“Hey, is your name Sam? You seem like a cool dude, wanna smoke pot?” No thank you Mr. Indonesian man, I’ll have to pass on that. Gili T was one of my two favourite places in Bali (technically the Gili Islands are actually outside of Bali but we’ll let that slide), and if you’re looking for somewhere to sunbathe, snorkel, go scuba-diving, paddle-board, see baby turtles or just relax in general, I can guarantee you’ll find no place better. That’s not to say that Gili Trawangan didn’t have its faults though, that would be boring.
Due to the fact it’s an island, there are no motorised vehicles on the Gili Islands, which is brilliant, because it means you no longer have to worry about getting run over by a four year old child driving a moped. Instead however, you get the luxury of being run off the road by a maniac wielding a horse and cart, or a four year old riding a bicycle. As someone who cares about the well-being of animals, I can assure you that the horses are well looked after, so don’t worry. In the three days that we spent there, I didn’t see a single one of the hundreds of horses on the island get fed and/or watered, which is fine as I t’s not like they need water; they only work from six in the morning till nearly midnight in thirty plus degree heat. PETA eat your heart out.
As to the other mode of transport, we did hire bikes at one stage, and part of me wishes I’d chosen the dying horse instead. The bikes that you rent are in a less than perfect condition, and the left pedal on mine refused to turn, so I had to make do by sitting on the bike and running along bare foot, in true Fred Flintstone fashion. Assuming your bike functions properly, the entire island takes roughly 40 minutes to cycle around, and if you chose the right time to do it, the views of the ocean are spectacular.
If you’re in Bali and intend to go snorkelling at any point, I suggest you wait until you reach the Gili Islands, where the sea is astonishingly clear and the chance of seeing turtles is high (we managed it somehow!). Also, if you like swimming through thousands and thousands of jellyfish, then I can give you the name of the company that we used, and they can hopefully take you on the same route that we took. Although harmless, I can assure you that swimming through clouds of jellyfish (not too dissimilar from the infamous Finding Nemo scene) is not a pleasant experience, but then again maybe slimy creatures in the middle of the ocean are your thing.
Gili Trawangan is also a really good place to get a massage on the beach. You can also get beers and cocktails on the beach. Most restaurants are situated on the beach. In case I’m not getting my point across, it’s a small island, everything is on the beach. With regards to these beach related activities, I can confirm that the massage I got was the most painful experience of my life, Joss shots (a mixture of vodka, Red Bull, Sherbet Dib Dabs and Jelly) are the weirdest alcoholic beverage I’ve ever tried, and the restaurants, assuming you like sand in your food, are simply just brilliant.
As I’ve mentioned, Gili T was one of my favourite aspects of our trip to Indonesia, more so for the fact that the photos we took had the ability to make everybody at home jealous, which is exactly what I wanted.