You jump off the fast boat, you feel the sand on your feet and hear the bells of push bikes and horses. You’ve made it to Gili T. This island is like nothing else you’ll find in SE Asia. There are absolutely no motor vehicles on the island (even the army rides around on push bikes – which looks as funny as it sounds) everyone here is so thoughtful and kind and I can honestly say it’s my favorite spot that we visited on this trip. There’s really something for everyone, families, party animals, health nuts, divers, they’ve got you covered. I dream about going back to Gili T all of the time because it is such a fun and special place. If this spot isn’t on your list, add it and thank me later.
Welcome Inn – This was a recommendation from two girlfriends and I absolutely loved my stay here. The staff was incredibly kind and brought breakfast to our room each morning. They will give you recommendations on spots to eat, as well as get you a bike to take around the Island. There are only 4-5 guesthouses and they are so spacious. Since we were here for about 6 nights, it was really nice to have a room with plenty of space. It was also in a great location, but it’s kinda hard not to be on this island since it’s so small. But it was super close to a bunch of shops, the main strip of the beach, and the market. I absolutely loved staying here, but if it’s booked or you’re looking for some other suggestions these were also recommended to us by friends or are spots we saw on Instagram (aka Le Pirate).
Other places to stay:
Villa Marina – if you’re in a group this is the place to stay
Le Pirate Beach Club – honestly we looked at these “villas” and they are beyond basic. Most of them don’t even have a private bathroom and they’re very expensive. if you’re staying here it’s to post about it on Instagram. Nothing wrong with that AT ALL! but you can get a lot more band for your buck at the Welcome Inn, which I think is also super cute.
The Banyan Tree – I loved the banyan tree. I dream about it often. They have the best avocado toast I’ve ever had in my life (add poached eggs and make it a breakfast dish) raw desserts, and it’s just a really beautiful spot to hang out it.
Pearl Lounge – This is great if you’re looking to treat yourself. Good food with a higher price point. It’s the perfect spot to take in the sunset and really enjoy the views that Hili has to offer
Kayu Cafe – Smoothie bowls! Excuse my excitement but this was the first spot on our trip that I found a true Acai bowl and the basic bitch inside of me was bursting with excitement. This is another great spot for healthy treats and organic beauty products. They also have coconut oil with these spill-proof lids which would make it perfect for your suitcase. At this point, we had already stocked up on the coconut oil, but if we hadn’t I would have grabbed it from here.
The Night Market – I love the night market. It really is a true Bali experience that you have to do. Line up and wait for your favorite foods, add the sweet brown sauce to everything, and make sure you sit at your booths communal table. They will kick you out or move you if you’re at the wrong one. After we ate here once and found the good booth to come check out (you’ll know it as it’s the one towards the center and always has the longest line) we came back every night.
Scallywags – We came here a few times and loved it. The vibe is super fun and the food is awesome, they also offer a seafood and salad buffet to really make it worth your while
Drink: Lemon Bintangs – These lemon raddlers are what dreams are made of. I have yet to find one back in Canada and wish I had one all through the summer.
3 Island Snorkel Tour – This was a really fun day. It’s a half day tour and they bring you to all 3 of the Gili islands with a break in between for lunch. It’s so much fun to get to see and explore the other islands if you’re not planning on staying on them and it’s a great way to meet people as well.
Bike around the island – this is kind of a no-brainer considering the only way to get around this island is by bike. It’s a great way to get around and explore but be careful on the busy streets. People tend to walk slowly and with no purpose ( because hello this is paradise) so you will have to make use of your bell to warn them you’re zooming by.
Tip: don’t drive your bike to the bar. Just don’t do it. It takes an extra 5-10 mins to walk and then you don’t have to worry about the bikes. Our friends from the island brought their bikes out to a bar, locked them up somewhere, got drunk, and completely forgot where they put them. It took them 3 days to find the bikes but my god was it hilarious watching them try.
Sunset – Do yourself a favor and take in as many Gili sunsets as you can because they are unlike anything else. Brightly colored, and clear as can be, these sunsets are legendary.
There is honestly some unreal shopping on this island. Below are a few of my fave spots.
Abdi Market – Amazing bikinis and unique clothes. The Shop owner makes some of the clothing herself and it’s so pretty and boho inspired. I got a maxi wrap dress that looks like it’s Spell and the Gypsy for a fraction of the cost. Plus, the best part of shopping on vacation is when people ask when you’re clothes are from you can say “I picked this up in Bali”
Infinity – Another great shop with really cute clothing. The real prize here is the jewelry. Rachel the owner sources all of the crystals and stones herself and then she and her husband hand make the jewelry. She can also make custom pieces for you and is honestly one of the sweetest people ever. I also love the story of how she ended up on Gili. She came to the island while traveling and loved it so much she never left. She’s now married to a local and has the cutest daughter who can also be found running around the shop.
Izzy Darling – I wanted to take home everything from this shop. This tiny shop was filled to the brim with accessories and home decor. Pick up the coconut soap and a silver tin for storage — so cute and a great keepsake and the tassel keychains. They have these all over Bali but I really loved the colors and toppers on these ones.
I hoped you all liked this post about my favorite island on earth, Gili T. Like always, if there is something you think I missed or if you have any questions drop them in the comments below!