The tiny Gili Islands are situated off Lombok, east of Bali. Over the past few years, these three sand island – Gili Trawangan, Gili Air, and Gili Meno – have been increasing in popularity, with “fast boat” services shuttling tourists across the Lombok Strait to Bali.
Gili Trawangan, aka “Gili T” is the largest and most visited island. We (stupidly) visited at the height of the tourist season, and after hearing so many great things about this island from other travelers, we were let down by the crowds, overdevelopment, and high prices.
Despite all this, we still had a great time swimming with the resident sea turtles and catching the amazing sunsets each evening. Escaping the crowds from the eastern side of the island, it’s best to walk to the north or west. The beaches here are rocky and not ideal for swimming, but the view can’t be beat. We enjoyed grabbing a drink at one of the small bars and watching as the glowing orange sun dipped behind Bali’s Mount Agung Volcano and scattered warm hues across the sky.