gili trawangan, indonesia

gili trawangan is the largest of three small and fairly undeveloped islands off the west coast of lombok. gili trawangan is the most developed of the gili islands and was made popular by all night beach parties. the island has no motorized vehicles so people get around by foot, bicycle or horse-cart; and you can pretty much get around the entire island in less than hour.

we stayed at an incredible villa called hari puri, at the southern end of the main strip of restaurants, bars and lodging. the perfect location really, close enough to the action, yet still quiet and not in the thick of it. the villa has 5  bedrooms, four open-air bathrooms, and easily sleeps 10-14 people. apart from the bedrooms the entire villa is open, with along deck lining side facing the beach. the deck has two sitting areas, plus a long table in the center. there are also three single room guesthouses behind the villas, perfect for a couple.

the groundskeeper, nans, is incredibly sweet. he had the fridge stocked with beer and drinks for us when we arrived. sets up an incredible breakfast spread with french press coffee, tea, fruit, and eggs or crepes to order. he did all the coordinating for us to go snorkeling, rent bikes, and horse-carts. and if you give him a day’s notice he’ll cook you grilled fish, satay, gado-gado and other indonesian staples for dinner.

at low tide the beach is quite rocky and full of coral but there are tons of hotels around the island that have pools. we stumbled upon the ombak sunset hotel, on the west side of the island, and spent hours in the pool enjoying happy hour and watching the sunset! the island also has a sea turtle hatchery where you can go look at the baby turtles.

you can get to the gilis easily from bali by fast boat. there is no shortage of companies, just be sure to do your research and make sure they’re not overfilling the boats and have life jackets for everyone. we went with an australian company called blue water express and had a great experience.

its my goal to get back here to celebrate my 30th!

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from bad to worse to amazing!

i should preface this story by saying that if i don’t eat i get extremely hangry (thats hungry-angry), unable to reason with, and stop laughing at jokes. while we were in indonesia i had one of those afternoons that had to be some kind of test to see just how hangry i could really get.

had a wonderful morning snorkeling with sea turtles and admiring coral reefs and neon fish. stopped at a little island called gili air for lunch on the beach at gogo restaurant and bar. i made the seemingly safe decision of ordering their house specialty: grilled fish with rice. this was a mistake. not only did my food come out after every single person had finished eating and their plates were getting cleared, it was gross when it did. i have no problem eating a whole fish, head and skin still on but this was not okay. it looked so unappetizing i had to cover the head with vegetables, ate one bite and called it a day.

i was pretty annoyed and hangry but brushed it off. at the recommendation of the rest of our group i went to beach cafe on gili trawangan for lunch, take 2. again taking the “safe” route i ordered indonesian food: balinese style chicken with rice. it looked delicious and as i excitedly cut into it i realized that the chicken was half raw, literally. this definitely pushed me to the edge of a breakdown, i sent it back (actually my gf sent it back because i wanted to throw the plate across the room), immediately cancelled my order and just about stormed out.

luckily we had a delicious lunch the day before so in a moment of desperation i went back kokomo for my second lunch in a row. needless to say, i finally got some properly cooked food and became a rational, laughing person again. thank you kokomo for an amazing burger that saved me from having my gf break up with me and making all my friends hate me! not to mention the view from the restaurant makes you feel lik a celebrity on holiday who’s just missing the paparazzi entourage.

the burger: perfectly cooked beef patty, halumi, pancetta, tomato, with fries and garlic mayo. ended it off with an affogato and waited out the tropical rain.