Why is it that people go back to Indonesia, time and time again? It’s not a place that you simply cross off your bucket list, but somewhere that you want to go back to because of the experience.
Indonesia is the world’s largest archipelago or island chain. It stretches from the northern coast of Australia up towards Malaysia in south-east Asia, covering a distance of more than 3,000 miles.
What’s so fascinating about the country is the range of environments. There’s the tropical island of Borneo in the north of the country, filled to the brim with rainforest and unique ecology. And then there is the heavily urbanized area around the Java Sea, including Jakarta.
Remember, more than 240 million people call Indonesia home, making it one of the most populous countries on Earth. Nearly as many people live in Indonesia as live in the US.
Here are some of the many reasons why people keep going back to Indonesia, time and time again.
Bali Is A Backpacker’s Paradise
If you’re the sort of person who likes to go on long excursions out into nature, then you’ll love backpacking in Bali. While the island is famous for its nightlife and tourist scene, the moment you go off the beaten track, you find yourself in the wilderness: an expanse of ancient jungle, dotted with ruins and ancient landmarks.
You can be making your way through a jungle path and, without warning, suddenly stumble across a magnificent ancient temple.
What’s so exciting about Bali is how it combines the wild with the civilized. The island is relatively small, so you can go hiking in the interior during the day, and then return to the coast in the evening for some much-deserved rest and relaxation.
Being a tourist hotspot, Bali is home to dozens of places to eat, all of exceptionally high quality.
Experienced Bali trekkers try to incorporate landmarks into their journey. You can hike past the island’s famous rice fields, or take a trip to the volcanoes in the north that are responsible for the island’s very existence. You can also walk around the Bali Barat National park freely, one of the best places to spot native wildlife on the island, such as macaques and wild boar.
The Javan Hills
Java is a famously populated place, with more than 140 million people crammed onto the small island. But just like in other densely populated regions around the world, there are still places where people rarely venture.
If you’re planning on staying in a beli rumah murah in Java, then you can use it as a base to explore the island’s epic countryside and temples.
Java is home to more than twelve national parks outside Jakarta. Many of the national parks encompass volcanoes, some of which still spew out ash daily.
Java is also home to some of the most famous Buddhist temples in the world, including the one at Borobudur. The temple is renowned for its latticed chimneys that run alongside the region’s many rice paddies.
Early Buddhists chose many of these locations for sacred sites because of their peacefulness and tranquillity. Even with the modern development of megacities on the island, these remain places of refuge to get away from the mania of city life.
Adventures In Sumatra
Despite being geographically close to Java, Sumatra is an entirely different place. The human population is much lower, the island is much bigger, and rainforest takes up a much larger area of the available land.
The center of Sumatra is like a lost paradise, with endless rainforest interspersed with jagged mountains.
If you’re the type of person who likes an adventure, then Sumatra should be at the top of your list of Indonesian destinations. In the north, you’ll find the protected rainforest of Tangkahan, an area that is free from deforestation and poaching. It’s here that you’ll find one of the world’s most vibrant ecosystems, with thousands of species living alongside one another in close quarters.
Hospitality on the island is pretty good too. You can grab a cup of the great Sumatran coffee before starting your expedition for the day, and enjoy views overlooking the stunning wildlife and scenery.
For people who want to venture even further, there is the Kerinci Seblat, the island’s largest and most remote national park. You won’t find much in the way of touristic amenities here, but you may get a chance to glimpse the elusive and rare Sumatran rhino. And even if you’re not treated to this most unusual of creatures, there are all kinds of other animals that will be of interest to keen naturalists.
Komodo dragons are rare creatures and make their home on just five of the 3,000 or so islands that make up Indonesia. Currently, the world’s largest lizards live on Komodo, Padar, Gili Motang, Flores and Rinca.
Many people do not know how large these creatures are. On television, they look like they might be the size of a small dog. But in reality, they can weigh up to 150 lbs, putting them in a different league altogether. Even Dobermans can look small compared to these epic beasts. No wonder they got the nickname, “dragon.”
Komodo dragons are also highly dangerous, so if you do go and visit them, you’ll want to go with a guide. The lizards produce a venom that can quickly put people into shock and induce heart failure. Komodo dragons, however, are worth the risk. Just seeing these creatures on a far-flung Pacific island is as close as you can get in real life to Jurassic Park.
Jakarta is a chaotic place, and home to 10 million people – that’s two million more than London. The city is home to the biggest and best that Indonesia has to offer, including luxury hotels and famous night clubs.
The town is a jumble of towering skyscrapers and more modest and humble dwellings for people newly emigrated to the city. There’s always somewhere new to explore.