Romancing Gili

GILI Trawangan, a place I’ve never thought would fell into. I used to be skeptical about any popular places such as this island (or her sister islands: Gili Meno and Gili Air). Gili means island, and whenever people say ‘I’m going to Gili’ it usually means that they are visiting Gili Trawangan (although there are many other beautiful Gilis in Lombok). Anyway, what I always had in my mind about these touristic destinations was just some commercially crowded places with exploited natural resources to explore.

But a simple quote from Paul Theroux, a notable travel writer, has managed to change my point of view. I don’t quite remember the exact line now but it says something like this:

“Traveling is personal. Even if I travel with you, your journey is not mine.”

So, wherever you go and whomever you travel with, then you surely would have an experience of your own. You don’t have to care much about whether it’s an off beaten path or simply a crowded bazaar. You need to experience things in order to gain what traveling is all about. You’re not just a tourist, you’re a traveler.

Yes, Gili is such a busy island (some even say it’s a party island), but I do love the hustle and bustle of it. Maybe because there’s only some small horse-drawn carriage called cidomo and bicycle on the street. No air and sound pollution (if you don’t fancy the boom-boom nightlife, just walk away for some distance and you’ll find some quiet spots to relax). It’s still a laid back island after all.

All day, people are having lazy times on the beach (some sun-bathe, some take a splash, and some mostly read, oh yes they read a lot, makes me ashamed of myself!). Locals are full of smile and really helpful. You can still find some nice guesthouse and good food with cheap price. You can hike the hill and enjoy a silent sunset moment.

My feet are walking on the white sand, and around myself is the azure sky, the turquoise sea, and the breezy air. I freedive into crystal clear water and meet some big turtles right before my eyes. How can I not love this island?
Disgiovery yours!

Romancing Gili Trawangan 2
No traffic jam guaranteed in Gili, except for some hustle & bustle of cidomo & bicycles that are passing on the street.
Romancing Gili Trawangan 3
Flip flops off, swimwear and snorkeling equipment on, and take some splash in the water.  My first encounter with big turtles only happened here in Gili’s underwater scene.
feline reception
“Yes, can I help you, Sir?”
This feline seems to greet us from the front desk of the hostel.
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Meanwhile, the hostel receptionist himself is taking a nap.
enjoying lazy time
I don’t blame him.  Gili is a perfect place to enjoy such a lazy time. Il dolce far niente.
Romancing Gili Trawangan 8
I bet it feels nice floating on the surface of water and getting around Gili.
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You can join the locals killing time in this open hut by watching TV. Or just sleeping.
bike for rent
Bike around the island in less than an hour. Now, which bike do you choose? 😉
the mosque
Tourists in bikini and swimwear may flock the beach, but right across the main street you can find this big mosque invincibly standing still. Keep the faith, my friends!
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Alone & weary.  But I think it’s been having a worthy existence in Gili.
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A common view on the street of Gili.
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Then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny?
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12 Responses
  1. Ah pingin balik lagi ke gili, tapi mau nya leyeh2 di Karma Kandara Gili Meno #ngarep. Yang di demen di gili itu suasana nya ayem tentrem banget … woles liburan 🙂

  2. Timothy W Pawiro

    Well surely Gili T is a place to relax … I can be on that island and practically doing nothing …

    Miss that place …

    PS: your B/W photos are great! 🙂

  3. I’d love to check out these Gili Islands.
    Sometimes the simpler the place is, the better it is.
    I’ve never done standing paddling before. Looks fun

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