Diving the Gili Islands
Diving the Gili Islands is a year-round activity and there are now has many reputable dive centers based on Gili Trawangan. Look out for those that are members of GIDA (Gili Islands Dive Association) for the most professional, safe and experienced services – as with everywhere around the world, there are some cowboys out there!
There are dive sites to suit at range of experience and all sites are based around the Gilis, with the majority closer to Gili Trawangan, which means a maximum boat ride of about 20 minutes. All GIDA dive centers have put a price agreement in place to ensure the best possible levels of service, properly maintained equipment and safe diving practices.
Even though we do not offer diving at Bale Sampan, we do have a strong affiliation with Manta Dive who are a 5 minute walk away. Manta Dive Gili Trawangan have been operating on the Gilis for the last 13 years. Their highly experienced local dive guides and Western instructors are of the highest standard on the Gilis and they will not only look after you professionally, but you will have a great laugh with them too.
For prices and information about diving, please contact Helen at Manta Dive on firstname.lastname@example.org or take a look at their website.
Snorkelling and Glass Bottom Boat Tours
For those of you that don’t fancy the diving but still want to see the turtles, there are daily glass bottom boat tours around the Gilis. Most leave at about 10am each day and visit the best snorkelling sites on Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, then stop for lunch on Gili Air, returning back to the island about 3.30pm.
Alternatively, you can just jump into the water directly in front of Bale Sampan Bungalows as we are lucky enough to be located right opposite one of the best snorkelling spots on Gili Trawangan.
At Bale Sampan we can help you to arrange joining a snorkelling tour, or help you to charter your own private boat so that you can avoid the crowds. The staff will help you to arrange equipment rental for you as well.
Mount Rinjani Trekking
Trekking Mount Rinjani is not for the faint hearted or unfit! This is a demanding 2-4 day trek, but climbers are rewarded with some of the most amazing views, as well as the prowess of climbing the second highest volcano (3,726 meters) in Indonesia.
Here at Bale Sampan, we often welcome weary climbers down from the mountain for a bit of beach relaxation, massages and quiet time, whilst we do your laundry to get rid of all those stinky clothes!
Freediving is becoming very popular on the Gilis – not least because the only freediving center, which is based on Gili Trawangan, is owned and managed by British National Record holder, Mike Board. Learn to Freedive on Gili Trawangan with Freedive Gili. For enquiries please visit www.freedivegili.com.
Yoga has always been popular on the Gilis Islands, but even more so now that there is a professional and highly experience yoga center on the island – Gili Yoga is located 5 minutes walk from Bale Sampan, and shares its office with Freedive Gili. Daily drop-in clasess are run each morning and evening for all levels of experience, as well as a variety of Yoga and Meditation workshops. For more information please visit www.giliyoga.com.
Bike Rides and Bike Rental
At Bale Sampan our staff have recently embarked on their own bicycle rental business using the money they receive in tips. Their rates are comparable to other rental shops around the Gilis, so please ask at reception should you require a bicycle.
Hiring a bike is a fun way to explore the island, which is only 3km long by 2km wide – and you can’t really get lost! There is one main road that hugs the beach all the way around Gili Trawangan, but be aware it can be a bit sandy in parts so you may have to get off and push. For the more adventurous, there are many tracks leading into the interior of the island, where it is easy to lose your bearings in amongst the coconut groves – but rest assured, you will eventually pop out on the beach somewhere, where you can follow the beach road back to Bale Sampan.
Surfing and Stand-Up-Paddle Boarding on the Gili Islands
The Gili Islands are unfortunately not renowned for their surf. In saying that, given the right conditions, some surfers have said that it can be amazing – sadly, it’s just not consistent and very dependent on swell. There is a fast right hander on the South-East corner of Gili Trawangan, but be aware it is definitely not for beginners as it is a sharp, very shallow reef break.
Stand-Up Paddle Boarding is a recent addition to the Gili Islands. There are many companies offering SUP rentals within a short work from Bale Sampan Bungalows, and this is a great way to explore the waters around Gili Trawangan – and on a good day, to make the crossing over to Gili Meno. The occasional strong currents that surround the Gilis mean that you need to check the local conditions on the day.
There are many Spas on Gili Trawangan – offering everything from a hot stone massage to pedicures and facials. There are some that are better than others, but that very much depends on personal taste. It is our firm belief that some of the best traditional masseuses are those that are self taught and have been doing it for years.
There are massage ladies that will patrol the beach looking for business – they are funny (and cheeky), but do offer a good ‘beach massage’ for those you that want something a little more relaxing, as opposed to therapeutic. For a good therapeutic massage, please ask at reception and we will arrange for Mr Setio to take away your aches and pains. Mr Setio is a good traditional masseur, but particularly good at reflexology and although does not speak much English, can massage you in your room, by the pool or on the beach.