tickets in their hands, and different destination stickers attached to their luggage. Although there were no signs, formal announcements, or boarding area numbers anywhere in the busy port, we managed to find our boat, and after another two hour boat ride, us and our bags landed safely on the beautiful, white sand island of Gili Trawangan (also known as Gili T!).
Since Gili T is completely car free, the first thing we noticed were the horse drawn carts lining the streets ready to take all the newly landed boat passengers to their accommodation. We decided to walk it though, and start getting familiar with the narrow unpaved streets of the island. We checked into our hostel and set back out to grab some dinner by the beach… which is very easy when you’re on a tiny island!
Day 2: Biking Gili Trawangan Island, Ombok Sunset Ocean Swing, and Bintangs at Sunset
The next morning, we decided to rent bicycles from our hostel, and make the trip around the entire island. Although Gili T is the biggest of the three Gili Islands, its shoreline road can still be cycled in under an hour, so this made for the perfect morning activity. Our trip around the island was super fun, making stops along the way to take a dip in the ocean and an ocean swing at Ombok Sunset!
Later in the day, we took the bikes out again to ride out to the east side of the island for another little swim, and then made the 15 minute trip directly across the island back to the west side to enjoy the perfect Gili T sunset while sharing a few Bintangs.
Although Desta was ready for a good night’s sleep to prepare for the following day’s activities, Dermot had soccer on the mind – it was June 12th, and the Euro Cup was in full swing. England was set to play Russia at 2:00 AM island time, and Dermot had his alarm set. So, in the middle of the night, Dermot headed out to one of Gili’s many bars to cheer on his team with about two hundred other Team England diehards. Desta wished him and the team good luck and went back to sleep.
Day 3: Discovery Scuba Dive with Mango Dive, Gili Trawangan
The next morning, Dermot had a sleep in, while Desta made her way down the street for a little morning yoga. Later in the afternoon, we were both feeling revitalized and really excited to try something totally new to the both of us – scuba diving! Gili Trawangan is a renowned base for divers, which is made clear as soon as you step foot on the island, with dive shops making up the majority of the main street’s businesses. After walking the main street up and down a few times, we made our booking with a shop called Mango Dive. When we arrived at Mango Dive, we were greeted by our French instructor, Nico, who took us through all the dive basics, and a practice run in the shop’s little pool. Before we knew it, we were out of the pool, onto the boat, and ready to dive into this new adventure (we actually just kind of leaned back in fell in backwards ;)… but still exciting!). With Nico’s expert guidance, we easily and gradually descended to almost 40 feet, and with only the sounds of our breath in our ears, we were transported to another beautiful world under the sea. Since this was our first ever dive, we didn’t ask to take along our GoPro, so unfortunately we don’t have any photographs of the amazing turtles, fish, coral, and other awesome sea creatures we were lucky enough to see… but the experience was absolutely unforgettable. We couldn’t recommend Mango Dive enough!
It was a whirlwind three nights in Gili Trawangan, but we were already missing our “home” in Ubud. So Desta popped her pre-boat sea sickness pills and we bid farewell to Gili T’s beautiful beaches and party vibes and were off on another journey through Padangbai back to Ubud.