Living The Gili Island Life, Sunshine Dreamer Style

30 July 2014

The largest of the three Gili Islands, Gili Trawangan is well worth the boat trip from Bali if you like the idea of bunking down in a bungalow or snorkelling among the sea turtles. "Sunshine Dreamers" and enviable Instagrammers Aaron and Ashleigh recently discovered what life on Indonesia's Gili Trawangan is like. Spoiler alert: it's all sun, sea and serenity.

"Don't expect to pull into a dock or a jetty when arriving to Gili Trawangan, and definitely don't wear any shoes! Our boat anchored in the sand and we stepped straight into the ocean before making our way down the cobbled path to our beach bungalow.

The atmosphere was instantly carefree. There are no cars or scooters on The Gilis; just bicycles and horse and cart taxis. After grabbing a fresh watermelon shake and putting our bags down, we hired bicycles for $5 each and rode towards Sunset Point. The view was so spectacular we stayed all afternoon, sipping cocktails as we watched the sun go down.

 Sunset Point offered an incredible island welcome

Our beach bungalow was located on the North East side of the island, home to the best sun bathing and snorkelling beach on Gili Trawangan. You probably wont spot a sea turtle here, simply because there's so much going on in the water: stand up paddle boarding, kayaking, and moored fishing boats included. The beach is excellent for swimming during high tide, with a large stretch of soft sand under the water.

 Boats docked on the island's North East beach

The best snorkelling on ALL of the Gili Islands can be found at Gili Meno – it has the clearest sparkling, secluded waters. We paid around $90 to a lady who worked at our hotel and she arranged for her uncle to take us out in his fishing boat for the day.

It was just the two of us along with three locals. They took us to some magical spots around Gili Meno and Gili Air. We spied shipwrecks, eerie drop-offs, colorful coral reef, and large schools of flying fish flitting over the surface of the water. The highlight of our day, and definitely of our entire holiday, was spotting a wild sea turtle. We actually got to frolic in the water with this little dude for about half an hour!

 Meeting the underwater locals

Most of our evenings centred around watching the sunset. There is no way we could eat at EVERY restaurant during our stay so, in order to try as many different places as possible, we would start our evening with some drinks and an entree at one place, then go elsewhere for dinner.

We didn't have a single bad food experience across the three islands – the seafood couldn’t have been any fresher or the beers and cocktails any colder. It was so hard not to go back to the same place more than once!

 Kayaking between the Gili Islands

We'll definitely be going back to The Gili Islands and, when we do, we will stay on Gili Meno. One of our days was spent hiring a kayak and paddling there from Gili T. When we arrived, we left our kayak under a tree near the shore and explored the entire island in just over an hour, stopping off at little shanty bars and huts along the way. Meno is the quietest of all three islands with hardly any tourists to be seen. In other words, pure island paradise!"

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About "Sunshine Dreamers" Aaron & Ashleigh

A boy and a girl just chasing summer - when Aaron and Ashleigh aren’t travelling, they work with children as youth workers. “Every day is a new adventure” is the motto they live by. They will take any chance to have an adventure, whether it be a two week trip to a tropical island or a small day trip to one of the many beautiful beaches closer to home in Newcastle, NSW. Aaron and Ashleigh live to explore and love documenting their amazing experiences.

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