So just as a brief foreword to this post I’m going to change the format of my blog slightly and do less journal style ramble and more of area round up posts. Saying that just to update my loyal followers I made it from Korea to Indonesia and met up with Sara again and have already decided to commit to two months in this incredible country! We arrived into Bali and to the Seminyak area but i think I’ll save those details for a whole post on Bali to come!
So, from Bali you can easily grab a transfer to the beautiful Gili Islands which are sprinkled between Bali and Lombok. We went with a shuttle bus and ferry transfer from our hostel through Wahana travel and after a sweaty bus and boat about 5 hours after leaving Seminyak we reached the ferry port on Gili Trawangan or ‘Gili T’.
Where to stay…
Our first hostel was Good Vibes bungalows only a 5-10 minute walk from the ferry drop off point. It was a small complex of about 10 2 bed ensuite wooden clad rooms each with lovely little balconies. The staff were hilarious, the free breakfast was delicious and the resident kittens were frankly adorable. We did fancy a quiet night on our second night which was made difficult as the common area stayed lively until 2am but you cant expect too much quiet in a hostel anyway so really that was a minor complaint for us.
We later moved just down the road to be with friends at M-Box hostel which had opened just days before and was run by the lovely Tony and a crew of super friendly staff. The rooms were so clean and centred around a great common area complete with pool, bar, beer pong area and a lovey breakfast spot. Breakfast was amazing here too and we grabbed lunch there on our final day which was also great!
Both hostels offered bike hire for around 40,000 IRP which was a perfect way to get around the island with only a couple of sections a little too sandy to cycle but a great way to cool down. The islands stick with a no car/motor vehicle policy which is awesome so everything is very walkable.
Where to eat…
Sara and I have both loved Indonesian food so far and our favourite meals have been regular dinners at he night market on the beach. For about 50,000 IRP depending on what you get you can feast buffet style on mountains of Indonesian fare. From fried noodles to chicken and fish sate to crunchy veg, sweet and spicy soy and tempeh, soft tofu, tender jackfruit curry and crisp chicken soaked in the most perfect peanut sauce, we have regularly piled plates high with the awesome food here. Our favourite stall was actually opposite the night market a little closer to the beach so would highly recommend that.
Malibu beach club is a 20 minute or so walk away from the main beach front ‘strip’ and does great western food. Also Kaya cafe on the beach front looks like it would be great for Vegan-organic-yoga-gluten-free-smoothie-bowl-raw feasts although we just grabbed some lovely coffees from there.
Our favourite sunbathing spot close to the Trawangan resort and Nara beach was opposite a great street food place and does super cheap and delicious Indonesian food.
What to do…
As I have mentioned hiring a bike was a must and we managed to see all of the island that way without getting too hot as the walk is abut an hour and a half.
Sunsets are beautiful particularly at Exile Bar where the drum circle creates a magical atmosphere and of course you need to get that Ombak beach Instagram on the swings there.
Gili T had a big party atmosphere and we lived up to the brits abroad stereotype on the Jiggy Boat party which was hilarious and toured around all of the Gili islands. Jiggy bar itself on the island is also a lot of fun but I think Lava bar with amazing frozen margaritas and the atmosphere at Ombok bar is awesome. There was also a great DJ at the Irish bar which although lacking in air conditioning makes up for it with music.
We then grabbed a ferry to Gili Air skipping out the other island Gili Meno which is essentially a spot for honeymooners.
We stayed on Gili Air at Begadang Hostel which although a 15 minute walk or short horse and carriage (hilarious) ride away from the ferry was a haven of its own. For air-con and rooms with walls try and stay in the 8 bed dorm rooms otherwise you are essentially outside just in mosquito nets. The rooms/bed are centred around this huge beautiful pool with plenty of spaces to chill and we honestly spent most of our time with all the other hostel residents there.
In all of the places we went out to eat food wasn’t bad but would take at least an hour to arrive and would never arrive all together with meals coming up to 45 mins apart so go and order before you get hungry!
Gili Air was definitely much less touristy and more chilled than Gili T but after 2 days we were ready to move on and head back to Bali as we decided t would be way to easy to lose track of time and stay on the islands forever.
(Photos; Leaving Gili Air, Bedang hostel, Sara Ryland and Mariam before grabbing out boat, Bedang hostel pool on Gili Air, M Box Pool, The boat to Gili air, A gorgeous Gili T sunset, the breakfast at M-Box, Night market, Sunbathing spot, Hummus at Malibu beach club Gili T, Ombak beach, Sunbathing spot on Gili T, Ombak swings 1,2, Good vibe bungalows)