Things to see and do while backpacking in Indonesia.
Check out tips from other travellers and bloggers and their experiences in Indonesia.
If you're already planning to visit Indonesia - scroll to the next section for a list of the best places to stay.
1-day roadtrip from Canggu to Ubud
It took a whole weekend of driving to overcome my fear of driving in crazy traffic, but i have to admit: being part of a scooter gang is the coolest means of transport in Indonesia ?Lilla Kovács
Lombok and Gili Island in Indonesia
Mount Rinjani is located in Lombok island, Indonesia. It is the second highest active volcano with 3,726 meters. This is a “Short Gateway + Hike” trip! Starts with Hiking at Mount Rinjani then moved to Gili Trawangan to relax yourself and enjoy with the beach and sun after a hardcore activity.Jin
The first of the three Gili Islands, and the biggest one, is Gili Trawangan. My friend’s and my first reaction was – no, we don’t want a party island. We don’t want crowds and loud music, we want to relax. So we picked the calmest one, Gili Meno. And, yes, I read about this island in the book “Eat, Pray, Love” and remembered that when we planned our trip to Indonesia. Later we heard Gili Meno was internally called a “honey moon island”, and it became more clear to us why so many people thought my friend and I were a couple.sunrayflow
Discovering Pinang City and the Banyan Tree Temple
On one of our days on the island we decided to venture out of the resort to see more of Indonesia. Our driver knew all of the best places and drove us to Pinang City. Along the way we passed several pineapple farms and almost every second house had a rubber tree on their property that was slowly collecting latex that would later be sold.Casandra Jordaan
The next day I was picked up by a van and taken to Cianjur. A three-hour ride, could take much longer if the driver was not a maniac. A lack of humor, small (2.3 m!) City. I had booked 3 nights in a hotel type. Run by a family with some locals. After arriving I was like a delicious lunch. I eat here three times a day rice with something there. The local food is divine unexaggeratable, sorry Dad, slightly better than at home! The people of this hotel offer several trips in the area. I chose to go to school after lunch to the local English lessons, was collected by a cousin of the hotel owner and a teacher. This good man was, I heard afterwards, told his cousin this time to take a nice teacher. In the school I was given a courteous reception. Enjoyed the enthusiasm of the children and teachers and the atmosphere. It seemed totally at a school. At 1 o’clock I left the hotel. A trip of two hours ended late in the evening. Until dinner time I gechillt in the school with pupils and teachers Rivan, nephew of the hotel owner. I have also been useful, they used me as a practice instrument for their English.Around dinnertime names Rivan, his cousin from South Korea (Mario), the teacher (Arsy) which is indeed very beautiful and nice, and a lecturer me to a according to their best local eatery. And not surprisingly, it was indescribable nice and cozy. Then she took me to a bar where a band was playing. Rivan is an artist by profession, knew some people over there and grabbed the microphone. After a while I took over the drumsticks … They took me to ‘home’, the people of the hotel made me feel like I was home. At home there appeared to be a group of tourists from different countries arrived (20-25 years). With a taste of all the traveling, I struck up a conversation and it was a long day. Chat, cards, table tennis with males from the area. They come after work often chilling at the hotel. The night that followed was restless, saw just above my head, a huge rat on a ridge walk, so I was wide awake at every sound. A night later, I was happy transferred, even though I had said nothing of the rat. There I found too nice to people. The third day I went was with a local guide, who could not stop talking about how beautiful (but too long), the European women do not, and two older French women to the rice fields and tea plantations. Delicious fresh air and interesting how primitive people live there among the rice fields in villages. There also arrive at the ricefields few tourists, we got to see a lot of puzzled looks. Local transport brought us towards it, a mini-minivan with too many people in it. After dinner, Mario took me. The teachers of the English-class school went out for dinner and wanted me to come along too. I’ve eaten cow brains and cowhide. Really, but this was surely the least tasty in Indonesia to date. To be honest it was just gross, haha. At home, there was a new group arrived, this time with two Dutch ladies there. Funny to talk Dutch, my English is still pretty bad. It was a pleasant evening, glad I katuitdeboomkijken forever I left Jakarta. The last day at the hotel I have a cooking course followed by the ladies who cook every day for guests. So many herbs and oils into a dish I unfortunately little I remember. Then comes the day when you have to leave Cianjur. But I did not feel like it, I felt so happy, and had met very nice people. I also was by Interlingua, English-class school, asked to go on the weekend to a camp which they organized. They invited me for the two nights, from Thursday to Saturday, sleeping at school. Along with some teachers and Mario I slept there for two nights. What I did on Thursday and Friday is relaxing in the school, learning Dutch people bought a second phone for a local SIM card. This smartphone was just 50 euro + 4gb internet SIM card 54 euro total. They took the morning, afternoon and evening the best dishes. There was even a shower, really a top hotel and they wanted to know anything about money. It is now Saturday, camp has begun. Older children, young children, teachers, parents, another invited American. There’s everything around.I wonder what it’s all arranged.Lars Volborth
If you’re a light sleeper, it would probably pay to choose accommodation as far as possible from the Mosque, which is the source of a fairly piercing call to prayer multiple times a day, usually commencing pre-dawn. The population in this part of Indonesia are predominantly Muslim, but – despite the “No bikinis in the streets” signs – very tolerant of tourist behaviour. The streets are pretty safe, and in my anecdotal experience there’s not a lot of crime, so the biggest danger after a large one is being unable to find your way back to your room (trust me, the struggle is real).Ruby Yeats
Whilst in a shop in Goa, we started chatting to someone who lived in the Himalayas, Kashmir. We told him how we wanted to visit his hometown and by the following afternoon we were at his home in Goa being cooked a gorgeous meal by his brother, shown beautiful pictures of their home in Kashmir and being offered a place to stay if we were to ever visit. We were waited on hand and foot by his brother and friends who finally showed us how to eat the proper Indian way using your thumb to shovel the food into your mouth. Indonesia The day after the Paris attacks I was feeling slightly unnerved and disgusted in some of the human race. We were in Indonesia (Lombok) at the time and we received more emails and texts from friends and family about staying safe. That day we needed a taxi so flagged one down from the road. We had a lovely journey with the man and ended up booking with him to take us to the airport the following day. He asked if we would like to be picked up earlier so we could meet his family and have some coffee. Now ask yourselves honestly, if a taxi driver in your own country asked you to go to his house and drink coffee you´d probably think he had alternative motives…so why is it different in another country? It just is! These people haven’t lost the trust and love in humanity that seems to come in our more sophisticated first world societies. They make time for new friendships, they are honest and they don’t think the worst about strangers like we so often seem to. So, the next day he picked us up and sure enough we had a lovely afternoon meeting his wife and kids, picking mangoes from his garden and drinking home made coffee. His wife enjoyed our company so much she then came to the airport with us to see us off onto our flight.Hannah Sinnott
4. Skip the Expensive Destinations
Vietnam, Cambodia and most of Thailand (except a few of the more popular islands) were all this cheap. You may be worried that you will pay for the cheapness with inconvenience, but these countries are well travelled and are very well set up for tourists. The same can probably be said for Laos, Philippines, Indonesia and India, though I haven’t personally got there yet. Don’t expect the infrastructure of your comfortable first-world home, but these places are excellent for low-cost adventures.Carolyn Walter
MUSEUMS IN JAKARTA: THE BEST WAY TO DISCOVER INDONESIA’S HERITAGE
If you are forced to brand Jakarta by the first sight you will probably mention its horrifying transport system and insubstantial character as capitalistic economic centre. So I did a couple of months ago! Every time I entered the city I did almost everything to leave it as soon as possible. Everything changed when I moved there and started to explore this city from different perspectives. Jakarta is namely one of the three predominant art centres (beside Bandung and Yogyakarta) on Java island and therefore definitely worth to be discovered more deeply. For museum lovers Jakarta is doubtless one of the best places to be in Indonesia! But still, Jakarta remains one of Asia’s fastest growing megacities and can be puzzling in the first place. Let me navigate you a bit through Jakarta’s museum-scene and explore with me two of my favourite museums in Jakarta and its best-kept secrets.Claudia
Curug Nangka, Famous Waterfall in Bogor
I always love Bogor. It’s a city where I grow up. I’ve been living here ever since I was born. It’s a small, beautiful city, about 2 hours’ drive from Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia. However, as I grow up here, I feel like I knew all about this city when actually I am not. I realized I got more excited to explore other cities or even countries than my own hometown. But finally, here I am, exploring one of the famous natural spot in Bogor which is Curug Nangka. Curug means waterfall in Sundanese Language, which is Bogor local language.ineke-yulianti
Everyone goes to Bali - Why not visit Sumatra this time? Part 1.
Let’s start with one’s knowledge about Sumatra before ever even thinking about visiting it. Depending on the part of the World we are from we either know that it is an island between Asia and Australia or have no clue. We might even know that it forms part of Indonesia, the same country Bali belongs to. Many people though when they hear „Indonesia” think of it as India.Beata Czifrik
Why Port Moresby?
5) Papua New Guinea is an expensive nation, compared to neighbouring Indonesia and Australia. Accommodation is sky high, most food products are imported from overseas and you may never see a backpacker in the entire time that you’re in Port MoresbyMartin Anthony
Words of advice: Check train availability on Indonesia railway company’s official page. The site is in Indonesian only. Additionally you can use eTiket webpage, when buying tickets. This site is also available in English Carry a warm sweater and long pants so you don’t get caught off guard when air-conditioning kicks in. AC in trains are set to coldest temperature and maximum fan power. That is why the train’s inside can get ridiculously cold. Even worse if you sit near one of the ACs. Executeive class of Indonesian trainSnejl
Bali : A small paradise.
Selamat datang ! Welcome ! Very different from Java island and filled with spellbinding things. But first, if like us, you have the “happiness” to arrive by the ferry that connects Ketapang to Gilimanuk, you will meet soon the difference. Looking for the bus terminal to get to your favorite city ? Forget it. We have tested to find it but everybody known it’s totally corrupt. You will meet drunk balinese who want to drop you for a fortune. But don’t worry, you will find some taximens just after the exit. If they ask for 500,000 base, go down far until around 150.000Rp (We had 120,000 but with some risks and ending with the visit of the police to avoid being hit by a drunk)Mathias André
Jakarta: Arriving in the Big Durian
Ah, the New York of Indonesia! A bustling metropolis teeming with over 10 million living, breathing bodies shelved on top of one another in crooked arteries. Indonesia’s capital is unlike any other city I’ve ever visited, and it is here that I chose to make my home for the past four years.Jay McKenzie
6 types of people you will find in every dorm
These people usually have just finished high school or just need a break from something in their lives back home. Be it Germans in Australia or Australians in Indonesia for schoolies – these people tend to populate the bigger cities, preferably in Asian countries since alcohol and nights out in general are ridiculously cheap compared to their home countries. They are good fun to spend one or two nights out with and are certainly people persons, however, their rhythm is not necessarily the most suitable for your travel plans if you are actually planning on seeing something of the country you are visiting. Yet, if you are a little tired of travelling and just feel like having fun for a while – then stick with these people: they surely know where the hottest party of the night will kick off and where to buy reasonable drinks. They can be identified by a six pack of cheap beer hidden underneath their bed and the noise they make when stumbling back into the dorm at 4 am, thinking they are being incredibly silent. They can be found in bed most of the day or tucked onto the couch sipping an early afternoon beer in the common area watching TV or chatting to people.Marnie Hensler
Bali : The Island Of The Gods
A month ago I arrived in Bali, yes this island paradise where the sky is so blue and the rice fields so green they always look photoshopped. But let’s be serious, I came here to work. I’m a student in a French business school and I took a gap year to do some internships and maybe discover what I want to do with my life… apart from travelling. So I’m doing an internship in a really nice startup called Bedforest which provides all kind of accommodation all over Indonesia and gives back part of its commissions to local NGOs. So that’s it for the “why” I’m in Bali.Leonore Tarpin
Nusa Lembongan: The Magical Island Getaway in Bali, Indonesia
NUSA LEMBONGAN: THE MAGICAL ISLAND GETAWAY IN BALI, INDONESIA “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” – Marcel Proust I definitely agree with the quote above. The objective of the real travellers is not only visiting new spots but also experiencing new things and meeting new people from different backgrounds and understanding their point of views. So we can have bigger perspectives toward things and having higher level of tolerance to the difference when we go back to our hometown.Puspita Wardani
Amed: Serene Paradise in the North-East of Bali
My recent trip to Amed in the North East of Bali was very fulfilling across both dimensions. But first things first. Indonesia has been exciting my imagination for a while with Bali at the top of the list. Deciding where to stay, I searched for dive sites proximity, Amed came up with a description along the lines: “coastal strip of fishermen villages, uncrowded by tourists, offering excellent diving opportunities”. Sold.oksana-chetyrko
Some facts about Bali
If you could choose to go anywhere in the world, where would that be? I asked myself that question and I chose to go to Bali. But what is it about this small little island that makes people wanting to travel there? Is it the welcoming and loving inhabitants, the stunning beaches or the charming rice fields? All of these things makes Bali one of the most mesmerizing islands in Asia, absolutely a place everyone should have on their bucket list. Some facts about Bali Bali is the only island in Indonesia where the society is based on hinduism instead of islam.This attracts a lot of tourists since it is not as strict as the other islands which is the reason it is called the party island of Indonesia. The balinese food is also an attraction, especially if you come from another culture. Their food culture is filled with different kinds of fruit and vegetables and if you go there it is a plus if you like rice and noodles. Nasi goreng (fried rice) and Mie goreng (fried noodles) are two specialties the inhabitants tend to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Imagine doing that every day! They have the most expensive coffee in the world, Kopi Luwak. The difference between this coffee and regular coffee is that it is made from Civets droppings. They feed the civets with the coffee beens, collect them from there poop and roast them. This may not sound appealing but the process is supposed to give the coffee a really good taste. Imagine a beach paradise. Maybe you are picturing a beach with beautiful white sand. It may surprise you but Bali is one of the few places where some of the beaches have black sand. The black sand comes from the cooled lava from the volcanoes up in the north of the island. How cool is that?! Things to do and places to visit As you may know, all people are different, some like beaches and sun while others for example like snow and skiing. There are different opinions about Bali too, some people does not like it because of the partying and some people love it there because of the variety of places you can visit and things you could do. The ones who think Bali is too touristic and trashy have usually only been to Kuta, which hosts most of the parties on the island. So it is true, a lot of people tend to go to Bali to party but there are just as many who travels there to find inner peace by practicing yoga in the heart of Ubud, a village in the middle of the island. You should basically take your time to travel around the whole island while you are there so you can experience the beauty of the different places. Below are some places I really think people should visit while there.linnea-olsson
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