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If you’re planning on heading to Indonesia, chances are, you’ve included Gili Trawangan on your itinerary. This little slice of paradise has been the go-to backpacker haven in Indo and continuously lives up to the expectations of travelers everywhere. As you probably know, Indonesia is made up of thousands of islands (over 17,000, to be exact), which can make travel slightly difficult. Fear not, we’re here to help you make your way from Lombok or Bali to the Gili Islands with ease!

 

Aerial view of Gili Trawangan
Aerial view of Gili Trawangan © Courtesy of Kirsten Joelle/Mad Monkey

 

About the Gili Islands

The Gili Islands are three islands off the coast of Lombok, east of the island of Bali. The Gilis are comprised of Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air. “Gili” literally translates to “island”. Famous for their white sand beaches, crystal-clear waters, and incredible coral reefs, the Gilis are a common stop for many backpackers. Gili Trawangan is the most developed of the three, measuring 3 kilometers long and 2 kilometers wide.

 

 

How to get to Gili Trawangan

There isn’t an airport on Gili Trawangan, so you’ll have to get there by boat. You can catch a boat from either Lombok or Bali with relative ease. If you’re heading to Gili Meno or Gili Air, these options will also bring you there. The following is a summary of your main options:

 

The Fast Boat to Gili Trawangan from Bali:

  • Route: Your accommodation in Canggu/Ubud → Drive to Padang Bai (1.5+ hours) → Fast boat to Gili Trawangan (1.5+ hours)
  • Travel Time: 4-5+ hours total including waiting time
  • Cost: from IDR 350,000 one way

 

Slow Boat to Gili Trawangan from Bali:

  • Route: Your accommodation in Canggu/Ubud → Drive to Padang Bai (1.5+ hours) → Slow boat to Lombok (4+ hours) → Taxi from Lembar Port to Bangsal Port (1.5+ hours) → Boat to Gili Trawangan (30+ minutes)
  • Travel Time: 10+ hours total including waiting time
  • Cost: from IDR55,000 one way (not including transport to Padang Bai or transport from Lembar Port to Bangsal Port)

 

Ferry to Gili Trawangan from Lombok:

  • Route: Drive to Bangsal Port (from Lombok airport: 2+ hours) → Boat to Gili Trawangan (30+ minutes)
  • Travel Time: 30+ minutes from Bangsal Port
  • Cost: from IDR 10,000 for the public ferry, from IDR 85,000 for a speed boat (not including drive to Bangsal Port)

 

Flight from Bali to Lombok + Boat:

  • Route: Your accommodation in Canggu/Ubud → Drive to Denpasar Ngurah Rai Airport (1.5+ hours) → Flight to Lombok (30 minutes) → Drive from airport to Bangsal Port (2+ hours) → Boat to Gili Trawangan (30+ minutes)
  • Travel Time: 7+ hours including waiting time
  • Cost: from IDR545,000 one way (not including transport to airport)

 

Mad Monkey Insider Tips:

Driving to Padang Bai and taking the fast boat is easily the most convenient option.

Depending on the season, some routes may not be running. We will update this post regularly, but it is best to always check with your accommodation or a travel agent for the latest information and schedules.

 

How to get to Gili Trawangan - Bali to the Gili Islands: How to Get to Gili Trawangan
Bali to the Gili Islands: Gili Trawangan © Courtesy of Kirsten Muolic/Mad Monkey

 

The Fast Boat to Gili Trawangan from Bali

Coming from Bali is generally the most common route, as Bali is the most popular destination in Indonesia. The easiest and quickest way to get there is to first make your way to Padang Bai Port on the central, east side of Bali. From Canggu, this will take about an hour and a half. From Ubud, this will take about an hour and fifteen minutes. The traffic on Bali can be horrendous, so be sure to give yourself a good enough time cushion in case it’s worse than usual.

From Padang Bai, you will take a “fast boat” to the Gilis. The pier where you will board your boat is right in front of the fast boat offices (Google Map search “Padgang Bai Fast Boat Harbour”) This journey will take around an hour and a half. These boats will also stop at the other Gili Islands, so listen to the announcements to ensure you get off at the right stop or ask an employee.

 

The Fast Boat to Gili Trawangan from Bali - Bali to the Gili Islands: How to Get to Gili Trawangan
Bali to the Gili Islands: Padang Bai Fast Boat Pier © Courtesy of Kirsten Muolic/Mad Monkey

 

How to Arrange Transportation from Bali to Gili Trawangan

The most convenient way to arrange your transportation from Bali to Gili Trawangan is to book through your accommodation or a travel agent. You can find tourist agencies along the streets of every popular town in Bali. Ask around for the best prices and negotiate. Prices will fluctuate depending on the season, as well. Purchasing a round trip ticket will generally cost you less than two one-way tickets and your return ticket is generally open. These tickets usually include pickup from your accommodation. This will usually be a minibus/van that will make numerous stops to pick up other travelers around Canggu, Seminyak and Kuta.

Alternatively, you can arrange your own ride to Padang Bai Port via a taxi, private driver, or ride sharing app like GoJek or Grab. This is more convenient, as you won’t have to leave as early since it’s a direct trip, but you’ll be paying extra. You can even buy your own boat ticket separately at one of the many boat company offices but prices aren’t always cheaper (Ekajaya advertises IDR550,000 one way, Blue Water Express advertises around IDR630,000 one way).

 

Cost:

From IDR350,000 (or $24USD) one way.

 

Best Company & Boat Schedule from Bali to the Gili Islands:

We recommend using Ekajaya, as they are the most reliable and timely. Ekajaya boats are scheduled to leave Padang Bai at 9 a.m., 12:30 a.m., and 1:30 p.m. daily — be sure to be at the dock about a half an hour early, even though the boats sometimes leave half an hour after their scheduled departure. The boats are fairly large and comfortable with air conditioning (usually). The top deck sometimes turns into a party, with music blasting and plenty of socializing. This trip takes about an hour and a half.

 

The Fast Boat to Gili Trawangan from Bali - Bali to the Gili Islands: How to Get to Gili Trawangan
Bali to the Gili Islands: Fast boat to Gili Trawangan © Courtesy of Kirsten Muolic/Mad Monkey

 

NOTE: The scheduled departure times are updated as of July 2022. This is subject to change and they sometimes add or remove departure times so confirm times with the company, your accommodation, or a travel agent.

 

Mad Monkey Insider Tips:

Remember that this is the island life. Prices and departure times aren’t set in stone. Our best advice is to go through your trusted accommodation, as they generally work with the same tourist agents and companies. Another alternative is to ask around — someone you meet might have the number to a guy who can get you a cheap ticket. It’s common practice in Bali to “have a guy”.

Depending on the season, some of the companies and routes don’t run. Check with your accommodation to confirm times and availability. Book at least a day in advance to ensure a spot. If you choose to buy the package deal that includes hotel pickup, the time they give you may change (read: it’s possible they might be really late, but they’ll almost always get you to the boat on time). If you get to the port early, there are multiple nearby warungs (local restaurants) to eat at before boarding.

 

Getting to Mad Monkey from the Gili Trawangan Pier:

Once you dock at Gili Trawangan Pier, you’ll find that there are no motorized vehicles on Gili T so all transportation is done by foot, by bicycle, or by horse cart. If you want to foot it and take in the stunning scenery, you can cut through the center of the island which will take around 30 minutes. From the Gili Trawangan pier, head north up the coast for 750 meters. Turn left onto Jalan Vila Kelapa (look for Blu d’a Mare) and head west for 1.5 kilometers. When you reach the beach, turn right. Mad Monkey is 2 minutes up the road.

If you follow the road around the island it would take around 45 minutes. To rent a bike it costs around IDR 50,000 (or $3.5USD) per day. A horse cart, otherwise known as a “cidomo”, costs around IDR 100,000-150,00 (or $7-$10USD).

 

Other Routes from Bali to the Gili Islands

Additionally, there are other ports in Bali you can depart from, although Padang Bai will be the quickest boat ride. There are daily boat transfers from Serangan, Sanur and Lembongan (the closest Nusa island off the east coast of Bali). If these ports are closer to your accommodation, you may want to consider these routes.

NOTE: Again, many of these routes have been cancelled because of Covid. Be sure to confirm the timetables with an agent or your accommodation.

 

Slow Boat to Gili Trawangan from Bali/Lombok to the Gili Islands

If the water is too choppy, some or none of the boat companies will run. In this case, or if you’re looking to take the cheapest transport option available, you can take the “slow boat”. There is a local ferry that leaves every 60 to 90 minutes daily from Bali to Lombok. The catch is that it’s quite a longer journey at around four to six hours one way. It’s also not as comfortable (you might not even get a seat), and usually more crowded. Not exactly for the faint of heart but it’ll probably wind up being quite an adventurous story to tell (or perhaps an incredibly long, boring one).

The slow boat will leave from Padang Bai; you can find the pier a bit south of where the fast boats leave from (Google Map search “Padang Bai Port”). This will eventually bring you to Lembar Port in Lombok. From here, you must take a taxi or other type of transport up to Bangsal Port (this will likely be included in your ticket if you book through a tourist shop). This drive will take around an hour and a half to two hours and may include extra stops. From Bangsal, you can take a public boat to Gili Trawangan (with stops to Air and Meno on the way), which will take around 30 to 45 minutes. There is also a speed boat, that costs a bit more.

 

Snorkeling at the underwater statues
Snorkeling at the underwater statues © Courtesy of Kirsten Joelle/Mad Monkey

 

How to Arrange Transportation from Bali to the Gili Islands

Again, you can either book at one of the many tourist shops around town, through your accommodation, or go to the port yourself. As with the fast boat, booking through an agent or your accommodation will usually include pickup and transportation to Padang Bai. You can arrange your own transportation to the port to avoid an earlier pickup with multiple stops, but this must be done separately and will cost you extra.

 

Cost:

Slow Boat from Padang Bai (Bali) to Lembar Port (Lombok):

  • From IDR40,000 ($2.90USD)

Public Boats from Lombok to the Gili Islands:

  • Bangsal to Gili Trawangan: IDR15,000 ($1USD)
  • Bangsal to Gili Meno: IDR13,000 ($0.93USD)
  • Bangsal to Gili Air: IDR10,000 ($0.71USD)

Speed Boat from Lombok to the Gili Islands:

  • From IDR85,000 ($6USD)

 

Gili T Sunset
Gili T Sunset © Courtesy of Kirsten Joelle/Mad Monkey

 

Flight from Bali to Lombok

Alternatively, you can take a flight from Bali’s Denpasar airport (Ngurah Rai) to Lombok International Airport. This ~25 minute flight is quick and easy and prices start around $20USD. Lombok International Airport is located near the city of Praya and you’ll have to take a taxi or private car to Bangsal Port. This will take approximately 2 hours and prices for a taxi (we recommend Bluebird taxi!) start at around IDR250,000 ($18USD).

From here, you can take the public boats or speed boats from Bangsal Port to the Gili Islands (prices listed above). If you arrive after 4:30 p.m., you might miss the last of the public and speed boats. In this case, you can either stay the night in Lombok or it’s possible to charter a private boat to the Gilis.

 

 

Where to Stay on Gili Trawangan

If you want to see the best of the island, stay at the beautiful Mad Monkey Gili Trawangan beachfront property on the sunset side! We’ve got daily events and tours, including our Monkey Sea, Monkey Do snorkel trip where we bring you to the best spots on the Gilis! We also host the most epic pool parties on the island and have a stunning infinity pool to lounge in and meet new friends! Book your bed in paradise today!

 

Mad Monkey Gili T pool
Mad Monkey Gili T © Courtesy of Kirsten Joelle/Mad Monkey

 

More information about how to get from Bali to the Gili Islands:

Are you currently in Indonesia and planning on making your way from Lombok or Bali to the Gili islands? Are you looking for more details about how to get to these beautiful islands? Check out these other articles with more helpful tips on how to get to the Gilis:

 

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About the Author

Mad Monkey is Southeast Asia’s leading hostel operator — born in Cambodia with more properties in Thailand, Indonesia, Australia, Laos, and the Philippines. We pride ourselves in creating meaningful and sustainable travel experiences for our guests, whilst promoting socially responsible tourism.