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10 budget-friendly things to do in Gili Trawangan (Gili T)

Gili Trawangan, or Gili T for short, is a small island between Bali and Lombok. It is the biggest of the Gili Islands, and is known for scuba diving and its lively nightlife. It is only a 3-hour fast boat ride from Bali, and the perfect addition to your itinerary. Here you can learn how to scuba dive, snorkel with sea turtles, or simply paddle board around the beach. There is always something going on at night, so you’ll be sure to find a bar to enjoy a few Bintangs. I recommend checking out Sama Sama for live music and a great vibe!! 

After spending 3 weeks in Gili T, here are a few of my favorite budget-friendly things to do in Gili T

10 budget-friendly things to do in Gili T

1. Take a half-day boat trip around the 3 Gili Islands

Gili island boat

The Gili Islands are comprised of 3 small islands, Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, and Gili Air. While in Gili T you can book a boat day tour for around $10 USD to visit the other Gili Islands. On these tours, you can go snorkeling around corals, underwater statues, and even shipwrecks. 

2. Go snorkeling with sea turtles

I think you can find sea turtles on almost every beach in Gili T. But the best spot is called Turtle Beach, and clearly for a reason. Simply rent some snorkels (which you’ll find everywhere) and swim on the shore to spot plenty of sea turtles. Just be respectful of the turtles and give them their space. 

3. Chill at the beach

Chill at the beach

Simply put, just chill at the beach! The weather is hot, the sky is blue, and the best place to be is on a daybed in the sand with a Bintang in your hand. The beach is surrounded by local restaurants with lots of daybeds and beanbags to eat, drink, and chill.

4. Rent a bicycle and ride around the island

Bike around the island

Renting a bike and pedaling around the island is a cool way to see more of Gili T. And it is the main mode of transportation on the island! (Fun fact: there are no cars in Gili T!) Bike rentals are everywhere, and they usually rent them to you for 24 hours. The path around the island isn’t super smooth, but totally doable, and takes around 1-2 hours to complete. 

5. Go scuba diving

Scuba diving

There is no shortage of scuba diving centers where you can take a half-day scuba lesson or if you’re certified, you can go on fun dives. If it’s your first time, like it was for me, you’ll get a short lesson in the pool first, and then go out on the boat to a diving spot where you’ll get to scuba dive for about an hour and see lots of sea turtles and cool fish. I did my half-day scuba lesson with Sanctum Dive and totally loved the experience and the instructors!

6. Play some mini golf

Mini golf

If you like playing mini golf, you can play in Gili T too. It is the perfect activity to do around sunset or maybe even after dinner. Not a lot of people know about it so it’s not too busy, and you can enjoy a few beers while you play. The place is called Gili Golf.

7. Get a super cheap massage

Massage in Gili T

The best thing about Southeast Asia is how affordable massages are. So take advantage of that and get a cheap massage yourself. My favorites were 1-hour long foot massages, but their body massages are freaking great too. 1-hour massages start at around $10 USD.

8. Watch the sunset from Sunset Beach

Sunset from Sunset beach

The best place to watch the sunset is on the west side of the island. You could watch the sunset from any beach on that side, but I recommend Sunset Beach specifically. There are a few restaurants in the area and beanbags in the sand perfect to watch the sunset with a few drinks and snacks. Sunset on Gili T is usually around 6pm – 7pm. The best way to get there from the east side of the islands is by renting a bicycle, but you can also hire one of the horse carriages to take you.

9. Go paddleboarding


Another cool and budget-friendly thing to do in Gili T is paddleboarding. I rented a board for 1.5 hours for Rp 100,000 IDR [$7 USD]. The water is crystal clear and you can see the corals and sea turtles from above. The best part was jumping in the water after paddling for a while to cool down. Just be careful to not go too far from the island because the current between the islands is pretty strong.

10. Enjoy the nightlife on the east side of the island

Sama Sama
📍Sama Sama Bar

I couldn’t finish this budget-friendly blog without mentioning the nightlife of Gili T! There’s a party going on basically every night in Gili T. The best place to party is on the east side of the island, where the port is. On this strip, you’ll find many bars to hang out at night, each with its own vibe. From Rock n Roll Bingo Night at Lava Bar on Fridays OR signing up for a pub crawl at the Irish Bar, to live reggae music every night at Sama Sama and dancing the night away at Tequila Sunrise bar or The Jungle bar. And the best part is that drinks go from Rp 30,000 IDR [$2 USD] to Rp 100,000 IDR [$7 USD].

There are a lot more budget-friendly things to do in Gili T, but these are a few of my favorites and the ones I highly recommend adding to your itinerary.

And if you’re planning on visiting Bali as well, check out my 10 budget-friendly things to do in Bali and Budget-friendly 10-day itinerary in Bali.

Heads up: As a way to earn passive income, this post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you buy something through one of those links, I might get a commission at NO extra cost to you. I appreciate your support! 💕


March 31, 2023

  1. […] For more ideas on budget-friendly things to do in Gili T, read this blog post. […]

  2. […] are a lot of budget-friendly things to do in Gili T. You can actually read my blog post about it HERE. But my biggest expenses in activities came from a scuba diving lesson (which is a MOST DO when […]

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