When you’re planning your next holiday you could go for a nice beach resort where you can relax in the sun and sip cocktails, but that’s a bit boring after you’ve done it a hundred times before. Beach holidays are great but one of the best things about traveling is experiencing new cultures that are wildly different from your own. There’s no better place to do that than Asia. The whole region is a mix of cultures, races and religions that you just can’t find at home. A lot of the countries in Asia like Vietnam, Cambodia, Japan and Thailand have been well trodden and they’ve lost some of what makes them special because of all the tourists ( I can vouch for this, I’ve been to them all!). They’re still great places to go but if you want a more authentic experience, you should try somewhere that is still in the early stages of its tourism boom. For this reason, I recommend Indonesia!
Indonesia might be the biggest economy in Southeast Asia, and an emerging power on the world stage, but it hasn’t been spoiled by too many tourists yet. It’s a wonderful place to go because it’s going through an exciting transitional period which means you get a distinct blend of traditional and modern cultures. These are just some of the reasons that Indonesia should be top of your list for holiday destinations.
The capital city of Jakarta is an absolute must see. It’s a great place to teach your kids about culture because there is such a mix. The city is going through a huge boom at the moment so you’ll find brand new high rise buildings right next door to small rural looking slums. It’s a strange juxtaposition but it creates a very unique city. People from all over the country have gravitated toward the capital to find new opportunities so you can meet people from lots of incredibly varied cultures which makes for some incredible fusion food that gives you a cross section of Asia with every bite. There are plenty of new buildings going up, but it’s not that expensive in the city so you can find luxury apartments that won’t cost you that much from places like rumahdijual.com/depok/perumahan-kpr. While you’re there, make sure to take a trip to the luxurious Thousand Islands which are just a short boat ride away. This beautiful tropical island boasts stunning white beaches and some exciting wildlife that you won’t get the opportunity to see in that many places. There are also a lot of water parks and theme parks if you’ve got a young family. Beyond that, there are lots of religious monuments where you can explore the history of this culturally rich and diverse city. There’s also a very vibrant nightlife scene in Jakarta so there’s a little bit of something for everybody.
The Komodo Dragon is one of the most famous animals in the world. The world’s largest lizard has a venomous bite that can kill large animals and even humans. Indonesia is the only place in the world that you can see them in their natural habitat, and even then they’re only on 5 of the thousands of islands that make up the country. If you’re in Indonesia and you’re interested in wildlife, you absolutely have to see them. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. There are tours that you can take if you want to see these majestic creatures but they do get pretty expensive. If you’re looking for a cheaper option, you can always visit the national park on your own without a tour guide.
If wildlife is your thing, Komodo Dragons are just the beginning. There are so many amazing things to see across Indonesia but the best place is definitely Sumatra. The island is covered in thick forest terrain and boasts some incredibly impressive volcanoes. While you’re there you’ll see all manner of beautiful animals including orangutans, herds of elephants, tigers and rhinos. There are plenty of great tour guides that can show you the best places to see these wonders of nature and if it all gets a bit too much for you, there are some quiet deserted beaches that you can relax on. The city of Medan on the island is a bustling mixture of cultures that is like a smaller, less commercial Jakarta in some ways. You can visit the impressive great Mosque and the Maimun Palace that tower over the city before exploring the great street food culture that they have there. If you’re looking for a luxury stay then Sumatra might not be for you because there aren’t many creature comforts there and the accommodation is fairly basic. However, anybody that is looking for adventure should add the island of Sumatra to their itinerary while in Indonesia.
After you’ve been to Sumatra you might not have had your fill of volcanoes. In that case, head over to Java. It’s often overlooked because it’s the most populated island in the world with 140 million people living there and people often think that it’ll be horribly overcrowded. However, there are plenty of places that you can get away from the chaos. Java is one of the best places to see some more of the wildlife because there are 12 national parks there, full of a huge mixture of wildlife. Java is the best place to delve into the history of Indonesia as it’s home to the world’s largest Buddhist temple, Borobudur. The stone structure is incredibly impressive and even though you have to pay for entry, it’s very cheap. You can take a guided tour where you’ll learn all about the history of the Buddhist religion and its impact on the country.
Bali is one of the areas of Indonesia that has been popular for a long time. It’s one of the top hotspots for backpackers and for good reason. It’s wonderful mix of hedonism and traditional culture is one of the best ways to experience what it’s really like to live in Indonesia. You can immerse yourself in their culture by attending one of the many ceremonies that are open to visitors. There are also loads of great galleries that display wood carvings and paintings made by locals. The best way to get around Bali and really experience it all is to hike, but you could always take a driven tour if you want something a little more laid back. It also has its own unique wildlife attractions as it’s one of the best places to see the marine life in Indonesia. The smaller islands offshore have plenty of opportunities for guided diving so you can get up close and personal with all of those incredible sea creatures. At the end of the day when you’ve seen all that Bali has to offer, you can relax on one of the massively popular beaches on the island.
The beaches on Bali are amazing, which is why millions of visitors go there every year. That means it can get a little crowded for some people and they’d rather go somewhere a bit more serene. If that sounds like you, try Lombok instead. It still has the same beautiful beaches but it’s not quite as well known so you won’t find as many crowds there. The surrounding islands are also home to a lot of coral reefs that are teeming with incredible marine life so a lot of the things that are so great about Bali can be found in Lombok as well, minus the crowds.
Indonesia is an amazing up and coming country that has something to offer for everybody. Now that I have been to Cuba, Indonesia is the last on my list! Then I can tick of Indo-China completely!