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Travel Journal: Indonesia – Second Stop: Gili Trawangan 🌴

Travel Journal: Indonesia – Second Stop: Gili Trawangan 🌴

It was raining and raining. The last days in Ubud weren’t exactly blue sky and bright sun, but rather the opposite. So much so that we had to for a moment cross a street with water until just above (my) hips and for more night shot 🤦🏼‍♀️🦎

We went to Gili Trawangan (Lombok) on a very early Friday morning and yes … it was still raining.

The day before we had bought the ferry ticket to the island in a stand that I honestly I don’t remember what it was called, BUT I know it was on JI Street Rang Ubud. We negotiated it for quite a long time until the owner of the place agreed to give us a good reduction on the way back and forth 💯

👉🏻Tip:  If you know how much time you will be on the island, I recommend buying the round trip ticket. It is the best way to control expenses and get good discounts that will save you a lot of money. At the same time, if you are new to know any of the Three Gilis (Gili Trawangan, Gili Air, Gili Meno) or want to visit them all, a good idea may be to give them a minimum of 4 or 5 days so they can visit and enjoy the attractions of these fully.

This was our ninth stop after in Singapore, Malaysia, Phuket, Phi Phi Islands, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Ubud during the months of January and February 2018.

The transfer arrived at our hotel a bit (quite) later than agreed. We already thought that they had completely forgotten us, at the same time it reminded me that in Indonesia services are always a little slower than normal and that punctuality isn’t precisely a virtue that characterizes them …

Anyways … 🙄

After a few hours, we arrived at Gili Trawangan 🌴

(Usually, the ferry makes a stop at some other Gili (or the other two) … it depends on the route you choose, so don’t be scared if you take a few laps around the area before, will take them to destination).

When I stepped on the island, hundreds of memories came to me (of the good ones of course) from my previous trip in 2015. Of those that take away smiles and stop the hairs of the body taking your breath away for a second. At first, I felt it was the same place I had left some time ago (when I left almost crying for that August day of that year 🙃), but no … the island had changed enough in all this time … note a little “careless” to call it a certain way. There were enough constructions half done. However, the kindness of its people was still INTACT 🤩 … it was there when I realized I was at home ❤️

We arrived at the same homestay where I had stayed during my previous trip. This place is perhaps not the most elegant or modern but has something that I have never managed to feel in another paid accommodation … familiarity, peace and a very special vibe.

Upon entering it was almost all the same, and the ‘almost’ was for the best … it had evolved quite well during all this time, however, the breakfast was the same delight that reminded me of my tummy 💯

When I told them that I had stayed there a few years ago they gave me a “welcome home” … it felt so good … It was a pleasant feeling, as a family … that made me think of the good decision to return to the same place from that first time.

During the following days, we toured the entire island by bicycle and swam over the sea while waiting for the sunset 🌅 This place is farther from what we can call “the centre of the island” (or the busiest sector) … the walk to that side is worth doing by bicycle, since you can go along the beach, it is also safe. I don’t know if I told you about it, but in Gili Trawangan, there are no motorized cars of any kind and that is what makes it even more special ❤️

We also enjoyed delicious meals by the sea and smoked shisha at sunset while we talked with the owner of the bar where we were and he told us about the fascination he felt for Alexis Sánchez. It was very funny. Then, at the end of the conversation, he told us that we were friends and that we would visit him again when we returned to the island … my friend, I am telling you now – take it for granted that we will return ✌🏻

It’s pretty nice as the people there treat you. They are all so kind that they don’t want to ever leave that place. Only good vibes, peace, quiet and happiness are breathed.

But hey, it is also supposed that this island is the noisiest, the most disorderly and the “de la party”. And yes, it’s true. So if you are looking to rest with nothing but the natural noise of nature, you should look for accommodation as far away from the centre or choose one of the other two that are quieter and less noisy. Honestly, I didn’t find it so noisy on this visit … maybe it was because we were in the offseason and, of course, there were not so many people … 🤷🏼

One day we did a snorkel tour (all day) around the three islands. IT IS SUPER CHEAP. Where they buy it and how they do it, it is always quite accessible and super convenient 👌🏻 On this occasion I, unfortunately, couldn’t see sea turtles like the first time, however on the outskirts of Gili Meno (what they call the most romantic and tranquil of the Gilis) I was able to see one of the underwater sculptures by Jason deCaires Taylor, called “Nest”.

Jason deCarire Taylor is an English artist who has several underwater sculptures around the world and this one had particularly been installed there in 2017 … magnificent and impressive, to say the least. Wonderful. A total must-see Gili!

The places to eat are quite varied and of all prices. Many times we ask for advice from trip advisor, and the truth as a tool is quite useful. Many of the places that we arrived during the whole trip were thanks to this application. Following his advice wasn’t a bad idea at all 🤩 so I leave it totally recommended 👌🏻

Places like Katu Cafe, Diversia and Le Petite Gili stayed in my memory, for the quality of the food, the attention and its perfect atmosphere. The second may be a little higher price, but I assure you that it is totally worth it 👌🏻

Leaving the island wasn’t easy. It is difficult to describe the sadness that it feels to leave that place and leave everything behind, especially if you return home and that’s where the trip ends. So it was for me. At midday, on a Monday we left for Kuta to spend the day there and then at night to go to Denpasar and take the flight back home in Melbourne.

👉🏻Tip: The best markets to buy souvenirs in Bali are Ubud and Kuta. Here you can buy the same things that are on the whole island at more convenient prices (they are more open to haggling).

👉🏻Tip: If you have to choose a single place to go (and according to my experience) I recommend Ubud. If you are looking for something with a beach, Uluwatu (they say that Seminyak and Canggu are also a good option and I am looking forward to meeting you soon!)

👉🏻Tip: If you are looking peace & quiet and avoid streets full of tourists Amed is the option. If I don’t remember more, there is a reggae bar climbing a hill. Very good cocktails 🍹 and good music, but first don’t forget to go through a pizza at Hala Restaurant that has its tables in the same sand and you can eat while enjoying a beer watching the sea (which almost touches your feet).

Indonesia is always a good idea, even more so in good weather. His people, his environment, his soul is different from many places I have been and I feel that living there for some time would be totally worth it … is that of course, who doesn’t want to wake up feeling that warm breeze in the morning watching the eternal sky lost in the sea until nightfall?

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