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Gili Trawangan Lombok

Gili Trawangan is the largest of Lombok’s Gili Islands and is the only one to rise significantly above sea level. It is 3km long and 2km wide with a population of about 700. Of the Gilis, Trawangan has the most tourist facilities; the pub Tîr na Nôg claims that Trawangan is the smallest island in the world with an Irish pub. The most crowded part of Trawangan lies on the eastern side. It is administered under Lombok Barat Regency along with Senggigi Beach.

On Gili Trawangan (as well as the other two Gilis), there are no motorized vehicles. The main means of transportation are bicycles (rented by locals to tourists) and cidomo (a small horsedrawn carriage). For traveling to and from each of the Gilis, locals usually use motorized boats and speedboats.

Some of the first inhabitants of Gili Trawangan were from Sulawesi who are fishermen and farmers. Previously Gili Trawangan was covered in forest and deer lived on the island. (Source: Inhabitants of Gili Trawangan — no printed source available)

The economy of Gili Trawangan centres on tourism, as the island is too small to support any broad scale agriculture, and too remote to allow economically viable industry or commerce.

There are now seven dive operators on the island which run a full range of PADI courses, starting from the Discover Scuba Diving (DSD) course or the Open Water, right up to Instructor courses at certain times during the year. The schools organise Fun Dives with local dive masters who have a wealth of knowledge about each site.

There seems to be a dive centre for everyone, whether you like the hustle and bustle of a big busy school like Blue Marlin or Manta Dive, or more relaxed smaller groups at laid back schools such as Vila Ombak Diving Academy and Trawangan Dive. There are also some schools which are more tailored to French speaking divers (Big Bubble) and German speaking divers (Dream Divers).

The diving is very easy and varies from walls, slopes and plateaus. The maximum depths at many of the sites range from 24m-18m, making it perfect for beginners and more experienced divers alike. Almost all the dive sites can be reached by boat in 10 minutes and all the dive shops are located on the beach front making access very easy.

Some of the fascinating marine life you may see include: black and white tip sharks, turtles, frog fish, leaf fish, ghost pipe fish, moray and ribbon eels, pygmy seahorse, eagle rays, octopus, cuttlefish, snakes and bumphead parrot fish.

Snorkeling in the waters off Gili Trawangan is very easy and doesn’t require a boat. Simply walk into the clear blue waters from the beach and you’re away! The main snorkeling area is along the main beach area, but there are other less busy areas with great snorkeling to be found up and down the east and northeast sides of the island.

Along the main beach front there is usually an easy current which takes you along making snorkeling all the more easy as you drift with the current, get out at the end, and walk back up the beach and start again.

A host of amazing marine life can be found while snorkeling, ranging from parrot fish, moorish idols and puffer fish, to barracuda, trumpet fish and baby cuttlefish, and if you’re really lucky, turtles!

Masks, snorkels, fins and life jackets can be found for rent all along the beach front.

If, heaven forbid, you’re getting a little bored on Gili Trawangan, hiring a boat and snorkeling of it around all three of the islands (Gili Air, Gili Meno and Gili Trawangan) makes for a fun day out. You can also take in the Bird Park and Beatles museum on Gili Meno, and have lunch on Gili Air at Vila Karang, where the pizzas are delicious! (Phone in advance for pizzas at lunch time so the oven can be fired up: 0813 3990 4440)

If you don’t enjoy swimming or snorkeling, but still want to see what’s going on under the surface of the water, then you can always take a Glass Bottom Boat trip. From the comfort of the boat you get a glimpse of some of the fishes, and even the turtles, swimming underneath.

BaliKana Hotel and Stud are the two ‘stables’ on the island. You can arrange to take a horse out for an hour or more and ride around the island and along the beach. A guide will either accompany you on another horse or on foot. Most of the horses are actually ponies, although there are one of two larger horses.

Kayaks are available to hire at a couple of locations along the beach area. If you’re feeling very energetic and want to try to kayak over to Gili Meno, beware of the currents which can be very strong – and don’t forget you’ll have to come back over again!

While it doesn’t draw huge crowds of surfers, when the winds are right there is some good surfing to be found. There’s a crowd of local surfers on the island who have all the useful local knowledge, and who knows, maybe they’ll come along and lend you their boards.

If you want to indulge yourself there are at least two spas on Gili Trawangan who can pamper you with massages, facials, reflexology, hair treatment manicures and pedicures and even waxing. The higher end spa is located at Vila Ombak Hotel, while the other is nearer the beach area.

Individual masseuse also offer their services on the island and signs can be found dotted around the main strip informing of their details.

Source : http://www.gilitrawangan.org