Archive for June, 2013

Gili Trawangan

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

Gili Trewangan cidomo

The job that was too good to turn down turned out to have a drawback or two. The main one being they wanted me to manage the dive centre on top of the instructor responsibilities. I didn’t want to do that so at the end of the three month trial we parted ways. It’s a shame because the diving was good, the staff were really nice and most of the guests were great.

I was looking forward to spending a whole year on Moyo but at the end of May found myself on Gili Trawangan instead, sampling the diving there before my visa expired. I could only stay a few days but managed to squeeze in ten dives in four days with Gili Divers. I would have done more but the weather wasn’t great for the last couple of days and many of the dive sites were inaccessible.

Gili Trawangan had one outstanding feature: no motorbikes. In fact there are no motorised vehicles at all on the island. Transport options are limited to bicycles, horse drawn carts and walking. And that’s fine because the island is only tiny. The horse drawn carts, cidomos, replace the ubiquitous tuk-tuks that feature elsewhere in Asia. They ply their trade mostly along the beach road and when you hear the horn you’d better jump out of the way or risk getting smacked by the yoke the horse is tethered to. I saw a runaway cidomo one lunch time racing down the road with a crowd of excited locals chasing it. More joined the chase from every bar or shop it passed. I didn’t see how it ended somewhere down the south end of the street. The cidomos are pretty superfluous really, you can walk from anywhere to pretty much anywhere else in less than 30 minutes. They could be useful on the day you arrive or depart if you have luggage which you don’t want to carry.

Another nice feature is there are no dogs. The beach isn’t bad and there are plenty of bars and restaurants. There are lots of places to stay, the better value ones are anywhere off the beach road. There are several ATMs and internet access available pretty much everywhere. There’s a good chance I’ll go back some day.