- The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes. Marcel Proust
Visit Gili Trawangan, Lombok, Indonesia
The largest of the three islands, Gili Trawangan attracts the majority of visitors, it is around thirty minutes boat ride from the northwest mainland of Lombok and regular daily fast boats depart Bali directly to Trawangan island and all boats stop off at Teluk Nare on mainland Lombok as part of the return journey.
The beaches of the Gilis are still powdery white, the water a beautiful clear blue and they are positioned perfectly for sunsets over Bali’s Mt Agung and sunrise over Lombok’s Mt Rinjani. Thirty years ago the Gili islands were uninhabited and only discovered by the seafaring Bugis people from Sulawesi. It was only a matter of time before the more adventurous backpacker types discovered the islands and developed Trawangan into a hippy party paradise destination.
Gili Trawangan now identifies itself as a great holiday destination suitable for families of all ages. Various new hotels, luxury villas, and boutique bungalows now cater to children and offer good value. Some have baby-sitting services, and with lots of activities on the islands families are sure to enjoy their beach holidays to the full.
Most visitors stay on Gili Trawangan for the facilities and make the short hop out to the dive sites. Each dive school has its own fleet of traditional outrigger boats that ferry divers offshore to the walls and reefs where the best diving is to be found.
Aside from the obvious lure of snorkeling and diving, sunbathing and bar-hopping, Gili Trawangan has a fair amount of distractions to keep visitors both amused and entertained throughout the course of their stay.
Fishing trips and charters can be made with the local outrigger fishing boats who offer day trips with line fishing and trawling.
The Bio Rock is an environmental initiative set up by the Gili Eco Trust that over the last six years has hosted an annual Bio Rock workshop on Gili Trawangan. The artificial metal reef cages are fed a constant voltage of electricity to encourage coral regeneration and are a natural attraction for all forms of marine life. There are now thirty three individual projects in the Gilis and it’s possible to snorkel or dive around them and there’s even a PADI specialty course tailored to educate and involve a wider community.