“I want to Bali a few years ago” A random backpacker told us “although I ended up staying on the Gili Islands for most of it as I loved it so much”
Well, that sounds pretty promising.
It sounded like the perfect place to relax and after checking into a lovely room for the six nights everything seemed just right. We spent the first couple of days just wandering around the island, stopping along different points of the beach, trying different barbeques and enjoying a few drinks in the evening.
The problem came a few days in when I just got a little bored.
The island was too busy to be the ultimate relaxing paradise and not quite busy enough to have the party vibe. So what was it to be? You can obviously get away from the crowds on the beach by renting a bike, of which there are plenty available, and heading off around the island to find your own little spot. However, naturally most of the hotels and bars have set up shop along the best sections so it may not be the heavenly beach spot you’re looking for.
The same goes with the party atmosphere, there are big party nights at some of the bars a few nights a week but it doesn’t quite live up to the standards of other places we’ve had the pleasure of visiting on our trip. The main strip reminds me a little of Boracay in the Philippines but without quite so many people. Restaurant after restaurant runs along the sea front, broken only by the odd reggae bar and so many dive shops it’s impossible to know where to start.
The island is till considered to be part of the backpacker trail but with so many upmarket hotels and large scale restaurants it certainly doesn’t feel that way and that may be enough to put some people off. Trawangwan does seem to be the busier of the Gili islands so perhaps we would have been better staying on one of the others, Air or Meno. They certainly looked a lot quieter as our ferry stopped off on the way into Trawangan.