Gili Trawangan is the most developed of the Gili Islands, so it has the most accommodation options, services, cafe and food options, etc. Lots of friends say that Gili Trawangan isn’t what it was ten or so years ago. It has a reputation for being the party island, and has received some bad press about drugs. But, I'm told it depends whether you stay close to the action or choose to stay away from the party scene in a quieter part of the island.
Mades Warung has some of the best Indo food on the island according to Travelfish. The Night Market is great with kids because they can watch the tiny food stalls serve up everything from fried fish, grilled chicken steaks, noodle soup, satays, fried rice and more. It's something you shouldn't miss.
Photo credit: Alex in Wanderland
Ko Ko Mo is perhaps the best restaurant on the island. I love the ambience on the beach and the food is pretty good generally. The prices here are high for the Gilis, but it's worth it. You don’t have to go to Copenhagen to visit the Little Mermaid. There is a lovely little café on the island with the same name is right on the beach which is easy for families because your kids can play while you eat and have a beer. It gets rave reviews. If you are after a nice atmosphere with decent food, beachside Scallywags is also an easy place in a nice location to pass the afternoon.
Photo Credit: The Pearl Lounge
The Pearl Lounge is a bit chi chi, with nice healthy food options, great drinks and juices and a gorgeous bamboo bar on the beach. If you have a craving for pizza, head to Il Pirata which has great pizzas that you can eat in the restaurant or in the adjoining garden. La Dolce Vita has good coffee, baguettes and cakes.
Play and explore
Make sandcastles on the beach - Keep it simple and let the kids while away the day on the beach. There are lovely white sandy beaches that have calm clear blue water which is great for kids. All you need is a few buckets and spades, and the kids should be captivated. But, on some beaches around the island there is a bit of coral at low tide, so shoes or kiddy crocs are a good idea.
Image credit: Vagablonding
Diving and Snorkeling is easily the most popular activity on the Gili islands for families with children. If you have older kids there are lots of opportunities for learning to dive. For families with little kids, it's a god place to learn and practice those snorkelling skills. We always BYO our kiddie snorkels so we know they fit. I hear mixed reviews on how good the coral is. You may want to do a boat ride around the island or visit Gili Meno or Air for other snorkelling options. If syou don't want to snorkel, then you can organise a trip on a glass bottom boat.
Photo Credit: Artists for the world
Spot a turtle - If your kids are lucky, they may spot a Green or Logger Head Turtle straight off the beach. You can also see turtles at the turtle sanctuary in Gili Trawangan, a local initiative that was set up to due people’s concerns about the declining populations of the Green and Hawksbill turtles. The project relies entirely on donations by locals and tourists. It’s a great place to visit with kids and a great project to donate to, which will really help them out.
Explore the island, by foot, bike or horse and cart!
Photo Credit: Ingili
Just for parents
There are the usual things to do – massages, cooking or yoga classes, not the choice you get in Ubud or Seminyak though! Try Exqisit for some pampering. If you are into yoga, the Yoga Place has sunset yoga at the Exile Bar on the beach daily at 4.30pm . Try Fly High Yoga for something a tad different. It's a bit of upside down fun, and is held at Villa Sunset Beach, on the sunset side of the island. Grab your loved one and sneak off to watch the sunset while relaxing on a beanbag at Karma Kayak
If you know of any other places to eat or things to do on Gili T that are great for kids and families please let me know. If I have made any errors or things change get in touch. I want the information on Growing up Troppo to be as accurate and up to date as possible, so it's useful for parents. I haven't personally tried and tested all of the places in this post. I do my research via talking with friends, reading blogs, following Facebook and Instagram accounts, tourism websites, Trip Advisor etc. If you want to know more take a look at my FAQ page. The photos in this post aren't mine, but I have done my best to credit them properly. If there are any issues, just let me know.