Creating an itinerary is exciting especially if you’re heading for a vacation you’ve been waiting for. Indonesia is a massive country given the fact that its archipelagic geography houses more than 17,500 islands. But the advantageous part of this is that the best attractions in Indonesia are scattered across the country. You can either visit Borobudur at Java or marvel at the Krakatoa on the Sunda Strait.
If you’re a first-timer at the Southeast Asian soil, I listed here ten of the most sought-after attractions you can visit.
1. Rice terraces paddies in Ubud
There’s nothing better but to start your Indonesian tour with the view of its rich natural resources. The rice terraces paddies at Ubud is one of these that is quite similar to that of Banaue, Philippines. Aside from the postcard-worthy photos you can take here, you can also watch cultural performances across the city. There are surrounding galleries and shops on this spot in Ubud that you can check out. If you feel suffocated by the crowd, you simply have to walk and go back to the lush green.
Going here is worth it since the rice paddies can be the starting point towards other attractions in Ubud.
2. Best Attractions In Indonesia: Borobudur And Prambanan
Of course, no Indonesian tour would be complete without stopping by the world’s famous Borobudur and Prambanan temples. The Borobudur is estimated to have about two million blocks of stone on its construction as a remnant of the 9th century Buddhism. It was mysteriously abandoned during the 14th century until it was unearthed from volcanic ashes and the lush forest.
The Prambanan, on the other hand, is just an hour away from Borobudur. This is a compound of Hindu temples that are used as a national symbol for Indonesia. From afar, the temples are mystical and even more so when you visit its grounds.
If you want a mix of creep and culture, you should to Torajaland. This is a highland region in Sulawesi where the Torajans live. You’ll see peaked roof houses here and doll displays on the concrete structures. What’s interesting- which is less creepy than what others think-is that Torajans keep their loved ones’ dead body for long. After a couple of years, that’s the only time that they will hold the funeral rites which may last for several days. They will bury the person in a hollow tree or a small cave.
I’m not saying that you should look for an actual dead body as that would be gruesome. Just enjoy learning the new culture and a little bit of wandering on the best attractions in Indonesia.
4. Komodo National Park
Indonesia is the home for the world’s largest reptile-the Komodo dragons. These creatures don’t spit fire nor fly like the way dragons are portrayed in the movies. Instead, they look like giant lizards that can be as long as three meters and heavy at 70 kilos. At the Komodo National Park, these animals are freely living. Though Komodos feed on dead animals’ bodies, they rarely attack humans as long as they’re not disturbed.
Aside from having a glimpse of the lizards, you should also experience hiking on the dry savannahs of the park.
5. Lake Toba in Sumatra
Lake Toba is considered as the largest resurgent caldera in the world. It’s a massive volcanic lake in the island of Sumatra where tourist head for a laid-back staycation. Visitors are also allowed to swim on the waters of the lake, which is naturally warm. As a crater lake, Toba is a natural wonder for having an island in the middle of it almost the size of Singapore. Aside from being the largest lake in the region, Lake Toba is also one of the deepest in the world and the best attractions in Indonesia.
If you don’t want to go into the water, you can ride a motorbike to go to the lakeside. The wind is cool here as the lake is situated 900 meters above sea level.
6. Mount Merapi and Krakatoa
While you’re in Indonesia, don’t miss to visit two of the most known volcano: Mount Merapi and Krakatoa. For the first volcano, you can join the Merapi Lava Tour. This will go to a museum like the Sisa Hartaku and local villages. There’s also the ‘Alien Stone’ that came from the explosion of the volcano and is now a landmark for tourists.
When it comes to the Krakatoa visit, you can enjoy a brief diving indulgence on the shore of the volcanic island. Krakatoa is known to have emitted the loudest sound ever heard on the surface of the Earth. The 1883 explosion left hundreds of people deaf in the 40-mile vicinity. The sound itself circled the world four times and was heard clearly even up to 3,000 miles away.
7. Nusa Dua in Bali
Ah, the paradise of Bali. If you’re a tourist who wants a luxurious staycation, head to the Nusa Dua. It will eat up the storage space of your camera and it will make you feel grand like you’ve never felt before. The most iconic activity here is watching the Waterblow where the waves crash on the rock formations in the southeastern cliff. Locals here have made a deck so you can safely take photos.
Of course, you wouldn’t miss the white beach and the azure waters of the best attractions in Indonesia. The best part is you can ride a camel along the shoreline by contacting the Bali Camel Safaris.
8. Gili Islands in Lombok
Clear waters, fine white sand, and pristine environment, Gili Islands is a paradise in Lombok. You can take a swim or enjoy a drink at the nearby cafés without being disturbed by cars or motorbikes that you would have to endure in the city. Gili Islands are slowly experiencing the boom of tourism and more establishments are being built here. If it’s a bad or a good thing, only the tourists can tell. Right now, this is a haven for backpackers and considered as the turtle capital of the world.
9. Ubud Monkey Forest
Mingling with monkeys isn’t a typical activity, but you can experience it here in Bali. Ubud Monkey Forest is a protected area where tourist can feed monkeys in designated areas. Monkeys here live freely so you should be careful in their sneaky ways. It’s advisable to leave your bags at the hotel and make sure that you empty your pockets.
Just remember that the long-tailed macaques can be aggressive at times, so you should ask the guide what to do in such circumstances. Anyway, avoid getting too close to them if you can. Just enjoy the view from afar and use the zoom of your camera.
10. Pura Tanah Lot
Pura Tanah Lot is the most photographed temple in the whole Indonesia and thousands of tourists go here to take their own snapshots. Pilgrims and other gatherings are held here since this is considered as a sacred spot in the country. However, most of the rocks in the site are already replaced and the stone formation is reconstructed. A big part of this attraction is crumbling to the ground, but thanks to the efforts to restore it that it’s still open to tourists.
Aside from the magnificent temple, you can also check the Pan Pacific Nirwana golf course. Although there are issues about its construction being disrespectful to the temple, it’s still worth the visit.
The best attractions in Indonesia are too many to compress in a single list. But if you want a quick guide for your itinerary, go ahead and utilize these choices. What’s important is you enjoy your trip and that you share your experience with us!