12 Things You Need To Experience When You Travel To Indonesia

Travel Indonesia

Indonesia’s most amazing facet is its incredible size. I have created a list of 12 things to do when you travel to Indonesia. Travelers can stay for months or years and still miss a thousand more places. You see, the massive archipelago of Indonesia is made up of 18,307 islands. That’s more than enough to discover the vastness and beauty of this Southeast Asian wonder – Bali is just a tip of the iceberg.

Find out what treasures you can find in this must-see paradise:

Sumatra for adventure seekers

Sumatra Indonesia

Indonesia’s adventure playground, the island of Sumatra was included amongst Telegraph Travel’s Top 20 Places to Visit in the year 2014. Unknown to many, Sumatra is a wild and scenic travel spot for adventure.

A lot of visitors travel to Indonesia to get a glimpse of the orangutan of Bukit Lawang and the pack of elephants serving as guards to protect the northern rainforest of Tangkahan. Tourists can join them for their morning lake-shore bath, and brush their nails before the day’s patrol. Have your morning cup of strong Sumatran coffee to make that perfect morning start.

For those who would like to take in some real dose of adventure, try to consider a trip to Kerinci Seblat, the island’s largest national park and get to observe tigers and the Sumatran rhino. You can also do some hiking across the volcanoes of Berastagi’s lunar craters, lounge by the lakes in Danau Toba, dive with whale sharks in Pulau Weh, and surf off Pulau Nias and the Mentawaii Islands.

Embrace Jakarta’s chaos


The expansive capital of Indonesia, home to ten million inhabitants, is a “melting pot of cultures and cuisines.”

A modern metropolis, Jakarta carries some of the world’s best restaurants, bars, and nightclubs that sits on top of soaring megastructures, while shopaholics can choose from loads of massive shopping malls. On the contrary, the old town of Batavia will transport you to the country’s Dutch colonial past whilst the trendy Menteng district is a hub of live music settings, posh restaurants, and stylish hotels. One of the reasons I travel to Indonesia so often.

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The dragons of Komodo

Komodo Indonesia

The largest lizards in the world can only be seen on these 5 islands in Indonesia – Komodo, Flores, Rinca, Padar and Gili Motang. These huge reptile beasts that have thrived on Earth for millions of years weigh up to 150 pounds and possess poisonous bites, allowing them to hunt and prey on bigger animals – even humans. These creatures, however, is facing extinction today.

The Komodo dragon’s venom generates shock and heart failure in its victims. During its hunting on larger prey, it dislocates its jaws similar to a snake – that’s how it consumes.  Its physical features are pretty similar to miniature version a giant Jurassic dinosaur with its flapping arms like a man striving to escape his own body. These dragons have inspired the legends of King Kong!

The temples and mountains of Java

Java Indonesia

With residents reaching about 140 million, Java might be the world’s most populated island, but Java has many wonderful places to escape the crowd. There are twelve national parks to explore which includes the Unesco listed Ujung Kulon and volcanoes you can climb like Mount Bromo and Mount Merapi.

The island of Java is also home to Borobudur, the biggest Buddhist temple in the world. Constructed in the 19th century, the design of the temple follows Javanese Buddhist architecture, with its intricate lattice stupas that sit among rice fields.  It is usually crowded, so consider visiting other sites like Mendut, Pawon, Kalasan, and Plaosan Lor, which still hold a serene and peaceful ambiance.

World-class diving at Coral Triangle

Coral triangle diving

The renowned Coral Triangle is probably the best diving site in the world. It’s an area part of the Pacific Ocean which includes the waters in the vicinity of Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Timor Leste, Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands. One of the great ways to discover it is on a liveaboard boat around Indonesia’s West Papua province in the Raja Ampat Islands. Divers will find 75 percent of all the world’s known coral species and up to 2,000 species of reef fish.

Bali also offers some of the world-class diving & snorkeling. Did you know that Indonesia has 6 of the world’s 7 species of turtles? There are green turtle conservation centers that are dedicated to the survival and safety of turtles in the area, one reason why there are so many turtles around the islands!

There are the indigenous tribes of Kalimantan


Kalimantan makes up around two-thirds of the wild island of Borneo which has enthralled adventure seekers since the era of the Victorian explorers. At present, it’s still as almost pristine as it was before, blessed with rainforests, the orangutans of Tanjung Puting National Park indigenous tribes and indigenous tribes such as Bahau and Kelabit tribe seen with traditional elongated earlobes.

Experience your own “Eat-Pray-Love” Adventure in Bali


The popular backpacker haven is amongst the few islands that successfully combine spirituality and hedonism. Here tourists can observe ceremonies, luxury dining, and fashion shopping. Among the many islands of Indonesia, when it comes to tourism, Bali still shines the brightest.

Movie fans of Eat Pray Love can also experience a piece of Elizabeth Gilbert’s self-discovery journey in Ubud, the island’s cultural capital. You can watch musical and dance performances, and check out as galleries that sell silverware, woodcarving, textiles, sculpture, and paintings. You can also trek around rice terraces fields and the 2 volcanoes in the north, Batur, and Agung. Bali Barat National Park is a paradise for deer, macaques, and boar, and Menjangan Island has diving sites with schools of batfish, giant trevally, and jacks.

Whether you love surfing, yoga or to just satisfy your adventure cravings, Bali’s is the place. There is an unlimited number of tropical destinations, but for crowds of tourists travel Indonesia every year, this fascinating island is the favorite.

Here are some reasons why Indonesia Bali is a must-see.

Idyllic Beaches:

The unlimited number of Indonesia’s stunning beaches is possibly reason tourists visit this tropical paradise. Every beach has its own appeal, from powdery white sand and limestone cliffs to extreme water sport. From the environs of the conventional Kuta and posh Nusa Dua to secret, secluded beaches, there’s a beach for everyone, every need and every vibe.

Dynamic Religious Scene:

Mostly Hindus, the Balinese people are spiritual people, and their houses adorned with a small temple where they pray every day. Highly popular among tourists, temple tours are not only of religious value but also for cultural understanding and aesthetic beauty. With spectacular sea temples that face the sea to a serene grand temple complex up on the mountain, the temples of Bali should not be missed.

Cultural Setting:

The entrancing vibe of Bali goes way more than its amazing landscape. The island is also home to a lot of cultural traditions which are still being practiced. The Balinese people hold many festivity and ceremonies all through the year, most of which can be experienced by visitors. Foreign tourists can immerse in the culture of Bali through dance, music, and architecture.

Unli Adventure:

Bali has something special for every adventurous soul. Ride the waves and catch the surf breaks at the island’s most famous surfing spots. Do an epic cliff jump from the cliffs and slide down a natural waterslide in Aling-Aling Waterfall, or have fun in Waterbom’s water slides. Dive by yourself or experience an unforgettable submarine ride.

Feel the Landscapes:

Beyond Bali’s stunning beaches and dreamlike temples, Bali has practically every kind of natural beauty. Superb mountain areas with verdant foliage, picturesque lakes, majestic waterfalls, flower gardens, vast rice fields, flowing sacred rivers and hidden canyons all make up the island’s gorgeous landscape.

The Culinary Field:

With the island’s rich and fertile land, its traditional recipes have shaped a unique cuisine. The island’s traditional meals can be savored as fine dining or street food. Numerous foreign chefs are attracted to Bali to learn, create and adapt recipes, which results in crowds lining in restaurants, each with their own dining concepts. Naturally, the island offers menus from across the globe including American, Mexican, Greek, Chinese, French and Indian. There are plenty of restaurants that serve organic, vegan or even raw food.

Amazing Lodging:

To match Bali’s natural wonders are its increasing choice of awesome accommodations. From luxury resorts to budget-friendly hostels, property developers go all-out to build something spectacular, well-equipped and enjoyable abode. Even private villas can be leased at very affordable costs. A lot of resorts and hotels have infinity pools, most of which are attractions in themselves.

Bali Art:

Balinese people create artworks whenever and wherever possible. Great thing galleries are pretty accessible in every locale, many stores sell art products, beautiful murals on every corner, and an overall artistic feel all over the island. A lot of the island natives are involved in their chosen art field, from being dancers, musicians of a native instrument, painters, craftsmen, designers, and more. If art shopping is your passion, Bali has shops that market handmade craft, from simple wood key chains for less than $1 to pricey art pieces.

Wide Shopping Opportunities:

From home produced native souvenirs to high-end designer wear, Bali’s shopping scene extends from customary markets to fashion boutiques. Foreign travelers with strong currencies will benefit the most, so better take an extra suitcase with you, or be willing to shop one for extra shopping space!

Bali’s Hospitality:

Those who want to travel Indonesia will agree that the locals of Bali are among the friendliest in the world. Here, it’s relatively easy to make new friends than anywhere else, as Balinese are usually interested to engage in a conversation with any person, including tourists. Their kindness and genuine warmth have made tourists feel at home when in Bali.

Lovely Lombok – Bali without the crowds

Millions of travelers go to Bali each year seeking a beach paradise, but if you want to see the same landscape on a lesser crow, travel Indonesia 30 miles east, to the lesser-known island of Lombok. Popular for its good surf spots, fantastic beaches, and mountains, or the neighboring Gili Islands, surrounded by coral reefs.

Until lately the Gili Islands were mostly visited by backpackers that pay an affordable price for simple beach lodging. Today the largest island, Gili Trawangan, is going up the market with villa resorts, eco-lodges and spa retreats being established. But don’t fret as the bohemian vibe is still present, as an alternative for cars and motorcycles, bicycle or horse-drawn carts called cidomos are the locals’ way of transport.

Southeast Asia’s biggest national park

UNESCO World Heritage site Lorentz

UNESCO World Heritage site Lorentz, on the island of Papua, is massive.  It covers 9,674 square miles and is home to a wide range of ecosystems such as rainforest, mangroves, alpine tundra, and equatorial glaciers. Puncak Jaya, Lorentz’s highest area is the tallest mountain between the Himalayas and the Andes.

There are 630 bird species and 123 mammalian species, with most that are endemic to the region. Much of the park, however, remains unexplored that scientists believe there are more left to be discovered.

The Cultural Hub of Yogyakarta


Java’s second city, Yogyakarta, is a spiritual and cultural hub with shadow-puppet performances set during the night, as well as concerts and art exhibits. It is also the best center for discovering Borobudur and the enormous Hindu temple complex of Prambanan, with its main temples devoted to Shiva, Vishnu, and Brahma and hundreds of neighboring shrines.

Indonesia’s Impressive Eco State

Fifty-one percent of the country is forest, making Indonesia one of the world’s greenest countries. In fact, during the first quarter of 2018, as the country looks into tapping the growing investor interest in eco-friendly investments, Indonesia became the first Asian country to sell “green” bonds worldwide.

Want to travel Indonesia budget friendly?

Survey companies always confirm the country’s suitable budget to travel to Indonesia. Cost of Living Index, according to Numbeo’s website taking into account the cost of lodging, restaurant meals, taxi charges, and holiday activities is 36.33, putting it at the forefront of southeast Asian rivals Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Vietnam. And in terms of prices of food and drink, Indonesia’s beaches are among the world’s cheapest.

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