Indonesia – Love thy neighbour

Photo by: bali backpacker via Flickr

“See Indonesia” Photo by: bali backpacker via Flickr

There’s no doubt Australians love summer and the scorching heat, which is why the all-year round humidity of Indonesia is a popular holiday destination for Aussies.

With more than 17, 000 islands and a population of around 250 million people, Indonesia is home to many tourist attractions and is well known for its fantastic beach culture.

Even though my background is Indonesian, I have yet to explore my home country to its ends because frankly, there’s just so much to see and do.

And a couple of weeks might not be enough to completely satisfy your holiday experience.

But whatever time and money you have, rest assured that return flights and accommodation are affordable, the shopping is cheap and the food, even cheaper.

In 2012, Indonesia scored 910, 000 visitors, increasing the number of Aussie travellers by 13 per cent, according to Wonderful Indonesia’s tourism performance report.

So if you’re travelling on a budget or thinking of going away on a short trip close to home, Indonesia is your summer haven.

  1. Bali
    It’s most likely the first thing that pops into mind because it’s undoubtedly one of the top tourist destinations in Indonesia. Bali boasts some of the best beaches with its clean sand and glorious waters, which will have surfers, and sun bathers hooked. The sunsets will have you in awe, and when the night finally arrives, the party begins. Not sure where to go? Soak up some sun at Kuta And Seminyak, some of Bali’s most popular beaches. Don’t forget to visit the local beach clubs and resorts and treat yourself to great food and entertainment with a spectacular view.
  2. Lombok
    Tired of Bali? Then make a short trip to the east, where you will find a new kind of Bali, or as some people call it, “Bali as it used to be”. This hidden gem, mainly visited by backpackers, basks in secret islands, pristine beaches and reefs in the northwest and southwest coasts. But if you’re looking for more adventure, travel to Central Lombok to explore the Benang Stokel waterfalls, its pure waters falling 30 metres down a steep cliff face. Or if you enjoy trekking and climbing, don’t miss out on Mount Rinjani, Indonesia’s second largest volcano soaring at 3, 726 metres above sea level.
  3. Yogyakarta
    Heading away from the coastline is Java’s tourist city known for its stunning archaeological attractions. It’s home to some of the most important and magnificent temples, including Borobudur and Prambanan, erected in the eighth, ninth and 10th centuries. Located in the northwest of Yogyakarta, Borobudur is one of the most famous Buddhist temples in the world, built over a period of 75 years out of an estimated two million blocks of stone. Make the long trek to the top and you’ll find the surroundings of volcanoes and green fields breathtaking. The Prambanan temple, also a must visit, has been named the most beautiful Hindu temple in the world, sitting at 47 metres above the ground (five metres higher than Borobudur).
  4. Jakarta
    The biggest city and the capital of Indonesia is over-populated and chaotic, but nevertheless a go-to destination for a more domestic experience. The city is known for its nightlife, street food and terrible traffic. It’s a great place for travelling families who’d like to take their kids to amusement parks like Ancol Dreamland, which features water parks, beaches, golf courses and a SeaWorld. If you’re a big spender and love shopping, Jakarta boasts shopping malls at just about every corner. The one to go to is Grand Indonesia Mall, one of the biggest shopping destinations in the country. Situated on Hotel Indonesia in the city circle, the mall consists of east and west counterparts, which would take tourists more than one day to navigate around the entire place.
  5. Padang
    Sumatra’s third largest city doesn’t receive much attention compared to other cities but Padang is known for its traditional and cultural aspects that are worth experiencing. You can’t miss out on the Minangkabau house and the famous, often spicy, cuisine of the Sumatran people. Unlike Bali and Lombok, Padang’s attractions lie with the beautiful lakes flowing with dark waters. Any nature or scenery lover would adore the natural beauty of some of Padang’s popular lakes like Maninjau and Singkarak, located 36km from the town of Bukittingi. It’s an ideal place for recreational and water sport activities such as swimming and water skiing. For a more relaxed and intimate holiday, this is the place to be.

To read about other amazing destinations to visit, travel information and trip planning, head over to Wonderful Indonesia and learn more about your neighbour.

What would you pick out of the five destinations listed?


About the author

Yoanita Marselia