After 4 intense days of trekking, we rewarded ourselves with 3 days on the small island of Gili Trawangan, known as Gili T. It’s the largest of the Gili Islands off the northwestern shore of Lombok and just a 40 minute boat ride from the port Bangsal. There’s no motorized vehicles on the Gili islands, which lends a nice calm feeling. You can get around by cidomo, which are horse drawn carriages, but Mike and I never used them once since you can walk pretty easily everywhere you need to go. It’s a nice contrast from Ko Tao and Ko Lanta. Gili T definitely has beautiful white sand beaches, snorkeling right outside our hotel, and a good variety of restaurants within easy strolling distance. So we would rank Gili T as our top pick if you wanted your all-in-one package. We stayed north of the pier at Gili Divers which was in a perfect spot for snorkeling. We avoided south of the pier since it’s more known for its nightlife. But after walking down there at night, it’s nothing compared to Ko Tao! Definitely wouldn’t be a problem if you stayed down there, but no snorkeling out front.
All the hotels and restaurants are on the east side of the island, but you can walk to the northwestern end of the island to catch the sunset. The low tide is pretty extreme on this part of the island, so there are a ton of rocks and reef showing, but it makes for a great reflection of the sunset.
At night, there is a bustling night market with street food stands. We found a chicken satay lady who wins for best Indonesian food we’ve had so far! You get a bunch of everything: glass noodles, rice, pickled vegetables, chicken skewers with peanut sauce, and chili sauce. The chili here in Indonesia is so good, smoky and tomato based—I want to bring some home! The peanut sauce was really tasty too, I’m usually not a fan since they’re always so sweet, but her sauce was nice and savory. Definitely went back again another night.