I had the chance to visit a tiny bit of Indonesia only: the island of Bintan. We were staying for a few days in Singapore and we needed to relax a bit after a lot of walking (for me) and of working (for him). There are a couple of islands right opposite the city of the Merlion but we decided to go a bit further to stay on the Indonesian island of Bintan in the Bintan Agro Beach Resort. We booked a very nice suite on the sea for a small price (comparatively to a hotel in Europe). We really enjoyed visiting the fishing village, looking for fireflies in the mangrove and discovering the habits of the locals.
My short experience in Indonesia has made me want to go back… Fortunately, my friends keep on going to Indonesia, my Facebook timeline is cluttered with beautiful pictures of amazing places in the Indonesian islands.
I have therefore decided to gather some advice I keep hearing not to forget them and who knows this may be helpful for you too!
Java seems so big to me so I’ll just provide you with a few tips from here and there. If you are visiting West-Java, a couple of friends stayed in East Java in the lovely villa istana bunga (including a swimming pool!) they found on Traveloka in Lembang near Bandung and strongly recommended it to me! It’s also very close to Mount Tangkuban Perahu they really enjoyed. In West-Java, a friend off on a 5 months solo trip in Asia (that he is likely to extend!), posted some breathtaking pictures from electric blue flames he took during his night trek on the Ijen volcano complex. I didn’t get a lot of feedback on Jakarta, I guess my friends are just passing by looking for some adventures inland and on the beaches.
A friend made me dream about Lombok by explaining how he felt when reaching the top of Mont Rinjani after an exhausting trek of 27 hours on foot (thankfully some people we carrying their bags and tents). Tears in his eyes…
Gili is apparently synonymous with paradise: white sand, diving in spectacular transparent water… the only down side seems to be that it is becoming more and more popular, hence less and less serene.
And of course… Bali: I feel ambivalent towards Bali… Of course all the pictures look crazy but the fact that everyone goes there definitely cools me down. Actually recently a colleague told me that he enjoyed the island a lot but that after seeing 4 temples, they actually all look the same! Nevertheless, I bookmarked Borobudur Buddhist temple from the 9th century in Magelang, Pura Tirtha Empul hindou temple in Tampaksiring and the Holy Springs at Pura Tirta Temple in Ubud. On the other hand, a friend I met when travelling in Chile can’t stop going back to Bali, nearly exclusively to practice yoga. She recommended me the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary Ubud.
Hope to see all of these places one day! In the meantime, take advantage of all these tips from my travel- savvy friends and colleagues ☺