Earlier this year, I had to turn down a potential trip to the beautiful country of Indonesia, because I was getting overwhelmed being on the road too much. While I don’t regret the choice, I’ve had this destination on the brain now for a while and do hope to visit in the near future. It seems like it has the perfect blend of incredible history, local charm, stunning landscapes and of course fruity watering holes on the beach. While living in Europe, Indonesia seems even more accessible for a vacation away. Here’s some of the highlights I can’t wait to experience first-hand.
Jakarta for city sights
A visit to Indonesia wouldn’t be complete without diving head first into it’s urban landscape. Jakarta is where everything comes together in terms of flavor, art, design and the Indonesian way of life. All 17,000 of the country’s islands are represented here, in addition to a big expat population. I’d love to explore the Pasar Santa modern marketplace or just watch the world go by in the bold Merdeka Square.
Aborek for the marine life
Scuba divers rejoice, as Indonesia is full of hotspots that boast colorful, diverse wildlife. In the village of Aborek, you can jump right off the main pier to see wonders below, including coral clusters and fish. They are leaders in local conservation efforts as well. I think I’ll need to get SCUBA-certified before I head to this beautiful place.
Bandung for the food
You ask anyone about where they can find the best street food around and they’ll point you to this vibrant city. Surrounded by tea plantations and volcanoes, it’s a melting pot of fresh food, unique spices, and even better coffee. I would love to try their snacks especially, including the banana-cheese bollen or the fried meatballs called batagor.
Bali for the beach
As soon as I touched down in Bali, I’d make a beeline for the Rock Bar in Jimbaran at sunset to watch colors melt into the sea. Then, I’d probably never leave the beach. Nusa Dua sounds wonderful, lined with luxury hotels, as does Sanur Beach for shell collecting and sunbathing.
Of course there’s plenty to see away from the white sand beaches too, including the cultural center of Ubud to learn all about Balinese life past and present.
Lombok for going off the grid
Just across the strait is Bali’s neighbor island that’s just as pretty but much more secluded. This place has the country’s second tallest volcano and plenty of hiking trails through tobacco and rice fields affording sweeping panoramic views of sea and sky. This is also a surf lovers paradise – maybe it’s time to take a few lessons! With temperate waters all year-round it’s ideal for a relaxing getaway by the water.
Have you been to Indonesia? What should I see? What’s your bucket-list destination in Asia? For more information about these sights and accommodation, such as at the Intercontinental Jakarta, see more here!