Gili Trawangan For The First Timer: Getting There, Where To Stay, Where To Eat and What To Do

I am writing this post not because of I have visited Gili Trawangan so many times, instead I have only visited it twice: the first one was a daytrip (read our story in this link) and the second one we stayed there for five days.

This post is about what we have done during our New Year End holiday in Gili Trawangan. A place which I didn't have to think about traffic jam and what kind of transport should I choose: online taxi or busway. There's only two ways to go: on your foot or on the bike! Well, Cidomo (horse carriage) was too expensive to be used daily.

Gili Trawangan is a place where we could slow down, and enjoy our family time to the fullest. I love every second we had spent in this island.

A typical day in Gili Trawangan


I did it once back in 2012, and now it was our turn to take our Kiddos on the public boat from Lombok to Gili Trawangan. 

We were transferred from Sweet Peach House (the lovely hotel we stayed in Mataram), to the port called Bangsal by Mr.Komang, our driver. We paid him IDR 150,000.

Mr.Komang drove the car straight to the port, and we alight at one building where the ticket counter is located. We bought the ticket which was really cheap. IDR 15,000 per person. We got the pink ticket, and the lady at the ticket booth told us to wait until passengers who have pink ticket are called.

Buy the ticket only from this official ticket counter
Our pinky tickets

After 20 minutes of waiting, it was time for us to go. When we got into the boat, it was already full. But all of us were able to sit. It was a pleasant 30 minutes journey, and we were safe and sound.

Getting to Gili Trawangan was easy and cheap, so if you do not wish to take speedboat, just try the public boat. We did it with our children in tow, you could do it too :)

Bear in mind that you will be wet, wear sandals

Inside the boat
Yes with the veggies and fruits!


If you choose going the faster way with the speedboat, you will have to go to Teluk Nare ("Teluk" in English is "bay"), which is closer from Mataram compared to Bangsal Port.

The entrance to Teluk Nare
Ample parking space at Teluk Nare

The chartered speedboat in the peak season is IDR500,000 one way, and it can fit up to 10 person. But if you'd like to take the speedboat, better to call them first.

We took the speedboat on the way back from Gili Trawangan to Lombok. It was only 15 minutes ride, but the journey was really bumpy. Anyway, it was nice to try both the public boat and the speedboat.

The special port for speedboat at Gili Trawangan
Our speedboat was "Ocean Express"


The most difficult part of our trip to Gili Trawangan is to decide where to stay. What I did was checking the recommended hotel via tripadvisor, and it led me to Jali Resort.

I reserved the hotel via my fave hotel engine website: booking[dot]com after I called them, asking whether I could stay with our Kiddos in one room. They said that they could give us a free extra bed in the room, and that the breakfast will be for 2 adults and 2 kids. Wow! 

Read our review here: Jali Resort, Why It Is A Recommended Place to Stay at Gili Trawangan.

My consideration when choosing the hotel at Gili Trawangan were based on these 4 major items: 1. The hotel has to have a great pool (as always!), 2. The hotel has to provide free bike, 3. The hotel has to provide good food at reasonable price, 4. The hotel has to be located at the "free area" (meaning away from bars! Hahaha...), and not far from the beach. Jali meets all my requirements perfectly.

There are plenty of hotels in the island, you have to decide whether you would like to stay in the heart of the island, which maybe very crowded. Or you can stay at the part of the island facing the beach with sunset view (but it is far from the heart of Gili Trawangan).

I choose to stay in one area which is far from the hustle and bustle of the island. Yet Jali Resort is located in the central part of the island, so it was easy for us to explore the island. And the fact the Jali Resort provides free bike was awesome! We did not have to spend additional expense to rent bike.

Anyway, when we did our morning slow jogging, I spotted some great place along the beach with sunset view. I share some with you: 

1. Le Pirate

A lovely place covered in blue and white. I took the picture from their website. And I will consider this place the next time we go to Gili Trawangan

2. Oceano Jambuluwuk

The ship in front of the resort was really eye catching! I got the below picture from booking[dot]com website.

3. Pearl Of Trawangan

I also passed one hotel called The Pearl of Trawangan which to me was really impressive but I bet expensive as well. This hotel is located at prime location I might say.

Source: Agoda

4. Abdi Hotel & Bungalow

If you'd like to stay at the central of Gili, take a look at Abdi Hotel & Bungalow. It is located near the market, near the port of speedboat, near my fave Kayu Gili Cafe as well.

Well, there are hundred of hotels you can choose: your budget, your choice! Just choose whether you'd like to stay at the main beach, or at the beach with sunset view. Choose what kind of pool you'd like to have. No matter what to choose, take my advise: choose a hotel which offers free bike, as it will be your main transport in Gili Trawangan.


See, you have to eat a lot at Gili Trawangan:D

1. Jali Kitchen

You know, my favourite restaurant in Gili Trawangan is Jali Kitchen, which is steps away from our room at Jali Resort! All the food were yummy, came in a big portion and at reasonable price. 

Jali Kitchen is always busy during lunch and dinner, so better to come early.

The Chicken Wrap at Jali Kitchen is one of my fave!

2. Kayu Cafe

The number two restaurant that I loved so much in Gili Trawangan is the Kayu Cafe. I visited Kayu Cafe almost everyday, because of their cakes and juice were to die for!

Their pastries were indeed made with love
The carrot banana cake
I was serious when I said their cake is to die for!

Kayu Cafe is located not far from the port and the night market. We always use the bike to go there from our hotel. I found this place in the magazine of The Lombok Guide which we read at Jali Resort. And I thank The Lombok Guide for featuring Kayu Cafe in their magazine :)

3. Hart Coffee Lane

The best coffee in Gili Trawangan for me is the Hart Coffee Lane. This place was recommended by Eric, the owner of Jali Resort. We had a chat one day about everything, and when I told them that I couldn't find good coffee at Gili Trawangan, he said that I had to try Hart Coffee.

And I agree with Eric, Hart Coffee Lane is the place to go, to get your fix at Gili Trawangan.

It was the best coffee that I found in Gili Trawangan

4. Pizzeria Regina

This place was also recommended by Eric to get the best pizza in the island: Pizzeria Regina. Though we only ordered their margheritta pizza, it was delish!

Kiddos#1 with the owner and also the chef
So yummy!

5. Best Bakery at Gili Trawangan: La Boulangerie

This bakery is located at the heart of Gili Trawangan. I found it when we were riding cidomo from the port to Jali Resort. The bakery and the cake was so good! You should go to La Boulangerie :)

Pastries at Le Boulangerie
They also offer a breakfast package like this

6. The Night Market at Gili Trawangan Is Not To Be Missed!

If you like grilled seafood, than head to the night market. Located near the port of Gili Trawangan, you can eat fresh seafood at an affordable price.

The seafood and the vegetable

7. Gili Gelato

We bought Gili Gelato everyday when we were at Gili Trawangan:D One scoop is for IDR25,000, it wasn't cheap (:


Of course what we did in Gili Trawangan was slow jogging in the morning, cycling to get to places for lunch, trying various food at the island and swimming whenever we loved to. Our life was at slow pace.

There's one day we tried the snorkeling near Gili Meno and Gili Air. We chartered one glass bottom boat for IDR550,000 including the snorkeling equipment. And we went to the statue at Gili Meno. Too bad at the second stop near Gili Air, we couldn't spot the turtle.

There's also a public snorkeling at 10.30 am which covers Gili Air and Gili Meno. Bu we didn't want to go with so many people in one boat, so we choose the private snorkeling trip.

Kiddos#2 on frame
The statue with the fish

Our 5 days at Gili Trawangan was unforgettable. It was amazing to live in a place without cars and motorcycle. 

And because of the Mount Agung eruption, too bad there were many tourists cancelling their trip to Gili Trawangan. When we were there, I could feel the  significant decrease of tourists coming to Gili Trawangan (:  

Thank you Gili Trawangan, I hope to be back and explore another "Gili" real soon.

Written on January 17, 2018

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  1. waktu kesana naik kapal kayu dan ombaknya luar biasa tingginya, sampe basah kuyup, trauma bgt liat Ombaknya serasa kapal mau terbalik dan pas pulangnya.. jadinya naik Speedboat yang kayak OCEAN EXPRESS itu ,,takut kalau naik kapal kayu lagi he he he , pengalaman yang mengerikan bgt he he he he..mudah2an next time bs kesana lagi buat menghilangkan trauma, mampir kesini liat foto fotonya duh asik bgt

    1. Wah gitu ya Mba Fitri..aku waktu kesana airnya tenang banget Alhamdulillah. Aku malan kebih suka naik public boat daripada speedboat hehe..

  2. informasi charter boat / speedboat
    dong mba Tesya

    1. Wah aku diurusin driverku Tapi kalau Mba liat gambar di atas, ada no tlp nya. Di foto yang pintu masuk ke Teluk Nare.