The Partying Traveler Takes On Notorious Gili Trawangan

So I’ve heard a lot of things about this infamous island. Almost all of those things had to do with its wild party scene. A proper night out on Gili T was the stuff of legends. Aside from that, I didn’t actually know much. I mentally prepared myself hard after what had, so far, been a relatively tame month in Bali.

After actually going to Gili T, I thought to myself whether I accidentally ended up at the wrong island. The party wasn’t the highlight of this overnight trip for me. Sure, I had a few beers and there was no shortage of cool places to have a drink. You’ve got plenty of nice clubs, bars, restaurants, and nice hangouts by the beach. A lot of partying could have definitely taken place here.

However, it was the vibe of the island that won me over. Gili T is unbelievably chill and laid-back. I know I say that about a lot of places but Gili T takes the cake. I just finally watched Eat, Pray, Love for the first time after having it constantly shoved down my throat since arriving in Bali. They say something about the simple pleasures of doing nothing. That’s what Gili T is like. There is not much to do on the island and it forces you to accept that hey, it’s okay to do nothing. Usually, when you are traveling, you feel compelled to do something adventurous every day just so you don’t waste a day. But honestly, if you are enjoying yourself, then wasting a day isn’t a waste of a day at all.


Scuba diving or snorkeling in the Gilis are two of the main activities for travelers. Aside from the lack of must-do things on the island, the low levels of development add to the secluded island allure. The complete lack of cars or scooters means that you can actually enjoy peace and quiet on the island. Constant blackouts can augment the already stunning stars. Not in a long time had I seen the vast universe so clearly as I did on Gili T. There are long stretches of the island where you might not be able to see anything without a flashlight.

The island is small but thankfully, the party converges on one corner of the island. If you want some peace and quiet to watch the stars while on some illicit substances (it’s Gili T, fam, you know what I’m talking about), then there are plenty of wide open beachfront spaces to hang out.

Oh yeah, can’t skip that part, can I?

Hope my parents aren’t reading this.

Magic milkshakes, shrooms, psilocybin, whatever you want to call it, it can be found by the bundles here. Literally, everyone sells them. My friend recommended a specific place so we hunted it down, turning down many other bars and people in the process. We found out that that bar, Rudy’s, had rebranded to something slightly classier and no longer sold them.

It didn’t take more than a minute for us to find an alternative. We went to a bar where they were trying to charge us a ridiculous amount. We walked away and not a minute later, a guy followed us on his bicycle and offered to sell us some. We ended up going to three places throughout the night. They ranged from shady guys on bicycles to extremely nice beachside bars. All you had to do was ask.

In the rare case that a certain establishment doesn’t have it, it shouldn’t be hard to find an alternative. Most places sell them in small cones and you can ask them to put it in a shake for you. The shake goes down easier but is not as effective as just manning up and swallowing them. There are plenty of other online resources for you to research what the fuck is going to happen afterward so I won’t bother turning this into a trip story.

I’ll admit, these shrooms were not as strong as any of the others I had taken before. For me, that was a good thing because every other time I had taken them, I had lost my mind. I was able to take it slow and gradually get to a happy place rather than go 0 to 100 real quick. I ended up having around 2.5 cones to myself. Me and two other girls had split about 8 cones between us. One of the girls was a shroom fanatic from Germany who constantly lamented that the shrooms here were not as potent as the ones in Amsterdam.

The first time, we paid 150,000 IDR per cone. My local friend who picks them in Lombok told me that we shouldn’t pay more than 100,000 IDR per cone but we were getting desperate at that point because Rudy’s was closed. Eventually, we realized how easy it was to get whatever we wanted and were paying 100,000 IDR per cone.

It’s widely-known and widely-accepted on the island so there’s no need to act sketch about whatever you’re doing. I don’t think I saw a single figure of authority the entire time I was there. I’m sure you can still get yourself into some trouble but if you keep it lowkey, no one’s going to give a shit.

Being a touristy island also means that you aren’t particularly devoid of your basic needs. If you want to hit 7-Eleven at 2 AM or get some drunk food somewhere, then you still can. Sometimes you’ll get stints of no power, no Wi-Fi, or no light whatsoever, but hey, that’s the price you pay for being on a paradise island. Life is good here.

I loved the muddy, non-paved roads that you had to trudge through to get anywhere that wasn’t on the beach.

Aside from the poor horses that serve as taxis for the fat tourists, I really didn’t have any qualms about this island. I was expecting something like Kuta 2.0 but got nothing close to that. Maybe it was because I went during low season in the middle of the week, but not once did I feel that I was robbed of an amazing experience by drunk Australian backpackers.

I will definitely be back, especially since I haven’t hit the other Gilis. We’ll see if the party is a bit crazier this time around.

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2 thoughts on “The Partying Traveler Takes On Notorious Gili Trawangan

  1. I am now seriously regretting missing out T when we visited the Gilis. You’ve definitely provided a good reason to go back though.

  2. I have heard a lot about Gili Trawangan however haven’t had the chance to visit it yet. The party scene doesn’t interest me much but the laid back vibe that you mention would be a big draw for me. Having the vast blue waters and the starry skies all to myself, just relaxing and taking it all in sounds like a really nice way to have a relaxing holiday.

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