If you come to the port with a motorcycle, you can drive on, but you have to pay one dollar for parking the motorcycle. Upon arrival at Bangsal beach, you buy a ticket for the public boat. These traditional boats that are used do not guarantee the safety and comfort of your trip, as there will be many things that will be transferred to Gili such as LPG gas, food, water and a variety of other basic needs.
Buy your ticket and wait until a maximum of 20 people is reached, then the boat will depart. More passengers can not have the boat and would then be overloaded. This is rarely more than an hour early in the morning. The ticket sellers will tell you when it is time to leave.
Normally, this information is broadcast via their Public Address system. Tickets are numbered and provided with a color code. If you arrive later in the day in Bangsal, you may have to wait longer.
Try to get to Bangsal at 10 a.m. or earlier if you want to go by boat to the Gili Islands in the morning.
If you feel like it, you can charter a full boat to Trawangan or the other two islands. You can share the costs with a few fellow travelers and in practice that is quite normal. If you do this, do not talk to too many people. They may all be able to request a commission from the boat operator, which will raise the price. Try to choose only one person to negotiate with, preferably the actual operator instead of a tout or helper and then negotiate slowly, quietly and with great patience.
Near the ferry you will find the Arnel Café, Flower Cafe, Dikky Travel cafe and the Lombok Cafe, where you can still eat at cheap prices: a rice wrap or meatballs. You can find an ATM next to the BNI bank. Snack, bread and also drink cans can be bought next to the ticket desk. There are two Mini Markets here. It will certainly be more expensive on the islands.
Since 2011 the international airport, formerly at Mataram, moved to Praya. This place is a bit further south. The journey time from the airport to Bangsal has therefore doubled. Many foreign tourists now choose to sail directly from Bali to the Gili Islands. As a result, fewer passengers cross from Bangsal to the Gili Islands. This leads to fierce competition among the transport companies in Bangsal, where they can become aggressive. Be prepared for aggressive sellers of tickets.