Lombok, Indonesia Travel Guide. Courtesy: bookinghuntertv.com
How Indonesia Came Onto My Travel Radar.
Indonesia first came onto my travel radar when I was working in Malaysia as an expatriate, since Indonesia is a neighboring country and shares a similar language (Bahasa Indonesia) with Malaysia, it made sense that some of my co-workers would be Indonesian nationals.
What set my Indonesian co-workers apart from everyone else in the expatriate community was how hospitable they were.
Their hospitality left me wondering what Indonesia as a country would be like, after all, my co-workers had left such a good impression on me and that was how my wanderlust was set into motion.
Later that year, during a short break from work I got a chance to visit the Indonesian capital, Jakarta and subsequently Bali. Much to my satisfaction, Indonesia turned out to be a great travel destination and I had an incredible time while I was there.
A Little About Indonesia
Indonesia is a country in Southeast Asia comprised of about 13,000 islands. Its capital is Jakarta and the favorite tourist destinations in the country are Jakarta, Bali and for people in the know, “the Gili islands”.
Formerly a Dutch, then a Japanese colony, Indonesia was able to throw both colonial powers off and became an independent country in 1945. It is the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country but remains a culturally pluralistic secular country.
As at the time of this writing, the population of Indonesia stands at about quarter of a billion people. Now that you know a little about Indonesia, let’s get you to travel Indonesia like a pro.
Start Your Travels In Jakarta, Indonesia
Jakarta is Indonesia’s capital city and has an urban sprawl that reminds me of my home city of Los Angeles. It is also very cosmopolitan and a traveler here will find that there is no shortage of things to do.
If you are arriving by plane, you will most likely fly into Soekarno–Hatta International Airport (CGK). Another piece of good news about traveling to Indonesia is how affordable a trip to this country is. The last time I checked, One U.S. dollar was equivalent to 13,642.50 Indonesian Rupiah.
Things To Do In Jakarta, Indonesia
There are tons of things to do in Indonesia and I was rather pleasantly surprised that Jakarta has a nightlife scene that is so awesome that a blog post about it simply cannot do it any justice.
Other things to do include visiting some of Jakarta’s museums, markets, shopping malls and Hindu or Buddist temples.
For information about places to stay in Jakarta, browsing Booking.com or Hostels.com should give you a good idea of where to stay in the city. I was fortunate to spend my time in Jakarta at the Pullman Hotel in Central Jakarta.
Head On Over To Bali Indonesia
There is really no point traveling to Indonesia if you stay in the capital alone, while Jakarta is an amazing city, traveling to Jakarta alone would be like reading one page of a really good novel.
For some Sun and fun, you definitely have to head out to the other islands that make up Indonesia and there is no island destination in Indonesia more popular than the Island of Bali.
The island of Bali is home to Indonesia’s Hindu minority population and it’s capital is Denpasar. While you are in Bali, it might be a good idea to indulge in the increasingly popular Hindu practice of yoga. There are also lots of resorts in this part of Bali that have all inclusive packages.
I stayed at the Conrad Bali which is located in the quieter parts of the Island. For you, party animals, your best bet while in Bali would be to visit Kuta and Seminyak as they both have tourist strips lined with bars from one end to the other.
For those with an affinity for culture, there are lots of temples like the Ubud Monkey forest and the Uluwatu temple. If you are up for it, you can also trek up Mt. Babur which doubles as a mountain and a volcano.
It is also perfectly enjoyable to just lay on one of the many beaches they have in Bali.
End Your Trip With A Visit To The Gili Islands in Lombok
As fate would have it, I couldn’t get to add the Gili Islands to my travel itinerary while traveling Indonesia, but I have heard and read nothing but marvelous things about this trio of islands mainly as a result of its sparkling turquoise waters and shining white sands.
The Gili Islands are composed of three separate islands which include Gili Trawangan, Gili Melo, and Gili Air. There are tons to do here like free diving, surfing, and other watersports.
Gili Trawangan also has a great nightlife scene due to the Japanese and western tourists that have chosen this little corner of the planet as paradise. The best way to reach the Gili Islands is by the daily fast boats that leave Bali for the islands.
Some More Places In Indonesia To Add To Your Travel Itinerary
If you are an avid traveler you must have heard of the ever growing “Banana pancake trail” which has Indonesia as one of the destinations on its trail.
Traveling to Indonesia like a pro would be incomplete if you did not add Lake Toba, Yogyakarta, and Mount Bromo to the list of places you should visit if you traveled to Indonesia.