We’re big fans of Bali here on the The Two Travelled – Sarah’s been twice and I was lucky enough to have a whistle-stop tour of the island earlier this month. But we both agree Indonesia has so much more to offer than just the island made famous by Eat, Pray, Love.
We’ve been doing some research, and we’ve come up with five destinations in Indonesia that just have us itching to go back!
If you’re planning on a trip to these gorgeous islands, make sure you get off the well-beaten Bali path for a bit and start exploring some of the wonderful, untouched islands of the Indian Ocean.
Being blessed with pristine beaches, great surfing spots and fantastic hiking trails through tobacco and rice fields and dense forest bush-land, the little island of Lombok has something for every intrepid traveller. It’s most famous site of course is Gunung Rinjani, Indonesia’ s second-highest volcano – hike to the crater and you can enjoy the natural hot springs before your decent.
A real treat for the adventurer, Banyuwangi is fast becoming the destination for adrenaline-seeking backpackers! While the highlight is summiting the The Ijen Plateau overnight and seeing the sun rise over the crater, there’s also hiking, surfing, ATV-ing and much more in this small town on the eastern edge of Java. And with Banyuwangi being just a quick hour-long ferry ride from Bali, there is really is no excuse not to visit!
Affectionately known as ‘Yogya’, the city of Yogajakarta is a real treat for the soul. Discover the UNESCO world heritage site of Borobudur – a 9th-century Mahayana Buddhist temple in Magelang, constructed of solid carved stones which consistes of nine stacked platfoms, topped by a circular dome. Another site that’s well worth a dawn excursion. Neighbouring Prambanan Temple, 9th-century Hindu temple cannot be missed as it’s stunning spired temples are dedicated to the Trimurti, the expression of God as the Creator (Brahma), the Preserver (Vishnu) and the Destroyer (Shiva).
Fancy getting up close to a dragon? You can! Komodo island, which is part of the Lesser Sunda chain of Indonesian islands, is a wild and rugged island that is home to the 3 metre-long Komodo dragon monitor lizard. The Komodo National Park encompasses the whole region and there’s an estimated 4,000 dragons living on the island!
So we did say there was more to Indonesia than just Bali, but there’s more to Bali than Kuta Beach! Bandung, while still very popular with backpackers is filled with hidden treasures worth visiting if you’re in the area – like Geger Beach which is still relatively unspoiled and isolated from the crowd. And if you’re in looking for a 5 Star luxury stay (we have our eye on Hotel Trans Studio, Bandung) there’s plenty to choose from when you take a peep on www.traveloka.com. Who says backpacking doesn’t have to be glamorous?
We’ll be writing lots over the coming month on Indonesia and our plans to return over the summer! Please leave a comment below if you’d like to hear more from us about our stays or where we’re planning to visit next.