Getting To The Gili Islands From Bali Unscathed

Getting To The Gili Islands From Bali Unscathed
| 2 min read

The mental rumblings of what may be involved with a trip to Gili Trawangan, where you are going so as to up both your party and relaxation game, may be faint. Or, you may meet someone in a bar on Bali the night before. “Oh, you’re going to one of the Gili Islands tomorrow, are you? I suggest you call it a night in that case,” says the tipsy reveler. For, you see, there’s a lot of motion on the ocean.

Paradise at hand!

getting to the gili islands from bali unscathed | paradise at hand!

After what was most likely a tight squeeze of a one and a half hour shared van ride from your hotel, you arrive at Padang Bai. Here, you will have a few moments to appreciate the sea beyond, and also scope out what boat you will ride to the Gili Islands. Rest assured that, while they are not cruise ships, the fast boats (don’t even think about taking a non-fast boat) to the Gili Islands are bigger than the ones pictured above.

The boat operators will have you check in at a desk ever-so-conveniently located inside a nearby restaurant, where you will of course then be encouraged to buy somewhat overpriced food and drinks. Stay focused on the prize: Even though there are hassles and discomforts on the road to the Gili Islands, it’s worth it once you get there and behold the beauty.

Off we go!

getting to the gili islands from bali unscathed | off we go!

Sure, it’s a little dark and stuffy inside, and the seating is not particularly spacious, but there is a fan! Oh, and if you look carefully, you may even find a first aid kit! On board services are nil, though you will have plenty of opportunities to buy over-priced snacks and under-chilled beverages from the aggressive hawkers on the pier pre-departure. You are permitted to bring your own snacks and drinks, and you probably should do so.

Uh-oh. The waves are picking up.

getting to the gili islands from bali unscathed | uh-oh. the waves are picking up.

Those with window seats (first come first serve, as it is open seating) will get more fresh air, but probably also a splash or two. Those in the interior - yes, those people getting suspiciously quiet - will most likely be thinking of happier places, searching for horizon lines to stay their stomachs that are all aflutter, or possibly just meditating. However it works out, there are plastic bags at the ready. The bad news is that sea sickness is often contagious.

Welcome to the New World. Now get off the boat!

getting to the gili islands from bali unscathed | welcome to the new world. now get off the boat!

Spilling on to the beach, you will head to baggage claim (that’s the pile of bags in the middle of the beach), happy you made it without incident or embarrassment. Because you did, right? Ultimately, once you got in your groove, the one and a half hour boat ride wasn’t so terrible after all.

Fast Boat services are available from travel agents and hotels all around Bali. Shop around for best prices, as the quality of services really doesn’t vary much.

Now for the final leg of your journey

now for the final leg of your journey

If your hotel is close to the boat landing, you can just walk it, but for some of the further flung hotels, resorts, and guest houses, a horse-drawn cart is recommended. All vehicles in the Gilis are of the one horsepower variety, as the gasoline type are prohibited. But, really, once you’ve rid yourself of heavy luggage, nearly everything is walkable.

Getting there is, thankfully, not always half the adventure

Unless by “adventure,” you are being euphemistic, it’s probably safe to say that you are going to have a much better time ON the Gili Islands than getting to them. Best to wear flip-flops for the boat crossing, since, as a general rule, getting on and off boats in the Gili Islands means walking through a bit of shallow ocean. All joking aside, the sailings are sometimes “discomfort bag” free. It really depends on the season, and perhaps on your luck!

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


Get Trip101 in your inbox

Unsubscribe in one click. See our Privacy Policy for more information on how we use your data

Kevin is a passionate writer and the visionary behind Pinpoint Traveler, a travel planning venture. Although born in the United States, he decided to live abroad. Having resided in Japan for nearly...Read more

 Want to contribute as a Local Expert?
Explore Gili Trawangan
Good things are meant to be shared!
Back to top