Many people go to Gili Trawangan with the aim to do very little, but the island is also great for adventurous travellers too.
1. Dive with Sharks
Shark Point is a dive site on the north side of Gili Trawangan. At around 10 metres deep you’ll find a coral reef plateau that then slopes to about 18 metres. Shark point then transforms into rolling valleys extending down to about 35 metres. In the deepest parts of this dive you’re likely to be diving with numerous white and black tip reef sharks. They also swim in the shallows, but Deep Shark Point is where it’s at for the shark action.
This site is for intermediate and advanced divers as the waves and currents can be strong. Always talk to your dive masters at Gangga Divers about this site to see if it’s right for you. If you’re completing your PADI Open Water Diver or Advanced Open Water course, this is a very rewarding dive.
Not so many people think about surfing when they think about the Gilis but Gili T is blessed with a number of rare right-handers that surfers love to tackle. It’s not ideal for learning to surf, but if you already do, you’ll have waves to yourself.
The best spot is a fast, right-hand reef break off the southern end of the island. There needs to be a good southwesterly swell to clear the coral, so the wet season is best for surfing here. From January to June you can get up to 2 metre swells.
If you are going to surf on Gili Trawangan you’ll probably want your wetsuit and booties because the coral, rocks and sea urchins can do some serious damage.
3. Hit the Night Market
Ok, this isn’t the most adventurous thing you can do on Gili Trawangan, but it is a must do. The night market on Gili T is buzzing and a great place to taste local dishes and fresh seafood. Every evening from about 6pm stalls start selling local food in the market just by the main pier.
If you want a real taste of Indonesia get plenty of satay sticks. You can choose from all kinds of seafood or chicken skewers with veggies and rice. You can also choose whole fish for grilling right in front of you. And don’t forget the sambal because no local would ever have their dinner without some spice.
4. Do Watersports
Gili Trawangan is not only popular for snorkeling and diving, you can also get out on the water in loads of other ways. Just in front of the hotel is a watersports desk where you can arrange activities like stand-up-paddle boarding, wakeboarding and parasailing. The views of the island from the water are incredible, especially with a bird’s eye view.
There is no experience in the world like paddle boarding next to a huge sea turtle. And the best spot to see turtles is actually right in front of Villa Almarik! Make the ocean off Gili T your playground with days out on the water!
5. Watch a Traditional Stick Fight
Because Gili Trawangan has become such a talked about beach destination, there isn’t much people know about the culture there. However, the island actually has very strong traditions, one of which is Presean, or the stick fighting martial art.
This is a traditional combat from the Sasak people of Lombok between 2 fighters using a long rattan stick and shield. Accompanied by music, the fighters hit each other with the sticks until the referee breaks up the fight. Traditionally this fight is performed to bring rain, and apparently the more blood that is spilled, the more rain there will be.
You can see Presean fights every Sunday on Gili Trawangan at the Pasar Seni, or Art Market. And if you’re feeling really adventurous, you can even join in!
Are you an adventurous traveller? Tell us in the comments what you would really like to do on Gili Trawangan.