Every adventurous traveler should visit Indonesia at least once in their lifetime and when you visit, you need a bucket list! This awe-inspiring destination has something for everyone but Indonesia is most famous for it’s breath-taking beaches (hello Bali), Komodo dragons and lush jungles. There are so many amazing things to do in Indonesia; surfing, diving, trekking and shopping are just a few. Here is what we consider to be the top things to do in Indonesia, worthy of being on your Indonesia Bucket List anyway.
Here’s our pick of the top things to do in Indonesia
Mingle with Digital Nomads in Ubud
Ubud is Bali’s major culture and art hub with an ever-growing network of digital nomads. Soak up the laidback ambience or catch up on some emails with digital nomads and other location independent entrepreneurs in pretty much any Ubud cafe. If you fancy more of a cultural experience in Ubud then visit the art galleries here that have the works of several prominent Balinese artists on display. Dance lovers can watch the Tek Tok dance which is a new form of Balinese dancing amalgamated with the traditional form at the Bali Culture Centre at Ubud.
Go trekking at Bukit Lawang
Bukit Lawang is an Orangutan Sanctuary and the last few places on Earth to see orangutans living in the wild. In these lush tropical rainforests you can also go trekking and tubing on the river but it’s the orangutans that steal the show here.
Indonesia has always been a top destination for divers. It has amazing diving spots like Togean island and Raja Ampat that boast three thousand marine species and vast bio diversity. The Raja Ampat Islands, off the northwest tip of Bird’s Head Peninsula in West Papua was voted one of the best diving spots in the world. Togean island is the less explored island and is a secret diving destination with a lot of unexplored areas if you’re feeling adventurous.
Prambanan and Borobudur Temple
Near Yogyakarta lie two of Indonesia’s most beautiful ancient wonders, the Prambanan Temple and the Borobudur Temple. Borobudur is a unique Buddhist temple in Asia and the largest Buddhist structure on earth. Prambanan temple also called the Candi Rara Jonggrang is a well known ancient Hindu Temple in Java, Indonesia. You are going to be amazed by how well the remains of the two kingdoms have been preserved. The religions followed in the kingdoms were Hinduism and Buddhism.
Hike up a volcano to watch the sunrise
Indonesia is home to several volcanoes, the most famous being Mount Bromo and Mount Rinjani. Mount Bromo is Indonesia’s most iconic mountain and the most popular to hike despite the fact that it’s an active volcano with a crater that continuously churns out sulphorous smoke. Mount Rinjani is located in Lombok and is another of Indonesia’s most popular trekking spots. The hike is back breaking but if you succeed in completing it, you can witness a spectacular sunrise and a bird’s eye view of the entire island of Bali.
Sightseeing on a Becak
Ride a becak in cities like Malang and Yogyakarta and buzz about Indonesia in style. Becaks can go down even the narrowest of streets so you get to see lots more than you usually would if you were sightseeing on foot or by tour bus. Feel the wind in your hair and immerse yourself in the sights and smells from every corner of the city. Just hold on tight.
Shop ’till you drop
Indonesia has one of Asia’s best shopping destinations… Jakarta! The big shiny malls of Jakarta house various international brands and more. On the other hand if you love street shopping you can get excellent bargains in the local markets and smaller malls particularly in places like Bali which has some beautiful handcrafted wooden sculptures you can ship home.
Learn how to surf at Kuta Beach, Bali
Kuta beach in South Bali is a great place for surfing newbies. The waves are gentle, which makes it a perfect place for beginners and anyone that wants to learn how to surf. On this famous Bali beach you can get surfing lesson on an hourly basis and you can also rent a sponge board and ride the waves on your own. If you don’t like getting your hair wet… visit Kuta Beach anyway for the stunning instagram sunset photo opportunities.
Swim and Kayak at Lake Toba
Lake Toba is a jewel in the crown of North Sumatra and always flooded with visitors who come to check out the world’s largest Crater Lake. Swim in the clear waters of the lake surrounded by mountains or go kayaking. If you fancy a spot of kayaking then walk to the shoreline and choose a vendor here who’ll be happy to rent you one.
Read more: What I wish I’d known before visiting Bali
Celebrate Independence at Monas
Monas Tower in Central Jakarta is a national monument that stands 433 feet tall and symbolizes the Indonesian struggle for Independence. It is situated at the Merdeka Square and has a public museum. You can get a bird’s eye view of the city of Jakarta from the observation deck on the top of the tower.
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Other than these top things to do in Indonesia, there is so much more to see and experience in this amazing country. Plan ahead so that you can take your time exploring and be prepared to be flexible because sometimes travelers you meet along the way will have the best suggestions for undiscovered gems and awesome things to to do in Indonesia.
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