Gili Trawangan, Indonesia
Gili Trawangan in Indonesia has long been a party island destination for backpackers and young travellers alike. There are no police on the island, so Gili T governs itself. Mushroom milkshakes are proudly advertised and you’ll be offered weed, often before you get to your hotel. It’s just that kind of place.
The main harbour has more bars and restaurants than you could visit in a lifetime let alone in one trip, with loud music pumping out of varying quality stereo’s and sound systems. This can all get a bit much, but if you grab a bicycle and head north you’ll find some great relaxed bars on the beach; one of which is the uber-chilled surrounds of Gilinta.
Gilinta is your classic beach bar made from bamboo with wurongs and banana lounges littering the beach front. They also have a number of beach huts out the back if you’re a budget conscious traveller wanting a quiet place to stay.
While most bars in the area have an identi-kit feel, the boys behind the bar are the real draw card. Like a demon cross between rastas, hair metal gods and snorkeling beach bums, they will warmly welcome you to their humble bar and restaurant.
The bar and food menu is extensive and all of it is good: if sometimes a little misguided. Some of the cocktails aren’t even correct, but they all taste good and the food is top notch. Do yourself a favour and order the homemade spring rolls and a caipirinha. If you’re feeling adventurous, ask for a mushroom milkshake and get one of the boys to roll you the world’s biggest spliff; they will be more than happy to oblige.
If you do indulge, go for a snorkel BEFORE you tune in and drop out. The snorkling out the front is damn good with neon coloured tropical fish, sea snakes, reef sharks and huge turtles. All in all, you could waste a fair portion of your holiday at this little bar. The Gilinta boys may just have found the ultimate island life, they have certainly created the ultimate Island bar.