Gili Trawangan is a tropical playground of global renown, ranking alongside Bali and Borobudur as one of Indonesia's top destinations. Trawangan's heaving main drag, busy with bikes, cidomos and mobs of swimwear-clad visitors, can surprise those expecting a languid island retreat. Instead, a bustling string of lounge bars, hip guesthouses, ambitious restaurants, convenience stores and dive schools clamors for attention.
And yet behind this glitzy facade, a bohemian character endures, with rickety warungs (cheap eating houses) and reggae joints surviving between the cocktail tables, and quiet retreats dotting the much-less-busy north coast. Even as massive 200-plus-room hotels begin to colonise the gentrifying west coast, you can head just inland to a village laced with sandy lanes roamed by free-range roosters, fussing ibu (mothers) and kids playing hopscotch. Here the call of the muezzin, not happy hour, defines the time of day.