The Gili Islands, An Over Looked Paradise For Adventurous Halal Foodies!
If you are looking for an escape to an exotic island with friendly smiles, no source of motor transportation and countless halal restaurants, Gili Trawangan is the place to go. This tiny island, is 3 kilometers long and 2 kilometers wide is easily explorable by bike in a day and you won’t get lost, but even if you do it will be damn worth it!
Getting There (and almost dying): So getting to Gili islands from Bali is not easy. After doing a ton of research, I got spooked by the large number of drownings that happened on that route. So I decided to book with a highly recommended and expensive company The Blue Water Express to get to Gili Trawangan from Bali. As paranoid as I was about drowning and our boat breaking down, that is EXACTLY what happened. Halfway through our journey the motor died and we had to wait for the engineer to fix the motor. I was laughing at the irony of the whole situation because this is exactly what I was afraid of and the reason why I paid the big bucks! 45 mins later the motor was fixed by the engineer and we got to Gili Trawangan safe and sound.
The Horses of Gili Trawangan!
Gili Trawangan is an island where there is NO FORM OF MOTOR TRANSPORTATION. Yup, you read that right….none- nada-zip! So people usually, walk, bike or take horses across the island to get from one place to another. These horses are limited in number and the maltreatment of these horses have been discussed by many.
Getting To Our Accommodation: My plan was once we get to the ferry terminal we will will walk to our home stay Balenta Bungalows, a short 1.3 KM walk. However in the intense heat and our inability to pack light we gave in and had to take the horse carriage. I am very ashamed about it and hope to not do this ever again. I hope the horse forgives me.
Stay: Balenta bungalows was exactly the way I pictured it, right on the beach so I could hear the waves waking up and going to bed. It had a fabulous balcony, big bed and nice bathroom all for under $40 CAD a night. Free breakfast is included with the room rate. Bookings are ONLY available through email via firstname.lastname@example.org. If unavailable I would book another great bungalow called Kapa Kecil.
Trust DSM Dive and go explore the Gili Islands underwater and you will thank me for it later! Why DSM dive? DSM dive has a really good rating on Trip Advisor and after speaking to the instructors personally, they were one of the oldest and experienced on the island. I really wanted to see turtles so we went to dive Turtle Island or as I call it, Turtle Heaven <3
Watch A Movie on the Beach!
For $5 CAD you can watch a movie on the beach with complimentary popcorn. I mean LITERALLY this is on the sand and you can feel the energy from the waves as you are watching the movie.
I mean how awesome is that?
Bike Towards the Swings and Take Picturesque Shots!
Try Interesting Foods at the Night Market & Restaurants
Getting out of the Gilis: After being spooked by the Blue Water Express incident we went to their booking office on the island and asked if they had other more secure forms of transportation to Lombok Airport where we were hoping to fly out from. The guy at the office was nice enough to arrange for a private speedboat and car for us. It came out to be around $20 cad per person for the 3 of us. So when in doubt, just show up to the office and just ask!