How To Explore Indonesia


How To Explore Indonesia – Thinking of visiting the beautiful country of Indonesia? Check out our post on the best places to visit in Indonesia this year for some inspiration…

The great thing about planning a trip to Indonesia is that from the temples of Java to the beaches of Bali, there is something for everyone.

How To Explore Indonesia

How To Explore Indonesia

So, for some inspiration on your holiday in Indonesia, check out my guide to our 8 favorite places to visit in Indonesia.

The Ultimate Guide To Visiting Borobudur Temple, Indonesia

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How To Explore Indonesia

Located on the island of Java, Jogjakarta is the fastest growing backpacker destination in Indonesia. This is because of the magnificent temple. There are many great things to do and see in Yogyakarta, but most people visit the two main temples: Borobudur Temple and Prambanan Temple.

Both are amazing in their own right, but my favorite of the two is Candi Prambanan. Borobudur is great for sunrise tours and real bucket list moments.

How To Explore Indonesia

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Yogyakarta is also very cheap and the locals are friendly and easy to get around thanks to the airport and great train services throughout Java.

I could start naming specific areas of Bali that you should visit, but honestly, I think you should see them all. For a beautiful night and the beginning of waves, you can visit Kuta, for beautiful temples and sunsets, go to Uluwatu, for blue water, hit Balangan Beach, for the most amazing rice terraces, for sideman and legendary waterfalls, visit Kepala. As far north as Bali!

How To Explore Indonesia

Take 3 weeks to see everything in Bali and make sure you see everything well.

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Bali is actually a unique island in Indonesia. This is the only non-Muslim island in the entire country. This has actually caused some tension in the past, but it is generally peaceful.

How To Explore Indonesia

Bali is a bucket list destination for many and it’s no wonder why. I’ve been twice, that’s why it’s on the list of the best places to visit in Indonesia.

Bandung is on the island of Java and is actually a random place for us in Java because it is not touristy. This is the main reason I want to visit. I really like Bandung, not in the city center, but once you rent a moped (or a Grab driver) and go to the countryside you have beautiful, beautiful tea gardens, beautiful flower gardens, floating places. Markets and more.

How To Explore Indonesia

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It’s very cheap and because it’s so high up, it has a very good climate, which is great (that’s why you can grow tea there!)

Ah, Malang, not one of my favorite places in Indonesia. The main tourist attraction in Malang is the famous Laskar Pelangi, which is colorful, unique and honest, making drone photos awesome!

How To Explore Indonesia

Not only that, but once you rent a moped and leave the city, you will find one of the best waterfalls in Indonesia. Worth the trip and be beautiful!

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Malang is also a sunrise tour to Mount Bromo, which was truly the best sunrise experience of my life. If you only do one thing on your trip to Indonesia, make it a Bromo sunrise tour.

How To Explore Indonesia

Nusa Penida is an island outside of Bali and is technically part of Bali, but it is not on the main island of Bali, so it is another place to visit in Indonesia. You have to take a boat there, but it’s a beautiful island.

Tourism on the island is really exploding and more hotels and restaurants are popping up, thankfully that means they are repairing the roads, which is a disaster!

How To Explore Indonesia

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The beach in Nusa Penida is crystal blue, you can swim with manta rays and it has breathtaking views. They’re also famous for their Instagram spots, so if you like good pictures, you’ll love Penida.

A word of warning, most tourist spots require a lot of walking to reach them, so wear proper shoes.

How To Explore Indonesia

Nusa Lembongan is “technically” another Bali island, but it is very different and when you actually visit Bali, you will find that there are not many clear beaches and clear blue waters that are perfect for snorkeling. Also, take a fast boat ride. Nusa Lembongan and you have a great snorkeling opportunity.

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You can stay in Nusa Lembongan or you can visit for a day. We visited on a day trip and explored the island on tour, but the best part of this tour is definitely the snorkeling. We have had better snorkeling in the Philippines, but as far as snorkeling goes in Bali, it’s a great place and it’s pretty cheap.

How To Explore Indonesia

Definitely one of the best places to visit in Indonesia if you want to swim with fish!

Ah, the Gili Islands! The Gili Islands consist of 3 islands: Gili Trawangan (pronounced Gili Ti), Gili Meno and Gili Air. Gili T is the largest and the least windy.

How To Explore Indonesia

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You can stay on all 3 islands and each one offers something different. Gili T is a “party” island, with unlimited opportunities to drink (muslin religion on the island!), party and catch the sun. We had a moped accident in Nusa Penida which left me unable to act and we want to visit other places in Indonesia…

This means I spent about 10 days in Gili Ti, and I have to say, there is a bad place to be “stressed”. The sun is amazing, the vibe is amazing, but honestly, the best thing about the Gili Islands is their famous snorkeling opportunities. There’s a statue under the water, a motorcycle… you’ve seen the picture.

How To Explore Indonesia

That was my biggest disappointment, I couldn’t get in the water!!! So I spent that time on this beautiful island, but was unable to experience the highlights. But Bradley did and he loved it.

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So if you’re looking for pure paradise, your Indonesia itinerary should include a trip to the Gili Islands.

How To Explore Indonesia

So there are some places in Indonesia that I was supposed to visit but couldn’t because of a moped accident. However, I have done a lot of research on these places and I think they are worth a visit. We hope to return in the future to:

In general, the most popular time to visit Indonesia is the dry season, which lasts from May to September. Bradley and I visited in July/August/September and the weather was perfect. I don’t remember seeing it rain once!

How To Explore Indonesia

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Note that the peak time for Bali and Gili Islands is June/July/August, so if you want to avoid the crowds, I recommend before or after these months.

You can also visit during the rainy season because it doesn’t rain exactly every day, which means more risk and Indonesia is prone to “natural weather disasters” so be careful!

How To Explore Indonesia

No, no and no. Indonesia is one of the cheapest places to visit in the world. Getting there is an expensive part. But if you look at Skyscanner, you will probably find a better deal!

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Lombok and Java islands are probably not the cheapest I’ve been to, Bali is a bit more expensive if you like western style amenities, but if you’re a local it’s cheap as chips.


It all depends on the island you want to visit. I only list 8 of the thousands of islands in Indonesia. But if you want to visit everything I mentioned in this list, I recommend 6 weeks. You can see everything comfortably.

Here is my guide to the best places to visit in Indonesia. Remember, there’s more to Indonesia than Bali, and there’s still a lot we haven’t seen. We had hoped to visit the Komodo Islands and Flores, but our trip was interrupted by a moped accident. But, I’m sure I’ll visit eventually, then they make a list of places to visit in Indonesia too!

How To Explore Indonesia

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As a type 1 diabetic from Dream Big, Travel Far, I am passionate about encouraging fellow type 1s to travel the world and not let diabetes hold them back. I am now proud to be a full-time digital nomad. I live my life working and traveling all over the world and am here to help you achieve your dreams in any way I can.

How To Explore Indonesia

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