Gili Trawangan has gained quite the reputation as Lombok’s crazy party island and a monicker as the “Ibiza of the East”. If you haven’t been there yet, you’re sure to have heard rumours of Gili Trawangan’s nightlife, epic parties, and if you’re planning to head there yourself, check out our Gili Trawangan travel tips and then read on for some ideas of what to expect.
Sama Sama Reggae Bar
This huge, two storey, yellow building is the first thing you’ll see when you disembark at Gili T – quite the fitting welcome for all party animals. Many locals and tourists say that Gili Trawangan’s nightlife starts here. It gets pretty crowded later on in the night thanks to live music, bright lights and cheap drinks. This is a great bar to try on your first night here. It’s centrally located so it’s easy to bar hop if you’re feeling a little bit restless.
When you want to enjoy another different Gili Trawangan’s nightlife go to Rudy’s pub and get ready for another rowdy night out with Rudy’s beach parties that are just out of this world. In addition to sick drinks and some very questionable Arak cocktails, there’s a huge wooden sign on the premises that claims the availability of magic mushrooms (which are illegal in Indonesia, by the way).
Scallywags Seafood Bar & Grill
Here’s a slightly more relaxed option for those who are still looking for some fun, but without actually going off-the-charts crazy. Scallywags is a good place to relax on the sand right by the water with a wide selection of really delicious, good quality cocktails, wine and drinks and a scrumptious BBQ spread with epic views of Mount Rinjani and the Lombok coastline. Scallywags has it owns resort that suitable for backpackers. But if you would like to seek for more luxury place, there are some recommended luxury accomodations in Gili Trawangan.
Blue Marlin is originally a dive centre – one of the very best in Gili, Lombok and Bali -. There are many beautiful diving sites around Gili Trawangan and Gili Air. Blue Marlin Dive Gili Trawangan is the place to start your evenings and end your nights in the wee hours of the morning. Just behind the dive centre is a pretty little resort, which is also the location of one of the island’s most popular bars and the Famous Monday Night Party.
Gili Trawangan is a tropical paradise only 90 minutes away by fast boat from Padangbai, Bali. Book your trip with Patagonia Xpress, Bali’s largest and most luxurious fleet of fast boats to and from the Gili Islands to Bangsal, Lombok, and Bali.
While holidaying in Lombok, you’ll enjoy numerous wonderful sunset moments, but none will compare to the sunset you’ll witness while at Lombok’s Malimbu Hill. Located just 45km from Mataram town or 10 km from Senggigi, Malimbu Hill promises views unlike anywhere else on the island.
The name Malimbu Hill was derived from America’s famous “Malibu” beach but due to the local dialect, the hill eventually became known as Malimbu. It’s been said that sunset views at Malimbu Hill are epic. The spectacular panoramas are further intensified by two of the Gilis (Gili Trawangan and Gili Meno), as well as Bali’s majestic Mount Agung. Don’t forget to check our travel & money saver tips at The Gili Islands.
Three beautiful icons against nature’s most breathtaking backdrop of God’s own canvas. In addition to sunsets, Malimbu Hill is a very popular destination for families, young adults and the motorbike and bicycle communities. On a clear day, the dazzling blue sky blends well with the blue of the ocean, the sparkling white sands and the lush greenery of the hills beyond, making Malimbu Hill a favourite destination for photographers.
To reach Malimbu Hill, you’ll need to drive for 45 minutes from Mataram. The road leading here is quite challenging. If you don’t know the way, ask a local or bring a local friend or guide with you. You’ll have to climb quite a number of steps to get to the top! At the top of the hill, there is a rest area on the hill’s east side that is roughly 150 metres long and 2 metres wide. For safety reasons, a strong guard rail has been installed against a 25 metre dramatic drop.
If you’re going up to the hill, be careful of your belongings though, as there are monkeys at the top of the hill waiting for snacks and treats. There are also small warungs or traditional stalls selling snacks, drinks and fresh coconuts. Remember, however, to take your trash with you and keep Malimbu Hill clean. If you’re planning to head towards the Gilis, you’ll definitely take the route that takes you pass Malimbu Hill, as it is located on the north end of the island. Check our schedule for more detail.
Lombok is a tropical paradise that’s only 90 minutes away by fast boat from Bali. Book your trip with Patagonia Xpress, Bali’s largest and most luxurious fleet of fast boats to and from the Gili Islands to Bangsal, Lombok and Bali. Or you can check our newest destination, Nusa Penida.
Looking to soak up the solitude in peace and quiet? Head over to Bali’s neighbouring Lombok and stay at these impossibly quirky and charming hotels.
#1 Mentigi Bay Dome Villas
Also dubbed as “Hobbiton”, this dreamy resort is located on a cliff’s edge in Mataram and overlooks the beautiful crystal clear waters of the bay. The resort’s dome-shaped villas allow for inspiring 360-degree views while you lie in your bed. Connecting dome villas with a private pool are also available.
#2 Jeeva Beloam Beach Camp
This luxury resort sits in the heart of 55-hectares of natural forest reserve and is mostly made with bamboo, wood and alang-alang. Beautifully designed luxurious interiors come with amazing views of the sea. Your stay includes 3 meals per day, all prepared fresh, using only local produce. This is the ideal resort if you wish to feel far removed from civilization.
#3 Tugu Hotel Lombok
Inspired by the ancient Hindus of Majapahit, the Tugu Hotel Lombok, like all other Tugu properties in Indonesia, are living testaments to Indonesia’s rich culture and history and houses some of Indonesia’s finest art and antiquities. Guests can expect a full Indonesian experience through cultural performances and refurbished historic buildings. Each room is different and unique, as local artisans carefully curated every room, suite, and villa.
#4 Villa Sapi
Guests will fall in love with this villa’s whimsical and slightly futuristic design. There are five delightfully decorated bedrooms and all the modern amenities you’ll need. Designed by Canadian designer David Lombardi, the villa is fitted with full-length glass windows to maximize natural light. There is even a home-theatre system, a spa hut in the traditional Lumbung style and your very own private beach!
#5 Rinjani Lodge
Seeking an alternative to the beach? Rinjani Lodge is located at the foot of a mountain and promises lush jungle views, an incredible infinity pool and immortal views of Mount Rinjani. This luxury property is a jungle lodge at its best and is only 20-minutes’ walk to Sendang Gile, one of Lombok’s most popular and Instagrammable waterfalls.
Lombok is a tropical paradise that’s only 90 minutes away from Bali by fast boat. Book your trip with Patagonia Express, Bali¹s largest and most luxurious fleet of fast boats to and from the Gili Islands to Bangsal, Lombok, and Bali.
Lombok is a pristine paradise, home to a plethora of untouched beaches and waterfalls. Here are our tips on how best to explore Lombok during your stay.
Where To Stay
In this day and age, you could find accommodation options to suit your budget and preferences online. It’s so easy! Just a few clicks and you can secure your stay in the Lombok accommodation of your choice. Be sure to check out TripAdvisor for reviews and ratings.
Things To Do
Lombok’s beaches are pristine, clean and free from crowds. While many tourists head towards Kuta Lombok or Senggigi, the beaches with the most spectacular settings and soft powdery sands are Tanjung Aan, Mawun and Selong Belanak. Did you know that Lombok is home to a Pink Beach too? Also called Tangsi Beach by the locals, the Lombok’s Pink Beach is located in Jerowaru District, East Lombok. It will take you approximately 2.5 hours by car to get there from Mataram. Definitely one of the most Instagrammable beaches in Lombok!
Lombok is famous the world over for its three sister islands, the Gilis. While you’re in Lombok, don’t miss the chance to visit the popular party island Gili Trawangan. If you prefer something quieter, then head towards Gili Meno or Gili Air. Or you could just as easily visit all 3 islands; they’re only minutes apart by boat. To get to the Gilis, simply head to Bangsal Harbour and get yourself a fast boat that leaves regularly throughout the day. The lesser known islands Gili Nanggu, Gili Kedis and Gili Sudak are also worth a day trip – the waters here are so clear and clean, you’ll be able to see a plethora of colourful fish swimming near the shores.
On mainland Lombok, you’ll find some of the most majestic waterfalls. The more popular ones are Tiu Kelep Waterfall and Sendang Gile Waterfall which are located in Senaru, North Lombok. You’ll enjoy amazing views at these waterfalls; a wide expanse of tiered ricefields in the valleys below, as far as the eye can see, and sunrise here is said to be amazing!
Lombok is a tropical paradise that’s only 90 minutes away from Bali by fast boat. Book your trip with Patagonia Express, Bali¹s largest and most luxurious fleet of fast boats, to and from the Gili Islands to Bangsal, Lombok, and Bali.
It can be difficult to choose between traveling to the Gili Islands or Lombok, especially if you’ve never been to either. The Gili Islands are a part of Lombok and the distance between them is easily navigated by fast boat.
The differences between the two are quite distinct. The Gili Islands are relatively more popular and internationally recognized than the main island, Lombok. You can expect both The Gili Islands and Lombok to be of a slower pace, peaceful, and less crowded than Bali.
Here’s a brief overview of Lombok to help you on your way to these beautiful and unique islands..
To the east of Bali is Lombok, home to wonderful beaches, enchanting waterfalls, unspoiled forests, and Indonesia’s second highest volcano.
Lombok is not your normal tourist destination. Not much happens in Lombok and visitors who seek an escape find Lombok a delightful place to unwind. Though less developed than Bali, Lombok has begun to appeal to tourists opting for an alternative to the crowds and expectations of Bali. Even more so now that daily fast boats, direct from Bali to Lombok, are easily found.
Central and East Lombok boast rice paddies, tobacco growing areas, and some established tropical natural reserves. Southern Lombok attracts surfers and beach-bums alike, looking for the perfect break or deserted beach. To the north stands majestic Mount Rinjani with its crater-lake and exceptional views. On a clear day you can even see Gunung Agung on Bali.
Its indigenous Sasak people boast a rich and endearing culture, making it one of the many unique attractions of the island. They are related to the Balinese in language and ancestry, although the Sasak are predominantly Muslim, while the Balinese are Hindu.
The Gili Islands
Read about the Party Paradise Gili Trawangan to get an overview of how it differs to the more reserved Lombok.
Looking for an escape to a mini paradise with your loved one? Try out Gili Meno.
The sophisticated and minimalist Gili Air is as untouched as Lombok, but read more on how it is different to its mainland here.
Verdict: Weigh out your needs – do you want more variety or privacy? What activities are you looking to do? What is your budget? If you’re still indecisive, then try them all out! Patagonia Xpress offers fast boat services from Bali to the Gili Islands and Bangsal, Lombok. You’ll rest easy knowing you can travel back and forth whenever your heart pleases.
The Gilis are regarded as one of the top turtle-spotting destinations in the world. The waters are calm, warm, and offer visibility up to 30m. The tame conditions are also ideal for children who have completed their PADI open water certificate!
Scuba Diving in the Gili Islands is increasingly becoming popular due to the gorgeous marine life the islands offer, particularly the beautiful bale of sea turtles under Gili Air waters.
The shallow shores offer as much diverse natural beauty as the deep blue sea, making it possible for you to snorkel among butterfly fish and Moorish idols. But if you want to get a solid turtle sighting, scuba diving is the way to go. Gili Air has around 14 scuba outlets and all operate on a fixed price system, respecting the arrangement with local NGO Gili Eco Trust. With price not a factor to consider, the choice of dive school can be more of a personal preference.
You may be one of the lucky few to spot more than one turtles on your first dive – it will undoubtedly get you hooked to the experience! One useful tip upon a turtle encounter is to refrain from swimming off to get a closer look, you don’t want to catch them off guard and shoo them away.
While there are about more than a dozen buzzing dive sites within a boat ride from Gili Air, Turtle Heaven is among many travelers favorites, where you can spot the green sea and hawksbill varieties for which the region is known for. It is no wonder the turtles in Pixar’s Finding Nemo are portrayed as extremely laid-back. The Gili residents go about their business without a care in the world, peacefully chomping on coral or resting amid the reef – seemingly oblivious to the human excitement surrounding them.
While your dive instructor will surely assist you in finding the best turtle sighting spot, here are a few tips to find the turtles of Gili Air
- Head to the North-East. Swim past the sea grass over the rocky mounds before the deep water, and keep your eyes peeled.
- Scour the sponges. Hawksbill turtles feed on sponges, so it’s likely you’ll spot some turtles munching on breakfast.
- See where the boats are. It’s worth following the crowd as to where the best sites are.
- Be patient. It can be quite tricky spotting the turtles, as they can blend in with the coral and sponges.
Patagonia Xpress is now available for Charter! Bali’s largest and most luxurious fast boats are able to transport passengers from multiple Bali harbors to the Gili islands. For enquires please contact our Sales Team: firstname.lastname@example.org
Gili Trawangan is deemed the most developed Gili island, it is a magnet for backpackers and party seekers out of the three special islands. Gili Meno is the most underdeveloped, staying true to its local values, thus the quietest. Gili Air, however, has it all! The tiny island dances around the idea of a vibrant beach life, and a wilderness for travelers seeking bliss. It is our epitome of a tropical paradise getaway.
Patagonia Xpress provides the safest, most comfortable fast boat services from Bali to the Gili islands. As Gili lovers ourselves, here are a few reasons why you should visit the quiet Gili Air:
The best of both worlds
The sand is silky white, the waters dazzling blue, the coast is warm and long – perfect for a romantic walk with a loved one. There are parts of Gili Air where you can cycle and enjoy a private beach of your own. Feeling a bit groovy? One thing you’ll notice about Gili Air is wherever you go, you’ll find mini Bob Marley’s hosting a relaxed party. Despite its chilled out ambiance, it’s possible for you to have a two dollar cocktail in hand and dance the night away.
On a small Indonesian island, you would expect to only be able to feast on Indonesian staples like nasi goreng, mie goreng, or nasi campur. Worry not as Gili Air offers you a range of dining options that are served to perfection for local and international tongues. Mowies’ dishes are not unlike those served in a typical hipster joint in Melbourne or Bali. Another favorite is Zipp Bar, which conveniently serves 2-4-1 happy hour cocktails until 8 pm.
A range of high quality accommodation
From beachside bungalows to three-star hotels with stunning pools, Gili Air has plenty of accommodation for everyone. Those on a budget can opt for a standard bungalow from IDR 350,000/night, while island-view bungalows can start from IDR 650,000/night.
Snorkeling on Gili Air
The visibility of Gili Air’s underwater realm during dawn is excellent. You’ll undoubtedly spot turtles grazing seaweed and swim around corals. The east side of the island is believed to boast the best snorkeling opportunities, however, the beach isn’t as idyllic as the one on the west. Best time to go is in the morning to avoid snorkel boats packing up the surface. Wear reef shoes or fins to protect yourselves from sea urchins and sharp corals.
Patagonia Xpress can conveniently take you to Gili Air from Bali. View our schedule to start planning your Gili trip.