Gili Trawangan: Travel Without Pollution

It was at 10 noon, but clouds in the vicinity of the Teluk Nare, North Lombok did not dampen my intention to cross over to Gili Trawangan. The biggest island directly adjacent to the island of Bali. Gili itself in the language of Lombok is the island or homeland. Bund is a small island located off the coast of the island of Lombok.There are three Gili directly adjacent to the island of Bali, Gili Air, Gili Meno and Gili Trawangan.

Strong winds and waves made many friends who do not vote against the ferry port. Motor boats and fast speedboats are not rushing to welcome tourists who want to cross over to Gili Trawangan.
Speedboat at Teluk Nare Port
Nearly half an hour I spend time enjoying a black cloud on the beach. Every now and then ask if there are speedboats that will go across. Because the actual location of a crowded crossing in Bangsal Port, North Lombok, about half an hour from downtown Mataram, West Nusa Tenggara.

Actually to get to Gili Trawangan can be reached via two routes, namely by browsing tourist area of Senggigi. Through this route we can enjoy a cluster of three dyke, Air, Meno and Trawangan from the vehicle. Moreover, it can also be reached through natural attractions of the famous pusuk forest with a tame monkey.


From Bangsal Port we only spend about 10 thousand to cross by boat motors. But the new boat will depart when fully loaded passenger load already. Whereas if you hire or charter cost could reach 300 thousands.


But with weather conditions that are less friendly, so I chose to use a speedboat than a motor boat. So I arrived in the Gulf of Nare, a small port for the crossing by speedboat.


When photographing fun atmosphere Nare Bay, a speedboat came back with a stack of life vest in it. Finally accomplished also thought. Because without a life vest I mentally wryly also see black clouds and high waves in front of me. The driver asked my destination, because apparently it’s speedboat from a five-star hotel in Gili Trawangan. Without thinking I said yes only the driver’s intended destination.

Life vest had me wearing, promptly at 11 noon with a high speed of the speedboat driver to maneuver against the waves hit. He occasionally slow down for fear of damaging the wood waste speedboat propeller. The driver, also did not answer when I asked the origin of the wood waste. He just might be afraid of disturbing quiet concentration. 


About 20 minutes against the blow of the waves, speedboat ultimately rests on a special dock owned by a hotel of international standard. With his face still a bit tense due to high waves, that welcome with friendly smiles I get from the inn staff. Fruit punch as a welcome drink and a small wet towel given that the hotel staff. 

Gili Trawangan from speedboat
Welcome to Gili Trawangan he said. The officer immediately told that the inn was full bokking. The officer explained that in Gili Trawangan most of the inn know two times in high season or holiday season with a visit populous. For the first high season months of July through September. And the second fell in December to January.

So if the visitor does not booked prior to the month, then do not expect to get a lodging. Although it is possible visitors only come in the morning and return late afternoon. Just release the fatigue and the “eye wash” the clerk said.
After explaining the purpose of my arrival, the officer was immediately allow to enjoy the beauty of this island. Without thinking is directly stepped foot on the white sand that is so natural and beautiful. Although I myself was one costume, but never mind walking on white sand with special trackking hikking shoe to the mountain.


A Western tourists with a fun walk on the beach. Occasionally be seen taking a small fraction corals in a clean white sand. Meanwhile, not far from the beach a preoccupied with other Caucasian laptop. Accompanied by a glass of beer and french fries at a small table while overlooking the ocean expanse. Jazz music that floated softly from a cafe on the beach adds a warm atmosphere. Although the sun was partially covered with black clouds.

Some foreign tourists walking with a small bag and wet clothes after swimming in the sea. There are no souvenir vendors offer wares, or people who disturb them. Activity morning seemed to be over.


After a time Adzan sound echoing, suspended some activities of Gili Trawangan residents. They-were rushed to a mosque for Friday prayers pilgrimage. Some tourists also choose to relax on lounge chairs at some inn. While others, chose to sit at a table near the bar without walls was accompanied by a servant.
Gili Trawangan, is the largest exotic island of the three small islands or dyke located at the northwest of Lombok. Administratively Gili Trawangan included in the Village area of Gili Indah, District Winner, North Lombok regency, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB). Cellular Island 340 acres with about 3 km long and 2 km wide is inhabited by about 800 inhabitants. Population density instead concentrated on the east side of the island.

Of the few people whom I met explained that this island was formerly used landfills prison inmates because it was already full. The king who ruled at that time to dispose of hundreds of rebel island. Just around the 1970’s began visited Sulawesi nomads who eventually settled on the island. In 1980 the island has developed quite rapidly as one tourism destination.

Sites adjacent to the island of Bali make this island a tourist alternative choice for foreign and domestic tourists. Tourism in Lombok had experienced adversity in 2002. The bomb blasts in Bali directly carry considerable influence. Like the “suspended animation” said resident here.


Foreign tourists in particular, direct just disappear. Ships direct speedbot quiet motor and passengers. Bomb blast that made most of the exodus of foreign tourists. Although Lombok is not a scene but the geographical proximity with Bali. And Bali is still a tourist entrance. This is different to the Bali bombings in 2005. Foreign tourists mainly indirect exodus away.
But when I arrived here, the passion to rebuild tourism, especially in Gili Trawangan been seen again. Several construction workers seem wrestle with wood and mortar. Construction and renovation visible everywhere. A variety of accommodations, cafes, restaurants to grocery stores to be easily found here.Even some residents transformed into a lodging house is simple.
Price inn itself diverse, ranging from 30 thousands to millions of dollars. From the usual hotel to any existing international hotels. Even during high season the second in December, many foreign and domestic tourists do not hesitate to set up tents along the beach just to enjoy the “feast” on Gili Trawangan. Because here is known as “paradise” singles enjoy his youth. No wonder a resident claimed if the holiday season the island is more crowded than Kuta Beach in Bali.


According to some residents, the island of Gili Trawangan is the most thick feel of “party” night other than the second dyke. Number of events all night party that always rotated in some places the crowd, make a lot of foreign and domestic tourists, especially young people increasingly came to this island. A resident I encountered to explain if there are any evening event organizers who held a “party”. So it is not wrong if many emerging lodging here to accommodate visitors.


After enjoying the white sand on the beach, my footprints stopped. A simple horse-drawn carriage passing by slowly. Cidomo, designation for simple transportation. Cidomo already commonly used in Lombok. Fees on Cidomo any different for foreign tourists and local residents. If foreign tourists to ride Cidomo cost you about 50 thousand dollars with a maximum passenger 3 persons. As for the local population is only about 25 thousand dollars only. But if you want to get around Gili Trawangan with a distance of 6 kilometers will be charged the cost of about 75 thousand dollars. 

Actually physically Cidomo similar to the gig or the gig that is on the island of Java. Only difference lies in the use of wheels on a car tire Cidomo. Although it is not known exactly since when the use of car tires. Because it tires used previously derived from wood.

Right across the street I saw a foreign tourist fun chatting with an attractive horse Cidomo. Holding the horse’s head occasionally foreign tourists like to talk and say hello. While the coachman Cidomo silent stare, probably thinking why did not he just treated that way. Or maybe it just my imagination alone.


Finally I turned around, right in front of the hotels I found a building Automated Teller Machine (ATM). Thought I remembered the words of earlier inhabitants.Many “parties” in the evening on the island. So the existence of an ATM machine on the island is really needed.
Some foreign and local tourists using the bicycle shown utilizing the facility.Bicycles are adequate resting on a large tree that stood right in front of the building’s ATM. A Caucasian man with only wearing shorts and barefoot in with ease. Only here maybe it could be done.

On Gili Trawangan and in two other dyke, there is a local rule which has been agreed. Which prohibits the use of motor vehicles for activities on the island.Cidomo and bicycles being the only means of transportation. So here there are many bicycle rental rates to 15 thousand to 70 thousand per hour for one day of use. Smoke pollution and noise of vehicles is almost nothing. If anything, it comes from the engine generator set at one inn or a large restaurant alone.


Garbage was strewn across the road I do not find. Only the dead leaves that provide much in the way of this island village. Trash cans colorful with different categories of trash found along the road. From organic waste to paper and plastic are separated in each vat. Trash every written “Keep Gili T Green & Clean” with quite large.


Awareness of waste on the island is enough thumbs up. They realized because the island’s economy is heavily dependent on tourist visits. So cleanliness is always maintained on the island. In addition to hygiene problems, the islanders also maintain security. Both safety and security of the island for tourists.


I did not find a police station here. Or the sinister
-looking men wearing security guard uniforms. On Gili Trawangan kind imposed awig-awig (customary rules) that one of them manage security issues.

One of the penalties are quite severe if the culprit local residents will be disposed of or no longer allowed to stay on Gili Trawangan. Given the three dyke attractions including Gili Trawangan is still the mainstay and the belle of the regional tourism to attract tourists as much as possible. So that tourists can visit in peace to enjoy the island. Foreign tourists can take a day sunbathing on the beach. Or go to dive without fear of a bag that was left on the beach is lost.

My tour paused at the sight of two foreign tourists engrossed playing giant chess pawns under shady trees. Not to sit down but stood up to move these pawns.Every now and then seemed to laugh when I took a picture. They were two tourists from Australia who want to spend the new year on the island. One of them whom I met after playing chess, said he chose Gili Trawangan for its beautiful natural beaches and the atmosphere is not crowded like in Kuta Bali.

Together with some friends, she was a week on this island. However, when I ask where the Bali or select Gili Trawangan, he simply replied Indonesia is beautiful. I can only smile. Because every year I could not travel to exotic places in Indonesia like them. Just lucky I got the job coverage to Lombok. So I could see directly without having to hear his story alone.


Just behind me, there is a building bearing a health clinic. I think good as well the establishment of this clinic, because given the large distances to get to the hospital in Lombok. I took myself to ask the officer there. Health clinic is equipped with medical and first aid equipment.


Actually, this clinic stands within a five-star hotels that accept my arrival earlier.The clinic was only for hotel guests and employees. However, its development in the island’s residents can take advantage of the existence of the health clinic.Relief officials here said there are temporary, if it looks worse then a speedboat is ready to bring the patient to a hospital in Lombok.


Left like running fast here. Black clouds that afternoon not too go away. So that day looks more and more visible in the afternoon. A tourist sitting on the bench relaxing with a large duffel bag at his side. I ventured to open a conversation.With halting English, which is important he understands what I mean.

But not unexpectedly, it was the answer I received in the Indonesian language.He was not a tourist, but a worker at a hotel on the island. Eric, Belgian nationals who have long settled in Lombok. So do not be surprised if the language is fluent Indonesian. Besides his wife also have a native Indonesian.


Eric, to go to Lombok to meet his wife who was pregnant. Every two weeks he returned to the island. Eric is a diving instructor who already holds a diving certificate. He taught at one of the existing Academy Diving in Gili Trawangan.

According to diving here is very beautiful and natural as the underwater life is preserved. Not inferior to other dive sites in Indonesia, such as Park and Raja Ampat he said. Although Eric does not specify where lies the beauty beneath the sea in the vicinity of Gili Trawangan.

However, Eric gives examples of the beauty beneath the sea around the dyke filled by a very beautiful stretch of coral. In addition to coral expanse, here the divers can also enjoy the beauty of marine life around the island. Such as squid, octopus, blue ribbon eels, scorpion fish and turtles. Also on Gili Trawangan is famous for its exotic coral reef blue.


So it is not surprising that many emerging tool rental places even courses for diving on the island. Eric explained that the tariff following the dive course is still rational for the size of local tourists like me. Without specifically telling the price offered to attend the course.


Too bad we both lost chat fun. Eric speedboat which will take across the Gulf to Port Nare, Lombok has arrived. Before we parted, Eric offer my services to teach diving courses. I can only say, “next time Eric”. Since I do not know what could possibly go back to the island.
Eric speedboat carrying cross has departed. I decided to walk towards the international luxury hotel. Because according to the story of Eric himself working as a diving instructor at the hotel.
I met with the officer who greeted me earlier. He asked if I was satisfied to walk on the island. I immediately answered yet. Interest in this luxury hotel was immediately I mentioned at the officer. My interest in building his hotel instead which was more like a cottage than a hotel.
Hotel Vila Ombak is the only one of the first international hotels in Gili Trawangan. Buildings designed hotel resembles a typical granary tribal communities of Lombok, Sasak tribe. Mix of architectural styles typical Sasak society combined with modern elements arranged beautifully in every building.

Superior Lumbung Hut Room more unique again. You have to climb stairs because the rooms on the second floor. While below is used as the bale-bale, or leisure for the residents. Traditional barn roof serves as a floor to sleep on it is supported with private facilities balcony which is located next to the bedroom.


Sleeping space with grass roof situated on the ground floor which has a double mattress. On the ground floor rear of the buildings used as a bathroom. The bathroom was also semi-open in the middle of the garden which is equipped with a shower of salt water. For this I most love affairs. While clean water is provided only for rinsing only. And already accommodated in traditional barrels are available in the bathroom.


Living room is open on the ground floor just below the roof of the barn and terrace. Complete with tables and chairs, and a bale to relax with a mosquito net that can be ordered though rarely needed. 

From the upper room I could see the expanse of sea and a few ships berth. I think this room may be more suitable for honeymoon couples only. This is indeed confirmed by Mrs. Ratna, marketing Vila Ombak hotel that I met. She said most guests choose this room for honeymooners, or couples who want to enjoy a second honeymoon.

As for affairs of filling the stomach, a restaurant stands overlooking the sea and if the weather is bright enough to see Mount Rinjani in the distance. Restaurants towering two-story it feels comfortable with decorating arts and crafts typical Sasak people.


Not far from the restaurant there are three freshwater swimming pool complete with Jacuzzi, a small waterfall and pool-shaped island. From the swimming pool we could see the ocean and two other earthen Mount Rinjani in the background. After wet with water, we can enjoy the services of traditional beauty treatments and massages.


In the hotel there is a Diving Academy Eric told me earlier. Diving Academy it has been awarded the “Outstanding Commitment for the PADI system of education,”. An educational system of the Professional Association of Diving Instructors are accredited with five star Dive Centre and Gold Palm Resort.Place this course had been in operation since 1991 and has a 100 percent safety record.

A bale that sells a variety of handicrafts Lombok standing not far swimming pool.From wooden masks to miniature barns are typically sold Sasak people here. It’s just working a variety of crafts are based on reservation only.


The hotel has about 60 Lumbung Hut and bungalows are equipped with air conditioning. Superior Lumbung Hut Room addition, there are other types of rooms like Superior Lumbung Terrace, Deluxe Lumbung Hut, Deluxe Family Bungalows, Deluxe Ombak Room, Barn Beach Cottage, Granary Room and Akoya Seasides Vilas Pool. It’s just to enjoy the many facilities and natural luxuries like this, if together with our partners must set aside at least an estimated 2.5 million rupiah per night.


Ratna added, clean water or fresh water and electricity problems are still an obstacle, either at the hotel or in Gili Trawangan. So the choice to bring clean water from the chilies every day and the use of generators to be the most important part.


The conversation stopped when I flushed the slow drizzle. Some foreign tourists still walk to the beach. While carrying food and soft drinks they frolic. Black clouds and ships that leaning into a cloudy afternoon panorama.


For a moment I forget the noise and congestion in Jakarta. Forget fatigue when spending time on the streets of the capital-intensive with motor vehicles. Here there is only passing a bicycle, and a constantly moving Cidomo carry passengers. 


Something that becomes more value to Gili Trawangan is the peace and tranquility. Privacy is really awake so that they can enjoy the holiday with happy without being interrupted offers souvenir hawkers. This is what makes all three attractions including Gili Trawangan dyke looks so natural, because like the return to nature.

Left shows at 14.30, when a motor boat berth. Some people queued up the ship.Wooden benches already almost full filled. When the boat strap would be withdrawn, a passenger yelled to wait a minute. There are things he left behind.The driver asked him to fast, because the waves will be higher.


I really wanted to feel the “party” style of Gili Trawangan at night. It’s just a change of clothes I already live in Mataram. I want to know what “party” is always mentioned visitors who spend the night on the island. Although I am not so happy with the words “party” itself.

My satisfaction is not yet fulfilled all. Activities range of scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, or swimming in the blue sea nevertheless be lived. Watch the sunset with the silhouette of Mount Agung in Bali, was also accomplished.


The speedboat driver which I was riding was waved. While asking whether I stay or go back to the Bay Harbor Nare, Lombok. I also said he would return shortly.Speedboat then redirected to the beach.


I was determined to go back to Mataram. Although in the hearts eager to spend the night here. Bids saw “party” night of the hotel staff seems hard to resist. But because the next day I shall move on to other attractions, then I am forced to reject.


With good-bye I just say the word, “someday I’ll return again”. The driver gave life vest to be worn. Speedboat engines are ignited. While giving a sign to leave the driver told me to hold on. Do not forget he asked, “Did you already see that” natural “on the island?”. I frowned thinking about the nature of the island.


Arriving in the middle of the trip, hit the waves hit the boat hard enough.Sometimes positions are under the speedboat while the waves visible on it. Not long struggle finally Harbor Bay Nare visible to the eye. The wind was still strong at that time. After leaning on the dock, I do not forget to ask about the nature of Gili Trawangan at the driver. Casually he replied, “many natural Caucasians that could be seen”.


I can only laugh and understand the meaning. By giving me a tip for his services take across to Gili Trawangan, I was saying good-bye.

Thomazfoto (aka Tommy Satria)






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