Floating above crystal clear water to the backdrop of an amazing sunset, the Gili Trawangan swing is a great way to spend a sunset. First of all, let’s correct the title above, it should read: Gili Trawangan Swings
What we were expecting: One magical swing hanging inches above the water in front of a vibrant sunset backdrop. A blissful moment to remember as we swung above the ocean, enjoying the salty aromatic breeze.
What it was actually like: 8 swings within 800 yards of each other, branded with hotel names plastered above the swings as part of a social media marketing strategy. Lines of up to 15 people waited for their moment of social media glory, posing on the swing without even swinging back and forth once. Photographers from hotels taking photographs and selling them to tourists of their swinging “adventure.”
Well to be honest we were expecting a short line and a bit of a buzz around the swings as they are immensely popular on Instagram and social media. That is how we found out about them after all. We didn’t expect this to be a glorious natural wonder that we accidentally stumbled upon along a deserted stretch of sand.
This is purely a photo location with almost no adventure to be had. A good time with drinks, dinner, sunset, and friends is a certainty but I didn’t feel an ounce of whimsy and actually decided I’d rather not pose on the Gili Trawangan Swing.
However, after having come so far (25 min walk from the harbor side of Gili Trawangan Island) and waiting all day for the sunset, Jessie decided she may as well at least get our edition of a photo we had seen, so many times on Instagram. Despite both feeling like we were selling our souls, the picture did end up turning out with unexpected results despite no real red or orange tones in the sky.
Gili Trawangan swing location
If you are wondering where is the Gili Trawangan Swing? All you need to do is head to the Ombak or Pandawa resort. We spent the day lounging at both resorts before enjoying the sunset. This side of the island is a bit of a ghost town during the day, which was a nice change from the crowds of the east side/harbor side of Gili Trawangan.
Overall the Gili Trawangan Swing(s) is more of a production line as photographic proof that you had an awesome time on a remote island in paradise. It is hard for your friends to argue back against a swing in the ocean.
There are countless locations that look amazing on Instagram, the internet, or in brochures, which are a total letdown once you actually arrive there. Almost all of my favorite places have been the ones that I wasn’t expecting.