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Learning From Gili Trawangan

Gili Trawangan Island West of Lombok Island
Gili Trawangan Island, A Tourism Area

Gili for people of Lombok Island means a very small island. Gili Trawangan is a small island of the three islands in the west of the Island of Lombok. Two other small islands are Gili Meno and Gili Air. The island is very small, to surround it with cidomo or horse-drawn buggy only takes about one hours. The streets are too narrow only five meters wide, even on a specific segment merely three meters wide. In addition, these streets is still a sandy dirt road. But unthinkably this island developed into tourist place with all the amenities of modern life.

Tourists on vacation to the island is not just because its beautiful landscape with blue sea and white sand, they can also snorkel as much to enjoy the sights of in sea. In addition they come to this small island to get a different atmosphere where there are no motorized vehicles so that the air is clean of pollution no smoke that smelled of gasoline.

Transportation in this small island is bicycles, electric bicycles and Cidomo. On the streets cidomo, bicycles and pedestrians mixed together so often heard a bicycle bell and cidomo trumpet shouted. At the densest street, tourists walking between bicycles and cidomo as if they are not afraid of getting hit by a horse. Amazingly though there are many horses but no horse dung on the street. In order not dusty, residents watered the street every afternoon.

Although there is no motorized transportation, there still is development because they carry sand in packs, cement and wood from the boat with cidomo. Each day cidomos are busy transporting building materials from the boat. Not surprisingly, on the island of Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, and Gili Air there are restaurant, hotel, luxury bungalows complete with swimming pool, art shops, art markets, ATM, and health place that is ready to serve tourists in cases of illness.

Transportation from Lombok and Bali are tugboat (boat containing 40 people) and speedboat. They parked on the beach and lined up neatly. On the beach there are many tourists who sunbathe adjacent to the parking boat as the place is far away from the pollution and the sea is clear. Harbor with small boat dock just in Gili Air Island. Out of that is the white sandy beaches and clear blue sea.

More extreme is in Gili Meno and Gili Air where bikes are prohibited so people have to walk or ride cidomo. A common sight to see tourists pull his suitcase in the sun walking towards the hotel. In Gili Meno there is a path way on the beach which is only for pedestrians, cidomo should have gone behind. Even the boat may not be parked on the beach, after dropping off the passenger, the boat have to go to the sea again. On this two islands the atmosphere is quieter, famous as a place for honeymooners.

The atmosphere at evening was ablaze with entertainment venues and restaurants. Cidomo that is to and fro in the daytime, there is none at night hence the ambiance is more comfortable. The tourists walked up and down looking for a restaurant for dinner. In the courtyard of the art market is empty in the daytime, in the evening full of tables, chairs and food cart vendors. Near the entrance there are food vendors who hold a variety of fish that is ready to be grilled.

What about the Old city of Jakarta? Is it possible to be a tourism place like Gili Trawangan? In the old city of Jakarta, if you want a unique atmosphere we should return to the past where no motorized vehicles and only horse-drawn carriages and bicycles as means of transportation. Tourists visiting the old city of Jakarta have to park outside the old town. Even bus-way is forbidden to enter the old town so that it is free from pollution.

Old Jakarta in the ancient times, when she was still named Batavia, its transportation was boat and horse-drawn carriage. Now the canals has been gone but horse-drawn carriages can still be presented as urban transport. One of the causes that old Jakarta is difficult to be developed as tourist areas is because of too many motorized vehicles on the street so that pedestrians are eliminated. Only in the plaza and surrounding Fatahilah Museum motorized vehicles are not allowed to enter and pedestrians can freely walk around. Hence this place is developed into a tourist area. Imagine if motorized vehicles are prohibited from entering around the whole old city of Jakarta, of course tourists can freely visit various objects such as Toko Merah, Jembatan Pasar Ayam, Maritime Museum and many more. Besides pollution, motorized vehicles also accelerate damage to ancient buildings.

But it all can easily be replicated in the old city of Jakarta, different with this one. In Gili Trawangan, people keep the island with honesty. On this island there are no thieves. Tourist leave the hotel room door unlocked and no missing items. If someone loss his belonging on street, the missing items will be returned. Honesty is the starting point to develop tourism area because tourists are not afraid their possessions to be stolen or pickpocketed.

The question is that can old Jakarta be part of honest city, no thieves or robbers who threatened the victim with a knife? That's the challenge. But with the awareness of the population about the importance of honesty for Jakarta tourism development, it is not impossible old Jakarta would like be Gili Trawangan.

We still dream of the beautiful old Jakarta. And like Gili Meno, an ideal place for honeymooners.