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A trip to Indonesia could end up becoming one of the most magical and exotic trips you ever take anywhere in this world. You will find a collection of about 13,500 islands, ranging from being massive to tiny in the Indonesian archipelago covering all kinds of landscapes, cities, and cultures. There is something for everybody in Indonesia whether you are a nature lover, an adventure enthusiast, fond of history, or simply want to immerse in diverse cultures away from the cacophony of everyday life! So, if you are planning a trip to Indonesia, you should definitely keep reading to find out about the most impressive places that you should be in your Indonesia itinerary.
Though Bali has lots of traditional landmarks to look forward to, most people recognize this incredible place because of its excellent beaches. There are pristine, unexplored beaches in Bali to be discovered, and if it is a beach vacation that you are looking for, then Bali should be your destination. The island has many luxury resorts to offer where you can laze around underneath the sun and have a fun tie playing with the waves.
One of the best beaches to spend your time in Bali would be Kuta. It is also one of the more popular ones inviting a huge crowd of tourists all the time. Even if you are looking to enjoy some adventurous water sports such as surfing, it can be easily done in the lofty waves of the sea along the island. There are also many restaurants and cafes in the area to enjoy all kinds of food, especially the delectable Indonesian cuisine ranging over a variety of seafood. A less crowded beach to explore would be Nusa Dua while Sanur has an abundance of a cultural ambiance interspersed with water sports.
While you are in Bali, you should take some time off from the beaches and explore the many historically significant monuments that the place has to offer. Pura Tanah Lot is such a temple with an exotic location- it is built on rock formations in the middle of the sea! The sunset is one of the most amazing times to visit this temple. Going towards the southern coast of the village of Beraban you’ll find the temple. If you are lucky enough to get here during low tide, you could even walk up to the temple. After sunset, the Tanah Lot market comes about and it is a great place to get some souvenirs.
The Jatiluwih Rice Fields of Bali is another terrific, unmissable spot in the region. These are terraced rice fields that display the meticulous skills of the Balinese people and the abundance of natural resources in the area. These rice fields are so brilliantly magnificent that they have been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site! Your visit to Bali would seriously remain incomplete if you do not visit the rice fields.
One of the most famous cultural landmarks of Indonesia is the Borobudur temple. Shaped like a traditional mandala, the interesting temple was built in the 8th century and is regarded as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is also among the most revered Buddhist site in this world. The temple is situated in Yogyakarta, an ancient city in Java and at one time its existence was wholly forgotten. The probable cause of this is attributed to the fact that the entire population of the region shifted to the eastern side of Java due to possible volcanic eruptions. However, it was rediscovered in the 19th century and has been one of the most popular Indonesian sites since then. One f the finest experiences you will ever have is when you get to the temple during sunrise. The tour offers a torchlight climb followed by beholding the awe-inspiring phenomenon of the temple being bathed in light from the first rays of the sun.
If you are looking for a taste of ecological diversity, Borneo is one of the places where you get to see the most versatile range of exotic flora and fauna in the world. The untamed, wildlands of Borneo abound in all kinds of animal lives such as orangutans, Sumerian rhinos, various exotic bird species, pygmy elephants, and so on.
Keeping this in mind, a trip to Indonesia would be sadly incomplete if you do not go and visit the orangutan reserves in Borneo. Though these exotic and rare species live in the wild, there are many sanctuaries and national parks whose sole mission is to rescue as well as protect this amazing species. The Tanjing Putting National Park, located in Kalimantan has the largest reserves of orangutan in the world. You will also find other species of primates as well as many avian and reptilian life forms in this region. If you are specifically looking for orangutans and can’t make it to Borneo, you’ll also find reserves in the Bohorok Orangutan Center which is situated in Bukit Lawang which is situated amidst the Sumerian jungles.
While visiting Kalimantan, you could also take a trip down the Kapuas River- the longest one in Indonesia. Many small villages will give you great insights into the Indonesian way of life. You could also meet the Dayak people, an indigenous population in Borneo. The ports and cities of Borneo, especially around Kalimantan features exclusive influences from various cultures who came to trade such as Chinese, Malaysian, and European styles. There are options to trek through the forests in this region. You should also make it a point to visit the Bukit Baka-Bukit Raya National Park featuring two of Borneo’s highest peaks and a plethora of wildlife such as slow lorises, clouded leopards, sun bears, orangutans, and many other animal life forms.
If you want to have a more private beach experience, the pristine, untouched, and significantly more beautiful beaches in Gili Islands could easily satiate your taste. The islands are situated in Lombork and have come out to be an interesting haunt for travelers and backpackers. The scenic beauty of this place is unmatched and you get to see some of the most memorable seaside views of all time. The Gili Islands also allow for various water-based activities such as snorkeling and kayaking. You could even go snorkeling amongst a turtle sanctuary for a new and innovative experience. If you want to look more into the turtles, there are turtle hatcheries in the area that you could visit where hundreds of these amazing creatures are born every year. The Gilis also offer yoga classes for those looking for holistic curing of body, mind, and soul. It is a grand alternative to going to the popular beach destination, Bali, and could easily be the crown jewel of your Indonesia tour!
Komodo National Park
Komodo National Park covers 5 main islands in Indonesia and several smaller ones along with the surrounding marine areas and is regarded as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You could expect to witness some wholesome diversity in the waters of this region. However, irrespective of all the different kinds of wild and marine life found in this place, the komodo dragons are the star of the show, and people from all over the world flock to this place to look at them. However, the region offers other activities too such as hiking, trekking, snorkeling, kayaking, canoeing, and so on! There are several small villages in the region that you could also visit. You will also find one of the most popular beaches in Indonesia in this region, the Pink Beach, lined with pink-hued sand and washed by electrifying blue waves. You have to enter the island via boats and visitors would need to pay entry charges, charges for guides, transportation, and other activities.
Sacred Monkey Forest in Ubud
The Indonesian landscape has an ancient majestic feel to it and Ubud, the cultural heart of Bali is the place where you could feel it the most. In Ubud, one of the most exciting and impressive places to visit would be the Sacred Monkey Forest. It is a Hindu temple with a tremendous population of long-tailed macaques, a monkey species found predominantly in Southeast Asia. The temple actually represents a form of Balinese Hinduism which is somewhat different from mainstream Hinduism- you will find a convergence of religious and cultural elements from different parts of the world making it a very unique experience for you.
To reach the Sacred Monkey Forest, you have to go to Padangtegal. It is a small village in Ubud that has seen the inflow of artists of all kinds from ages immemorial! The stunning temple, the mastery of the artists, and the breathtaking backdrop all make way for an experience that you are not likely to forget for a long time.
You might have heard about the Ring of Fire- if not, it is perhaps the most volcanically active area on the earth! Indonesia is located exactly on the Ring of Fire and thus is a storehouse of some of the most active volcanos such as Mt. Merapi, which is stunningly beautiful, yet highly precarious. Of the many volcanos in Indonesia, Mt. Bromo is probably the most well-revered one! The popularity of Mt. Bromo spreads because of its breathtaking location and mesmerizing views- you will get the best view near sunrise as you stand over the caldera! The tip of the peak of this mountain was blown apart during a rather violent eruption, and you could still see smoke emanating from the top! As you visit Mt. Bromo, you should also take a look at Mt. Semeru, also in the region and part of the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park. Mt. Semeru is the highest peak of Java! You could also interact closely with the Tengger people who are an isolated group of people tracing their ancestry back to the time of the ancient Majapahit empire!
If you want to experience how stepping into a time machine and arriving at the past feels like, you have to check out Tana Toraja! Situated in South Sulawesi Province, Tana Toraja is also an excellent example if you want a first-hand experience of the abundance of natural resources in Indonesia. Every feature that you see in Tana Toraja will stand out such as the boat-shaped Tongkonan houses. It is also home to some of the most welcoming and friendliest people in the world! An impressive ideal among the Toraja is the way they look into death- it is an approach of celebration! There's lots of food, traditional dance performances, elaborate ceremonies with the dead being buried in graves within the caves that surround the place! The lush, untouched countryside is also open to exploration via trekking and hiking if you are up for it!
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