Sunday 14 August 2016

Lombok Travel Part 6: The Charms Of Gili Trawangan

Gili Trawangan is a small island with a main road that goes around the coastline and several other roads branching off the coastal road into the interior. While it is possible to explore the entire island on foot, the ideal way to get around which is much less exhausting would be on bicycles. 
Gili Trawangan is quite a charming place but to dub it as an unspoilt paradise may be a misnomer. Its increasing popularity has to a certain extent taken a toll on its serenity and authenticity. Congestion and over crowding at certain hours and the touristy feel are factors that have caused it to lose part of its lustre though the locals may think otherwise as crowds are often translated into increased income. Having said the negatives, much of Gili Trawangan still exude a rustic and laid back charm worthy of admiration and it still boasts of a wealth of marine life worth discovering. 
We circumnavigated the island a few times on bicycles and visited the interior to capture this essence which are highlighted in the photos below. 

The East Coast
The east coast is where the bulk of the island's activities lies. The harbour, the marketplace, money changers, ATMs,  travel agents, dive schools, hotels and restaurants are mostly concentrated here. While it is quiet in the earlier part of the morning, the road around the harbour tend to be congested and chaotic when boats and ferries arrived and during the later part of the evenings when the weather is cooler.
Beach chairs with umbrella roofs made of alang alang leaves
Boats docking near the harbour
A stretch of main road that is brightened up by hanging umbrellas
Learn to cook local cuisines at Sweet & Spicy Cooking School 
A cooking class in progress
The most charming beach umbrellas I've seen
A beautiful boutique shop in town
Whoa voluptuous...but so grotesque!
Along the main coastal road during the less busy hours.
Long lasting bamboo sunbeds to beat the hot and wet climate
A night market scene where people flock to buy dinner
A very calming sight 
Another boutique shop in town
A private beach belonging to a hotel
Cidomos plying the main road
At the beautiful Villa Almarik 
Graffiti on walls
It's so relaxing here.
A cute statue at the entrance of a restaurant
A beachfront restaurant

The West Coast
The west coast presents a more laid back atmosphere and makes a better escapade for people who have phobias for crowds and noises. Other than a handful of hotels, there isn't much commercial activities here.
Private huts for patrons of a restaurant
Sometimes we ought to do just that!
Simple yet charming!
Decors need not be expensive
A unique restaurant where the ceiling and wall are paved with multi colored and multi design window panels
Sunset At The Exile 

The North Coast
The road condition around the north coast is the worst. There is a stretch of unpaved sandy path which makes cycling impossible as the wheels automatically sink into the sand. There is also a short stretch of pathway which is not passable by the cidomos making this place laid back and less popular. For some seeking moments of solitude however, this could be a gem.
A row of beachfront private huts facing the north sea.
An exclusive place to dine indeed!
Calm sea, clear water

The South Coast
Visitors staying on the east coast who wish to view the setting sun will either head towards the south coast or the west coast.  The beaches are rocky and covered with dead corals but this is a great place to peep into the world of marine life.
A nice place to view sunset.

The Interior
There is nothing much to shout about in the interior. Village houses and village path look unkempt and are strewn with litters.There is also a dump site where garbage is burned but if you look hard enough there are a few things that appeal.
At Jalan Ikan Hiu
A pub and restaurant
You can do a lot of things with coconuts!
A garden archway near Les Villas Ottalia

Marine Life Along The Coast
Just walking along the beach and snorkeling near the shore, you'll be surprised at the many species of marine life that you can see. To see colorful fishes, you can pay for snorkeling trips further from shore.
Villagers collect this for food
A sea snake which I bravely trailed to capture this shot.

Lombok Travel Part 10: Staying In Les Villas Ottalia
Lombok Travel Part 11: Gili Meno
Lombok Travel Part 12: The Land Cruise Tour
Lombok Travel Part 13: Kebun Villas And Resort, Senggigi

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