A Paradise For Diving and Snorkeling
Trawangan was the first of the three islands to attract visitors in any numbers, and it was backpackers who led the way. In the 1990’s the island developed a reputation as a wild party destination with cheap accommodation and no police. Since then, Gili Trawangan has matured into a destination that has a far wider appeal as a tropical playground of global renown. It ranks alongside Bali and Borobudur as one of Indonesia’s top holiday destinations.
Trawangan’s main drag is busy with bikes, cidomos (horse carts) and mobs of scantily clad visitors, can surprise those expecting a relaxing island retreat. Instead, a bustling string of lounge bars, hip guesthouses, restaurants, convenience stores and dive schools clamor for attention. Behind this glitzy facade, a bohemian character endures, with rickety warungs (cheap eating houses) and reggae joints surviving between the cocktail lounges and quiet retreats dotting the much-less-busy north coast. Even as massive 200-plus-room hotels begin to colonise the gentrifying west coast, you can head just inland to a village laced with sandy lanes roamed by free-range roosters, fussing ibu (mothers) and wild-haired kids playing hopscotch. Here the call of the muezzin, not happy hour, defines the time of day.
The various bars take it in turn to host the late night gig (up to 4AM), 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. Gili Trawangan is clearly most suitable and best known for partying! You cannot overlook or miss it, simply follow the crowd. You will even find a Full Moon Party celebration on Gili Trawangan. Of course with its size it doesn’t come close to the infamous Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan/Thailand (so many people probably don’t even fit on Trawangan), but it is still worth a visit.
The highest point on Gili Trawangan with a superb view of the other Gili Islands, Lombok with Mount Rinjani and Bali with Mount Agung, is located at the southern part of the island and is also very suitable for watching the sunset.
About 6 p.m. daily at the market square in front of the boat pier on Gili Trawangan, the night market takes place where you can eat great food very cheaply. It’s impossible to overlook or miss it! A wide range of various specialties is offered such as fresh fish, seafood, sate of all kinds, different rice and noodle dishes, vegetables, grilled corn on the cob and much more. You also will find tasty Nasi Campur, a typical Indonesian rice dish with vegetables, eggs, some meat, tofu, peanuts and fried noodles. At this booth they offer the Nasi Campur in the form of a buffet where you can choose what you would like to have.