Here it is! As promised, how to budget on you’re activities on Gili Trawangan! So now to the FUN stuff. Here we’ll tell you all the tips and tricks to getting a bit of discount on activities around the island and just having that ultimate island lifestyle.
There are so many things on the island you can do for free, all you have to do is use your imagination and take some of our tips away and put them to use.
Rent a bike
Renting a bike on the island will cost you around 35k (£2) for the day, it will make getting to the sunset and the North side of the island much quicker. With a bike, you have the freedom to explore the island and go almost where ever you like, without waiting for a Cimodo taxi or having to plan your day because walking can be slow and get tiresome.
Although if you like, your other options are to walk, of course, this is completely free but will take up more of your precious time and during the middle of the day temperatures can sore up to a fiery 33 degrees C, so you’ll be thankful to rent a bike and feel the wind blowing through your hair. You could also hire a Cimodo, a traditional horse and cart, this will be a lot less time consuming, but they cost around 150- 200k (£7-£8) per ride.
Snorkel at Turtle Point
Take your own snorkel equipment for free, or hire from the small stalls all the way across the beach for 30k (£1-£2).
Turtle point is at the Northen point of the island, where you will see many signs on the beach pointing out that Turtle point is here, this stretch can go on for 200-300 metres along the beach. You are very likely to see Turtles at any point of the beach, along with a large diversity of fish and corals. If you head up to the end of Turtle point, at high tide the sandy patch is a shallow 2-3m deep where the Turtles go to eat the seagrass, you have more chance to see the Turtles here!
Just remember to respect the Turtles here as it is there home and you are the visitor. Do not touch them or get too close, they may seem very calm and friendly, but you touching them can cause illness and diseases on their very fragile skin and wax over their shell.
Take a towel to the beach
It may sound like an obvious one, but normally when you go to sunbathe on a bean bag or sun lounger the hotel or restaurant will more than likely ask you to buy a drink or meal to be able to use their chairs. This is very fair and if you’d like a drink it is probably the best thing to do, no one is asking you to rent the chair out.
However, if you already have your litre of water and just want to top up your tan, there is no rule about where you can put your towel and it is completely free!
Climb up to the viewpoint and watch the sunset
Watching the sunset on Gili T is a must, but you don’t have to just go to the beach, you can make it an adventure! Did you know that Gili T actually has a small hill on the south side of the island? There are a few places where you can get up to the top of the hill. It can take around 30minutes to get to the top, so if you are going for sunset, give yourself plenty of time to get up there and enjoy every bit of it. This little adventure will cost you nothing, maybe take up some water or a few Bintangs (you can buy from most shops on the island), sit back, relax and enjoy the view.
Take a jog during sunrise
Jog? Yes, we said, it! Ok, if you’re into exerting yourself at 5:30 in the morning, you can always walk. But sunrises are one of the things most holidaymakers miss out on. But not you, the sunrise is just as, or even more beautiful than sunset. Also with most people in bed at that time there is a very calm feeling to the island, just you and the sea and the sunrise. The colours of the sky are out of this world. All you have to do is set an alarm and walk down to the beach. You won’t regret it.
Attend events like the Pub Quiz and Rock n Roll Bingo to win prizes on the island
Who doesn’t like a quiz, a quiz where you can win prizes?!
Every Wednesday night from 7:30 Broken Compass Bar and Hostel is filled with guests and holidaymakers who are ready to use their knowledge in teams of six to win one of the top prizes. Prizes include bar tabs for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize and even a round of vodka joss shots for that team coming in the last place, that is if they do incredibly bad! Just turn up with your team, answer all the questions that MC Bonny will entertain you with and hope and pray you did better than the other teams! Hey, they even have specials on, steak night, so you can have dinner too!
If you like a bit of rock music, get yourself down to Jungle bar (hosted by La Favela) on Friday night at 8:00pm, and get your bingo cards ready, at 10k (50p)a card, you cannot go wrong! Then listen to the music playing (Shazam is allowed) and when you have the artist of the song cross them off of your bingo card. There are five rounds for you to win from, from a round of vodka joss to two nights stay at Kelapa Villas. So many more prizes to be won and such a good vibe you’d be missing out, even if it’s not your kind of music.
Get to know the locals
Indonesians are some of the happiest and smiliest faces you will ever meet and on Gili T they are willing to help you in any way possible. So why not spend an hour or two to get to know a few of them. More often than not, they will tell you secrets of the island and show you how they’ve made traditional cutlery or jewellery. And they will want nothing in return, just a smile and a bit of your time. Take some time away from traditional holidaying and really get to know the country you are in.
Beach cleans are hosted by Gili Eco trust every Friday from 5- 6pm, it is free and at the end of the hour you will receive a free Bintang or refreshment. You will be helping the island’s ecology, which is fab and keeping the beautiful beaches free from rubbish. Gili Eco Trust has many voluntary roles on the island if you are interested in helping restore this paradise. There is so much to be done and there will always be a small reward for your time and effort.
Play with the island cats
If you have done everything on the list, why not give the island cats a little love. Love never cost anyone anything and the cats WILL take all they can get. You can also help by letting the Cats of Gili know if you see a cat without the famous triangle cut out of its ear. The cut signifies that the cat has been spayed or neutered, this is to stop the spread of cats on the island, as there is already so many. Cats of Gili will then take them in and spay or neuter them.
Hopefully, our tips have been very insightful and you now have a feel to how the island works. It is great to budget, but please do remember that there are a lot of local businesses on the island and haggling over 5k (25p) isn’t really worth it. Gili T is a huge tourist attraction and with help from you and the locals living here, we can help to keep this little paradise going with its upbeat vibe and friendliness.
If you have any questions about anything on this list, please feel free to get in contact with Compass Divers via Facebook or Instagram and we’d love to set you on the right path to an amazing holiday!