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Gili Trawangan is the largest of Lombok’s Gili Islands and the only one to rise significantly (60 m) above sea level. Measuring 3 km long and 2 km wide, it has a population of around 1500. The name of Trawangan originates from the Indonesian word Terowongan (Tunnel) due to the presence of a cave tunnel built there during Japanese occupation in World War 2. Gili Trawangan is the most developed and geared towards tourism. The main concentration of settlement, recreation, accommodation and diving business is situated on the eastern side of the island. A local pub, Tîr na Nôg claims that Trawangan is the smallest island in the world with an Irish pub. It was previously administered under Lombok Barat Regencyalong with Senggigi until 2010, Gili islands came under the jurisdiction of the new North Lombok Regency (Kabupaten Lombok Utara).

Trawangan was the first of the three islands to attract visitors in any numbers, and it was backpackers who led the way. In the 1990s the island developed a reputation as a wild party destination with cheap accommodation, no police. Whilst that is still partially the case, Trawangan has matured into a destination that has a far wider appeal. On Gili Trawangan (as well as the other two Gilis), there are no motorised vehicles. The main means of transportation are bicycles (rented by locals to tourists) and cidomo (a small horse-drawn carriage). For travelling to and from each of the Gilis, locals usually use motorised boats and speedboats.

The economy of Gili Trawangan centres on tourism, as the island is too small to support any broad scale agriculture, and too remote to allow economically viable industry or commerce. There is a mosque on the island.

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