Jul 182013

Posted from West Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia.

Bali’s neighbour to the east is an island constituency of a similar size – Lombok, which tends to receive overall less tourism than Bali, but it does have touristic jewels nevertheless. These are three mini-islands called Trawangan, Air and Mini (by the order of size).

Interesting fact is also that the demographics of the Lombok area are different from Bali. The majority of the population of Lombok is Muslim, and the choice of accommodation gains another decision factor, which is the vicinity to local mosque. If you sleep right underneath it, you’re bound to receive regular early morning wake up’s through a fairly strong amplified middle-eastern sound …

It takes 1-1.5hrs travel on a speed-boat from Bali’s Padang Bay to the small islands and from then on everything slows down for you. Forget scooters, forget cars, forget even paved roads and here come power cuts, bungalows, bamboo structures, corals, sun and you’ll also meet an Indonesian Axel Rose and his buddy “Indonesian Slash”.

We chose Gili Trawangan as our destination. It’s the largest of Gili Islands with 1,500 local population and the largest touristic facilities. The island is 3km long and 2km wide. Most of the accommodation takes form of simple huts with a swimming pool and most are oriented to the east of the island. Our place was called Balenta Bungalows and we had for instance no warm water throughout our stay and we got used to it!

Our four days went by extremely quickly. I’ve got a sunburn to start with on the very first day whilst Flavia kept turning more and more brown (jealous!). We snorkelled, read books, did long walks all the way north and south of the island, saw two sunsets from “cool” beach bars, ate some amazing fish bbq’s and took a half day turtle-spotting snorkelling trip around the three islands on an overcrowded boat. The boat trip was the only flip we have experienced. With 80 people crowded in snorkelling gear on a tiny stretch of sea chasing the poor turtles wasn’t anything near what we believed we actually paid for. Next time we’ll ask more questions before we hand over our cash.

We loved the stay in Gili T and would come back any time again.