I wrote this summary of Gili Trawangan nightlife (Lombok) after spending 3 nights there in May 2017.

I had not visited the island in almost 10 years, and yet it didn't change much. It is just a bit more crowded, more expensive and dirtier. 

Most visitors are young Westerners between 20 and 30 years old. Among them, many are couples on their honeymoon or backpackers on a 6-month Southeast Asia tour. The latter aren't as numerous as in Bali or Thailand, probably because of the prices (overall you'll spend twice as much in the Gili's). They tend to stay for a short period of time only, on their way to other parts of Indonesia. The ones who stay longer usually work in diving centers and form the only real expat community on the island.

Meeting girls on Gili Trawangan
I was surprised by the number of single Western girls on Gili Trawangan. If I had to give a figure, I would say that the ratio Girls-to-Guys is around 60-to-40. You will actually see more couples Western Girls-Indo Guys than Western Guys-Indo Girl.

Naturally, there aren't any difficulties to meet them. Ideally, try to chat a few girls during the day (on the boat, at your hotel, on the beach, etc), and then ask them out for partying in the evening. I found this method to be the most effective as it allows you to establish trust faster.

If you are looking forward to meeting with Indonesian girls, you will be disappointed. The few I saw during my stay were all accompanying a guy. There were a few prostitutes too (I guess) in Rudy's Pub.

The online dating scene is poor. Only Tinder works well.

Hotels Near the Nightlife

The nightlife in Gili Trawangan is concentrated on the Southeastern coast of the island between the Pier and the Villa Ombak. Unless you want to stay in a secluded area (North of Gili T.), it is best to choose a hotel within 500 meters from the Pier. You'll be able to walk straight to your hotel as you arrive by boat, and you'll have a convenient access to bars, clubs, restaurants, shops and travel agents.

Generally speaking, the mid-range accommodations are located North of the Pier, the luxury ones in its South and the cheapest guesthouses 2 or 3 streets deep into the island.

These are recommended hotels walking distance from Gili Trawangan nightlife:
- Scallywag Resort (Rated 8.8 on Agoda): 110$ per night (it has its own bar and a nice private beach but you might hear the music from the clubs at night)
- Villa Almarik (Rated 8.2 on Agoda): 90$ per night (in front of a snorkeling spot)
- Natya Hotel (Rated 8.4 on Agoda): 70$ per night
- The Beach House (Rated 8.0 on Agoda): 40$ per night to 130$ per night for villas
- Corner Hideaway Bungalow (Rated 8.0 on Agoda): 20$ per night

For backpackers (dorms), the best ones are Gili Castle and Broken Compass. Both have a pool bar where you can meet other travelers easily.

Best Bars and Nightclubs in Gili Trawangan
All the main bars and clubs in Gili Trawangan are pretty much next to each other, on the 500-meter beachside road that runs from the Pier to the Villa Ombak.

Alcohol is cheap by Indonesian standards, but you can expect that a high percentage of the alcohol sold is fake. Personally, I avoided cocktails/spirits and stuck to beers. Also, marijuana and mushroom sellers are everywhere and it is normally safe to buy from them (you may want to read How Dangerous Is It to Buy Drugs in Indonesia).

These are the main nightlife venues in Gili Trawangan (Lombok):

Jiggy Bar and Club
Photo from Jiggy's Boat Party (check their facebook for more)
Jiggy is one of the cheapest places to party in the Gili's (and Lombok). From 8.30 PM to 11.30 PM, they have a crazy happy hour with small Bintang priced at IDR15,000 and shots at IDR10,000. You can also choose their all-you-can-drink option at IDR150,000 for 3 hours.

Other than that, it has a nice set-up, inside a traditional bamboo hut, with psychedelic posters and a busy bar on the side. Hip-hop/Old School music. There is a beer pong tournament every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Mushrooms are sold literally just in the corner of the bar.

Jiggy is also the organizer of a weekly boat party. You can buy your tickets online starting 19$ (girls): http://boatpartygili.com/

Facebook: Jiggy

Evolution Bar
A rather large bar on two floors with live music or DJs, beer pong and sushis. Not the most crowded venue unless they have a special event. Happy hour all day on selected cocktails (buy 1 at IDR85,000 and get 1 free). They also have chairs outside on the sands. Large screen with football.

Facebook: Evolution

Sama Sama Reggae Bar
Unlike its name would suggest, they don't play reggae every night. Instead, the music, live or from a DJ, is often Top 40 (old and current hits). It looks quite rundown, but it is popular nonetheless, especially with Western girls. A small Bintang costs IDR35,000 and a cocktail IDR55,000. There are bungalows in the back (Sama Sama Bungalows).

Facebook: Sama Sama

Ombak Bar
This bar/nightclub was busy later in the evening. They have both an indoor and an outdoor area with a small sound system directly installed on the beach. Music was the same as everywhere in the Gili's (Top 40, retro, old skool). Happy hours from 7 PM to 10 PM with cocktails at IDR40,000.

Facebook: Ombak Bar

New Rudy's Pub
Don't tell my mom I'm drinking fake alcohol?
One of the largest and oldest pubs in Gili Trawangan. They added "New" to their name because a 19-year old from Perth died from methanol poisoning in 2013, from a drink that was possibly sold there. It has an older crowd, including diners who come to watch the live band. At 11 PM, half of them will be on the dancefloor. They sell mushrooms.

Site of their hotel: New Rudy's

Lava Bar
A small bar with a diver and backpacker crowd (many guests from the Gili Beach Bum Hostel). Small Bintang IDR25,000 and spirit + mixer IDR40,000. Old school and hip hop music (DJ).

Tir Na Nog Irish Bar
A foreign-owned bar with a happening Wednesday night (but quiet the rest of the week). Excellent happy hours from 4 PM to 9 PM (Bintang for IDR23,000). Ladies night on Sundays (Half-price cocktails). Other than that, you have the usual live music, DJ events, quiz nights, pub food and sports on TV.

Facebook: Tir Na Nog

Sunset Spots on Gili Trawangan
I was not very lucky with sunsets as I had rain every late afternoon. One place that I can recommend though is the Exile (part of the Exile Hotel). It is a bit isolated but perfect for your girl's Instagram pics (a bit overhyped, you'll have to queue for a while to take your pic on a swing). Bongo beats in the background.

Facebook: The Exile

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