Getting around on the island

 

There is no motorised transport on Gili Trawangan; bikes, walking and horse carts are the main means of transport.

Walk or use bicycles when you can, since the horses seem to labour under extreme conditions (little fresh water, sand and salt, etc.).

The Gili Eco Trust and other groups are investigating the situation and trying to put forward solutions so that the island can remain pollution-free and the horses enjoy a more comfortable existence.

Getting to Gili Trawangan

There're several ways to get to Gili Trawangan.

 

By Air

Fly into the Lombok International airport from Bali, Jakarta, Surabaya, Novosibirsk (Siberia), Singapore or Kuala Lumpur.
The IATA code for Bandara Internasional Lombok is (LOP).
Flight time from Bali to Lombok is 25-30 minutes, several carriers provide multiple daily services by both turbo-prop and 737 aircraft.

The airport is around 2 hours by car from the beach departure point at Bangsal or Teluk Nare/Teluk Kodek.

 

 

By road and boat from the airport to the Gili islands

 

1.Public boat from Bangsal on the west coast of Lombok. These are small wooden hulled ferries that operate from the beach at Bangsal on the mid north west coast of Lombok. It is a short water crossing to the islands, Gili Air is the closest to shore and Gili Trawangan is the furthest away.
These boats carry passengers and daily supplies to the islands. They only operate in daylight hours and passengers should arrive at the departure area no later then 4pm (16:00).

 

Fares are Gili Trawangan Rp10,000, Gili Meno Rp9,000, Gili Air Rp8,000.
Tickets are available in the older of the two large buildings at the beach and the ticket desk is inside in the rear left hand corner. Do not engage with any touts selling tickets outside and do not pay anymore then the rates quoted here. After purchasing the ticket you will see the rates are printed upon it.
Proceed to the beach and await an announcement that a boat is departing to your destination, only give the ticket to a collector nearby the boat, board the boat over the stern.
You may wish to prepare for the trip by placing anything of value in tightly closed waterproof plastic bags or a suitable waterproof container, secure your travel items at all times.
You will most likely wish to remove any footwear when boarding as it may become wet.
If anyone attempts to assist with your bag they are likely to then ask for an outrageous payment, to avoid this problem do not let people touch your bags unless they are very clearly identifiable as the boat operator or crew of the boat you are actually boarding.

 

2.Speedboat charter from Teluk Nare and Teluk Kodek on the west coast of Lombok (slightly south of Bangsal). This is a more expensive option and some operators (such as Dream Divers) have packaged a range of transfer options using a speedboat for the last leg to the islands. You can also just take a taxi or private car to the area and seek a transfer, avoid doing this after late afternoon as night time crossings are ill-advised for reasons of navigational safety.

 

3.Transfer Shuttle bus from the Lombok International Airport or Senggigi/Mangsit and then either the Public boat or a Speedboat as above. These are private services and should be organised prior to your arrival on Lombok.
Some hotels also provide transfers, these should also be arranged prior to your arrival on Lombok.

 

4.Private car and driver hire from anywhere on the island to Bangsal or Teluk Nare/Teluk Kodek.

 

5.Taxi, they are metered and all are airconditioned. (A taxi service fee of Rp17,500 must be paid at the airport).

 

6.Public Airport Bus provided by DAMRI, this goes as far as Senggigi on the west coast. Taxi, shuttle bus, car or boat charter provides the last leg onto the islands or to Telok Nare/Telok Kodek. Cost is Rp25,000 per person from the Airport to Senggigi or Rp10,000 from the Mandalika bus terminal on the eastern outskirts of the city to Senggigi.

 

Traditional wooden charter boat

Some visitors charter a traditional wooden boat from either Senggigi beach or Mangsit beach to reach the islands. These boat trips are good for a slow paced transfer and best utilised if you are available for an early morning beachside departure.
If chartering a traditional boat to get to the Gili islands it is a good idea to secure it for the day and use it to explore the coastline and the islands, perhaps with some snorkelling activities. The price for a full days use is normally the same as for a transfer only.

 

 

By Passenger and vehicle ferry from Bali and Sumbawa

 

You can also take the Vehicular/Passenger ferry. These are small ships that depart from Padang Bai on the east coat of Bali every hour 24hours 7days a week.

 

These rolll on roll off vehicle ferries carry the majority of the islands road freight. They also carry a large number of passengers, Fares are quite inexpensive and they only stop running in very inclement weather. If the Ferries stop running due to the prevailing weather conditions then the Fastboat services have certainly closed down, and Air services may also be effected, if not by the weather then by the extra loading arising from diverted Fastboat and Ferry passengers.

 

Facilities are basic, safety standards may alarm some travellers and the trip is slow (4-6 hours).

 

The harbour at both ends is problematic for travel touts and annoying baggage porters who often pester passengers relentlessly. It is best to book a point to point service unless up to dealing with the large number of pestering individuals that may be encountered. After arrival at Lembar continue to Bangsal using land transport. After that you can board a Public boat to Gili Trawangan or use one of the other options outlined above.

 

Some providers such as Perama tours offer services from a range of pick up points on Bali through to multiple destinations on Lombok, including the Gili islands.
Taxis and private car services may be available at the exit gate and can be booked.

 

Vehicle/passenger ferries also operate from Sumbawa to the east coast of Lombok. Transport options from there to Gili Trawangan require some advance planning. Public transport options are available but may be difficult to understand.

 

By Fastboat from Bali and Nusa Lembongan

 

You may also access the Gili Islands and Lombok by Fastboat services running across the Lombok strait from several departure points on the islands of Bali and Nusa Lembongan.
Both Bali and Nusa Lembongan are to the immediate of west of Lombok it's 3 small Gili islands.
A popular Fastboat departure point is Padang Bai. Other departure points are Serangan, Sanur, and Amed. 
The Fastboat services departing from there share the harbour with the larger vehicular ferries going to Lembar, a harbour on Lombok's south eastern coast
If you choose to travel by Fastboat to Gili islands, you will find several options to choose from. Generally the Fastboats are more expensive than any other option but they're much faster than the Vehicular ferries. Read their differences here.

 

It should be understood the Fastboats are only small craft with thin hull skins, powered by outboard petrol fueled engines and operating at high speeds when the weather permits.

 

These boats are not suitable for other than perfect weather conditions and there are issues concerning the operational and safety standards, some operators are worse than others in that regard.
The Lombok strait is an open water crossing and high winds, wind driven waves and large swells can occur on those waters. The Straits can at times be as smooth as a millpond, however less accommodating conditions may drive even larger shipping to seek a safe port refuge. Both Padang Bai and Lembar ports are sometimes closed due to adverse weather conditions. This is most likely to occur at the peak of the wet season.
Several Fastboat vessels have sunk or run onto beaches and reefs after becoming holed. They are entirely unsuitable for anyone with mobility issues, infants or those subject to severe motion sickness. The Fastboats should be avoided in poor weather conditions and approached with caution and careful scrutiny of both the vessel and operator at all other times. If you feel ill at ease with what you see, or if the boat appears to be overloaded or inexpertly crewed then perhaps consider seeking an alternative means of travel.

 

Several of the better known Fastboats include Gili Cat, BlueWater Express, Eka Jaya, Marina Srikandi and Gili-Gili and also others. They leave everyday from Bali to Gili Islands at a their respective schedule. Fast boat travel time is around 2 hours+ depending upon weather conditions.

 

Depending upon your departure location on Bali a long road trip may be required to get to the Fastboat departure point. If in the north look at options from Amed.
Be advised that the travel times over the sea from southern departure points can result in quite drawn out trip times, especially in poor weather conditions. If considering departing from Padang Bai a long road trip on the islands often congested may be required unless you are located nearby to the mid-east coast of Bali.

 

If in the southern areas of Bali an air trip may be more expedient.

BlueWater Express departs from Serangan harbour in South Bali and Padang Bai harbour. Gili Cat, Eka Jaya, Marina Srikandi depart from Padang Bai harbour. Gili-Gili departs from Benoa, Nusa Dua.