T is for Tiny: How does Gili T Compare in Size?
Updated: Jun 12, 2020
So you’ve booked a visit to Gili T
You’ve seen the iconic images of people swinging on an ocean swing at sunset. You’ve imagined yourself diving down to swim with the Gili statues. You long to lounge on a white sand beach next to crystal clear turquoise water.
What started as a dream turned into reality when you started planning a trip to Gili Trawangan! You bought your flight, researched transportation, and booked your accommodation. With the logistics out of the way, you started looking for things to do on the island.
When you first booked your trip, you might have thought that an island with so much to do must be pretty large. Until you looked at a map and realised that Gili T is almost microscopic amidst Indonesia. But exactly how tiny is Gili Trawangan? Let’s find out!
Let’s start with Indonesia
We’ll start by zooming out to Indonesia as a whole. Indonesia is the 14th largest country in the world by area at 1,905 million km² (735,525 mi²). It can be hard to determine the actual size of Indonesia because it includes so many islands. Each island has a different culture and many speak a different language. Some you can get to by boat, others require you to fly to.
To date, Indonesia has anywhere between 17,508 and 18,307 islands. If you were to gather them together, Indonesia could fit within Mexico at 1.943 million km² (750,561 mi²).
Indonesia’s largest island
Technically, the largest island that Indonesia inhabits is Borneo. However, it shares the island with countries like Malaysia and Brunei. Sumatra is Indonesia’s largest island and the seventh largest island in the world. Located in the northeastern part of the country, it is off the coast of Malaysia and Singapore.
Sumatra is 425,000 km² (164,093 mi²), very close in size to the Middle Eastern country of Uzbekistan at 425,400 km² (164,200 mi²). It is also about the same size as Texas, the United States’ largest state of the continental 48, at 421,500 km² (162,742 mi²).
Indonesia’s most popular island
Bali is Indonesia’s most well-known and most visited island. It is one of the top vacation destinations in the world and thrives on its tourism industry. Bali has a large jungle-like area known as Ubud, two volcanoes, and its own airport on the island.
Despite its versatile terrain and countless luxury resorts, Bali is only 5,561 km² (2,147 mi²). That means Bali could fit within Connecticut, the United States’ third smallest state, at 7,800 km² (3,012 mi²).
Indonesia’s tiny hidden gem of an island
If you’re surprised with how small Bali is, then it’s time to take a look at how small Gili T is! The word ‘gili’ translates as ‘small island’ in Bahasa Indonesian. There are many ‘gilis’ located around Indonesia, but The Gili Islands are the most well known of them all.
Gili Trawangan is the westernmost and largest of the three Gili Islands. It started as a stop-off location for local fishermen around Lombok. The first inhabitants were coconut farmers placed by the government. When the climate proved too dry to sustain coconut farms, the government gave up. The local workers stayed behind and made Gili Trawangan their home.
As Bali brought in more tourists, they began to branch out to other islands. Being so close by, The Gilis became a popular dive location with Gili Trawangan serving as a home base. Today, Gili T is one of the must-see locations for divers and tourists alike in Indonesia.
The island of Gili T is 6 km² (2.3 mi²). That’s about twice the size of Central Park in New York City, with one Central Park coming in at 3.4 km² (1.3 mi²). The only “country” similar in size is Gibraltar, at 6.8 km² (2.6 mi²). Gibraltar is the British Overseas Territory located on the southern tip of Spain.
Gili T’s coastline is 6.5 km and takes about two hours to walk and an hour and 30 minutes to bike around completely. If you’re the type of insane person that wanted to run a marathon, you would have to run around the island 6.5 times. Crossing through the middle of the island is roughly the same distance as crossing the Brooklyn Bridge at 1.6 km (1.1 mi).
Gili T is small but functional
Gili T might be smaller than you first imagined, but it has everything you need! It has the essentials one might need to enjoy an unforgettable vacation in paradise. Gili T has a variety of unique restaurants, cafes, surf shops, and convenience stores.
There is so much to do in Gili T during your time there. If you like to stay active, there are gyms, yoga studios, and plenty of scuba diving shops to choose from. If you prefer something more relaxing, there are stunning spas, resorts, and villas that make you feel at home.
Gili T also has a vibrant nightlife. Many restaurants and dive shops double as bars or live music venues at night. And, yes, there is no need to worry. It has your sunset swings, Gili statues, and gorgeous beaches!