Gili Trawangan is a gorgeous island paradise just off the coast of Lombok. There are three Gili islands: Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air. We travelled to Gili via a fast boat from Lombok Island. The entire island was surrounded by beautiful blue waters and beaches with pristine white sand. Coral was quite visible during low tides since it is protected to preserve the island's original beauty. 

The island doesn't allow motorized or electric vehicles, so we were taken to our hotel by a horse-drawn taxi, meeting a steady stream of other such taxies and many visitors on bicycles along the way. The tree-lined street we travelled paralleled the beach and was geared to tourists with many hotels, bars, shops and restaurants. Some empty lots were filled with rubble, a reminder of the devastating earthquake of the year before. 

The impressive entrance to our Aston Sunset Beach Resort -- the second largest on the island -- faced the ocean with its beautiful sandy beach -- a favourite of  sunbathers, strollers and swimmers. The beach was dotted with many tables where people lounged in the shade of umbrellas and sipped on drinks while they enjoyed the fantastic beach and ocean scenery. The beach also featured a stage where entertainers and movies were featured during the evening. The most stunning sunsets are seen from the hotel's beachfront, attracting visitors all over the island. 

The hotel had a large courtyard decorated with a jungle of lush vegetation and a large pool. Our room was first class.The hotel advertised fresh water showers in the rooms. These showers were refreshing, but the water was very salty -- the first time we ever showered in ocean water :)

After dark on our first night we travelled by horse taxi to a hotel that would serve our meal on the beach on ocean-side table. The owner of the hotel walked through the sand over to our table. He spoke with a northern English accent that we were very familiar with since we had played in his home town on one of our music tours of England. 

Years before he had come to Gili as a tourist and decided to stay. He built a hotel, which became very successful. Unfortunately, it was partially destroyed by an earthquake the year before we arrived. He had done hasty repairs and was soon back in business. 

We were about to start our meal when a sudden rain shower sent us scurrying across the roadway to the shelter of the hotel's main restaurant. The meal was good, conversation lively and we returned to our room with fond memories of our first day on the island. 

ASTON Sunset Beach Resort


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Part of the
Hillman Travel Adventures
Bill and Sue-On Hillman