Bali is still the most popular destination in Indonesia, but Gili Trawangan, off the coast of Lombok, is right there behind it. A haven for backpackers, the tropical island paradise is home to some of the best dive sites in the world in addition to a well-developed tourism sector that's brought in hip bungalow retreats, yoga centres and top-notch food and drink options.
Gili Trawangan is a major destination for divers and snorkellers. Scores of local dive schools and shops are ready to get divers of all skill levels face-to-face with the tropical fish, sea turtles and manta rays that hang around offshore reefs. Gili is especially known for its large sea turtle population, and at the local hatchery, you can learn about the island's conservation efforts and watch hatchlings get released into the wild.
Gili Trawangan is no stranger to crowds. 'Gili T', as it's affectionately known, is famous for its party scene – thanks in part to a bustling main street lined with all manner of foodie hangouts, cocktail bars and musical entertainment. While you're here, be sure to set aside a night or two to visit the Trawangan Night Market, where you can sample the local cuisine.
Gili Trawangan is just one of the three Gili Islands, and isle-hopping is a great way to experience all of them. Wildlife-rich Gili Meno is refreshingly serene, while Gili Air's white-sand beaches and buzzy restaurants offer a nice balance between Trawangan and Meno.