Close to the island of Lombok and just a short boat ride away from Bali, you can find the Gili Islands: Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air.
My Lonely Planet bible, Southeast Asia on a shoestring, highly recommended going there for a few days when visiting Bali, so I just couldn’t miss it.
I decided to go to Gili Trawangan because Meno and Air, although more quiet and peaceful, are basically oriented towards happy couples looking for a romantic holiday. Trawangan is the backpacker island and the only one of the three where you can see these amazing sunsets:
The first picture is taken from the South of the island, the second one from the North. If you look closely at the last one, you can see Bali’s Mount Agung on the horizon.
On my hunt for sunsets, I discovered this place, totally empty, with no one around:
Trawangan can also be a romantic destination!
Funny story: after finding this spot, I kept walking along the coastline. I was somewhere in the Northeast of the island, which still has no hotels, no bars, no souvenir shops. I hadn’t seen anyone in a while and only the waves on the beach and the distant sound of a horse carriage would break the silence from time to time. A perfect moment of calm, I thought. Then, I clearly heard someone somewhere in the beach:
– ¡Mierda, me cago en la puta!
Oh, Spanish people. We are so easy to recognize when we go abroad.
Apart from sunsets, Gili Trawangan also has the kind of beaches that I was looking for: clear water and white sand.
That clear water also makes the Gilis a perfect place for snorkelling. I took a boat trip that did some stops between the islands at the best snorkelling spots. You could see beautiful coral, colourful little fish and, if lucky, some turtles. For a few seconds, I saw a small turtle swimming free in the ocean and that really made my day.
Most of the time, I would just relax on the beach sunbathing or walk around the main street looking for cats. Dogs, as well as cars and motorbikes, are not allowed in the island, so cats are the kings of Gili Trawangan. Most of them seem to have a very small tail. I want to believe that it’s just a consequence of their genetic isolation and not a result of some human activity.
The only sad thing about the island is that horse carriages are used as a substitute for cars and motorbikes. In an island with so much sunlight, wouldn’t it make sense to have vehicles powered by solar energy instead?
Anyway, I enjoyed my days in Gili Trawangan and I highly recommend the Gilis for people looking for a piece of paradise which still hasn’t been destroyed by mass tourism.
You’ll find some vegan recommendations for Bali and Gili Trawangan in the next post 🙂