SMULTRONSTÄLLE: GILI ISLANDS17:56:00
I have seen so many beautiful locations this year and so many times I was sure to have found my absolute favourite place on earth: the dry mountains around Santiago, the ancient woods in the south of chile, the gorgeous Rio de Janeiro... All of this trips were planned and everytime my expectations were exceeded, but to be honest after a hundred days of travelling this year I found my personal paradies completely unexpected: Gili Trawangan.
When I came to Bali I was sure to only explore the main island. I did not have that much time and I hadn´t really looked into the sorroundings of Bali. But from the second I arrived everyone told me about their plans to go to the Gilis and after a very short thought process I decided to explore them as well, which to this day remains one of my best decisions ever.
Getting there & Accommodation
There are loads of tours from Ubud and all other big towns on Bali. From Ubud it took me about 4 hours by car and boat to my dream island and it only cost me about 35 euros. Gili Trawangan fulfilled every possible dream you can have of a tropical island: crystal clear water, white beaches, rainbow coloured fishes and breathtaking sunsets.
I have never fallen in love with a place that quickly and promptly decided to stay four instead of three days and if I have had the time I would have stayed forever.
Gili Trawangan is a famous diving spot and getting your diver´s license here is a lot cheaper than anywhere in Europ and also a lot more beautiful. Most hostels and hotels on the island offer a diving package and it will propably be cheaper to book a course and your room together. If you are not here for diving you should go to the Gili hostel, a classic hostel aimed at party people with a nice bar, that is used by everyone not only the hostel guest for predrinking.
Gili T might be the biggest of the three Gili islands, but it is still only seven squarekilometers. Cars are not allowed on the island, so the easiest thing to do is to rent a bike, which is around 2 Euros per day.
You can easily spend all day at the beach here just getting up to get a cocktail from one of the beach bars or a bite to eat. But if you want to be a little more active and you do not have the money or time for a diving course, you can rent goggles and a snorkel and explore the underwater world on your own. There are loads of tropical fish and beautiful coral reefs and if you are lucky you also might see a turtle.
Bali is undoubtedly the surf hotspot here, but if you are experienced you can also catch some wave on the Gilis, where the waves are not as good, but the beaches less crowded. If you are like me and have no sense of balance at all, you can just pose with a surfboard and look cool.
After spending the day at the beach the whole island is off to watch the sunset. To get to the best spot just take a left at the pier and bike straight ahead until you get to the Bar Sunset, which is not to be confused with the Sunset Bar.
The Bar is basically a couple of wooden tables and a little shop for beer giving you even more of that lost island vibe.
Food and Nightlife
Before the long nights on the island on mondays, wednesdays and fridays start you should stop by at the night market for some food. It is like a huge buffet (something I could never deal with) and you can get anything and everything from fish and meat to noodles to delicious desserts.
Right next to it is my favourite little café on the left corner of the market place is my favourity café offering a great breakfast and delicious burgers.
While monday, wednesday and friday are the main party nights, you will find a reason to party anytime. Just start at the bar of Gili Hostel and then follow along to the favoured bar of the night.