Gili Trawangan Bars & Nightlife
All around Gili Trawangan you will find great places to have a cocktail, mocktail or ice-cold beer while taking in the picturesque views. Some provide beanbags, sun lounges and umbrellas. Depending on your preference, you can hang out in 'Sentral' – the busiest part of Gili T, with an array of funky bars, most playing popular music, or walk or cycle to the south, west and northern parts of the island to one of the more secluded beach lounges for a cool drink in relative peace and quiet.
MAIN BEACH STRIP
A favourite spot during the day for tourists is the glorious Pearl of Trawangan Beach Lounge, where for a minimum spend of 100,000Rp (less than $10 AUD or USD based on current exchange rates at the time of writing) you can relax on the beach in a comfy sunbed, and enjoy free Wi-Fi and waiter service and also use the extra large pool situated in their expansive gardens. Pearl of Trawangan is located just out of 'Sentral' on the beach next to Villa Ombak.
The Beach House in Sentral is a favourite meeting place where tourists and resident expats alike like to meet up for some of the best cocktails on the island, and arguably the coldest beer. Of recent times, they have installed a number of TVs for those missing their favourite sporting events.
Kokomo, as well as being a fine dining establishment, also offers excellent cocktails and a good wine list in a stylish atmosphere.
Horizontal is a Bali style uber groovy lounge, shisha bar and restaurant, playing cool tunes throughout the day and evening, situated a little to the north, but still in the busy area of the island. It offers luxurious décor in the shisha lounge, and plentiful beachfront tables and relaxing sunbeds. Their seafood barbeque is fresh and delicious.
Not too far past Horizontal, also towards the north, you will find Flush Bar & Bungalows, another relaxed beach bar with beanbags, umbrellas and great snacks at reasonable prices.
In the south we like Sunset Paradise Bar, where the cocktails are great and you can also enjoy the spectacular sunsets. It is situated next to the helipad and on most nights fire dancers will entertain you.
On the western side our all time favourite is The Exile, a groovy secluded beach bar usually playing cool reggae or popular tunes, with beanbags, the best sunset views and if you're lucky and arrive by 5pm, you may catch some of the local Rastafarian musicians giving a drumming performance on the beach.
For those preferring a more sophisticated experience and a special cocktail at sunset, continue another hundred metres or so past The Exile to Ombak Sunset, a five star resort with expansive beach bar.
For those wanting to experience the quieter side of Gili Trawangan, and chill out on the beach away from the main tourist centre, take a bike ride or a 20 minute walk to the north of the island where you'll find some relaxing bars dotted along the beach, where peace and quiet is the order of the day. We like to unwind at Coral Beach I, Lutwala Dive, Kama Kayak and Wilsons Retreat. There is also great snorkelling on the northern tip of the island.
The island has a small number of live music venues where a variety of great local musicians play reggae, classic rock and popular tunes. The most popular is Sama Sama reggae bar, which offers live music nightly and a variety of bands, playing both reggae and popular music. Also very popular with reggae fans is Coral Beach II, a little towards the north. This relaxed beach bar plays host to some of the best reggae bands around, but you will need to check their schedule.
Party party party
Gili Trawangan offers the best of all worlds. Whilst there are still many places to escape the throng and wile away some hours on a secluded beach, the island is also well known as being the Party Island, and for good reason. 'Party Nights' happen on a rotational basis. At the time of writing, the schedules are: Monday night: Blue Marlin, Tuesday night: Trawangan Bar, Wednesday night: Tir Na Nog (also known as the Irish Bar), Friday night: Surf Bar, Saturday night: Sama Sama Reggae Bar and Sunday Night: Evolution.
The Surf Bar also runs a full moon party and a dark moon party each month. All venues are close enough to the villa to walk, but far enough away as to not disturb. Tir Na Nog (Irish Bar) also has DJs and dancing nightly until late.