I fell in love with Gili T the moment I stepped foot off the boat, in fact, I think it was before then. I fell in love with it as soon as I saw this little island floating in pristine crystal blue waters. Boats full of fishermen, divers and tourists reaching or leaving the shores. The sun shining down on the happy holidaymakers enjoying this piece of paradise, and the warm and welcoming looks of the locals.
Stepping on this island feels like stepping back in time. As soon as you reach the harbour and glance at the busy highstreet which runs parallel to the beach you realise there are no cars, just horse ridden carriages and people riding bikes. The travellers and holiday makers seemingly interact with the locals who are working and going by their daily lives.
The people here live humble lives, but they laugh and smile and joke and make you feel welcome. Gili T is a beautiful place and so are the people who live on it.
Being the avid people watcher that I am, I could sit for hours in the animated streets of Gili T and just observe life unfold, below are a few snaps that I feel paint a pretty accurate picture of what I visually experienced whilst on this amazing island
Workers on the beach
Chickens run! Chickens and Hens freely roam the streets
My little feline friend! He came to visit me every day at the Homestay I was staying at and seemed to be a big fan of pringles! Every time I opened the pack of pringles in my room, he magically appeared and patiently waited for me to share.
The predominant religion in Bali is Hinduism, however Gili T seems to have a very large Muslim community. In this picture you can see the large white Mosque in the background.
Cars and motorised vehicles are replaced by horses and pushbikes. Make sure to watch out for them though, this picture was taken early in the morning but later on in the day the streets get very congested with both.
A local woman elegantly and effortlessly carrying a bucket full of stuff on her head!
A baby boy I came across on the walk back to my Homestay. He was very fascinated by my camera and I was very fascinated by his big beautiful brown eyes.
There is quite a stark contrast between the westernised high street with shops and restaurants and the poor unpaved back streets. A glimpse into one of the local houses will show you that the 'house' usually consists of one single room and many people sleep on the floor.
This type of life is humbling to observe and leaves you with a pang of guilt for the luxuries and privileges you are lucky enough to have, however, the people seem happy with the little that they have. They do not hold looks of resentment and anger towards the tourists who invade their hometown but rather appear welcoming and intrigued by your visit.
I had an amazing time here and as a solo female traveller, always felt safe and at ease. I was also please to find that although the island is known to be a 'Party' island, your stay can be as wild or as quiet and relaxing as you wish it to be.
My time here was mainly spent exploring, eating good food, diving and enjoying the beach with a book. I think it would be fun to come here with friends for a more lively affair as much as it would be to come here with a partner on a romantic getaway.
I think this place has a lot to offer and will meet your expectations whatever your priorities may be. I can't recommend it enough!
Let me know if you are lucky enough to visit, I guarantee you won't regret it!