Gili Trawangan is known colloquially as ‘Gili T’ and is the largest of the three main Gili Islands (the others being Gili Air and Gili Meno).
As the biggest of the three Gili Islands, Gili Trawangan has the most facilities and sees the most tourists. Solo travelers often come here and it also attracts younger travelers looking for a party.
Despite its reputation as a party island, you can still find a range of other things to do here, such as exploring the island, which can easily be circumvented in a few hours. There are a few nice places that you can visit or you can simply enjoy the beaches and the available water sports. The sunsets here are also spectacular and these can be enjoyed from one of the many restaurants and bars. The island has a strong nightlife scene, so it may not suit families traveling with young children or anyone looking for some peace and quiet after dark.
Gili Trawangan does not offer much in terms of attractions, as most tourists come here just to enjoy the beaches that can be found all around the island. If you like swimming and snorkeling then the waters off the island are often crystal clear and there is a good chance you will see rays, small (harmless) sharks, and turtles. A turtle sanctuary can also be found here, which is one of the top spots if you want to do something other than sunbathe or swim.
You can get to Gili Trawangan from the other neighboring Gili islands, Bali or Lombok using public ferries and fast private boats. Boats from Bali leave from Sanur or Padang Bai. Boats from Lombok leave from Senggigi or Bangsal.
Gili Trawangan has no motorized vehicles and the only modes of transport is a bicycle, horse cart, or your feet. The best way to explore is to rent a bicycle or walk. Some horses and carts can be rented to take you short distances but there are no cars or taxis on the island.
Of all the islands, Gili Trawangan offers the most in terms of food options, including plenty of restaurants, bars, and cafes that sell both Indonesian and Western fare. However, these charge higher prices than what you would find in Lombok or Bali, as all the food has to be shipped over from the mainland. Many of the restaurants serve and grill fresh fish and seafood. In recent years, some of the bars on Gili Trawangan were caught serving fake alcohol, which can cause methanol poisoning and result in death. As such it is recommended that you stick to drinking beer on Gili Trawangan and avoid spirits.
Gili Trawangan is definitely the party hub of the Gili Islands so if you are looking for some nightlife along with your beach holiday then this is the best choice. You can relax on the beach, go swimming or snorkeling during the day, and enjoy the bars and open air clubs that swing into life after dark in the evening . This is the most accessible island with the biggest range of entertainment options and water sports and makes for a good base for a few days before moving on. If you prefer to get away from it all completely, then consider one of the other Gili Islands as opposed to Gili Trawangan.