Sway Above the Ocean on Indonesia's Incredible Gili Swings

Gili Air. Indonesia
Gili Air. Indonesia | © wernermuellerschell / Shutterstock
Edira Putri

Blissful swings float above the ocean, cradling silhouettes as the sun dips beneath the waves. Sound familiar? It will to those who have caught wind of the social-media sensation coming out of the Gili Islands.

Loved by over 40s

Avid travellers to Indonesia are no strangers to the Gili Islands, a string of small, beautiful islets off the coast of Lombok. Their many charms include an abundance of striking marine creatures, serene beaches and a simple but sweet innovation that combines a nostalgic pastime with tropical vistas: ocean swings. Since their social-media debut in 2014, they have been among the top things to do on the islands, alongside diving and partying – because what says “laid-back beach vibes” more than stylish, rustic wooden fixtures that sway above the ocean?

Where to go

Four years ago, this section would probably have been instructions on how to get to the Gili ocean swing. However, similar attractions have been popping up since the original at Ombak Sunset Hotel shot to social-media fame. Now, all you have to do is walk along the coast of Gili Trawangan and choose one out of nearly a dozen scattered around the small island.
Ombak Sunset’s is called the Datu Swing, named after the highest royal caste in Lombok. The name isn’t the only thing that will make you feel like royalty – the sweeping view of the horizon in glorious bursts of gold will do its part, too. This hotel is slightly removed from Gili T’s main strip (especially by a small island’s standards) but, come sunset, it is among the most happening spots in the archipelago.

Lombok, Indonesia

Other amazing swings in Gili Trawangan are owned by Pandawa Resort and The Exile, which also has a sea hammock. You can also find swings on the other two Gilis – Gili Meno and Gili Air – which are typically less crowded than those on Gili T.
The trend has been adopted by other destinations in Indonesia, with ocean swings surfacing on the beaches of Lombok and Bali.

What to expect from a Gili Swing

The serene photos of Gili swings may lead you to think of a good time relaxing, swinging above the ocean while watching the glorious sunset. Sadly, most of the time that is not the case. What you don’t see in the idyllic Instagram posts is the queue of people waiting to get their picture taken. At sunset, it’s often rush in, snap-snap and get out of there – and you need to let others do the same.
The good news is that you can still strategically boost your chances of making a real experience out of these magnificent ocean swings. For one, you’ll have better luck hogging one of the swings on the less crowded Gili Meno or Gili Air, and outside the peak time (when everyone else is busy diving or dealing with hangovers).
Several hotels including Ombak Sunset employ a professional photographer to take your Insta-perfect ocean-swing picture, so don’t worry if you’re travelling alone or not feeling confident about your photography skills.

Hotel Ombak Sunset


Couple on Gili Trawangan swing in Indonesia © Azrul Aziz/Unsplash
© Azrul Aziz / Unsplash

From its luxurious traditional bungalows to its hip beachside bars, you can expect the same laid-back and romantic vibe from the Hotel Ombak Sunset as you can from its famous ocean swing. The hotel is located on the quieter western side of Gili Trawangan, boasting a majestic view of Bali’s Mount Agung and the optimal angle from which to witness the island’s unforgettable sunset.

culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.