Indonesia, as a holiday destination, has gained massive popularity in the past few years. The craze for this destination has only been increasing and we won’t give it a second thought before saying that it is true to its hype. Beaches so exotic you won’t be able to look away, nightlife so exciting you wouldn’t want it to end, and natural beauty so perfect you would admire its magnificence. There are so many islands (about 18,000) spread over the country, and each one with glory and splendour. Confused about which cities and islands to cover when visiting Indonesia? We have got you covered! Here is a list of 8 most visited places in Indonesia you should not miss out on!
8 Places You Should Cover When In Indonesia
Bali is one of the most popular island destinations and is certainly among the top honeymoon destinations in Southeast Asia – no surprise! You will get to experience verdant rice terraces, treks around volcanic hillsides, awe-inspiring beaches and coral reefs, and majestic waterfalls. To sum it up, it will set you in a different mood. You will also find lots of amazing hotels, professional massage spas, holistic healing centres, and crazy nightlife. If you are planning to visit in the peak season, which is in June, July and August, be prepared to face traffic issues as tourist crowd from around the world is pretty heavy. There are three main towns to cover in Bali – Ubud, Kuta and Seminyak.
Tranquil, laid-back, and serene. If you’re looking for a place to relax and rejuvenate in Indonesia, Ubud is where you must go! Ubud is quite packed with tourists throughout the year (especially in the ‘season’), but if you go deeper inside Ubud, you will find quieter and secluded places. Of all the destinations in Indonesia, it has the most interesting cultural and historical attractions like Tirta Empul Water Temple, Pura Taman Saraswati Temple, Pura Gunung Kawi, Elephant Cave and Puri Saren Royal Palace. The Monkey Forest is a well-known attraction you must not miss! You will also find insightful museums, fine-dine restaurants offering delectable food, cheerful festivals, and mind-blowing works of artists. And last, but not the least – grab a bite at the Alchemy Cafe and sip a cup of coffee at the Coffee Studio Seniman!
No better place to experience a buzzing nightlife than Kuta, a happening village within Bali. Bring out your party animal and dance till you drop at the Hard Rock Cafe, VH Bali, or Engine Room to name just a few happening nightclubs there. Not a party freak? No problem, because Kuta has something in store for everybody! If you are travelling with family, Waterbom Bali is a great option to spend a fun few hours with them. Circus Waterpark is a cheaper (but equally amazing) alternative. The Dream Museum Zone (DMZ) Bali art gallery is a trick-eye museum that houses painted artwork, Venetian canals and a lot more. There are spectacular malls for your retail therapy and when you are tired of spending all that money, there is the ‘Dreamland beach‘ to your rescue. Another fun and educating place to visit is the Kuta Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Centre. Want to do something offbeat? Try 5GX Bali Reverse Bungy and Upside world Pandora experience Bali.
Situated adjacent to the hip and happening area of Kuta, Seminyak is honeymooner’s favourite destination. In addition to world-class 5-star hotels, fashion boutiques, and unique cafes and restaurants; Seminyak has fun activity spots like Totem Room Escape Challenge as its hidden gems. Beaches like Seminyak Beach, Double Six Beach and Echo Beach are famous for water sports like scuba diving and surfing. For all the foodies, cheat your day away in Seminyak’s eat street where you won’t be able to turn your heads away from the local delicacies.
Heads up! If your plan on the vacay is to relax and chill the hell out, Jakarta is not an ideal destination. But if you want to experience the lifestyle of a fast-paced metropolis, you should add the Indonesian capital to your list! A few places you should cover in Jakarta – Istana Merdeka (the Presidential Palace) and Istana Negara (the State Palace), Istiqlal Mosque, and Gereja Cathedral Church. Two places you HAVE to keep time for are – Glodok, Jakarta’s very own Chinatown and Pasar Santa, a new market with 300 (probably more!) shopping and food joints. After all, there is no better way to get to know a city than through food and fashion!
3. Bintan Island
We would like to tempt you to visit Bintan Island by telling you about a mysterious temple – the Snake River Temple. Accessible only via boats connecting from Tanjung Pinang, the temple has a peculiar and interesting aura surrounding it. The walls of the temple have paintings of the torture methods of Chinese hell! Another place to see is the Senggarang Village which is the first establishment of Chinese migrants. The place has a rich cultural history and that’s exactly what it makes it so appealing. Bintan is also known for its lush and luxurious golf club resorts, delectable seafood and local food, Bintan Elephant Park, Trikora Beach and the Grand Mosque at Penyengat Island.
4. Raja Ampat
The USP of Raja Ampat is that it is a diver’s paradise! Whether scuba diving has been struck off your bucket list or not, or even if it is not your list of adventurous things to do, when in Raja Ampat, just close your eyes, hold your breath and take the dip! Pianemo Island is one of the most photographed locations of the Raja Ampat. It has a viewing deck on the top of a hill and has a breathtaking view. You should also visit the Pasir Timbul island. What is so special about this island, you ask? This island is a gateway to heaven (a beautiful beach) that is accessible only for a few hours a day when the tide is low!
Puncak is one of those underestimated destinations of Indonesia that will never fail to charm you. It has the green carpet of the Gunung Mas Tea Plantation, where you get to witness the process of tea making first-hand. Sounds exciting, right! Do visit the Cibodas Botanical Garden and National Park. As it is located at a high-altitude, you will get to see here various tons of sub-tropical plants and if you are lucky, even cherry blossom trees! Tap the adventurous soul within you with Taman Safari, they offer day and night tours and you will get to see about 2,500 species of animals from around the world. When in Puncak, hike! Gunung Batu Jonggol in Puncak is the BEST trek you can take on. It would be a 1.5-2 hour of hiking which is great for beginners. Trust us, the view from the top will be worthwhile. For a tranquil time with your family, or perhaps, alone, do visit the beautiful Maninjau Lake.
Yet another cherished honeymoon destination for newly-wed couples. It doesn’t just attract foreign tourists but is also a favourite getaway destination for the Indonesian tourists as well. It has some of the most picturesque beaches in Indonesia, such as Drini beach and Ngrenehan beach which would give the perfect backdrop for the pictures. If you want to explore proper Javanese culture, Yogyakarta is the place. Visit the Ullen Sentalu Museum to take a deep dive in the art and culture of Java. If you have time to spare, indulge in craft classes (like jewellery making) found in Taman Sari Keraton. You should also visit the Taman Sari Water Castle, a.k.a Taman Sari, which is actually a former royal garden of the Sultanate of Yogyakarta. Other famous tourist attractions are Malioboro, Prambanan Temple and Parangtritis beach.
Split into 3 parts – North, South, and Central Sulawesi and as if that wasn’t enough, it is surrounded by spectacular islands. Do you know what that means? It is going to take a hell LOT of time to cover the whole region. But would it make for a vacation worthy of your time and money? Hell, yeah! Makassar, Wakatobi Islands, Lindu National Park, Tentena and Togean Island are just a few of the tons of magnificent places Sulawesi has in store for you. If you have already created a busy and packed itinerary for exploring this place, we suggest adding a few days more and add the exotic Bunaken Island and Lembeh Island to your list of places to see.
Lombok Island is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful islands in the country. Blessed with peaceful natural waterfalls, forests, and sceneries, the island looks like it covered by a layer of green velvet. Sasak is the popular village in Lombok you do not want to miss out on the beauty of it. The Gili Islands that comprise of three islands, namely Gili Meno, Gili Air, and Gili Trawangan, are all located off the coastline of Lombok (between Bali and Lombok). The most famous and largest of the lot is Gili Trawangan and is a promising place to spend an amazing day.