Magu Bee at World's End

A travel blog of one crazy Magu Bee traveling the globe.

Gili T is like no other place, that's for sure!

Hi guys,
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Only about two hours away from Bali (depending on how fast - expensive- your boat is), this petite island is a paradise for chillaxing, listening to reggae, smoking, snorkeling and diving. I've heard the NYE is something else in this place and I definitely plan on experiencing that..

I bought my fast boat ticket to get to Gili T in Kuta Bali. The prices vary tremendously, I paid 250k rupiah (~30$) which seemed a decent enough price (the first I've heard was around 450k, if I'm not mistaken)

It was the first time in my life on a so-called paradise island and I got the chills the moment we arrived on Gili T's shore.

The colour of water was hypnotizing.

The island's small but there's a lot of accommodation types available. Being a budget traveller I opted for a homestay (can honestly recommend Pondo Rico, run by an Indonesian and his Czech girlfriend). 

Of course the moment you reach shore, there'll be locals waiting for you, offering "the best and cheapest" rooms available. I had a recommendation of a place from someone who'd been to the island before and therefore I also knew the price I could get. There's no good map of the island that I know of (apart from the hotels and restaurants by the shore, there's not much that could be of use or interest to a tourist), so had to ask around for the place. First, I was told I'd have to take a horse carriage (on Gili T the only vehicle you can get is a bicycle or the beforementioned horse carriage), as it was supposed to be far away. Hard to believe when on an island that can be walked around in less than an hour.. Then, I was offered different rooms with different prices but was still telling people I already had a place in mind, just needed someone to show me the way to get there. After around 10 minutes locals changed their attitude and decided to work with me. I said I could pay 75k for two people, as that's what the other place was offering and found myself following one of them to see a "nice room" for exactly that price (the first price he quoted was around 120k I think). Luckily for everybody - his business and my wallet - the place really was nice! Spacious, clean, good fan and a very decent Western style toilet (it was the only place that I stayed at which had a shower courtain!).

A great first day on Gili T?
Find your accommodation, go on a walk along the shore and find a bar with a bunk bed in front of it, under one of the trees. Listen to Bob Marley (you'll find him everywhere at any given time on Gili T, that's why I call it the Jamaica of SEA), sip on your drink of choice and read a book (or an Indonesian dictionary, which I did) glancing at the amazingly turqoise water from time to time, just to make sure you're really there (and not in your bed back home imagining things).

As Gili T is becoming more and more popular among tourists, there's also a lot of construction work going on.
One of the things I really liked was an open air cinema one of the restaurants would turn into every night. The road's to your left, the ocean's to your right and you're lying on the beach enjoying one movie after another.
There's also another restaurant which serves as a cinema, although you lay down "inside" it, not on the beach. The same place has also a couple of cute "private cinemas" - small booths for two people max, with a TV set and a DVD player. Outside the booth there's a long list of (pirat copy) DVDs they have for you to choose from. Your ticket is your consumption - you have to order for at least 30k and you're all set to enjoy your movie. Sometimes, if your neighbour's player/DVD is of better quality, it'll be playing so loud that you'll be watching two movies in the price of one (praised be the mixture of Shrek and Salt..).

One fine morning I set off to ride around the island, although walk-around-it-leading-your-bike-by-your-side-cause-there's-too-much-sand would be more like it. It's amazing that in such a small, yet full of tourists place 10 minutes away from the 'city center' are enough to find deserted beaches and enjoy this beauty all by yourself.

Well, enjoy it with the occasional goat by your side.

Another curious thing about Gili T is that nobody's even trying to hide the fact that they're smoking ganja or taking magic mushrooms. Ok, maybe not that surprising for people travelling the region (it's no mystery that in SEA a lot of backpackers and locals alike enjoy one kind of a drug or another ) but still quite uncommon to be so frank about it. Especially that the first thing you see when you land on Bali is a huge ban informing you that drugs are illegal in Indonesia and drug trafficing is under death penalty. Of course, Kuta Bali is a huge drug market (with some locals scouting for tourists wanting to buy those and the moment they find a buyer, they report them straight to the police, so both of them can get really good bribes) but it's all kind of hushed. On Gili T however, restaurants advertise the fact that they can offer you magic mushrooms (they come under many different forms - as shakes, teas, on a pizza..).

For the longest time, no idea why, I had this dream (well, too strong a word, maybe desire would be a better fit) of enjoying my dinner in a swimming pool. I got my wish in one of the hotel restaurants and I have to admit it was one of the best tasting burgers in my life ;) 
(Entrance to the pool by non-guests is to be paid for but if you order food at their bar, you skip that fee. Also, the lunch price for the burger is really budget-friendly - 15k, almost same price as their soft drinks. My tip: try speaking some of your Indonesian with the waiter, you just might get a free drink.)

That picture is going to be my wall paper one day (the day I have my own place, that is).

My last evening on Gili T before setting off on a trek on Lombok.

Your first and last stop on Gili T - its harbour (well, sort of).

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