Whenever I come across Indonesia on the internet, my mind automatically incorporates the country with Bali because it’s the most popular tourism spot in the world (and among my peers). Last month, I received an e-mail from the Ministry of Tourism of Indonesia inviting me to explore their country with 40+ other bloggers and I was really surprised with the itinerary.
I left my whole life in South America for this trip. “Why not?” I said. Indonesia seem to be an interesting country and it’s so close to home. I gave it a shot and here’s what I found out: Indonesia is more than Bali. There are too many places to see that are off our radar and these are my recommendations:
The capital of the West Java and the third largest city in Indonesia, Bandung is the home of greens and architecture from the Dutch colony. It has an interesting mix between grand art deco structure, springs and high volcanic peaks. Bandung is very accessible and easy to reach as it is only 3 hours away from Jakarta.
WHAT TO SEE
|Tangkuban Perahu||A gorgeous volcano rich in history, 30 kilometres north of the city.|
|Kawah Putih||Another striking crater lake about 50 kilometres south of Bandung.|
|Saung Mang Udjo||Witness the rich culture of the instrument, Angklung, pioneered by the Indonesians. They stage different cultures from the whole of Java after which you will get to have a tangible experience by learning how to play the instrument.|
THE BEST OF SENSATIONAL EATING IN BANDUNG
|Dusun Bambu||Jl. Kolonel Masturi KM 11, Situ Lembang, Cisarua, Bandung Barat, Jawa Barat|
|The Peak||Jl. Sukajadi, Sukajadi, Kota Bandung, Jawa Barat
|Sindang Reret||Jl. Surapati, # 53, Bandung|
|Kampung Daun||Jl. Sersan Bajuri Km 4,7 No. 88 _ RR1, Bandung 40154,Indonesia|
Sunrise at Borobudur Temple. ♡♡♡ #inatopbucketlist #wonderfulindonesia #Yogyakarta #Indonesia @indtravel A photo posted by Trisha V. @ P.S. I’m On My Way (@psimonmyway) on
75 kilometres south of Semarang (the capital of Central Java) lies Magelang which is in the agricultural area of Indonesia. It is the closest major town to the famous Borobudur and Canggal Temples.
WHAT TO SEE
Borobudur Temple. A ninth century Buddhist Temple rich in history. Good to catch the sunrise here!
1. Amanjiwo: Ds. Majaksingi, Borobudur, Magelang
2. Plataran: Dusun Tanjungan Borobudur, Magelang, Jawa Tengah
Atria Hotel: No., Jl. Jenderal Sudirman No.42, Magelang, Kota Magelang, Jawa Tengah
Probably my favourite city in this trip, Yogyakarta is the hub of education, arts and culture (batik), music theatre and poetry. A lot of Indonesian students move to Yogyakarta as it also offers the best art education in the country.
THINGS TO DO
|Visit Ulen Sentalu Museum||Learn about the Javanese history, myths and legends; get to know the leadership and Dutch colonisation in Indonesia. This is really interesting so don't miss it!|
|Kota Gede||Experience first hand the making of silver jewellery in Indonesia. I successfully made a silver pendant in this trip!|
|Ratu Boko Temple||ocated in a plateau, Ratu Boko is an archaeological site and an old palace complex which belonged to the Mataram Kingdom.|
|Prambanan Temple||A 9th century Hindu temple compound dedicated to Trimurti. Up to date, they have no idea how this was made so everything is based on myths and legends|
|Ramayana Ballet Show||One of my favourite shows of Indonesia which showcases the love story of Rama and Sita.|
|The Royale Palace||Where the former sultans/leaders reside.|
|Museum Batik||Yogyakarta is the home of Batik so this is the right place to learn how to make them!|
|Malioboro||Fancy cheap shopping? This is the place!|
THE BEST OF FOOD IN YOGYA
|Beukenhof Restaurant||JL. Boyong, Kaliurang, Yogyakarta, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta|
|Gadjah Wong Restaurant||Jalan Gejayan No.79D, Depok, Kec. Sleman, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta|
|Sekar Kedhaton Restaurant||Jl. Tegal Gendu No. 28, Kotagede, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta|
|Bale Raos Royal Cuisine||Jl. Magangan Kulon No.1, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta|
|Indische Coffee||Jl Jend. A. Yani No. 6 Benteng Vredeburg Ngupasan Gondomanan Yogyakarta|
4. MOUNT BROMO
Sunrise hike to Mt. Bromo. Uphill challenge with @dayuhatmanti. ♡ #inatopbucketlist #wonderfulindonesia @indtravel A photo posted by Trisha V. @ P.S. I’m On My Way (@psimonmyway) on
An active volcano and the most popular peak in East Java. Located in the massif are, Mount Bromo is 7,641 ft high and is considered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Is is also located in the “Sea of Sand,” a protected natural reserve since 1919.
Jiwa Jiwa Resort Bromo: Jl. Raya Bromo, Wonotoro, Sukapura, Probolinggo, Jawa Timur 67254
5. LABUAN BAJO
A fishing town located in Flores, Labuan Bajo is the home to the famous Komodo dragon which is said to be slowly going extinct. A number of islands is also located here (like Rinca) and one of the most popular tourist activity here is diving because of its vast waters.
The most exciting activity here is visiting the Komodo Island and learning about the dragons’ way of life. We came to see them up close! Additionally, you can visit the Melo Village where you can see the traditional way of life in Labuan Bajo, interpreted into a dance (Caci Traditional Dance). Feel free to visit Taman Bacaan Pelangi, a school for kids and volunteer for a deeper cultural experience!
Want to win an all expense paid trip to the Komodo Island? Click here for more info!
Laprima Hotel: Jl. Pantai Pede, Labuan Bajo, Manggarai Barat, Nusa Tenggara Tim.
Cover Photo: © Gael Hilotin of The Pinay Solo Backpacker
Have you been to Indonesia? What other places can you recommend?
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