Gili Trawangan

Gili Trawangan (Terawangan), or simply Gili T, is the largest and most visited of the three Gili Islands off Lombok.

Perahu fishing boats lounging on Trawangan's beach, with Meno in the background


This is the largest of the three Gili Islands with an estimated permanent population of about 800.

Trawangan was the first of the three islands to attract visitors in any numbers, and it was backpackers who led the way. In the 1990s the island developed a reputation as a wild party destination with cheap accommodation, no police, plentiful weed and mushrooms, and readily available harder drugs. Whilst that is still partially the case, Trawangan has matured into a destination that has a far wider appeal.

The thriving dive industry of the Gili Islands is centred here (although some operators have outposts on the other two islands), and since about 2005, the island has gone through a massive development boom, and a number of upscale sleeping, eating and drinking establishments have opened. Any visitor to Trawangan should be prepared for a real mish-mash of fellow travellers; some will be ensconced in US$400 per night, unashamedly Bali-style villas, while others would be quite happy to sleep on the beach after a tough day on the mushies.


Map of Gili Trawangan

Most of the accommodation and other facilities on the island are on the eastern side, sheltered from the winds and rough seas of the Lombok Strait which sometimes batter the opposite side of the island. Boats dock here as well, on the beach just north of the market. This generally means a walk in the shallow water to disembark. There is also a private concrete and wood jetty used by a few companies.

A footpath circumvents the whole island and various tracks criss-cross, nearly always leading back to this coastal path. The area set back behind the east coast beachfront establishments is where most of the locals live (and where there is a lot of budget accommodation), and is known simply as "the village". There is a low lying hill in the southern centre of the island, which is easily reached from the tracks heading southwest from the back of the village.

Get in

The sea is calmest in the morning and all transport stops running in the late-afternoon, well before dark. During periods of southerly winds and in July and August especially, the swell can be a bit hairy and you are very likely to get wet on the crossing. It is advisable to place laptops, cameras and handphones in waterproof bags for the crossing. You will need to wade through shallow sea when disembarking, so wear either appropriate footwear, or none at all.

From Lombok

The daily Perama service will take you directly from Senggigi departing 09:00 to Gili Trawangan in under 2 hours for a flat Rp 100,000, plus optional Rp 10,000 for pickup at your lodging in Senggigi. Other operators can provide transfers for Rp 75,000, but these often involve going through Bangsal.

Another option is to arrange a speedboat charter or pickup with your hotel, or a dive shop on Trawangan. These speedboat services run in and out of the lovely Teluk Nare bay in Lombok, south of Bangsal and thus avoiding the thoroughly unpleasant experience of combating the touts there. A speedboat charter normally takes up to three passengers, crosses in 20-30 min, and will cost about Rp 450,000-500,000.

The drive north from Senggigi follows the coast and the road offers panoramic views and glimpses of roadside village life. It is not a lengthy trip and the road has recently been upgraded throughout almost the entire length to either Teluk Nare and Bangsal a little further to the north. It is a quite scenic trip and glimpses of the Gilis can be seen as the road rises over the headlands whilst travelling up the coastline.

Public boats

The cheapest way to reach Gili Trawangan is on a Public boat which departs from Bangsal from 08:00-17:00 (but rarely later than 16:00). The official price is Rp 22,500. Sometimes these depart only when there are enough people, normally a minimum of 15 is enough. If numbers are insufficient you might be in for a long wait. The official maximum is 20 people but sometimes the boat is overloaded by the time it is ready to depart. The experience of departing from Bangsal is rarely pleasant due to the very persistent touts who infest the place, just try to ignore them and do not listen to their generally fanciful tales that involve you paying them money to solve an imaginary transportation problem. They often provide a chorus of gloomy predictions regarding the alleged unavailability of services, then if successful they just place unknowing passengers upon the normal scheduled service or a private charter at an often seriously inflated prices.

Buy your tickets direct from the official Koperasi Angkutan Laut Karya Bahari office. In Bangsal this is located inside the main building on the waterfront, find the ticket desk in the notheastern corner of that building. The Koperasi operate the Public Boat, the Shuttle boat, the Island Hopping boat and also offer (official) Charter boats.

The Public boat office on Trawangan is right on the beach north of the unused concrete jetty, near where you are dropped off. It is somewhat hard to see from the street. If you have trouble finding it, ask some locals, who will kindly give you directions. The office counter faces to the beach. You may need to wait until 15-20 others show up, so it's best to be there early in the morning (07:00-08:00) if you want to get moving quickly. The last boat leaves Trawangan around 15:00.

Public boat (ferry)

  • Bangsal to Gili Trawangan 1 way is Rp 22,500
  • Gili Trawangan to Bangsal 1 way is Rp 22,500

Shuttle boat

  • Bangsal to Gili Trawangan departs at 5PM, the official price is Rp 28,000.
  • Gili Trawangan to Bangsal departs at 8:15AM, the official price is Rp 28,000.
    (This is more expensive than the standard Public boat cost officially fixed at Rp 10,000).

Charter boat

  • Bangsal to Gili Trawangan 1 way is Rp 185,000, return Rp 350,000
  • Gili Trawangan to Bangsal 1 way is Rp 185,000, return Rp 350,000

The situation arising from the activities of pestering touts combined with confusing and inadequate formal services at Bangsal is the source of many disappointments and complaints.

From Gili Air and Gili Meno

To move from one island to another the formal procedure is to take the Public boat (ferry) to Bangsal and then a further similar ferry to the required island departing from Bangsal. To return the reverse is required. This can be confusing and co-ordinating the timing with the connecting boat departing from Bangsal may be either difficult or elusive. There is also a limited official inter-island Island Hopping service provided that departs once in the morning and once in the evening.

Official tariffs and schedules

The tariff for all Koperasi Angkutan Laut Karya Bahari services was last set by decree of the Regency of West Lombok in May 2008. This koperasi now falls under the new jurisdiction of the Regency of North Lombok.
Departure and arrival times may vary due to operational conditions and other random factors such as loading times and delays arising from waiting for sufficient numbers of passengers prior to departure. Overloading may occur and caution should be exercised if considering boarding or travelling on an overloaded boat. If there are too many people requiring transport they may be left behind and a substitute service may or may not be available. Try to limit your dealings to official koperasi personnel only and avoid entering into any discussions or negotiations with local touts and facilitators. Only a few of them will be of any assistance at all and most will endeavour to confuse the traveller so that they accept an inflated price for the provision of an existing service. Do not buy tickets from anyone other than an official ticket seller.
Official Koperasi services include:

  • Public boat
  • Shuttle boat
  • Island Hopping boat
  • Charter boat (Koperasi)

Ferry operators may sometimes enter into informal arrangements with passengers to journey inter-island. In this situation a passenger boards a boat that is meant to go directly to Bangsal from one of the three Gili islands but instead it detours and sets down on the beach at another island whilst en route. The prices are a movable feast but people will normally pay a price of around Rp 25,000. Inter-island access on the public boats in this manner is dependent upon timing, weather, loading, payment and the inclination of the crew to facilitate an inter-island journey and such arrangements are not officially sanctioned. The standard procedure is to travel to Bangsal and make a separate trip to the different island or to use the very limited official service. The price for a single journey Public Boat ferry journey from Gili Air to Bangsal is Rp 8,000. The price for a Public boat from Gili Meno is Rp 9,000. The price for the subsequent Public boat to Gili Trawangan from Bangsal is Rp 10,000, this assuming the required connection was made at Bangsal.

Island Hopping boat

  • Gili Meno to Gili Trawangan departs at 8:50AM and the official price is Rp 35,000
  • Gili Air to Gili Trawangan in the morning is an indirect service. Take the Island Hopping boat leaving Gili Air for Gili Meno at 08:30. The same boat then departs Gili Meno for Gili Trawangan at 8:50AM. The official Gili A to Gili T Island Hopping boat price is Rp 40,000. Hopefully you will only pay once.
  • Gili Air to Gili Trawangan departs at 3PM and the official price is Rp 40,000
  • Gili Trawangan to Gilli Meno departs at 09:30 and the official price is Rp 20,000
  • Gili Trawangan to Gilli Air departs at 16:00 and the official price is Rp 23,000

Charter boat

  • Gili Trawangan to Gilli Meno 1 way is Rp 190,000, return Rp 350,000
  • Gilli Meno to Gili Trawangan 1 way is Rp 195,000, return Rp 350,000
  • Gilli Trawangan to Gili Air 1 way is Rp 195,000, return Rp 350,000
  • Gilli Air to Gili Trawangan 1 way is Rp 195,000, return Rp 350,000
  • Gili Trawangan to Senggigi 1 way is Rp 490,000, return Rp 690,000

Informal private charters are also available. Prices are subject to negotiation, take your time over the process.

From Bali

For more detailed information on fast boat companies, routes and travel advice see Gili islands main page.

All fast boat services are subject to weather conditions and the trip across the Lombok Strait can get quite bumpy especially in July–August. Turbulent seas may sometimes arise for a while during the monsoonal influenced months of January–February. Most operators offer pickups and drop offs but all cover slightly different regions. Prices usually include land transport from/to your destination in Bali. Double-check with operators for seasonal discounts, schedules and current operational status.

You may get a better price by booking from a travel agent in Bali rather than booking directly with the boat company as the agents get discounts and some may pass them on to their customers. The only way to compare live seat availability and book boat tickets online is with the Gilibookings for the most reputable fast boat services, or it's sister site Gilitickets for some of the cheaper budget operators. You can view all routes, timetables and pricing for many of the most popular regional fast boat operators. Prices on Gilibookings range from USD50-70 one way, USD98-136 return. Higher prices are offset by discount vouchers. Fast boats are around 30% cheaper on Gilitickets.

Prevailing weather conditions in the Lombok Strait can lead to rough crossings and occasional cancellation of services especially during the peak of the monsoon season around January–February. The vessels currently serving the fast boat routes are generally of a light duty hull construction and are powered by petrol fuelled outboard engines. Crew training, operational standards and safety equipment are of a mixed standard and may be below the normal expectations of many foreign visitors.

If you have legitimate concerns about either the vessel, the operator or the prevailing weather conditions do not board the boat, immediately seek a refund of your fare and make alternative arrangements for your trip. Consider your options and choice of provider very carefully. During rough weather flights across the Lombok Strait may provide a more comfortable and safer journey.

Get around

Bicycles are available for rent and the main tracks are good enough for riding. Expect to pay between Rp30,000 to Rp50,000 per day, often the cheapest places to rent are inland from the waterfront. A ride around the island is less than an hour, but you need to walk your bike at a few points due to the sandy nature of the track. A bike is also great for exploring the inland areas, where you can see a lot of cows, goats and chickens as well as local homes.

Unsurprisingly though on a tiny island, walking is the preferred and most appropriate way of getting around.

If you have heavy bags and are staying well away from the departure area, you will need a cidomo (horse cart) to get too and from the boat. A short trip should cost about Rp 40,000.

See and Do


Gili Trawangan is the centre of a thriving dive industry for the Gili Islands. All of the operators have their main dive shops located here. There are about a dozen active dive sites, and all of the shops run a regularly rotating program of daily fun dives to one of more of these.

Fun dives, muckdiving, technical diving and wreck dives are a staple and Gili Trawangan is well known as a world class teaching centre. The operators are very professional, the warm waters offering a wide range of easy to challenging dive sites (including some with fairly strong currents), and the visibility usually good. Gili T makes for an ideal teaching environment, whether you are a first timer, or a diver looking to extend your qualifications.

Freedive Gili is located close to the harbour on Gili Trawangan, and offers freedive and apnea (breath holding) courses for beginners to advanced. It is the only freedive centre in the region and is owned and operated by British freedive record holder Mike Board.

Gili Cooking Classes, located in the Art Market on Gili T, offers a unique opportunity to learn the secret of six tasty Indonesian dishes as well as Lombok specialities during a 3 hours course. Experienced teachers guide a hands-on, enjoyable session in English. All the necessary equipment is provided.

Dive shops

The dive shops have some variation in the level of facilities, services, experience in the local dive sites, and varying levels of staff accreditation and experience, so do ensure that you are choosing the right provider for your own individual needs and expectations. Most dive shops are located on the main road, close to the main harbour. Try walking up and down the street to browse around. The price is fixed at 490 000Rp with an extra 50 000Rp for the first dive. This is a an eco conservation fee and is only paid once. Below is an incomplete listing of dive shops in alphabetical order.


The easiest spot to find some productive snorkelling is off the main beach, north of the boat landing. Enter the water approximately in front of the Almarik hotel. If you start north of the beach (about where you can see seaweeds growing at low tide roughly level with Gili Meno's northern extent), and go with the current back towards to the most crowded sunbathing area, you will likely need to kick only when you want to stop to look at something. The healthy corals are around the area where the wall drops off and the deeper water begins. Nearer the shore you will find only dead coral. Turtles can be seen often, and also the occasional trigger fish amongst the more common reef inhabitants. At low tide it is difficult to get in without reef shoes. Always watch out for potential waves that can push you into the coral that are just below water level.

A better coral reef is off the northwest coast, but you have to be very keen to go through the hardship of getting out there. The only access to the reef involves walking over a substantial area of dead, sharp coral, and back again when you have finished. If you are a keen snorkeller the effort is worth it, and you are very likely to have the waters to yourself.

Small, purple jellyfish are sometimes plentiful around the island, and they seem to love stinging snorkellers. The reaction is one of considerable irritation, but the stings cause no serious harm.


Gili Trawangan has a fast right hander which can really pump with the right conditions. The best waves are at high tide, and the underlying reef can be sharp so booties can come in handy. The surf break is off the south coast - just follow the locals who will be out and jogging with their boards whenever the surf is decent. You will find no shortage of locals eady, willing and able to rent you board. There are a few breaks off Gili Air and Gili Meno, but they are more difficult to reach and smaller. The best season is the January–June wet season, with swells from 1-2 m. Daily conditions can be checked out at Magic Seaweed.


There are some lovely walks to be had on the island, although the perimeter coastal track (about 7km) is perhaps not as scenic as those on Gili Meno and Gili Air. A leisurely stroll all the way around will take 90-120 minutes, depending on just how leisurely you are.

The hill in the south can be easily reached by taking one of the tracks that lead west or southwest from the back of the village. Dawn and dusk are the best times to climb up here. The sunset views back towards Bali are quite lovely, and in the mornings the sun rises over majestic Mount Rinjani on Lombok. On the top of the hill lie the remains of a World War II Japanese gun bunker.

Party boats


Gili Yoga center shares an office with Freedive Gili and boasts its own yoga pavilion. Daily yoga classes are given in the open air, surrounded by a tropical garden and the sounds of nature. Offers services including daily meditation and pranayama, twice-daily yoga practice, accommodation, group activities (snorkeling, sunset boat ride) and vegetarian food.

The Yoga Place Gili Islands offers yoga and meditation classes throughout every day for all levels. The peaceful yoga center and vegetarian Garden Cafe are located on the hillside overlooking the rest of the island, away from the crowds. The Yoga Place has a variety of daily drop-in classes, multiple day courses and workshops, daily sunset yoga on the beach, free hilltop sunrise meditations and free yoga for Indonesians.

Soraya Yoga Wellness Center Drop-in yoga classes, retreats, meditation, dance, reiki, CranioSacral energy healing, fresh salads, healthy food, and a variety of accommodations. Enjoy the hillside view from a beautiful two story yoga shala.

Horseback riding


There are over 12 ATMs on the island, with most located on the eastern side on the island close to the jetty. Most ATMs have a maximum withdrawal of Rp 1,500,000 and will either provide Rp 50,000 or Rp 100,000 notes. The exchange rates offered on the islands are not as good as from the better ones on Lombok or Bali. Do not believe the touts at Bangsal that there are no ATMs or money changers. They will try to convince you to change money with them and charge you up to 10% commission for it.

The Art Market (Pasar Seni) next to the pier has a few scruffy stalls hawking souvenirs, but it's all brought in from elsewhere, and the selection is far more limited than what you'd find on Bali or even Lombok.


Trawangan has a huge range of eating options from simple local warungs up to fairly grand places serving inventive modern cuisine. Many of these are attached to hotels or dive shops, and are not independent restaurants as such.

Budget places are thinner on the ground that they used to be, but still not hard to find. If you really want to watch the pennies, do as the locals do and eat at the push carts along the beachfront which set up every evening. These serve the usual range of Indonesian staples: fried rice, fried noodles and bakso (meatball soup).

Barbecued fish is excellent here and every evening many of the better restaurants fire up the charcoal. The deal is that you chose your fish - red and white snapper and trevally are especially good - and it is grilled on the spot.





A Gili Trawangan bar

There are regular party nights on Gili Trawangan - the various bars take it in turn to host the late night gig (up to 04:00), to ensure that everyone gets together in one place rather than being spread around. The island is small and it is easy to find everything; just ask around for where the party is going to be on any given night.

Be very careful with locally produced spirits, especially arak. It may contain methanol and has caused cases of serious injury and death (as recent as new year 2012/13) . If you suspect that what you've been served is not what you ordered, take it back. Sticking to western owned and managed bars may reduce the risk but not entirely exclude it.

NOTE: Warning
An incident involving a fatality following new year 2012/13 has implicated Rudy's Pub in the supply of alcoholic drinks suspected of containing dangerous levels of Methanol.

This issue has been reported extensively in local and Australian news media during early 2013.

A suspected source of the poisoning was from high methanol content believed to have been provided in a Vodka-lime mixed drink.

Similarly in mid-2012 the Sama Sama bar on Gili Trawangan was implicated in a fatality on the island arising from the supply of several Mojito mixed drinks understood to have contained a high level of Methanol. In both instances outlined above a high probability of either bottle adulteration, contents substitution, or the use of counterfeited product has been indicated. Other bars and sources of supply should also be treated with appropriate caution.

The consumption of high levels of alcoholic drinks, especially if combined with energy drinks containing high levels of caffeine, methamphetamine, 'ecstasy' compounds and illicitly sourced local alcoholic concoctions will significantly increase the risks of promoting a medical crisis and may have very grave outcomes, especially if they are combined.

Do not experiment with psilocybin mushrooms (magic mushrooms), recreational drugs, or consume any alcohol from a source that is not readily determined to be entirely legitimate.

Just stay away from these things, they are of highly dubious origin and may ruin both your holiday and your health. Facilities for clinical medical intervention are distant from the island location.

For further safety advice, see description above and in Stay safe.


This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:
Budget US$10-40
Mid-range US$50-100
Splurge US$100-500+

Power is normally available 24 hours a day and many of the hotels now have A/C. However there may be frequent disruptions to the supply. This problem arises from regional power generation insufficiencies. To address this issue many mid-range and upmarket hotels and restaurants on the Gili islands have their own back up generators. Be aware that the closer you sleep to a mosque, the more likely you will be disturbed by loud night time prayer calls. There are two mosques on Gili Trawangan. One is right behind the market/main harbor, look for a green tower. This mosque not only broadcasts the call to prayer but also the sermon and sometimes even music until late. The other mosque is north of the main harbor, close to the main road. It is partly under construction but will broadcast the call to prayer.

You will find most budget options behind the east coast frontage in the village, or by walking north from the boat landing.

Travellers who remember Gili Trawangan from the 1980s and 1990s may be surprised to learn that there are now more than 100 official places to stay on the island, and still more are being built.




Balinese-style luxury villas have started to pop up on Gili Trawangan. They have not yet quite got standards of service right, so although you will be paying up serious dollars to stay at some of these places, be aware that the service might disappoint a little. High end private accommodation is still a relatively new thing on Trawangan, so it is only to be expected that it will take some time to get things right.

Stay healthy

See Main Gili Islands article for more information.

There is a small clinic adjacent to Vila Ombak. They are quite used to treating travellers with minor ailments, including some stomach problems, but any visitor with a serious medical issue should make their way to Mataram hospital on Lombok.


There are several internet cafes on Trawangan for feeding your Internet addiction, although connection speeds can often be slow. Printing is possible in a few internet cafés and you can even hook up your laptop in some. Lightning Fast, just north of the jetty, costs Rp 500 per minute but the supposedly fast service rarely is. Of the restaurants providing wifi, Scallywags is the best bet with a fast, dedicated ADSL service from mainland Lombok.

William's Bookshop, right behind the Art Market on Gili Trawangan, acts as a de facto post office, sells stamps and can mail out your postcards.


See Gili Islands main article for further information.

There is a cheap and cheerful public laundry service at the back of the Art Market. Laundry is normally returned the next day, and when compared to the prices charged by hotels, this can save you a fair bit of money if you are on the island for anything more than a day or two.

Go next

If travelling to somewhere on mainland Lombok, then you could get the early morning local ferry to nearby Bangsal for Rp20,000. Then walk about 800m inland to Bunga Bunga Cafe on the right hand side of the road. This is where the shuttle buses and cars pick up from. Here you can buy tickets or bargain for a seat in a taxi car. You can have breakfast here too. Note that anyone with a ticket already will be expected to walk here or pay for a ride on a horse and cart. If you get a car for yourself, the driver might pick up extra passengers on the way. As a contingency plan, negotiate with the driver that if he picks up anyone else then you pay less. Agree what that lower amount is.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Wednesday, February 10, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.