It’s been two months since my time in the backpacker paradise that is Gili T, and it already feels like some kind of mirage in my memory. This idyllic island off of the coast of Lombok in Indonesia is super popular with the backpacker crowd for a load of reasons.
- Erm, it’s total paradise. Like seriously, the water is completely see-through and the beaches are the thing of dreams.
- The nightlife is fab. Cheap drinks, live music, a door to door choice of venues so it’s easy to bar-hop and everyone’s a backpacker so you meet lots of people.
- There’s lots of fun activities to fill your time, that is if you’re not hanging around the pool getting your tan on and recovering from the night before.
So I decided to put together the perfect day in the gorgeous island of Gili T (aka Gili Trawangan) – filled with fun, food and fabulousness!
Breakfast at Kayu Cafe.
This lovely cafe serves the kind of breakfast that will earn you mad props on Instagram. There’s a focus on healthy food as well as raw, vegan and organic options, and hello delicious smoothies! But don’t get put off if you’re not the eat-clean kinda gal (I’m not either), there’s lots of delicious cakes and the coffee is top notch. There’s also air-con and free WiFi, but be warned this place gets rammed so arrive early.
Go on a boat trip around the Gili Islands.
One of the best things to do on Gili T is to go on a boat ride around the beautiful Gili islands! Along the beach you’ll find lots of different tour operators that will be able to book you on one, I just used one opposite my hotel and departed promptly at 10am. This trip is ideal for the snorkelling enthusiasts as there are several stops and you get a chance to see an underwater shipwreck and even actual real-life turtles! How cool is that? As you know I’m not really a water baby, but it’s still a lot of fun to ride around in the boat, check out the coral in the glass bottom and appreciate the turquoise sea and lovely weather. Most trips also make a stop on Gili Air.
Lunch on Gili Air.
When the boat stops at the smaller island of Gili Air, it’s a great opportunity to explore this chilled out island. It’s also perfect to stop for lunch at Chill Out Bar, overlooking the ridiculously appealing beach. I definitely recommend the vegetable tempura and the Thai green curry looked good too! If you have time, also go get a cone of ice cream for the boat ride back to Gili T.
Get a full body massage at XQuisit.
You should get back to Gili T at about 2pm and have a few hours to relax before your next activity. This is prime opportunity to get yourself a full body massage if you ask me. XQuisit on Gili T is a fantastic place to go with individual rooms that look out over the beach. But literally though, the back wall is completely removed so you feel like your actually on the beach whilst you relax and get your massage on. Sheer bliss, I’m telling you.
Cycle round the island for the sunset vibes.
When it hits around 4.30-5pm hire a bike from one of the many hire shops along the beach and cycle along the main road the loops around the island. Most people stay on the sid eof the island that the boats stop and the beautiful sunset that Gili T is famed for is actually all the way around the other side. Hence the bike. The bike ride itself is lovely though, weaving through stalls and past bars setting up for the night, getting off to walk along the beach and even past men playing reggae tunes on instruments. It’s pretty cool.
Once you get round the other side of the island you’ll see Window Bar where you can disembark for the sunset fun. Get settled down on the beach on one of the colourful beanbags, one of the bar staff will come and take your drink order (I went for a mojito) and get ready for a bloody beaut sunset. This is also the spot to get those iconic swing photos, although be warned it’s not as tranquil as it looks on Instagram and you may have to queue a bit.
When you’re ready head back to base on the bikes, carrying on the way you were going so you get the full loop of the island. But be sure to put the torch on your phone in the basket so you can see where you’re going – there aren’t many lamposts on Gili T!
Hit the Street Food Market for dinner.
You’ve done a lot of stuff by this point in the day but don’t worry, dinner won’t break the bank. The Gili T street food market is ideal for a backpacker budget with skewers of meat, fish or veggies cooked fresh for an absolute steal. I think I spent a total of £3 on a dinner that left me stuffed. And it was all delicious.
Get your drink on.
Gili T is famed for it’s nightlife and you have a tonne of options to get your drink on – from the ridiulously good happy hour at Jungle Bar to the classic Tir na Nog Irish bar (I think there may be an Irish bar everywhere on this earth). But my personal fave was the chilled out Suma Suma, listening to live reggae music just enhances the island vibes dontcha think?
Stay at Gili T Resort.
There are so many places to stay on Gili T that fit with the backpacker budget, but I opted for Gili T Resort – it’s clean and in the thick of everything, plus there’s a lovely pool to recover from the hangover the next day.
What do you think of my perfect day in Gili T? Anything you think should be added to the itinerary? Let me know in the comments below or tweet me @HeelsInBackpack!
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