Your 2017 adventure should start in Indonesia: home to the great outdoors for travelers, young and old

I am also from an archipelagic country and I never considered visiting Indonesia. “What for? I live in a similar country I don’t think there’s a different thing to see.” I said. In 2015, “what for?” turned out to be a great embarrassment when I had a chance to embark on an adventure in Indonesia. Whenever we hear the country’s name, Bali automatically comes to the visual but what I found out to be true is that there is so much more to this country than Bali. From my first visit, I already when there three times staying for a minimum of two weeks because spending time and having amazing adventures in Indonesia is easy – you’ll never run out! In fact, I don’t even think that one month is even enough to travel to this wonderful country.

Being the largest archipelago in the world, Indonesia boasts a diverse selection of culture and natural wonders in its more than 18,000 islands. Their ancestry dates back in the 20th century when traders in the Pacific Ocean often pass by. Kingdoms have ruled for centuries until it became a republic. This has left some of the most important archaeological remnants that are being studied today. In fact, some of the first human civilization were discovered in Indonesia, thus it was named the Java Man. The country is also recognized as one of the largest Muslim nations in the world. The songs, dances, and textiles are very intricate that visitors bring them home. From temples to forests to beaches, witness wonderful Indonesia by browsing below.

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#1: Cruise the Sekonyer River

adventure in Indonesia

Using the Klotok, an Indonesian riverboat, cruise through Sekonyer River which traverses through the Tanjung Puting National Park. Along the way you will be able to witness orangutans in their natural habitat where they are being protected in Camp Leakey. Gold mining is also present in some of its surrounding areas.

#2: Borobudur Temple

Sunrise at Borobudur Temple. Namaste! #INATopBucketList #wonderfulindonesia #millennialtravel #grammasters3

A post shared by Trisha V. @ P.S. I’m On My Way (@psimonmyway) on

Known as the world’s largest Buddhist temple, the Borobudur dates back in the 9th century and is a home to thousands of Buddhist reliefs and statues. It is located in Yogyagarta in Central Java. The best time to be there is during sunrise where the natural light shines through its relics. It has since been undergoing renovations being one of UNESCO’s world heritage sites.

#3: Ratu Boko

adventure in Indonesia

This Keraton or “palace” is where the kings of Java resided for centuries. Because of the religious transitions in early Indonesia, remnants of both Buddism and Hinduism can be found all over the complex. In the highest viewpoint of the site visitors will be treated with the backdrop of Mount Merapi and the panoramic view of the Prambanan Temple.

#4: Prambanan Temple

adventure in Indonesia

Also part of the temple compound in Yogyakarta, the Prambanan Temple is the biggest Hindu temple in Southeast Asia dating back 850 CE. Visitors are in for a long day exploring the 240 temples in the compound. This archeological wonder has some of the most intricate reliefs of gods Vishnu, Rama, and Shiva. In the complex, they also show the traditional ballet dance, Ramayana, that visitors can definitely watch.

#5: Learn to make Batik

adventure in Indonesia

Southeast Asia has always been known for the Batik, a traditional technique of wax-dyeing cloth which creates a visual wonder. Indonesia is the most famous batik producers in the region. Historically, people used this as a daily attire and also in important ceremonies. It transcends religion and became a common symbol for the Javanese. The Museum Batik Yogyakarta showcases how batik is made.

#6: Mount Bromo

Mount Bromo is one of the hundreds of active volcanoes in Indonesia. She is a part of the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park where its surrounding area is a famous tourist attraction, including a desert and a visit to one of its crater. There has been a series of eruptions in the past decades but the government has secured a safe zone for its visitors.

#7: Komodo Island

A legend about a dragon circulated by early Dutch seafarers has made the island very famous to its locals and guests. While a sizeable amount of population lives in the area, it is best known to be the shelter of the Komodo Dragon, a monitor lizard that can grow up to three meters. It is also recognized as the world’s largest lizard. Apparently it doesn’t throw flames! The island is also a famous diving site and the Pink Beach, which is only one of the seven worldwide. Visitors can also drop by in the nearby Rinca Island.

#8: Uluwatu Temple

adventure in Indonesia

This famous temple is found on the seasides of Bali. It is beautifully situated in the edge of a 70 meter high cliff.It is part of the Sad Kahyangan Jagad or translated as the “six sanctuaries of the world” which are the six holiest places of worship in Bali. It is also inhabited by monkeys, so watch because they might grab your belongings.

#9: Ubud Monkey Forest

Besides the rice paddies, Ubud is also popular for its monkey forest. It is situated in the village of Padangtegal which considers the area as an important spiritual, economic, educational, and conservation center. It is a home to some Hindu temples and more than 600 species of monkeys. Be careful when handing out food to them since they have grown very comfortable around humans.

#10: Bantimurung Waterfalls

Located in the Bantimurung Bulusaraung National Park, this waterfalls will cool off a long day of nature exploration. It is 15 meters tall and naturally cascades on its cliffs. Nearby are also two caves that are easily accessible by concrete stairs.

#11: Kodingareng Keke Island

This is one of the uninhabited islands in South Sulawesi. It is famous for its very long stretch of fine, white sand from the north to the south of the island. There are gazebos where visitors can relax and eat. Snorkeling and diving is a major activity on the island if you’re done sunbathing.

#12: Gili Islands

adventure in Indonesia

Gili is a group of three small islands in the northwest coast of Lombok. Snorkeling for unique corals and fishes is a reason why tourists flock here. Resorts maintain the islands where they also offer world-class diving lessons popular among the guests. I went around through a glass-bottom boat which was also a unique experience.

#13: Mount Ijen

adventure in Indonesia

Ijen is actually a volcano complex which has beautiful crater lakes. The volcanoes are very much alive and even famous for its blue sulfur flames. The rim of the crater can be reached through a two-hour hike. The turquoise-colored acidic lake is one of the largest crater lakes in the world.

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Aside from Bali, what other places in Indonesia that you fancy?

If you’ve been to Indonesia, how was the experience? What else can you add to the list? Good or bad, share it in the comment box below!

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Mikee is a Filipino travel and lifestyle writer who is gradually shifting from a sedentary life to a nomadic one. On a personal note, she dreams of traveling to all 81 provinces in the Philippines, and having her own travel book, hostel, and restaurant someday. Keep track of her world through her words at www.mikeepascual.com.

Comments

  • Chrysoula
    April 8, 2017

    Unfortunately, I haven’t visited Indonesia yet but I really want to go but not in Bali but in the Borobudur temples and the Gili islands. The beaches there are incredible!

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  • April 9, 2017

    What a great showcase of the diversity of Indonesia. Beaches, mountains, rivers, volcanoes and more. I have had Komodo Island on my bucket list for a while now, as I would love to hike around the island, and get an up close encounter with a Komodo dragon. I’m moving to China soon, so I’m about to have much easier (and quicker) access to Indonesia, so can’t wait to explore it!

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  • April 9, 2017

    The temples, wildlife, and jungle are fascinating to me! Indonesia has been at the top of my list and I hope to get there in 2017. I’d love the river boat through Tanjung Puting National Park, too.

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  • April 10, 2017

    Great article with so many wonderful ideas. I’ve long wanted to visit Komodo, and while I’d never heard of a Klotok, the Sekonyer River or Tanjung Puting National Park, now the park is totally on my list. It’s definitely time to travel beyond Bali.

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  • April 12, 2017

    What a great article showcasing the diversity of Indonesia. There is so much more than I realized! A cruise along the Sekonyer River and visiting the Borobudur temple would be the first things I’d do.
    What was your experience with the people? I think it’s time to get there!!

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  • April 12, 2017

    I’ve only been to Bali (which I loved) so I’d love to go back and explore more of the islands, especially to see more of the important cultural temples. And I’m glad you warned people about Monkey Forest. Those monkeys really are a little too comfortable at this point. One tried to run off with my bag!

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  • April 13, 2017

    You’ve convinced me! Just look at those precious monkeys!! Indonesia is definitely going on my list. Thanks for sharing 🙂

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  • Megan Jerrard
    April 13, 2017

    Congrats on having your article featured in print! I’m based in Australia, so am very close to Indonesia and can’t wait to travel soon. You’re right – there’s much more to Indonesia than Bali which is what most people commonly assume!

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  • April 14, 2017

    I’ve spent come time in Malaysia and would love to explore more of the Indonesian side of Borneo, as well as the other islands that make up Indonesia. It is such a beautiful place (and the price is right too!)

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  • April 16, 2017

    Such an incredibly diverse list f things to do in Indonesia! I have always dreamed of going there to see the palaces and ancients ruins, along with the beaches and the wildlife. Love it! Congrats on being published!

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  • April 16, 2017

    You make a solid argument for sure, but honestly, you had me at Ubud Monkey Forest 🙂

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  • April 16, 2017

    We just got back from Thailand and loved the outdoors there. Indonesia looks amazing for outdoor advebtureres. Somehow, I never put two and two together and realized that Komodo was in Indonesia too. It sounds like an amazing place

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  • April 16, 2017

    Bali has been on my bucket list for a while and now I’m adding all of Indonesia! These photos are gorgeous, and I am enthralled with those monkeys!

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  • April 16, 2017

    I can’t imagine how difficult it is to summarize a country/archipelago as big and diverse as Indonesia. This is a pretty good start. 🙂 Of these spots here, Ijen looks very interesting.

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  • April 17, 2017

    I’ve never been to Indonesia. I must say your suggestions and photos are really beautiful and I’d love to go.

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  • April 19, 2017

    Oh my friend was just showing me some things she had made using the batik method, I had never heard of it before! It makes for some beautifully dyed clothes, I’d love to check it out in Indonesia.

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  • Holly
    April 19, 2017

    Very cool that there is so much to do there. I really do want to see Bali though and then go from there.

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  • April 25, 2017

    I love how much there is to do in Indonesia, especially Komodo Island!

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  • April 25, 2017

    There’s so much to do in Indonesia, especially for the outdoor lover!

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P.S. I'm On My Way is a blog by Trisha Velarmino. She didn't
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