And there is a reason for my absolute love.Indonesian travel is not for specific crowd or age group or certain seekers of peace and tranquility. It provides a diverse experience ranging from shopping, surfing, serenity-seeking, exploring, adventure loving, temple runner or history lover- Ultimately, there ís something for everyone.
There is an odd mix of tourists, ranging from backpackers to couples on holiday, to luxury travelers in resorts.
My Indonesian travel was not exactly tranquil with starting with the hustle and bustle of a megacity Jakarta where my husband was on a business trip, to coming face to face with wild orangutans, explored the ancient city of Jogjakarta, saw the majestic Borobudur temple , and relaxed in what is perhaps the most beautiful islands of the world - Bali .
Indonesia connects me spiritually , same way for the Wander lost in intricacies of Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta, or the surfer in Bali in his ultimate desire to become one with the wave, The Scuba divers struggle to be accepted by the ocean in Gili Trawangan or peace you find the jungles of Ubud the cultural heart of Bali.
If someone wants to just asks me for few reasons why I would want to go back to Indonesia again and again, one of them surely has to be
The small volcanic island of Bali with a population 4 million and the only Hindu society in Southeast Asia ñthe one go holiday destination in Asia. Itís the place where you stop thinking and start feeling.
I could see and feel the excitement when I think of Kecak Fire and Trance Dance in Ulluwatu temple in south Bali or The Ramayana Ballet accompanied by a 30-piece Gong Kebyar orchestra with powerful music and filled with contradictory emotions performed in Mariott Nusa dua, Bali while we had our dinner.
There are over 20,000 temples on the island and spirituality and community are integral to Balinese people.
Picturesque rice terraces, soaring volcanoes, pristine crater lakes, sacred caves, lush tropical forests and a dramatic coastline are awe-inspiring.
Kuta is a surfer's paradise and backpackers looking for hippie night-life and great waves, while Seminyak is Bali consists of eclectic bars, cool cafes, and international boutiques.
Fringed by white sand beaches and coconut palms, all three Gilis- Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, and Gili Air, located off the northwest coast of Lombok, are a vision of paradise, but each has a distinct personality. There is a saying that there is a Gili for everyone. So just before you board for the ferry from Lombok to these beautiful islands, close your eyes and make a choice.
Gili Trawangan: the party island
The largest, most developed and most lively of the three Gili Islands, Gili Trawangan is also one of Asia's diving capital with numerous reputable dive schools around. There's a good variety of accommodation on Gili T, with some gorgeous resorts and quality homestays and hostels. One of the things which make Gili Islands feel so untouched is the lack of motorized transport.so wherever you go is either using bicycles or use the horse driven carts
Gili Meno: the romantic corner
The smallest and quietest of the three Gilis, Gili Meno boasts of the best beaches of them all and is a popular place for newlyweds celebrating their new life together.
Gili Air: hippieness all around
Gili Air is the perfect blend of the other two Gilis. While it has similar facilities as Gili T and is as peaceful as Gili Meno It forces you to slow down, disconnect and enjoy the simple things.
Love your Beaches:
With over 17,000 islands Indonesia has no dearth of beaches to lay on. Whether you want to enjoy some water sports like learning to surf, go parasailing, ride a boat to see the sunset or just lay out and get a nice tan, Indonesia is definitely a place where all of this can happen. You can hang out on the popular Kuta beach in Bali, or the secluded pink beach as part of the Komodo island. Sanur is a fairly sedate southern beach resort, but most backpackers prefer the serene island of Nusa Lembongan, the beaches of peaceful east-coast Amed, Candi Dasa and Padang Bai.
If you are not into snorkelling, diving and sunbathing are more than enough to keep you there then the Parties happening in most of the beaches past sundown are enough to bring cheers .
Jakarta : Fun in the capital
Then there is nevertheless the city in chaos - Jakarta
The capital of Indonesia .It has some exciting places to visit in and around.
As an icon of the city and a symbol of the struggle of Indonesia, Monas is a place worth visiting. In addition to the monument, you can also find The National History Museum in the area around Monas. Istiqlal is the largest mosque in Southeast Asia.Old Town or Old Batavia has a very strong historical value, but it is unfortunate that most of the buildings in the Old Town are not well preserved.
When you visit Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (Beautiful Indonesia in Miniature Park) you can see the entire magnificent archipelago in just one day, it represents Indonesia's 27 provinces and their outstanding architecture.
Or you can take a trip to Taman Safari Indonesia Cisarua, a popular attraction showcasing a collection of over 2,500 animals. You can Drive across the park in your own car, sights of sun bears, giraffes, kangaroo, orangutans, tigers, lion, snakes, and Komodo dragons among other species
Dating back to the 9th century, Borobudur is the largest Buddhist temple in the world and is found in Java, Indonesia. Made up of 2,000+ relief panels and over 500 Buddha statues, this temple is an amazing monument to see.Being often crowded during the day, its being voted as one of the best sunrises in the world and to see before you die. The nearby city of Yogyakarta is a cultural hub and can visit the other temples like Prambanan, Candi Mendut, Candi Pawon, Sambisari Temple, and the highly impressive Plaosan Temple.
Love of Coffee and Tea
Indonesia is also one of the largest coffee producers in the world - the phrase ìa cup of Java actually comes from Indonesian island of the same name, where the coffee comes from. They are also famous for Kopi Luwak, which is coffee made from the poop of the Luwak - aka civet cat - that has eaten coffee beans and pooped them out. Sounds gross but it is actually rare and quite expensive coffee.You can stroll around any of the plantations and learn from them the different type of coffee and tree grown and sip as many cups as you can.
Indonesians are very warm and affectionate people. They are happy to go lucky and in the majority of the places you travel to throughout the country, you will be met with some of the biggest smiles you have ever seen. They are also very proud of their history, culture, wildlife, food and more, and are passionate about sharing it with others.
Nasi goreng, Ikan Goreng, Mie goring and Ketupat sayur are are few Indonesian delicacies which have travelled far ñ nasi goreng is a national Indonesian dish ñ fried rice, often with vegetables or chicken , Mie Goreng is noodles instead of rice Ikan Goreng is fried rice with fish .you can find these dishes are virtually everywhere starting from warungs(eateries by the road) to the high-end restaurants.
Along with the Philippines, I find Indonesia to be the cheapest country in Asia. Their currency (called the Rupiah) is super inflated, so $1USD = 14,000 Rupiah, that means you can become a millionaire as you soon as you land in the airport. The approximate cost of any local meal will be around $5USD, hostels, adventure sports, renting equipmentís are cheap as well. So if you are planning for your certification in Scuba diving, get surfing as sports this is the place for it.
How to reach Indonesia ?
How to get to Indonesia by Air
Indonesia's main international airport is Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, Jakarta,but other airports also cater to international airlines. These include Ngurah Rai (Bali) and Polonia (Medan, in north Sumatra), which are connected by air to destinations in most major cities of the world.
How to get to Indonesia by Sea
Semarang, Jakarta, Bali, Pontianak, Tanjung Pinang, Kupang, and Balikpapan are seaports for entry to the country. A number of cruise liners on the South-East Asia circuit make at least one of these a port of call.
Few of the cruises providing services to Indonesia are
Azamara journey , Seven sea voyager , diamond princess
How to Get Indonesian VISA ?
More than 150 countries get free tourist visa to Indonesia and for the rest of them the process is lenient .
Click to check if your country is in the list .
So you are an Indian traveller - This is the perfect home away from home . Indonesia having a deep indian cultural impact , with hinduism , buddhism and islam coming from Indian subcontinent to the country. So if you are planning to bring the entire family for a history tour , or are worried about vegetarian food - be calm . There are Indian restaurant in most of the tourist places , with lot of ramayana and Mahabharta plays to watch which is missing even in India .