With over 13,000 islands, Indonesia has something unique to pleasure any tourists. From the cool white sands and modern resorts of Bali to the vibrant capital city of Jakarta to the untouched lands of Sumatra, you can always find something different.
Bali is probably the most famous of Indonesia’s islands and for good reason. Although often crowded with travelers, there is no escaping the fact that this place is beautiful. Try some surfing at Bingin Beach or visit the Pura Besakih, the Mother Temple, which is a truly stunning building. Bali is more expensive than the rest of Indonesia. Make sure you see some traditional Balinese dancing in Ubud.
Dive in the Gili Islands
For a true sense of an island paradise, head to the Gili Islands. You won’t find any cars on these islands; bike travel or horse and cart are the ways to see all that Gili has to offer. You’ll find excellent scuba and snorkel facilities, as well as nightlife, on the party island of Gili Trawangan. A single-tank dive will cost around 500,000 IDR.
See Komodo dragons
The subject of more nature documentaries than pretty much any other lizard, the Komodo dragon is a force to be reckoned with. They are fierce creatures. Komodo National Park is a UNESCO site and is the only place to see the world’s largest lizard in the wild. Admission is 150,000 IDR for foreign adults during the week, with prices rising to 225,000 IDR on Sundays and holidays.
Watch the sunrise at Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park
One of the most popular tourist attractions on Java is Mount Bromo and its National Park. You’ll not want to miss out on getting a snap of the smoldering Bromo volcano as it lies surrounded by the almost lunar landscape of the Sea of Sand. If you’re there in mid-August, you’ll be just in time to see Upacara Kasodo, the monthly ritual which the Tenggerese take part in. Get up early to catch one of the most memorable sunrises of your life. Entry to the park is 220,000 IDR, though the price is significantly higher on weekends and during public holidays.
Indonesia’s capital is a large, bustling city with a population of over 10 million. For a moment of calm, people-watch from one of the cafes overlooking Fatahillah Square in the Old Batavia, the Dutch quarter, where you can take in the historic architecture. In terms of nightlife and eateries, you’ll be spoiled for choice in Jakarta.
Amaze yourself in Borobudur
Borobudur is a huge Buddhist temple complex dating from the 9th century, making it older than Cambodia’s Angkor Wat. Like Prambanan, Borobudur has also been afforded World Heritage status with UNESCO. I personally love this site. As you walk up to the top, you can see reliefs meant to highlight Buddhist teachings. It is said you can’t move on to the top until you discovered the meaning of each relief. Admission for foreign adults is around 275,000 IDR while children enter for 135,000 IDR.
Explore Hindi Prambanan
This is the crowning glory of Hindu temples and was built in the 10th century. At 150ft, the main temple is actually taller than Borobudur. This is an architecturally impressive site, so chances are you’ll spend more time taking pictures than you will take admiring the ancient statues. Don’t forget to put down the camera and enjoy the view with your own eyes. Admission is around 240,000 IDR for foreign adults, and 120,000 IDR for children.
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